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    October 26, 2017

    Deep Space Gateway: Nasa and Roscosmos collaborate to build a spaceport in the moon’s orbit

    deep space gateway

    NASA has announced its plans to construct the Deep Space Gateway; a spaceport orbiting the moon that will pave the way for future space missions.

    NASA and Roscosmos have both announced their next tentative steps in space exploration, and now both space agencies are today presiding over a bold new plan to construct a space station that will orbit the moon, dubbed the Deep Space Gateway.

    Similar to the idea of a port that fuelled colony ships during the exploration of the new world (today, the Americas) in years past, the Deep Space Gateway will serve as a crew-tended spaceport that will consist of a power bus, a habitat, docks, airlocks, and logistics modules.

    Read: NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test aims to prevent ‘Armageddon’

    The system could be seen as the ‘next generation’ of the present International Space Station, where engineers will be able to test new technologies that have emerged since the construction of the ISS in the late 1990s.

    William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA offered his view: “I envision different partners, both international and commercial, contributing to the gateway and using it in a variety of ways with a system that can move to different orbits to enable a variety of missions… The gateway could move to support robotic or partner missions to the surface of the moon, or to a high lunar orbit to support missions departing from the gateway to other destinations in the solar system.” 

    The Deep Space Gateway will be the lynchpin through which space missions will launch prior to heading further into our solar system. Chiefly, the spaceport may one day allow human missions into the deeper parts of our solar system; such as Mars or beyond.

    NASA has announced that it is now seeking partners for contributions of spaceflight hardware and the delivery of resources to construct the Deep Space Gateway; paving the opportunity for private corporations such as SpaceX or Boeing to lead the charge further into space.

    Read: NASA intends to hand over the International Space Station to a private corporation

    What are your thoughts? How do you envision the Deep Space Gateway helping pioneers reach the far edges of our solar system? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

    Listen in to our latest podcast!

    • Lawrence H

      This is a smart idea: not too far, not too close. If they can position a station at the gravitational midpoint between the earth and the moon then there is no need for a dynamic orbit around either sphere.

      • Indeed! It’ll be a nice metaphor for moving our foothold further into space once the ISS is eventually handed over.

        • Lawrence H

          The distances involved are vast so if anything should go seriously wrong on Mars or the Moon, help is very very far away – so it makes more sense to have a series of stations along the way in case of an emergency.

          Colonising other worlds sounds like fun but there are so many problems here on earth that it seems like a very low priority to me. A bit like going on holiday while your home is on fire! Save Spaceship Earth first!

          • Ndanduleni Alex H

            Charity begins at home but shouldn’t end there. Okay i got it… ?