NASA is one of the most famous names in the world of spacecraft, satellites and related topics. Anyone with a personal interest in this field must have come across NASA in a number of researches he/she has conducted. There is more good news to add on this since NASA has now set a goal to return to the moon. This move will see a major push early next year when the agency will award the first contract of its Lunar “Gateway” program.
Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway is the planned “staging” area for NASA projected for studies of the deep-space environment and the moon. This will eventually function as astronaut’s way station for travelling to and from Mars. The first spending NASA will make on this platform will be for propulsion and power elements early next year. This will then be followed habitation components according to Associate Adminstrator William Gerstenmaier. This report was released in Colorado Spring’s Space Symposium conference on Thursday.
According to a report released by a 41-year NASA veteran Gerstenmaier, the platform will in 2025 orbit the moon. William Gerstenmaier is the one in-charge of human operations and explorations. This will be able to carry four-astronaut crew and will be in the space for approx 30 days. The Gateway will also further NASA’s target of getting another human land on the moon. This will help in determining how useful the water near the surface is in manufacturing propellant for deep-space missions.
NASA have a lot of research to do and one of the main things they want is to have better understanding of the orbital mechanics surrounding the moon. This is because; things work differently in the moon and on Earth especially due to the deep gravity well on Earth. Doing anything on the moon where gravity doesn’t real have control of things is a totally different experience.
NASA doesn’t do its operations alone since last year November they selected five companies to do a study on a high-power-solar-electric propulsion system which can then be used in deep space missions. Any future mission to be undertaken by human will need a power system with triple power that of current designs. This will however not be a challenge for NASA since they are well prepared for this. The first Orion’s flight without crew is programmed for next year. This means 2019 will be one of the busiest years for NASA.