The L2-Farside Mission, a mission to the moon’s far side depicted here, is being championed by builder of the Orion spacecraft, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. It is seen as an intermediate step toward more challenging missions beyond low Earth orbit. Shown here is how an astronaut crew would teleoperate robots on the lunar surface.
CREDIT: Lockheed Martin

NASA Outpost Beyond Moon Could Lead to Mars

by Mike Wall, SPACE Senior Writer
Date: 19 November 2012 Time: 04:39 PM ET

Sending astronauts to a deep-space outpost beyond the moon’s far side could help lay the groundwork for more ambitious manned missions to Mars, some researchers say.

Such a lunar effort would take humanity farther from Earth than it’s ever been before, allowing scientists and engineers to work their way up to even more distant targets such as asteroids and Mars in a stepwise fashion, advocates say.

“It’s a really good way to basically dip your toes in deep space,” Josh Hopkins, a space exploration architect for Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver, said during a Nov. 14 presentation with NASA’s Future In-Space Operations working group.

Read more: NASA Deep-Space Outpost Could Lead to Mars | Space.

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