Orbital lunar station, Deep Space Gateway (DSG) is designed not only for carrying out scientific work on the orbit of the satellite, but also for making expeditions on its surface, according Space.com with reference to the representatives of NASA. But it does not become a sort of ISS 2.0, despite the fact that the project of its construction will participate and other participating countries.
“Despite the fact that the DSG in size will be much smaller than the ISS and most of the time will be a desert, a lunar station will provide scientists with not less features than the earth’s orbital platform. It can rotate at a very interesting orbit, which will allow or control robots on the moon, or take the expedition on its surface,” said Ben Bussey, senior scientist Directorate of manned flights into space in the headquarters of NASA.
The first rumors about the possibility of building a station in orbit of the moon appeared in the autumn of 2016, when a closed meeting was held of the International group for the development of spacecraft ISCWG. Within its framework, the representatives of the five space powers discussed international plans for space exploration and where the progress of mankind, after the withdrawal of the ISS out of service in mid-2020.
In April last year NASA confirmed these rumors. And in September at the International aeronautical Congress, it became known that joined the project of the Russian state Corporation “Roscosmos”. Representatives of both sides confirmed that the two countries agreed to start the process of building a lunar orbital station, which will serve, in addition to the study of the moon, “the starting point in deep space”. Base construction is to begin in 2022, when the moon will be sent to the first modules of the international space station during the third expedition of the program Orion.
Station DSG in artistic representation of NASA
From the Russian side in the person of the Roscosmos is developing a key element of the station – airlock module that will be used for spacewalks. Together with the sending module to orbit the moon may be sent and a large stock of supplies for the first expedition of the station. The launch will be carried out either by using one of the “Oriono”, or with the help of a new Russian carrier rocket “Angara-5”. However in this case, no supplies, no luck. Not enough carrying capacity.
At the end of February and in early March, NASA held the first meeting of scientists in which a leading planetary scientists, astrobiologists and astronomers the world has told officials of the space Agency about the role that DSG can play in their studies.
These discussions, as noted by Bassi, forcing the Agency to pay great attention to the scientific potential of the mission and think about using DSG as a platform to explore the moon’s surface, not only for orbital experiments, as originally planned by its developers.
This idea, according to him, can be achieved if the DSG will spin around the moon on a particularly eccentric orbit, near the end of which will almost touch the surface of the moon and the far – located at a great distance in space.
A similar trajectory of the station will not only easy to carry out landing on the lunar surface, but also eliminates one of the main problems in this orbit DSG will be extremely rare to leave in “shadow”, and the relationship with her will almost never be interrupted.
In the future, in addition to the experiments on the moon, the station can be used for observing the Earth as a whole, and also as a platform for the construction and upgrade of space telescopes, some of which will be installed in the craters of the moon where the Sun never comes.
Besides Russia, the construction of the station may be taken by the European space Agency, Japanese aerospace exploration Agency, canadian space Agency. Interest was also expressed by the BRICS countries: China, India, Brazil and South Africa.