NASA unveils lunar lander for future missions
NASA has showcased designs for a new medium-sized lunar lander that would be able to carry up to 300 kilograms of payload.
WASHINGTON — NASA has unveiled designs for a medium-sized lunar lander that would be able to carry payloads that weigh up to 300 kilograms to the moon's polar regions.
Payloads may include scientific instruments, a robotic rover and even a ramp for the rover.
The lander will include a thermal control system, an electrical power subsystem and a navigation system with Terrain-Relative Navigation.
Its metal structure will house a solid rocket motor to allow the lander to brake on arrival to the moon and a liquid propulsion system to facilitate landing on the moon's surface.
The lander will take three to six days to reach the moon and will be sent via a commercial launch vehicle.
As the lander makes its way to the moon, solar panels on its surface will supply power to batteries on the lander. This will help power the rover once the lander has descended to the moon's surface, and allow it to explore the lunar environment for up to six hours.
The mission is part of NASA's plan to establish a permanent base on the moon.
The ultimate goal is to prepare humans to make their way from the moon to the red planet in order to make human exploration of Mars a reality.
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