Space agencies focus on their Gateway roles

Jim Bridenstine at IAC
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is surrounded by top officials from other space agencies as he talks about what lies ahead for NASA and its partners on the final frontier. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Not everyone has signed on the dotted line to join NASA’s plan to start sending astronauts to the moon in 2024 via an outpost in lunar orbit known as the Gateway, but the world’s leading space agencies are already staking out their roles.

Russia, for example, plans to work on its own space transportation system that would parallel NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion crew capsule. Europe and Japan are planning to provide logistical support for space operations. And Canada will be supplying the Gateway’s robotic arm.

Space agency officials laid out the status of their plans for the final frontier today during a panel discussion and follow-up news briefing at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington.

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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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