Thursday, October 04, 2012

NASA Mulls Deep-Space Station on Moon's Far Side

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Artist's concept of astronauts in an Orion capsule

By Leonard David
SPACE.com
10-2-12

     There appears to be support within NASA to position astronauts at an Earth-moon libration point to bolster the space agency’s plans of pushing beyond low-Earth orbit with its Orion spacecraft design.

Anchoring hardware and a crew at the Earth-moon L2 "gateway" would offer many benefits, advocates say. One of them is building on multinational cooperation honed at the International Space Station (ISS). . . .

. . . According to a statement issued Sept. 24 by NASA’s Office of Communications, the official agency response to the news story regarding the prospect of a deep-space station is:

"NASA is executing President Obama’s ambitious space exploration plan that includes missions around the moon, to asteroids, and ultimately putting humans on Mars," the statement explains. "There are many options — and many routes — being discussed on our way to the Red Planet. In addition to the moon and an asteroid, other options may be considered as we look for ways to buy down risk — and make it easier — to get to Mars." . . .

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