NASA plans to send humans back to Moon’s surface in little over a decade. Fuck yes!
We going back to the Moon, baby! Right back to its surface! Provided, you know, the Collapse doesn’t occur between now and 2024. Be optimistic! I’ll try!
NASA officials presented their latest goals yesterday for human space exploration over the next decade, detailing the agency’s plans to build a space station in orbit around the Moon and then send humans to and from the lunar surface. Based on its timeline, NASA is aiming for the first astronauts to visit this lunar station — called the Gateway — as early as 2024, with human landings on the Moon happening sometime after 2026.
This timeline matches what Vice President Mike Pence asserted during a speech at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston last week: astronauts would visit the Gateway before the end of Trump’s (potential) second term. However, this means NASA’s return to the lunar surface, a policy directive made by President Trump last year, won’t happen during his administration, even if he is reelected.
Even before Trump directed NASA to return to the Moon, the space agency had been making plans to build the Gateway in lunar orbit. The station, called both the Deep Space Gateway and the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway in the past, is meant to serve as a distant outpost for astronauts. It will allow them to conduct research in the deep space environment around the Moon and use the module to travel to and from the lunar surface or even deeper into space. As NASA envisions it, the Gateway will consist of a few main components: a habitat module for the astronaut crew, a module that provides power and propulsion, and an airlock to allow incoming spacecraft to dock with the station.