Despite all the recent upheavals, the NASA leadership still sees the return of people to the Moon and a manned flight to Mars as the most important goals. To achieve them, various aerospace companies offer the agency to implement their own projects of expeditions. Among the latest concepts – proposals of the giant Lockheed Martin, whose engineers are already working on the future manned ship Orion. This device is based on the project of the lunar module, presented by the company the other day.
The project is extremely ambitious: according to him, the single-stage manned descent vehicle will reach almost three floors – 14 meters – and an elevator will be used to ascend to the habitable airtight chamber. It is designed for a crew of up to four people who can stay aboard and work on the moon for up to two weeks, after which they will rise into orbit with the help of cruise engines. For comparison, the descent modules of the Apollo ships contained a maximum of two and were designed only for a short stay on the satellite surface.
The basis of the device is an Orion sealed capsule of the ship, in addition, the elements of its nose fairing and avionics are used, which will reduce the cost of development and production. According to Lockheed Martin, the dry weight of the module will reach 22 tons, in addition, it will need 40 tons of fuel for landing and subsequent take-off using four modernized Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10. In accordance with the wishes of NASA, the device can be re-used – at least 10 times, refueling both on the surface and in orbit.