NASA teamed up with six companies to develop deep space vehicles as part of its NextSTEP program last year. Boeing, one of the six, has now given us an idea of what its creations could look like. The company has revealed concept images of its deep space habitat and transport vehicle that could make it possible to send humans to Mars from a lunar base. Pictured above is the Deep Space Gateway, the habitat Boeing wants to send to cislunar space. It could house critical research for human exploration and could dock other vehicles using a system similar to the International Space Station’s.
It could also serve as the home base for the Deep Space Transport vehicle Boeing will build to send humans to Mars. The transport system pictured below will have living quarters so spacefarers can endure the lengthy journey. Astronauts can either stay on board or send a lander to the red planet for surface missions.
Both the transport vehicle and the gateway habitat will be powered by solar electric propulsion system, the promising technology NASA used for the Dawn spacecraft and the same one it’s developing further for future Martian missions. Boeing says it plans to launch the habitat in four parts through NASA’s powerful Space Launch System rocket. It expects to start sending to and assembling the Gateway in cislunar space as soon as the early 2020s
Boeing Deep Space Transit Vehicle