Aviation Week & Space Technology June 23, 2014
- Volume 176 Number 21
NASA and its partners are working to find a way to land humans on Mars, with stops at a “proving ground” near the Moon. In this artist’s concept from Lockheed Martin—the prime contractor on the Orion crew capsule that is being developed to take humans to and from deep space—an Orion prepares to capture a spherical planetary sample container that has been brought by the ascent craft in the background. Such an approach would eliminate the need to build a special Earth return-and-reentry vehicle for samples. By making exploration technology “extensible” like this, planners for Mars hope to hold down costs. A special report on exploration begins on page 38. Also in this issue are articles on Pentagon suppliers (page 23) and airline revenues trapped in Venezuela (page 35).