NASA can take astronauts on the moon, but it is the orbit gateway that will act as an airbnb space for Artemis. A newly finalized transaction will see Northrop Grumman develop the housing and logistics outpost (Halo), a home away from home for astronauts and what should be an instrumental part of future missions, including the first trip of The crew of NASA to March.
The Artemis Gateway will actually be the equivalent of the moon of the international spatial station, mixed with a transit terminal. On the one hand, it will be a breakpoint for missions and the lunar surface. However, it will also be a place where zero gravity experiments can be performed, among others.
To suit these multiple roles, it will be a complex structure in its own right. There will be life-threatening districts, for example, where moon missions can be managed, as well as spacecraft ports, such as Orion, the different Lunar Workshops of NASA and Logistics .
The key to the gateway as a whole will be halo. “The HALO module will serve as a spine of command and control and distribution of energy through the gateway and will execute other essential functions, including by hosting scientific surveys through useful accommodation on internal and external payload and will communicate With lunar surface expeditions, “explains NASA. “Halo will also allow the aggregation of additional living space to expand the gateway capabilities.”
The Northrop Grumman Agreement is worth $ 935 million and will be responsible for fixing and testing Halo with the power and propulsion element (EPP). It is the propeller system that Maxar Technologies constructed for NASA and will be used to put the gateway in a lunar orbit. In total, it will have 50 kilowatts of electric propulsion.
Another aspect of the contract is to work with Spacex, which has been charged with launching the gateway and PPE. This is currently planned to take place in November 2024, with a Falcon Heavy Spacex rocket lifting the whole.
Once deployed, it will keep an almost rectilinear Halo orbit orbit half-complex, which will intentionally vary at the distance from the moon gateway. At his nearest, he will be close enough to the Lunar Landers range; To his advertisement, it will be tens of thousands of kilometers from the lunar surface. “This orbit will allow NASA and its international and commercial partners to conduct unprecedented science and technology investigations and to conduct a sustainable lunar exploration,” says NASA.
Halo will be based on Northrop Grumman’s Statis Cygnus, which the company already has replenishment missions at the International Space Station. Although this is built in central Arizona of the company, it will be a testimony of international collaboration.
The European Space Agency, for example, will provide the lunar communication system with which the gateway communicates with the lunar surface; The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency will provide the batteries with which it will be kept operational until the solar panels can be deployed and during the periods of Eclipse. The Canadian Space Agency will be responsible for the robotic interfaces on which Canadarm3 will go up.
Finally, the European and Japanese spatial agencies plan to add an international habitat, which will connect to the gateway. ESA also has a refueling module in the pipeline. Beyond Artemis and the return on the moon, the station will be a gathering position from which space agencies can launch missions equipped with Mars and potentially.