Forget about the ancient structures, which your grandfathers were still observing. On October 3, aerospace giant Lockheed Martin demonstrated the concept of a reusable single-stage spacecraft capable of delivering 4 astronauts between the lunar orbit and the surface of a satellite.
For you to understand, the Apollo mission landing gear carried two people and weighed 4.7 tons without propellant. The vessel from Lockheed Martin will reach 24 tons in weight and approach 68 tons when fully loaded. The lunar orbital platform will be used as a base - a small space station, the construction of which should begin in 2022 near the moon.
Artistic vision of the Lockheed Martin crew, designed for astronauts on a lunar surface for two weeks
The ship will be able to disconnect from the gateway with astronauts and 1.1 tons of cargo, going to the lunar surface. The crew will be able to stay on the surface for two weeks and then return to the station for the necessary refueling. The lander's design uses many Orion capsule technologies, which Lockheed Martin creates for NASA.
In December 2014, the Orion capsule completed a test flight, but did not break into Earth orbit. NASA plans to restart in 2020, which will also debut for the SLS rocket. The capsule should fly around the moon and spend three weeks in space. The first crew mission is planned for 2023.
The artistic vision of the alleged lunar landing gate attached to the lunar orbital platform - a small space station that NASA intends to start building in the orbit of the moon in 2022
The estimated landing gateway will be launched by the end of the 2020s. The Lockheed Martin conceptual transport is slightly larger than the crew lunar landing gear. In March, the agency consulted with companies regarding the ideas of creating a landing gear with a capacity of 0.55-6.6 tons.
Illustration of a lunar landing device on the surface of the moon. This device will be able to transport 4 people and up to 1 tons of cargo to the surface from orbit
There is a reason why the company is trying to increase its payload. The fact is that the lunar landing site is considered as a predecessor for the Martian mission. On the Red Planet they plan to form a base camp (a space station in orbit), which will serve as a center for reconnaissance and a transition to descent to the surface.