Lockheed Martin to build lander for first private unmanned Mars mission

DENVER. The nonprofit organization Mars One has chosen Lockheed Martin to develop and construct the mission concept study and lander for the first Mars spacecraft to embark on a private launch. The lander will be based on Lockheed Martin’s successful NASA Phoenix spacecraft that launched in 2007.

Mars One Co-Founder and CEO, Bas Lansdorp, says of the company’s decision to choose Lockheed Martin for the project: “They have a distinct legacy of participating in nearly every NASA mission to Mars. This will be the first private mission to Mars and the lander’s successful arrival and operation will be a historic accomplishment.”

The lander is scheduled to launch in 2018, with Mars One’s ultimate goal being proof-of-concept research for a future permanent human colonization on the Red Planet.

“We are excited to have been selected by Mars One for this ambitious project and we’re already working on the mission concept study, starting with the proven design of Phoenix,” says Chief Engineer of Civil Space at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Ed Sedivy. “Having managed the Phoenix spacecraft development, I can tell you, landing on Mars is challenging and a thrill and this is going to be a very exciting mission.”

For more information, visit www.lockheedmartin.com or www.mars-one.com.