This year will mark an important milestone for spaceflight. That’s because NASA will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the successful mission of reaching the moon by US astronauts. In December 1968 Jim Lovell, Bill Anders and Frank Borman were on the Apollo 8 and they swept over the lunar surface while taking bright blue photographs of the Earth as it rose over the grey background of the moon.
It represented one of the most dramatic missions in NASA’s history. Soon enough, missions with the purpose of landing men on the moon ensued but that lasted for only a few years. In the end, the United States lost interest for deploying more space flights to the moon.
Until now at least, because NASA plans to return mankind’s eyes to the moon and they don’t plan to do it alone. NASA asked the European scientists and other industry leaders to join the agency’s bold plan which is currently aiming to restart the mission of conquering the solar system, which has been on the mind of humanity since immemorial times.
This will happen by the next decade’s end and it will take the form of an international manned station which would have to orbit the moon. This proposed station is called the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway or just Gateway for short and it will enable astronauts to practice and develop techniques which would be tremendously useful for exploring and exploiting the lunar surface.
Besides this, the international station will help astronauts to hone their survival skills in deep space which will contribute a great deal for the future manned missions to Mars, according to NASA. David Parker, the director of human spaceflight and robotic exploration for ESA (European Space Agency) and a keen supporter of the project said that “Essentially, Gateway will be a robotic outpost that will be visited by groups of astronauts – initially for weeks and then for months at a time.”
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.