Know Everything About NASA Gateway Lunar Orbiting Outpost
The Gateway Lunar program announced by NASA will be the outpost orbiting the moon just like the ISS, which orbits the earth. A few years back NASA had announced a moon mission. The main objective of this mission is to land astronauts on the surface of the moon. On 14th May 2019, then NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine, announced that this new program would be named Artemis program. As of 2019, the target to complete the Artemis program is 2024. And this Lunar Gateway is a very critical component of the Artemis program.
The Gateway has multiple roles to fulfill. The primary objective is to serve as an outpost – A place that provides a sustainable environment for research. Also, for future missions, this will serve as a staging point for deep space exploration. Although this project is led by NASA, it will be developed, serviced, and utilized in collaboration with four different space agencies namely – Canadian Space Agency, European Space Agency, JAXA, and some commercial partners like SpaceX.
As mentioned earlier this will act as a gateway for both robotic and crewed exploration of the moon. The main focus will be on the lunar South Pole, as it is the least explored side of the moon. It will also play a central role in NASA’s Deep Space Transport program which will aim at transporting things or people to Mars. The budget of US $332 million has been approved by the US congress for the preliminary studies regarding this mission.
When we talk about the objectives, there are quite a few. The first one is obviously the Power and Propulsion Element and the second is the Habitation and Logistics Outpost or HALO. While the first one focuses on taking the satellites out of the atmosphere, the second focuses on providing basic facilities to astronauts.
The HALO can be seen as the crew for the cabin where all the basic life-supporting facilities. This crew cabin will enable astronauts to experience an earth-like atmosphere and conditions. The construction of this has already started as of December 2020. NASA and the other space agencies aim to complete its construction by 2024.
If this mission succeeds then it would be a giant leap forward! Along with NASA the International Space Exploration and Coordination Group(ISECG), which composes of more than 14 space agencies, also have attached great expectations with this mission. The success of this mission might take mankind to such heights that were earlier considered to be impossible!
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