NASA determined the timing of the launch of the lunar orbital station

Lunar orbital platform "Gateway" (Gateway)designed to study the moon. In the future, it will function as a station for astronauts traveling to Mars and back. According to NASA, the project to create the lunar station will start next year.

NASA's first expenses will go to power andmotor elements, followed by three residential compartments, as Assistant Administrator William Gerstenmayer said at the Space Symposium conference in Colorado. In this order, the components of the station will be delivered to the satellite orbit, starting in 2022. A workable platform should be in orbit of the moon as early as 2025, said Gerstenmayer, a 41-year-old NASA veteran. Also Deep Space Gateway will help determine whether it is possible to use water near the surface to produce rocket fuel for long-range space missions.

In November, NASA selected 5 companies to explore.powerful solar-electric propulsion system for use in long-distance space flight, including the lunar platform. For future human missions, an energy supply system is needed that is three times the capacity of existing structures. Deliver to the "gateway" will be a 4-seater ship Orion. Orion's first flight, without crew, is scheduled for next year.

The project also involves Russian engineers. They are entrusted with the development of one of the residential modules. It also does not exclude the possibility of using the Russian rocket to carry out scheduled flights to the orbit of the Moon.