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.
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.
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!