Low to the ground. Reusable. Affordable. Flexible. Crew-centric. These were some of the selling points laid out by space company Dynetics as it unveiled a full-scale model of the human landing system it’s developing for NASA’s Artemis moon missions.
The lander features a cylindrical center structure that could be used as a moon habitat, or could even be built in the form of a rover that detaches from the main lander.
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Dynetics shared a video of the test article on Tuesday that includes a peek inside the surprisingly spacious interior.
“The focus of the test article rests on crew interfaces, enabling the team to test crew activities within the module,” Dynetics said in a statement. “The flexible design is readily reconfigurable, allowing the human systems integration team and flight crew to review and provide feedback on early concept designs and execute quick-turn iterations.”
Dynetics is one of several companies competing for the honors of safely carrying NASA astronauts down to the moon.
In August, we caught sight of a full-scale mockup of Blue Origin’s lunar lander. SpaceX is the third company working with NASA to develop a human landing system. As NASA noted back in April, one of them will land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the moon by 2024.
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Alabama-based Dynetics is not as well known as Blue Origin or SpaceX, but it is already working with NASA on the Space Launch System rocket project expected to power the Artemis missions.
The 2024 date puts NASA and its partners on an ambitious timeline, but it’s fun to see the lunar landers of the future taking shape right before our eyes.