NASA’s Gateway Lunar Orbit outpost | UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS |
NASA’s Gateway Lunar Orbit outpost: Current Affairs
NASA’s Gateway Lunar Orbit outpost
Relevance: Science and Technology
Context: NASA recently finalized the contract for the initial crew module of the agency’s Gateway lunar orbiting outpost.
What is NASA’s Gateway Lunar Orbit outpost?
- The Gateway will be an outpost orbiting the Moon that provides vital support for a sustainable, long-term human return to the lunar surface, as well as a staging point for deep space exploration. NASA has targeted the completion of the Gateway for 2026.
- It will act as a temporary office and living quarters for astronauts distanced at about 250,000 miles from Earth.
- Astronauts will use the Gateway at least once per year and not stay around the year as they do on the International Space Station (ISS). Compared to the ISS, the Gateway is much smaller (the size of a studio apartment), while the ISS is about the size of a six-bedroom house.
- Once docked to the Gateway, astronauts will be able to stay there for three months at a time, conduct science experiments and take trips to the surface of the Moon.
- One of the most unique features of the Gateway is that it can be moved to other orbits around the Moon to conduct more research.
- The Gateway will act as an airport, where spacecraft bound for the lunar surface of Mars can refuel or replace parts and resupply things like food and oxygen, allowing astronauts to take multiple trips to the Lunar surface and exploration of new locations across the Moon.
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