The first two basic modules of the Gateway station, which the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) wants to set up on the moon, will be brought into space by the private company SpaceX.
This could tentatively happen around the middle of 2024. NASA announced this decision on its website.
The gateway will be the first long-term base orbiting the moon. According to the plans of the American Space Agency, it is to be crucial for the support of astronaut missions within the Artemis program.
In three stages, it counts on the return of humans to the moon and the prospect of long-term research on the Earth’s natural orbit. The implementation of the program should contribute to the preparation of expeditions of human crews to Mars.
The first two parts of the station will consist of the PPE energy and drive module and the HALO residential and logistics module. Once connected to Earth, they should be launched into space at once by a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA said it was focusing on the term “not before May 2024”.
The total cost of these operations, including launch-related services and other mission-related expenses, will cost NASA approximately $ 332 million.
According to NASA’s characteristics, the PPE is to be a solar electric propulsion spacecraft that will provide energy, high-speed communication and position control. It will allow the station to be relocated to various orbits, providing better access to the Moon’s surface than ever before.
In the HALO residential section, astronauts who visit the Gateway will work, often on their way to the moon. The module will provide control options and will serve as a connection node. It will be equipped to support scientific research and energy distribution, and to provide communications for arriving spacecraft and lunar expeditions. It will also complement the life support systems of the Orion ships that NASA wants to transport Artemis astronauts to at Gateway.
Source: Pravda.sk – Veda a technika by vat.pravda.sk.
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