Having the ability to visit multiple sites with a reusable lander, such as this one presented by Lockheed Martin, supports many worldwide, commercial and scientific collaborations, in addition to NASA's sustainable exploration of the Moon.
The lander's first configuration will be capable of seating four astronauts as well as carrying up to 2,000lbs of cargo.
Jeff Bezos' space company is in the conceptual design phase of a large lunar lander that it says will provide reusable access to the moon's surface and its resources, Blue Origin said on Wednesday. To fulfill its vision, the space agency wants to rely on private space enterprises to meet its hardware needs, and Lockheed Martin is taking this role very seriously. Upon touchdown, the crew will use the craft's lift elevator platform to get from the cabin to the surface, before blasting back to their home base aboard the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway - a small space station that NASA plans to start constructing in 2022.
Last December, Donald Trump signed off on a space policy directive that calls for NASA, along with its private partners, to send astronauts to the Moon and, "eventually", Mars.
NASA wanted innovative ideas for a return trip to the Moon and this is Lockheed's best attempt so far.
NASA will enable SpaceIL to receive communications services with the spacecraft and conduct deep space exploration through NASA's huge antenna network, which will help communicate with earth.
It would however need to be refueled between missions, potentially using water from the Moon's surface.
Lockheed presented the lunar lander concept to the International Astronomical Congress (IAC) in Germany yesterday. A version of the lander could one day end up on Mars.
The agreement was signed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Avi Blasberger, director of the Israel Space Agency, in the presence of SpaceIL CEO Ido Anteby. First of all, Gateway needs to be deployed, and for this happen NASA needs to launch the Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket humans have ever built.