Credit: Lockheed Martin



Mars Base Camp is Lockheed Martin’s concept for sending humans to Mars in about a decade. Using NASA’s Orion spacecraft as the command deck, the orbiting outpost could give scientists/astronauts the ability to operate rovers and drones on the Red Planet’s in real time.



Lockheed Martin is rolling out new details of the concept at the International Astronautical Congress now underway in Adelaide, Australia.

Mission architecture

According to the company, Mars Base Camp is a vision of how to send humans to Mars in about a decade – a mission architecture centered around an orbital outpost where scientist-astronauts can perform real-time scientific exploration of Mars.

Mars Base Camp is aligned with NASA’s recently-announced lunar Deep Space Gateway approach for developing and testing systems, including Orion, in cis-lunar space before using them to go to Mars. The Gateway allows astronauts to live and work in orbit around the Moon for months at a time while gaining experience with extended operations far from Earth.

Credit: Lockheed Martin

First mission

“Mars Base Camp’s first mission is intended to be an orbiting mission around the Red Planet. Following this, the architecture allows for a surface lander. The concept is designed to be a reusable, single-stage lander capable of descending to the surface from Mars orbit,” states a company press statement. “Each surface mission could last two weeks with up to four astronauts, and then return to the orbiting Mars Base Camp where it would be refueled and readied for another mission.”

A webcast (live or replay) of the Mars Base Camp presentation from the Australian space gathering can be viewed on the Australia Science Channel web site:

Here’s a video about Mars Base Camp:

For more information on this innovative approach to human exploration of Mars, go to my older story at:

‘Mars Base Camp’: Lockheed Fleshes Out Red Planet Space Station Plan

By Leonard David,’s Space Insider Columnist

April 3, 2017 08:00am ET


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