NASA’s lunar space station is almost here

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-20/nasa-s-lunar-space-station-is-almost-here?cmpid=socialflow-twitter-business&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_content=business&utm_source=twitter

NASA’s goal of returning to the moon should see a major push in early 2019, when the agency awards its first contract for the lunar “Gateway” program.

The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway is NASA’s planned “staging” area intended for studies of the moon and the deep-space environment. Eventually, it will function as a way station for astronauts traveling to and from Mars.

NASA’s first spending for the platform will be for power and propulsion elements early next year, followed by habitation components, Associate Administrator William Gerstenmaier said Thursday at the Space Symposium conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They will probably be launched moonward, in that order, starting in 2022.

The platform should be orbiting the moon in 2025, said Gerstenmaier, a 41-year NASA veteran who oversees human exploration and operations. It will carry a four-astronaut crew on 30-day missions, he said.

The Gateway would also further NASA’s goal of another human landing on the moon and will help determine whether water near the surface could be used to manufacture propellant for deep-space missions. The moon’s gravity could also help a spacecraft reduce the blistering speeds used for six-month voyages back-and-forth to Mars, thus facilitating re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere.

“We want to understand orbital mechanics around the moon” a little better, far from the Earth’s deep gravity well, he said. “Doing things in this region, where gravity isn’t such a big driver … is a different way of operating.”

In November, NASA selected five companies to study a high-power solar-electric propulsion system to use in deep-space missions, including the lunar platform. Future human missions will require a power system that has triple the capability of current designs.

Trips to the “gateway” will be aboard the Orion, a spacecraft being assembled by Lockheed Martin Corp., with the service module being supplied by the European Space Agency. The Orion’s first flight, without crew, is scheduled for next year. The craft will serve as the command deck when it’s docked with the platform.

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“The Orion’s first flight, without crew, is scheduled for next year.”

the key words here are “without crew”..

dont hold your breath waiting for a crewed mission..

401

~ by seeker401 on May 4, 2018.

3 Responses to “NASA’s lunar space station is almost here”

  1. When you say “NASA’s lunar space station is almost here”, by here, do you mean the same studio in London we landed on the first time, or is it going to be a new studio?

  2. LOL… and I’m sure they won’t have room for a few HD Camera’s to take some pictures of our nice round Earth as it just won’t be in the budget.

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