If you have not heard already, NASA is planning to build a space station that orbits the moon. The project will be ready during the next decade.
What NASA got in their pipeline
According to NASA, their project is known as the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, and it aims to help people get to know the deep space better, besides enabling a variety of commercial and scientific interesting activities around and on the moon.
If you are not familiar with the Gateway project (by the way, it is easier to call it like that than Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway), we have got your back. The next paragraph will get you updated on every juicy detail about this project.
More details about the Gateway
NASA plans to build and visit the Gateway using the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) mega-rocket and Orion deep-space capsule, both of which are still in development.
The outpost will weight 50 metric tons (55 tonnes) or at least the first piece of it, and the propulsion and power element of it will probably be lifted off in 2022. The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway has some other key components such as the crew habitat module, a robotic arm, and an airlock. These will come a little later than the main piece if the plan does not suffer sabotage. By the mid-2020s, the project will be able to accommodate astronauts.
Contrary to the International Space Station (ISS) which orbits the Earth and weights 400 metric tons (440-ton), the crewmembers will not feel as comfortable as it is not as big. The habitable volume of the Gateway will feature at least 55 cubic meters or 1,942 cubic feet in comparison with ISS’ 388 cubic or 13,696 cubic feet.
To sum up, six crewmembers can inhabit the ISS for the mission lasting up to six months.