Boeing has submitted a proposal to NASA for designing one of the Artemis landers that will take humans to the surface of the moon and return them to lunar orbit. The integrated Human Lander System (HLS) will minimise mission complexity with its ‘Fewest Steps to the Moon’ approach, Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Space and Launch for Boeing Defense, Space & Security said in a press statement.
NASA’s ongoing Artemis program aims to send astronauts to the Moon by 2024 with the ultimate goal to land humans on Mars. For the mission, NASA announced it will also be accepting proposals from private space corporations to use their technologies for the exploration program.
Boeing’s proposal looks at reducing the risk of multiple launches to orbit, which could be 11 or more, by delivering the lander’s Ascent Element and Descent Element to lunar orbit in one rocket launch. Boeing’s HLS is capable of enabling crewed lunar surface landing with only five mission critical events, according to the release.
Under NASA’s Artemis mission, the astronauts will be first sent to the Orion spacecraft using the new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The spacecraft will take the crew to the lunar orbit and will return them to Earth as well. The Orion spacecraft will be docked at the Gateway, from where the astronauts will take expeditions to the surface of the Moon in the human landing system.
“The lander’s flexible design allows for the fastest path to lunar flights while providing a robust platform that can perform NASA’s full range of exploration missions. It can dock with the Gateway lunar orbiter or directly with NASA’s Orion to eliminate the need for an additional spacecraft, both on time to meet the 2024 mandate,” Boeing said in the release.