Lockheed Martin Joins the Race to Mars by Creating a 'Space Base' To Orbit around the Red Planet

May 19, 2016 05:44 AM EDT

Man's race to Mars just got a little more exciting as Lockheed Martin, a global aerospace company, develops its own 'space base' to orbit around the red planet.

Because of its proximity to Earth, Mars is the next target for most space agencies in the world. The possibility of interstellar journey or the journey within our own solar system, led scientists to believe that with proper technology, they will be able to reach Mars and study the possibility of sustaining life on the red planet.


Lockheed Martin announced that they will be joining SpaceX in the race to send manned spacecrafts to Mars. And their first step is to build a 'space base' just like the International Space Station, to orbit around Mars according to a report by Mirror in the UK.

The company calls it their spacecraft 'Mars Base Camp' and they wanted to launch the capsule in 2028. They believe that orbiting a planet is the first step to conquer it, just like what men did with the moon.

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"We think that orbiting Mars is a necessary precursor to landing humans on the surface," Tony Antonelli, Lockheed Martin's chief technologist for civil space exploration said in an interview with Popular Science.

A detailed drawing of the proposed capsule was released by Lockheed Martin. Mars Base Camp is designed with solar panels to harvest energy from the sun. The initial design also includes a propulsion system to help move the aircraft, the Orion excursion vehicle which is meant to explore and a living quarter for the space crew.

But the decision to create the space base depends on NASA. NASA said they did not commission Lockheed to produce the spacecraft, which is why Lockheed Martin is hoping that NASA will choose their design for the journey to Mars.

Currently, NASA is funding both Boeing and SpaceX to develop spacecrafts for their space explorations. Lockheed's attempt to close a deal and a partnership with NASA is a long shot, but if their technology proves to be better than the others, then NASA might just consider another partner for their mission to Mars.


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