[Via Satellite 03-13-2015] Lockheed Martin has revealed its proposed cargo resupply solution for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Service 2 (CRS-2) contract. The solution uses a reusable space-servicing vehicle dubbed Jupiter based on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) science satellite currently in orbit around Mars, and a cargo carrier coined Exoliner, derived from the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV).
The Jupiter-Exoliner combo, when launched aboard an Atlas 5, would provide delivery and disposal of as much as 6,500 kg of cargo per mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Notably, the resupply vessel includes opportunities for other functions such as in-orbit servicing and long-duration hosted payloads. The Jupiter spacecraft includes a robotic space arm to rendezvous, refuel, re-orbit and service satellites. The arm, built by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), is based on similar robotic arms used on the ISS and U.S. space shuttles.
SpaceX and Orbital ATK currently provide resupply services to the ISS using the Falcon 9 with Dragon, and Antares with Cygnus, respectively. These missions have also included deliveries of small satellites that are deployed from the station. Bidders for the CRS 2 contract include Lockheed Martin, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Boeing, along with incumbent providers.
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