WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 22nd October, 2019) The United States needs help from international partners to develop the US Lunar Gateway project, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during the International Astronautical Congress conference in Washington on Monday.
Bridenstine added that they may also use commercial companies to help develop the project.
NASA's three-stage concept includes a transfer element for the journey from the Gateway in high lunar orbit, a descent element to carry the crew to the surface, and an ascent element to return them to the Gateway.
From the Gateway, the astronauts would board an Orion crew spacecraft for the 250,000-mile trip back to Earth.
Critics have warned that plans to construct the Lunar Gateway in a high lunar orbit may be too complicated to meet an ambitious goal to return humans to the moon by 2024, even if the Lunar Gateway is more suitable for colonizing the Moon and for future flights to Mars.
The Lunar Gateway offers the prospect of refueling and modifying spacecraft for a six-month trip to Mars without having to first escape Earth's gravity, according to NASA. The gateway would also allow a quick succession of multiple manned and unmanned lunar landers, which could be needed for a permanent human presence on the moon.