LUNAR GATEWAY STATION (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     9th January 2024        

Context: The UAE recently announced its participation in developing a module on NASA’s Lunar Gateway Station alongside the USA, Japan, Canada, and the European Union.

Nasa’s Lunar Gateway Station

  • About: The Lunar Gateway is a vital element of NASA's Artemis program, signaling a significant step in space exploration.
  • Countries involved: USA, Japan, Canada, and the European Union
  • Features and Purpose: Similar to the ISS but orbiting the Moon, the Gateway facilitates long-term lunar presence, deep space missions, and scientific research.
  • First-Ever Space Station Beyond Low Earth Orbit: The Gateway marks a historic development as the first space station situated outside of low Earth orbit (LEO).
  • Deep Space Missions: Positioned to offer crucial support for extended human missions on the Moon, the Gateway enables launches for deep space exploration.
  • Elliptical Orbit and Strategic Positioning: The Gateway follows a highly elliptical orbit, strategically positioned both close to the Moon's surface and farther away for efficient Earth resupply missions.
  • Communication Relay: Serving as a communication relay, the Gateway acts as a base for scientific research, contributing to advancements in lunar exploration.
  • Functionality: Weighing around 40 tonnes, the Gateway consists of modules for communication, living space, spacewalks, and operations, showcasing a comprehensive design.
  • Extended Astronaut Occupancy: Astronauts can stay aboard the Gateway for up to 90 days, conducting lunar surface missions for science experiments and technology testing.
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