MELBOURNE, Fla. - NASA selected its commercial partner Thursday to develop and build the first segment of its Gateway outpost, the power and propulsion element (PPE) that will be the lunar orbiting staging point to send astronauts to the moon’s surface in 2024.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that Maxar Technologies was chosen for the task as part of the Artemis program’s lunar exploration plans. The announcement was made at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.
Maxar is a space technology company based out of Colorado.
“We’re going to go sustainable to the moon,” he said. “The Gateway gives us more access to more parts of the moon”
Watch NASA announcement below:
According to NASA’s website, the Gateway’s PPE is “a high-power, 50-kW solar electric propulsion spacecraft section that will provide astronauts access to the entire surface of the Moon. It also will allow the Gateway to serve as a mobile command and service module by providing a communications relay for human and robotic expeditions to the lunar surface.”
NASA said its lunar exploration plans are based on a two-phased approach: “The first is focused on speed – landing on the Moon in five years – while the second will establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028. NASA will use the Gateway to access the Moon, and the agency is targeting launch of the power and propulsion element in late 2022.”
Jim Bridenstine says the extra request of $1.6B will help push forward plans to get to the Moon by 2024 ($1.6 won’t pay the tab, but it helps) pic.twitter.com/HmLTQeKmDh— Christopher Heath (@CHeathWFTV) May 23, 2019
We are going to the Moon — to stay.— NASA (@NASA) May 14, 2019
We will build sustainable infrastructure to support missions to Mars and beyond. This is what we’re building. This is what we’re training for. We are going. #Moon2024 pic.twitter.com/dgL6NoZ2Rj
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