US defence giant Lockheed Martin has unveiled a new technology that would see it land on Mars in partnership with NASA by 2030. The reusable, water-powered Mars lander is expected to take shape by end of the next decade that will allow scientists to explore the Red Planet from an orbiting 'base camp'.
Lockheed Martin has been working on its ‘Mars Base Camp’, a science laboratory that will orbit the planet, with the crewed lander set to descend to the surface on repeated missions. Lockheed Martin is among several companies working on deep space habitats with NASA, which hopes to send the first astronauts to Mars in the 2030s.
Lockheed Martin's human spaceflight strategy chief Rob Chambers said that it looks a bit like Jules Verne, but it's actually more like an aircraft that have flown in the past. He added that up to four astronauts could join each two-week surface mission, while liquid hydrogen generated from water would fuel the spacecraft.
"We can create that fuel. We can power this entire spacecraft system just with water," Chambers, describing it as a ‘water-based economy’, said.
Chambers called the Mars vision "a transformational event for our generation. He said that it is literally the start of the new age of discovery about ourselves and about our solar system.
The International Astronautical Congress concludes on Friday with a presentation by SpaceX's Elon Musk, who will outline a new design for an interplanetary transport system to take humans to Mars.