Crew module of NASA’s Gateway Lunar Orbiting Outpost finalised 

  • IASbaba
  • June 17, 2020
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Crew module of NASA’s Gateway Lunar Orbiting Outpost finalised 

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-III – Space

In News:

  • NASA recently finalised the contract for the initial crew module of the agency’s Gateway lunar orbiting outpost
  • NASA has issued this contract to design the habitation and logistics (HALO) support for the Gateway. 

Important value additions 

Gateway lunar orbiting outpost

  • It is a part of NASA’s Artemis program.
  • The Gateway is a small spaceship that will orbit the Moon.
  • It is meant for astronaut missions to the Moon and for expeditions to Mars.
  • It will act as a temporary office for astronauts, distanced at about 250,000 miles from Earth. 
  • It will have living quarters, laboratories for science and research and docking ports for visiting spacecraft.
  • Astronauts will use the Gateway at least once per year and not stay around the year like they do on the International Space Station (ISS). 
  • Compared to the ISS, the Gateway is much smaller, 
  • NASA has targeted the completion of the Gateway for 2026, while work on the spaceship is already underway. 
  • By 2022, NASA plans to ready the power and propulsion for the spaceship, which will be launched on a partner-provided commercial rocket. 

Artemis program 

  • It is an on-going government-funded crewed spaceflight program of USA.
  • It has the goal of landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon, specifically at the lunar South Pole region by 2024.
  • The program is carried out by: 
    • NASA (
    • U.S. commercial spaceflight companies contracted by NASA
    • European Space Agency (ESA)
    • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
    • Canadian Space Agency (CSA) 
    • Australian Space Agency (ASA). 
  • It is expected to advance Artemis as the next step towards the long-term goal of establishing a sustainable presence on the Moon, laying the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy, and eventually sending humans to Mars. 

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