On Tuesday, NASA announced that it had officially partnered with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop the gateway, which the space station plans to launch into orbit around the moon.
According to a NASA press release, the gateway station is intended to allow long-term lunar discovery as space between space and the lunar surface – this will be an international initiative, according to a NASA press release. And after helping establish a human presence around and around the moon, the joint project could help both NASA and ESA reach Mars eventually.
Construction of the Gateway Space Station could begin by 2022. NASA has already commissioned contractors including SpaceX and Maxer Technology, but will now share the rest of the load with ESA. The ESA has agreed to provide new modules for the gateway and spacecraft that will travel from and to it, as well as improve a system to provide lunar communications and re-fueling the gateway.
“In short, we will transfer the human-astronaut from low-Earth orbit to the moon for the first time since 1972,” NASA Administrator Jim Brydenstein wrote in an agency blog post.
More to come
Brydenstein hinted in his blog post that more international agreements supporting the Artemis program would be announced soon.
“This partnership provides an opportunity for outstanding cooperation established by the International Space Station. Gateway will expand NASA’s collaboration with international partners such as ESA, ensuring the results of the Artemis program’s initial human lunar landing and the safe and sustainable exploration of the moon thereafter,” Bridenstein said in a press release.
Read more: NASA’s international partnership, the Artemis team will shape the lunar exploration [NASA]
More at Gateway: NASA has leased SpaceX to supply the Chandra Gateway space station