NASA reveals plans for PERMANENT moon base as agency declares ‘we want lots of humans in space’

NASA reveals plans for PERMANENT moon base as agency declares ‘we want lots of humans in space’

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NASA chief Jim Bridenstine has revealed hopes for a permanent base on the moon.


At a meeting at the Johnson Space Center in Houston this week, Mr Bridenstine gave details on plans to build ‘Gateway’ modules to orbit the moon and close gaps in space exploration.

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine gave details of the ‘Gateway’ plans to reporters at a meeting at the Johnson Space Center in Houston[/caption]

The NASA representative said that the agency wants to see ‘lots of humans in space’ with a view to staying on the moon[/caption]

The NASA boss told reporters that the agency wants “lots of humans in space” according to the website.

The gateway modules would be crafts that orbit the moon rather than a settlement, which would make it easier for astronauts to stay in orbit and carry out brief surface missions lasting between 30 to 60 days.

In future years a second Gateway could be used to take humans to Mars in ambitious NASA plans.

Ambitious plans by the space exploration agency would also see a second ‘Gateway’ to be used by astronauts to get to Mars

The NASA Administrator said: “What we don’t want to do is go to the surface of the moon, prove that we can do it again, and then be done.

“We want to go to stay. And the Gateway, in my view – I’ve been convinced – enables us to take advantage of commercial and international partners in a more robust way so we are there to stay, it enables us to get to more parts of the moon than ever before, and it enables us to get to Mars.”

What is the Lunar Orbital-Platform Gateway?

The Lunar Orbital-Platform Gateway will be a craft that orbits the moon to provide a base from which to carry out human exploration of the moon and deep space missions.

NASA also plans to use a future ‘Gateway’ as a staging point for missions to Mars.

The station modules will be constructed from 2022, with the first due to be finished by 2025.

The new space station – similar to the International Space Station – will be open to astronauts of all nationalities.

NASA hopes the orbiting crafts will allow easier exploration of the moon and greater access to Mars.

Earlier this week, the space agency boss spoke of continued exploration on the moon, citing the evidence of water on the surface as a key success.

He told Reuters TV on Wednesday: “We know that there’s hundreds of billions of tons of water ice on the surface of the moon.”

He was discussing the results of Monday’s direct observation findings that there is water on the moon.

The presence of water offers an exciting reason for greater space exploration, but scientists do not yet know how much ice is present on the moon or whether it can be extracted.

NASA scientist Sarah Noble told Reuters that they could not be sure how much water there is, as different models gave different answers.

Human moon exploration previously came to an end in 1972 with the Apollo 17 mission.

The Trump administration has heavily backed the idea of space exploration, including with a budget of $10 billion (£7.8 billion).

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