Lockheed will work together with Surrey Satellite Technology, Limited (SSTL) to plan a mission to Mars with the intent of establishing a permanent colony on the planet. The first launch is scheduled to take place in 2018 and will act as a proof of concept for future missions. The mission is being conducted by Mars One, the non-profit organization that contracted both Lockheed and SSTL, and will have a robotic crew attempt to extract water from the planet. The lander that will be used in the mission is based off of NASA’s Phoenix mission spacecraft from 2007, reports Science Recorder.
Mars One plans to hold a contest next year that will allow teams from universities to propose ideas for what could be done during the mission. These ideas will be listed among others that will be voted on by backers from the organization’s Indiegogo campaign. Mars One also plans to broadcast the whole event and keep cameras running on the planet for two years after the mission, The Verge notes.