NASA revealed how the lunar space station would be orbiting the Moon like a halo.
The space agency’s Lunar Space Station – Gateway is set to orbit the moon in an ellipse. Express.co.uk reported that NASA and the European Space Agency believe that this will be assembled sometime in the next ten years.
The station is set to act as a “half-way house” between the Earth and the moon. This will reportedly make trips to the Moon much more efficient in addition to offering a launchpad for deep space missions in the future.
The Gateway will be a permanent base where NASA wants astronauts to live for longer periods of time in order to be able to conduct all kinds of research on board and make regular visits to the Moon.
The online publication mentioned above also noted that mission planners from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have calculated the best orbit for the next-generation space station.
Gateway will follow an elliptical path
Gateway will not be tracing a low, circular orbit around the Moon like Apollo, but on the other hand, it will be following an elliptical path.
This will reportedly help astronauts make round trips to and from the Moon every seven days. The lander will also be used to transport equipment, robots and more to the Moon as well.
European Space Operations Centre mission analyst Florian Renk, said: “To escape Earth’s gravitational pull requires a huge amount of energy. To then land on the Moon and not hurtle straight past it, we have to slow down by losing that same energy.”
Renk continued and said, “We can save some of this energy by leaving parts of the spacecraft in orbit, taking only what we need to the surface of the Moon.”
The Gateway will be similar to the ISS in a way, and it will serve as a scientific lab, observatory and communications relay.
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