NASA has unveiled plans to return humans to the moon
Nearly 50 years after the first man set foot on the moon, NASA has revealed details of a plan to return humans to the Silver Globe. The plan, though devoid of specifics, nevertheless envisages much more, and it also talks about a station orbiting our natural satellite or a manned flight to Mars.
In December 2017, President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-1, whichóThe goal of NASA has been set „conduct innovative and zrów a balanced exploration program with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion throughout the Solar System”. In response to this call, NASA has prepared a new plan, który actually is a review of the agency’s existing concepts, but includes some new detailsółów regarding the realization of a return to the Moon and perhaps a manned flight to Mars. It will soon be presented before the US Congress.
The 21-page document offers ready-made plans for a program to flyóin space for the 20. and 30 of the 21st century. You can read in it that space exploration „requires human and robotic missions to expand the boundaries of human experience and scientific discovery of natural phenomena on Earth, on other worlds and in space”.
As his twórcy, the plan was prepared based on years of astronaut experienceóin working on the International Space Station. It also takes advantage of advances in the commercial flight sectoróin space, in robotics and other technologies needed to achieve the desired goal.
The Exploration Campaign, as the entire intent is called, has five strategic pointsów:
- Moving NASA’s activities in low Earth orbit to the private sector, whichóry supports NASA and the inclusion of its needs,
- Identification of needs and purposeóin lunar surface operations and facilitating missions beyond lunar space,
- Supporting scientific discovery and exploration of resourcesóin the Moon through a series of robotic missions,
- Powrót American astronautsów on the surface of the Moon,
- Presenting the requirements needed for a manned mission to Mars and other destinations.
According to the strategic points, NASA intends to put all activity in low Earth orbit in the hands of private companies, so that the U.S. government would be only one of the clients of theóIn using their services. This includes the International Space Station, whichórej incidentally, the US authorities withdrew funding starting in 2025. Then the ISS is to be handed over to private hands. In addition, NASA will expand public-private partnerships to develop and demonstrate technologies and capabilities to create new commercial space services.
The document describes the róalso developój station Gateway (Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, formerly called Deep Space Gateway), whichóra is to be placed in space near the Moon. The document describes it as a platform orbiting wokół Moon, on whichówhere astronauts can stay. The document mówi róalso that NASA will decide later this year on the development of Gateway, including international and commercial partnerships and the final configuration of the facility. The station is to be ready as early as 2023, and is to reach its full capabilities in 2026.
Plans for the station’s first module, its power supply and systemóin propulsion were published in early September. The report says nothing more about the role of the partneróin international or how additional Gateway modules will be developed. NASA’s chief at the press conference hid behind the fact that everything related to the Gateway station is currently in development and there is nothing to share with journalists. He only mentioned that Gateway is expected to be crucial in the context of a manned mission to Mars, która is scheduled to take place in the early 2030s.
The paper said the Moon is a fundamental part of Earth’s future and could hold valuable resources to support space activities. Re-landing of man on the moon in NASA’s plans is to occur not póLater than the late 1920s. Thanks to the Gateway Station, a permanent American presence is to be established on the Silver Globe, and consequently an infrastructure must be set up there.
The document does not mention anything about the cost of implementing the lunar station. The costs of robotic and exploration missions have also been omitted. As well as precise timing or detailedóły realization of specific intentions.