NASA has announced that it will work with the European Space Agency (ESA) to create a floating lunar base for astronauts.
The base will be known as the “Gateway” and is intended to enable long expeditions to the moon by being a home away from home.
After all, the floating base could even help people get to Mars by being a layover.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “This partnership capitalizes on the excellent collaboration that the International Space Station has built on its way to the moon.
“Gateway will continue to expand NASA’s collaboration with international partners such as ESA and ensure that the Artemis program leads to safe and sustainable exploration of the moon after the first human moon landing and beyond.”
Longer missions mean we can explore more of the lunar surface than ever before.
Construction of the gateway could start as early as 2022.
It will essentially be a live version of the International Space Station, but orbit the moon, not the earth.
SpaceX and Maxar Technologies will also be involved in the development.
ESA will provide spaceships to and from the gateway and a refueling system.
It will also focus on communication for the grassroots.
Dan Hartman, Gateway Program Manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said, “The Gateway will enable Artemis to operate sustainably while serving as a catalyst for research and demonstration of new technologies, taking advantage of the unique environment in lunar orbit.
“The effective contribution of ESA will enable longer crew stays around the moon and offer unique capabilities that are necessary to support their operations.”
NASA’s Artemis Moon Mission – Key Factors
NASA’s Artemis Moon Mission – Key Factors
- Nasa has committed to land man on the moon in 2024
- The mission, called Artemis, marks the first time astronauts have set foot on the lunar surface since 1972
- A giant NASA rocket called the Space Launch System will launch astronauts above the Earth’s atmosphere
- Once they get to the moon, two astronauts rise to the surface from an orbiting vehicle called the Lunar Gateway
- Nasa has promised that one of the landing crews will be female. This is the first time a woman has stepped on the moon
- The pair would land on the lunar south pole, where huge reserves of frozen water could be tapped for future explorers
- The landing system that brought the astronauts to the surface is then shot back to the orbiting Gateway satellite
- You will climb an Orion capsule for the 250,000 mile journey back to Earth
- Nasa will have to overcome a number of technical challenges before Artemis gets the green light
- It is still not clear whether everything will be ready in time for the ambitious start date of 2024
- NASA chief Jim Bridenstine said the moon may serve as a critical training ground for Mars expeditions in the 2030s
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