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McCandless Lunar Lander

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McCandless Lunar Lander
ManufacturerLockheed Martin
DesignerLockheed Martin
Country of originUnited States
OperatorLockheed Martin
ApplicationsCommercial cargo lander
Spacecraft typeRobotic lunar lander
Payload capacity250 kg (550 lb) [1]
Power400 W [1] from a single solar array on a boom
Design life1 lunar day (14 Earth days) [1]
LengthHeight: >2 m (6 ft 7 in) [1]
Diameter3 m (9.8 ft) [1]
On order0
Related spacecraft
Derived fromPhoenix and InSight landers

McCandless Lunar Lander, also known as the McCandless Lunar Delivery Service, is a concept for a robotic lunar lander proposed as one of the commercial cargo vehicles for NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS). The lander was proposed to NASA for funding by the aerospace company Lockheed Martin, and it is based on the successful Mars landers Phoenix and InSight.


The lander is named in honor of Bruce McCandless II (1937–2017), who first used the company's MMU jetpack during STS-41-B in 1984

On 29 November 2018, NASA announced the first nine companies, including Lockheed Martin, that are allowed to bid on contracts by the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS).[2] These contracts are[clarification needed] indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts with a combined maximum contract value of $2.6 billion during the next 10 years.[2] The contracted landers will transport commercial payloads focused on exploration, in situ resource utilization (ISRU), and lunar science.[citation needed]

The McCandless lander is named in honor of the late astronaut and former Lockheed Martin employee Bruce McCandless II, who in 1984 performed the first free-flying spacewalk without a lifeline to the orbiting Space Shuttle, using a jetpack built by the company.[3]


The McCandless lander design is based on the successful Phoenix and InSight Mars landers, designed and built by Lockheed Martin for NASA.[4] The lander is being proposed to the new Commercial Lunar Payload Services program (CLPS) to deliver to the lunar surface up to 250 kg (550 lb) of usable payload,[5][1] including stationary scientific instruments, small deployable rovers, ISRU experiments, or even sample-return vehicles.[4][1]

The lander's system incorporates on-board radars and a set of rocket thrusters for deceleration and soft-landing. It will not need the aeroshell and heat shield, as the Moon has no atmosphere. The lander is presently designed to operate for one lunar day (14 Earth days), but upgrades for enduring the lunar nights can be considered depending on mission requirements.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Lockheed Martin's McCandless Lunar Lander Capabilities for ISRU Missions." Joshua B. Hopkins, David W. Murrow, Stuart Wiens, and Timothy Linn. Lunar ISRU 2019: Developing a New Space Economy Through Lunar Resources and Their Utilization. July 15-17, 2019, Columbia, Maryland.
  2. ^ a b "NASA Announces New Partnerships for Commercial Lunar Payload Delivery Services". NASA.GOV. NASA. 29 November 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  3. ^ Next moon lander could be made in Colorado. Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press; Published by The Denver post. November 30, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Lockheed Martin Selected for NASA's Commercial Lunar Lander Payload Services Contract. Yahoo Finance. November 29, 2018.
  5. ^ NASA selects nine companies for commercial lunar lander program. Jeff Foust, Space News. 29 November 2018.