NASA’s Johnson Space Center has published one of the most detailed looks at the agency’s lunar Gateway space station to date.
A total of nine high-resolution renders of the lunar Gateway space station were published on the NASA Johnson Flickr page on September 18. Eight of the nine images simply depicted the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE), and the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) modules docked in lunar orbit. The ninth depicts significantly more.
Labeled “ESPRIT RM & HLCS”, the image depicts the PPE, HALO, and ESPRIT refueling and telecommunications modules docked together in lunar orbit. In addition to the station’s three modules, it also depicts an Orion crew capsule docked to the Orion docking port, what looks like a Cygnus spacecraft at the Cargo docking port, and an unknown spacecraft docked to the station’s HLS (Human Landing System) docking port.
NASA’s Gateway lunar space station is expected to be a communications hub, science laboratory, short-term habitat, and staging point for missions to the surface of the Moon and beyond to Mars. It was initially conceived as being a pivotal element of NASA’s Artemis program. However, in June, the agency proposed bypassing the station for at least the first crewed mission to the Moon due to delays in the station’s construction.
Although the construction of the Gateway space station is led by NASA, the national space agencies or Canada, Europe and Japan have all agreed to provide logistical support and hardware to the station.