Northrop Grumman to Construct a Space Station to Orbit the Moon for NASA
Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems to build pressurized habitation module for NASA from the Cygnus cargo craft manufactured by the company for living stations for space travelers. NASA’s Artemis program has a deadline of 2024 to land astronauts to land on the moon. The habitation module developed by Northrop Grumman can be ready for launch by December 2023. Whereas other companies could not demonstrate the launch of the module into space before 2024. Along with Northrop Grumman, companies such as Bigelow Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing were among the frontlines for the project. As per NASA, there is no choice for other companies as per the deadline from administration the Lunar Gateway habitation module has to be launched by 2023.
NASA to sideline traditional process for the Habitation Module to provide contract to Northrop Grumman in less period. The habitation module will be docked with the Propulsion Element and Gateway’s Power in the halo orbit. In May 2019, NASA announced Maxar Technologies obtained a contract to construct the Power and Propulsion Element worth up to US$ 375 Mn, to provide electricity for the Gateway space station through high-power plasma thrusters.
The NASA plans to build a mini-space station named as Gateway in orbit that swings to the moon as close as 2,000 miles once in a week. The mini space station will act as a safe haven or stop for space travelers heading towards the moon. The space station can accommodate engineering demonstrations and scientific experiments required for ventures into space. NASA planned to construct the Gateway with larger habitation module, science labs, logistics depot, refueling depot, and others before attempting landing of human on the moon.
Mr. Mike Pence, Vice President of US announced that NASA should send astronauts to the moon before 2024. Prompting the managers of Gateway to change their plans and increase focus on constructing an operating base in the orbit.