•  Lockheed Martin cargo vehicle

Lockheed Martin cargo vehicle (Photo : www.space.com)

Lockheed Martin has revealed that it will be one of the many companies that will join the bid for a contract to transport cargo for NASA's International Space Station, Thursday, the Space announced.

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This proposal is not a part of the company's ongoing partnership, including the arrangements through the United Launch Alliance, with Boeing to provide launch services and Atlas 5 rockets.

Just like Sierra Nevada Corporation and Boeing, Lockheed will make use of its Altas 5 rocket to transport its cargoes. This will include "Jupiter," a recyclable canister tug,  and "Exoliner," a cargo carrier.

Jupiter will be serviced and refueled in the orbit. This can save expenses on system maintenance and electronics. It is positioned on the spacecraft, which was designed for Mars MAVEN missions of NASA.

Aside from refueling Jupiter, Exoliner is also capable of carrying 5, 000 kilograms of pressurized and 1, 500 kilograms of unpressurized cargo, respectively.

Exoliner and Jupiter, initially, are planning to fly together aboard an Atlas 5 rocket, docking at NASA's space station. However, towards the mission's end, the plans were modified, making the duo fulfill more missions, including the deployment of small satellites.

The Exoliner would then launch solo and is to be captured in orbit by its older version and the Jupiter tug. Jupiter, with a small robotic arm, would then exchange its cargo and ferry fresh supplies to the space station.

With the assistance from the Centaur Atlas 5 launcher, the (old) Exoliner will deorbit and incinerate.

At present, Space X's Dragon capsule and Orbital ATK Cygnus space vehicle are the only two systems to dock at the ISS, the EN Gadget reported.