NASA continues to get ready to return to the moon. It is expected to expand its space exploration in 2019.
Prepare For Launch
On Thursday, April 19, a representative from NASA announced the space agency's plans during the Space Symposium conference. NASA is now in the process of selecting a contractor to build a spacecraft called the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway. The federal agency is likely to concentrate on making elements that would help power the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway next year.
NASA would be following up on building the habitual components of the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway with hopes that it would be able to launch to the moon around 2022. NASA officials also hope that the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway would be fully orbital by 2025.
The Astronaut's Corner
Once the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway is completed, the gateway will transform into a go-between platform that will bridge the astronauts between the moon and deep space. A team of four astronauts will be allowed to inhabit the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway at a time.
NASA believes that the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway would enable astronauts to accomplish their missions within a 30-day period. Several tasks that the astronauts might tackle include exploring deep space and potential missions which could be either on the moon or within the astronomical object's vicinity.
An NASA Exclusive
Cheryl Warner, NASA's Public Affairs Officer, revealed exclusively to Tech Times that the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway was unveiled as a concept back in March 2017. They are continuing to look for future collaborators to help expand the frontiers of knowledge, capabilities, and opportunities in deep space with several U.S. industry representatives and their International Space Station partners.
A NASA Update
As the space agency prepares for the next chapter in space exploration, the federal agency recently welcomed a new face to the program. The U.S. Senate has confirmed Jim Bridenstine as the new NASA administrator. Bridenstine succeeds Maj. Gen. Charles Frank Bolden Jr. in the position. The confirmation comes seven and a half months after he testified in the Senate.
NASA also celebrated the Hubble Space Telescope's 28th anniversary by introducing stargazers to the Lagoon Nebula. Along with capturing the Lagoon Nebula, the telescope also found a massive star called Herschel 36 that was erupting. The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into Earth's orbit in 1990.
The space agency also announced that the Orion spacecraft will be using more than 100 3D printed parts for an upcoming manned mission. The Orion spacecraft will launch sometime in the early 2020s. NASA is also thinking about developing a galactic positioning system that will help astronauts and probes guide their way safely into space.