We have known for a long time that the NASA aerospace agency wants to build a space station in orbit around the moon. This project was officially presented in March 2017 under the name Deep Space Gateway - initially it was positioned as part ofprogram to develop the first human flight to Mars. But today, the Gateway station is primarily needed to implement the Artemis program to return people to the moon. Despite the fact that news about him appears extremely rarely, the project is by no means abandoned. Recently, NASA released a video that clearly shows how the station will be assembled. It's all like assembling a LEGO set - let's watch a video and discuss what we saw.
How the lunar station Gateway will be built
About how the station will be assemblednear the moon, said representatives of the Lyndon Johnson Space Center. The center is a complex of 100 buildings southeast of Houston, Texas. There, the development of manned spacecraft is underway, as well as the training and preparation of astronauts for space flight.
The assembly process will indeed be similar tofolding the details of the designer. Like the ISS, the Gateway circumlunar station will consist of many modules - each of them will have to be launched in turn using heavy launch vehicles. It will not be possible to assemble a station on Earth and deliver it to the Moon at one time, because it will be very large. After all, inside the station you need not only living quarters, but also a place for experiments and other work.
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Gateway station assembly video
Construction of the Gateway station will begin withthat the electric propulsion module (PPE) from Maxar Technologies will be launched into the orbit of the Moon. After that, the first module will be joined by a small residential module (MHM), which is being developed by Northrop Grumman. At the next stage, the I-Hab residential module will arrive at the station, inside which the first group of scientists will immediately be able to work.
It is expected that the start of the construction of the spaceGateway station will take place in 2024. In most cases, the delivery of cargo and astronauts will be carried out using the Space Launch System launch vehicle and the Orion spacecraft. It is worth emphasizing that the latter will be equipped with a voice assistant, as in the fantastic Star Trek series. It looks like we're in for a lot of exciting things in the coming years.
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What is the Gateway station for?
Unlike the ISS, in the lunar station Gatewaypeople will appear rarely. They will only appear during expeditions lasting from 30 to 90 days. Only four people can fit inside the station at a time. It is planned that at first the Space Launch System rockets will fly to the station no more than once a year, that is, the expeditions will be rare. But then their number will obviously increase, because the United States and many other countries are serious about exploring the Moon and building a station right on its surface - this is important for future flights to Mars.
The Gateway station will be located in orbitNear Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO). During rotation around the Moon, the structure will either move away by 70,000 kilometers, or approach by 3,000 kilometers. This orbit will be a transition point from which it is convenient to fly both to the Moon and to outer space. Also, the authors of the project wanted to locate the station at an altitude of about 200 kilometers for greater accessibility of the surface of the earth's satellite, but, apparently, this idea was abandoned.
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From what has been written above, it seems thatthat Gateway Station is the future of space exploration. But there are people who criticize this project. If you want to know more about the cons of the station, welcome to this article.