The new station on the Moon would become the port of departure for future manned missions to Mars.
Russia and the United States signed a cooperation agreement to build a special station on the moon by the middle of the next decade, Roscosmos, the Russian space agency said in a statement on Wednesday. The project is called Deep Space Gateway and will be NASA’s flagship.
The Deep Space Gateway would be the successor to the International Space Station (ISS), which came into space in 1998. The ISS was built in collaboration with the US, Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan and will cease to operate in 2024, according to the current plans.
Advances. NASA had already announced a few months ago that it was working to send astronauts into lunar orbit thanks to new rockets developed by the US space agency. For its part, Russia wants to open a scientific base on the moon and expects to carry out its first lunar flights before 2031.
Space agencies in Europe (ESA), Japan and Canada are also engaged in the project, which is still at an early stage of development, according to the ESA.
“The two partners intend to develop international technical standards that will be used in the future, including the creation of an orbiting station around the Moon. Roskosmos and NASA have already agreed on the rules of the future station,” he said. the Russian agency.
The future. The ultimate goal of the new station is to be the starting point for manned missions to Mars and other points in the Solar System. According to NASA, these trips would be made in reusable vehicles with chemical and electric propulsion to go and return to the red planet.
The new station on the Moon will have three modules: one for generating electricity, another for the astronauts and a third for laboratories similar to those for the ISS. The facility will function as a colony where astronauts can train to go to Mars. It will also be the mother ship for lunar exploration missions.