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US and Russia to build a lunar space station

Posted on Wednesday, 27 September, 2017 | Comment icon 18 comments

Mankind could soon be returning to the Moon in a big way. Image Credit: NASA
NASA and Roscosmos will be combining their efforts to build the first ever space station around the Moon.
The first step in a concerted, long-term effort to eventually land humans on Mars, the project is part of NASA's previously announced multi-stage 'Deep Space Gateway' program.

The construction of a space station around the Moon is certainly a sensible one, not least because it would enable manned excursions down on to the lunar surface for the first time in almost 50 years, but also because it would act as the perfect platform from which to develop and test the technologies that will be needed for a manned mission to Mars.

Now it appears as though both Russia and the US have agreed to work on the idea together.

"The partners intend to develop international technical standards which will be used later, in particular to create a space station in lunar orbit," the Russian space agency said in a statement.

"Roscosmos and NASA have already agreed on standards for a docking unit of the future station."

"Taking into account the country's extensive experience in developing docking units, the station's future elements will be created using Russian designs."

One of the biggest considerations for the design of the lunar station's docking system will be to make it compatible with spacecraft from several different countries and organizations.

"To avoid future problems over technical cooperation, part of the standards should be unified - for a possibility for various countries to work on their craft and dock to the international lunar station," said Igor Komarov, Roscosmos' general director.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (18)

Tags: Moon, Space Station

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by Jon the frog on 28 September, 2017, 1:36
WOW! that's awesome !
Comment icon #10 Posted by UFOwatcher on 28 September, 2017, 15:24
Let's do this thing...
Comment icon #11 Posted by Occams Razor on 3 October, 2017, 1:07
Why don't they just relocate the ISS to lunar orbit. They must be getting bored with what they can do with it in orbit around Earth by now... and for the time being they could just add a docking module with various docking options for spacecraft with different docking requirements. It would be the cheapest option by far, and it could be done quite quickly, compared to building a whole new space station.
Comment icon #12 Posted by seeder on 3 October, 2017, 13:09
  How old now is the one in Earth orbit?    
Comment icon #13 Posted by toast on 3 October, 2017, 13:44
The most scientific experiments (technology/physics, biology/biotechnology, human research and others) performed on the ISS are performed there because of zero gravity conditions. A Moon base would not provide this feature.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Peter B on 3 October, 2017, 14:12
Yeah, no. The ISS isn't designed to be accelerated at any great amount - just a bit of a boost every so often to keep it at its operational altitude. At its current orbit, its speed is 17,200 miles per hour. But if you wanted to send it to the Moon, you'd need to accelerate it to something like 24,200 miles per hour. That's a big increase in speed. Given the mass of the ISS is something like three times the mass of Apollo hardware sent to the Moon (someone may care to check my maths), it's going to need a very large rocket to do the accelerating. But finally, the ISS isn't built to be accelera... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by toast on 3 October, 2017, 15:14
Thats a statement by an uninformed person. There are still much more scientific experiments in the pipeline than ever can be handled during the scheduled operational lifetime of the ISS.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Derek Willis on 3 October, 2017, 16:13
On October 10th the UN Outer Space Treaty will be fifty years old. I wonder how long it will last when exploiting the Moon, asteroids and the planets becomes a reality. I don't see anything wrong with responsible exploitation. Space law is a big subject these days, so I hope the lawyers - via the UN - will be ahead of the game and come up with legislation that allows for profitable operations that benefit humanity but do not turn our cosmic neighbors into wastelands. Buzz Aldrin described the Moon as, "Beautiful, beautiful. Magnificent desolation". Let's hope it never becomes "desolation" only... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Occams Razor on 4 October, 2017, 0:35
The ISS has a mass of around 400 tons, the combined CSM and Lunar Module together had a mass of around 45 tons, so it's closer to 10 times the mass. Anyway, just a thought... shooting the breeze as you Americans say.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Occams Razor on 4 October, 2017, 0:39
You're right, it's probably a bit of cooker... due for replacement anyway.

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