NASA Lunar Gateway For Artemis Program To Be Ready By 2023

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NASA Artemis Program is one of the much-anticipated missions to explore the Moon. As part of the mission, NASA is working on the Lunar Gateway project, which will serve as a space station for scientific experiments on the Moon. The NASA Lunar Gateway is crucial as it will serve as a habitat for astronauts.

NASA Lunar Gateway For Artemis Program To Be Ready By 2023

 

NASA Lunar Gateway Explained

The current NASA schedule involves sending humans to the Moon by 2024 as part of the Artemis Program. Recently, NASA awarded three companies to work on the lunar lander for the Program. Scientists and astronomers are collectively working on how to get humans to land on the Moon.

As part of the mission plan, the Lunar Gateway involves staging the first human landing from the Gateway in high lunar orbit. However, Ars Technica reports that both NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and the space agency's chief of human spaceflight, Doug Loverro, said the Gateway was an essential part of NASA's long-term plans to not only to return humans to the Moon but to do so in a sustainable manner.

Loverro notes that the current timeline of the NASA Artemis Program requires the Lunar Gateway to launch in 2021. He further told the publication that the first two elements of the Gateway would be launched as an integrated unit. The two elements in question here are the Power and Propulsion Element built by Maxar and the Habitation and Logistics Outpost built by Northrop Grumman.

Loverro explains that assembling the two initial elements of the Gateway on the ground reduces risk and saves money. This means these units will be assembled here on Earth and launched on a commercial rocket, most likely the SpaceX Falcon Heavy.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, all the organizations are facing uncertain delays. This includes NASA, where many employees are working from home, including the scientists operating the Mars Curiosity rover. It's hard to determine if the pandemic will delay the Artemis Mission for now, but it seems like NASA has its hopes high.

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