Russia joins NASA to look into Deep Space Gateway

Boeing Deep Space Gateway concept
An artist’s conception from Boeing shows its Deep Space Gateway. (Boeing Illustration)

The space station band is getting back together again: Russia and NASA today signed a joint statement voicing support for a Deep Space Gateway in lunar orbit that’s designed to serve as a jumping-off point for beyond-Earth exploration.

To be fair, that’s what they once said about the International Space Station as well. But NASA envisions the gateway as taking advantage of other technologies more suited to deep-space exploration, including its Orion capsule and heavy-lift Space Launch System.

The current plan calls for the Earth-orbiting space station to wind down in the 2020s, at the same time that the SLS is delivering the first components of the Deep Space Gateway to a region between Earth and the moon known as cislunar space.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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