Another private spaceflight company, Lockheed Martin, unveiled its plan to help conquer Mars. Unlike SpaceX, the company plans to establish a base camp on the red planet in 2028.
The company wants to account for most questions asked regarding living and working on Mars. In order to make the mission possible, a habitable base camp should be made in the fastest, most affordable way possible.
The new Mars Base Camp is the company’s vision for 2028 in order to make sending humans to the red planet possible come 2030. NASA’s mission to Mars is set to send a team of highly trained astronauts to physically explore the planet for the first time ever and to perform scientific experiments on site.
The Mars Base Camp directly supports NASA’s mission to Mars. The camp is designed to help aid astronauts perform their scientific duties and to maximize the potential of the mission in terms of scientific investigations.
The concepts with which the Mars Base Camp patterned after are highly depended on safety, affordability, and plausibility. According to Lockheed Martin, today’s advancements in technologies influenced the Mars Base Camp concept such as the Orion spacecraft, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), habitats in space, and the solar electric propulsion.
“They’re safely shielded from radiation,” Rob Chambers, Orion spacecraft production lead engineer at Lockheed Martin said in an interview with Inverse. “This is where the crew spends most of their waking hours. This is where the high integrity life support is.”
However, contrary to popular belief, the base camp won’t be touching the Martian ground. It will be based around the Orion capsules. It is expected to provide additional living and working space on the red planet and can hold about six astronauts at a time, according to a report.
The base camp would be integrated with two Orion capsules that won’t be able to touch down due to the thin atmosphere on Mars. This means a different landing technology will be developed to help an actual Martial landing. This may also mean, that there would be no human landing on the Red Planet since the crew will remain inside the basecamp. But the camp will provide new information and it can be used to search for potential landing sites for future manned missions to Mars.