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Boeing Unveils Concepts For Its Deep Space Habitat And Mars Transporter

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04/04/2017 11:07 BST | Updated 04/04/2017 12:07 BST

NASA hopes to send astronauts to Mars by the 2030s in what’s set to be the most exciting space mission since Neil Armstrong touched down on the moon.

Lasting around seven months, the 250 million mile journey will require the development of a new generation of deep space crafts.

The space agency has partnered with six companies to develop vehicles that could take astronauts further into space than ever before.

Boeing
Boeing's deep space transport vehicle.

Boeing, one of NASA’s partners, has now unveiled concepts for both its deep space gateway and deep space transport vehicle.

The former would provided a habitat for astronauts in between Earth and the moon and a waypoint for missions to Mars.

Like the International Space Station, the gateway is designed to host a docking station for other crafts, such as the transport vehicle.

Boeing

The craft would take astronauts all the way to Mars, but a lander would be deployed for the final descent.

Aside from the designs themselves, Boeing has skimped on detail about the crafts, beyond revealing they leverage solar electric propulsion technology.

But given the timelines involved, it shouldn’t be too long till we found out more. 

Pete McGrath, marketing chief for Boeing’s space exploration division, said: “The ability to simultaneously launch humans and cargo on SLS would allow us to assemble the gateway in four launches in the early 2020s.”