- NASA’s Lunar Gateway is a major part of the Artemis program that will eventually send astronauts to the lunar surface.
- The gate will be a space station in orbit around the Moon and will serve as a kind of jumping-off for missions to and from the lunar surface.
- It was originally planned to begin construction of the gateway after NASA’s space launch system is ready, but NASA will instead begin construction with the help of SpaceX and the Falcon Heavy rocket.
NASA really wants to send people back to the lunar surface and wants to accomplish that monumental task by 2024. It will be difficult, especially with the failures it brought with it in 2020, but NASA has not relented his insistence that reaching the 2024 goal is indeed possible. One of the other huge parts of the Artemis program is the Lunar Gateway, which will be a space station orbiting the Moon and which will be a temporary home for astronauts as they travel to and from the Moon.
The Lunar Gateway is a monumental endeavor, and NASA originally planned to begin construction with it once the Space Launch System rocket platform is ready at the time of launch. Unfortunately, failures in the development of that rocket have put NASA in a difficult position, but SpaceX may be coming to the rescue. It has now been announced that NASA will pay SpaceX over $ 330 million to help parts of the Gateway begin to move into space.
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SpaceX regularly launches hardware into space, but it usually does so using its Falcon 9 rockets. These rockets, while powerful, are not powerful enough to start building a space station, so SpaceX will use its Falcon Heavy rocket instead, which is much more powerful but and much more expensive. That’s where the $ 330 million price tag comes in.
NASA has selected Space Research Technologies (SpaceX) from Hawthorne, California to provide services to launch the agency’s Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) and Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), the core elements of the Gateway. As the first long-term orbital station around the Moon, Gateway is crucial to supporting sustainable astronaut missions under the Artemis agency program.
These two components are basically the core of what will eventually be the Lunar Gateway. In the future, NASA imagines that spacecraft will fly to the Gateway, land there, and then travel to and from the lunar surface in a separate vehicle. Then, when the surface work was complete, they would fly back to the Gateway, land that spacecraft, and head home on the same ship they had arrived on. If NASA manages to do that, it could travel to the Moon not only more conveniently, but also cheaper. Of course, this assumes that the thing is being built at all.