In early April, the United States government presses NASA, saying the country should return to the moon in five years, not just in 2028, as planned earlier. Now, NASA has confirmed that it has taken the challenge of bringing new astronauts to our natural satellite in 2024.
"We have achieved an ambitious and exciting goal: history has proved that when we get a mission from the president, along with the resources and tools we need, we can do it, we are committed to doing so. We only need bipartisan support and resources for that, "said Jim Bridenstine, Administrator of NASA, during the 35th Space Symposium.
Bridgestone confirmed that in order to bring new moons to the moon as soon as possible, the idea would be to establish public-private partnerships in building a new landing system on the moon, with the southern pole of the moon being a region of interest. The current lunar program NASA looks at the two main phases – first, landing the next people on the moon by 2024; then to establish sustainable missions by 2028, and for that, a powerful missile space rocket must be in use.
Both stages rely on the Gateway platform, which will be the kind of permanent space station in the orbit of the moon. "The port can be positioned in different orbits around the moon, provides access to the entire moon's surface, and supports the development of a manned landing system that can be reused," explained William Herentmaer, Assistant Administrator for the Human Research Board and operational missions in NASA.
How will the Moon land on the Portal?
The lunar station at the gate will be permanently in the orbit of the moon, which will serve as a pit stop for researchers and in the future there will be paper for sending astronauts to Mars. On the moon, the descent platform will be used to land on the surface, also serving to return the astronauts to the station when their research missions are closed. During lunar expeditions, the team will always remain on the ship for scientific research, while the rest of the crew travels over the surface. The idea is to use NASA's Orion spacecraft to take astronauts from Earth to the gate, and from there back.
NASA is already working with the US industry to develop the platforms needed to run the Portal.
Bê-a-bá by Gateway
The port will be a temporary home and an office / laboratory for astronauts in the orbit of the moon, which will last about five days from the Earth. The station will have living rooms, research laboratories, homes and doors for other spacecraft to fit into the station, providing NASA and its partners permanent access to the moon's surface in unprecedented ways, supporting both human missions, as much as robotics.
While the International Space Station (ISS) astronauts live there for several months, in the Portal the length of stay will be shorter, while the lunar station is also much smaller than the ISS. His interior will be around the size of the studio, while the ISS is larger than a six-room home. Astronauts will be able to live and work in the Gateway for up to three consecutive months.
And why are we building the Gate instead of going directly to the moon as it was in the past? "We want Gateway to be a new place for human research with the best science and technology in the world. It will be important to fly the human presence deeper into the Solar System, including the Moon and Mars," the space agency explains. Therefore, it is more a game to invest in a platform that will enable the constant presence of people on the moon, rather than investing in unique and periodical editions.
However, NASA assesses the possibility that a shuttle between the station and the moon's surface can be made relying on servers that can be used more than once – just like at one of the Earth's airports, the idea is that ships can use the station again filling or replacing parts between traveling and more. This will allow them to travel on the surface even more often, while spending less resources.
As for the construction of the gate, it will be mounted in space, as was done with the ISS. NASA plans to build the station with only five or six rockets, while 34 ISFORs are needed for the construction of the ISU. The SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft will be instruments for setting up the station, but the space agency will also have partnerships with private companies in the United States and international space agency agencies. "Some parts can be sent to private rockets, but the SLS will be most used," NASA says.
It is expected that private companies will be responsible for building a living space for astronauts in Gateway. housing module. But the agency also talks to international partners to create an expanded space with advanced robotics.
As for the scientific work that will be done in Gateway, NASA believes the station "will be the key to a new era in lunar exploration, both in orbit and on the surface," because "one of Goytey's most original works is that NASA can move to other positions around the orbit of the moon to make more science elsewhere, "the agency said.
And when will all this happen? Well, the good news is that NASA has already started working on the Portal, with the first major part of the first modules being released on a private rocket in 2022. Then the first part is in proper orbit and with proper power and communications, NASA will launch four astronauts using the SLS and Orion set, which will carry two new parts to be added to the station. Then, with a Portal that is already suited for living, new astronaut hours will be sent each year, linking new parts with the station, which is expected to be completed by 2026.
Source: NASA (1) and (2)