Mars One is gearing up to send an unmanned lander to the Red Planet that would follow in the mold of NASA's successful Mars landers. The Netherlands-based nonprofit has sealed a deal with security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin to develop a mission concept for its lander. This surface craft is slated to launch toward the Red Planet along with a communications satellite in 2018 — six years before Mars One aims to blast four people toward the Red Planet on a one-way colonization mission. Based on NASA's Phoenix lander, Mars One's lander will include new thin-film solar cells, a water extraction experiment, and other demonstration technologies that will be required for human settlement on Mars. Lockheed Martin is also developing a Phoenix lander derivative for NASA's proposed InSight mission. InSight, which is slated to launch in 2016, will place a lander on Mars to drill down to investigate the planet's deep interior, in an attempt to understand the rocky planet's evolution.
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