I In collaboration with NASA, Lockheed Martin is developing space that can be deployed on a surface such as Mars or the Moon and can accommodate up to four astronauts. The airline offered a first glimpse of the massive cylindrical habitat, which is ideal for a camping trip into space.
Lockheed is just one of the six private companies that have signed a $ 65 million contract with NASA for the construction of a prototype space prototype in 2018. Lockheed, as well as Boeing, Space Systems, Orbital ATK, NanoRacks and Bigelow Aerospace of Sierra Nevada Corp., will each have to develop a prototype that will facilitate life in space and provide NASA with an individual proposal. On Thursday, Lockheed took a first look at the prototype at the Kennedy Space Center, revealing a spaceship that offers a cozy, bungalow-like atmosphere.
"You consider it an RV in space," said Program Manager Bill Pratt at the presentation. "When you're in a RV, your table becomes your bed and things are always moving, so you have to be very efficient with space, which is a lot of what we test here."
At 22 feet Length and 15 feet diameter really looks like something that's meant for camping. The Space Bus (not to be confused with the Magic School Bus, though about the same size) is based on an earlier design for the Donatello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, a cargo spacecraft that was to deliver to the International Space Station ISS was never used. Lockheed's version will also include life support systems, training machines, sleep stations and other perks for the astronauts if they are not working in their lab.
If approved, the final version of the Space RV will continue on the Deep Space Gateway as it orbits the Moon. While Spaceport is a space exploration spacecraft, crew members launched separately on the Orion spaceship before picking up the keys to the Cosmic RV.
"We want to get to the Moon and Mars as fast as possible and we feel that we actually have a lot of stuff we can do that with," Pratt said. Considering much of Lockheed Martin's products with electronic warfare systems and fighter jets, it seems ironic that the company has proposed a vehicle that compares it to a hippie transporter, but it may have to do with NASA's ongoing strategy of astronauts to help when they are far out.