Mars One will work with Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology for a 2018 robotic mission
Mars One has secured lead suppliers for its first mission to Mars. The mission, slated a 2018 launch, will include a robotic lander and a communications satellite. Mars One has contracted Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) to develop mission concept studies. The Mars lander will be built by Lockheed Martin and the communications satellite will be built by SSTL.
This 2018 mission will be a demonstration mission and will provide proof of concept for some of the technologies that are important for a permanent human settlement on Mars; the ultimate goal of the non-profit Mars One foundation.
Bas Lansdorp, M.Sc., Mars One Co-founder and CEO stated, “We’re very excited to have contracted Lockheed Martin and SSTL for our first mission to Mars. Both are significant players in their field of expertise and have outstanding track records. These will be the first private spacecraft to Mars and their successful arrival and operation will be a historic accomplishment.”
The Lockheed Martin lander will be based on the successful 2007 NASA Phoenix mission spacecraft and will demonstrate some of the technologies required for the manned mission. Lockheed Martin has a distinct legacy of participating in nearly every NASA mission to Mars. For the Phoenix mission, the company designed, built, tested and operated the lander for NASA.
The Mars One Roadmap is to land a crew on Mars in 2025 Mars One wants to use reality TV and advertising sponsorship to fund manned missions to Mars.
Lockheed Martin will for $250,000 produce a "mission concept study" for an unmanned Martian lander that would precede the $6 billion manned mission.
Britain's Surrey Satellite Technology will meanwhile turn out a similar study, for 60,000 euros ($80,000), for a satellite that would hover in orbit over the lander and relay data and images back to Earth.