NASA Plans to Launch the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway
The Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway is a space station that will be orbiting around the Moon, and NASA is currently in the process of building it.
In the next five years, the space agency plans to launch the lunar outpost and extend the presence of humanity into deep space. The project is designed to allow for scientific and commercial activities on the moon.
An important development for Asgardia as they work toward their goal of setting up habitable platforms in low-Earth orbit.
The first part of the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway, the power and propulsion component, is set to launch in 2022.
Much like the International Space Station, the lunar outpost will regularly host astronauts onboard to perform studies about deep space, control rovers from orbit, or even land on the surface of the Moon. But, the 1,942 cubic feet (33 cubic meters) outpost can only accommodate up to four people, living and working around the Moon for a period of 30 to 60 days.
Moreover, NASA stated that the lunar outpost would not only be hosting a U.S. crew; it will be open to anyone wanting to perform research. Since the cost of sending people to the Moon through NASA’s Space Launch System or SLS is very high, the space agency expects the outpost to be empty for most of the year.
John Guidi, a deputy director of the Advanced Exploration Systems division of NASA, explained that they are trying to use interoperability standards for both the docking, power, avionics and a lot of other systems. The point is to open up the ability for other nations and other companies, to dock but they would have to bring their own resources.
For juxtaposition, the ISS can hold six crewmembers onboard, each living and working on the space station for five to six months at a time.
Although humans are absent, the lunar outpost will be functional all year round. It will keep on studying deep space and the Moon via autonomous scientific gear that will collect data nonstop.
NASA also sees the lunar outpost as an essential milestone on the way to becoming a space-faring race. The Moon is a lot farther from Earth than the ISS and, so, the space agency hopes that the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway can act as a jump-off point for crewed missions into deep space.
Kat Coderre of NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships program added that the primary objective of Gateway is mainly to get humans a little deeper into space, so we’ll have a place where we can learn to do science and actually have human missions for long durations away from Earth, with the ultimate goal of getting us on a good Martian mission and having that first human mission to Mars.
The Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway is part of NASA’s initiative to bring humans back to the Moon five decades after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on its surface for the first time.
If you’ve always wanted to walk on the moon or live in space then join Asgardia today and connect with forward-looking people.
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