Masten Space Systems has secured a prime contract to help the U.S. Air Force adopt a new method of sending supplies to U.S. special operation forces.
The company said Wednesday it will study how to transport goods via a rocket-powered landing craft instead of the traditional parachute method.
The effort will cover the initial design of the Xermes landing craft that will use vertical takeoff/vertical landing technology for speed-regulated landing.
Masten's VTVL technology will allow Xermes to decelerate into a safer speed before landing. The vehicle would be made for reusability to support future resupply missions.
Rhea Space Activity contributed to the lander's conceptual development. Purdue University will also support the effort as a partner.