Gateway L-2 Mission: Opening Cislunar Space or Dead End?

Posted on September 29, 2012 by Paul Spudis

A recent report by the NASA human architecture team has given us a glimpse of the agency’s thinking about future missions beyond low Earth orbit (LEO).  Interest is focused on sending human crews to a “Gateway” outpost stationed at the gravitationally stable Earth-Moon L-2 point.  The facility, built with plans and parts derived from the construction of the International Space Station, would slowly circle the L-2 point in a halo orbit.  From its “hovering” position over the lunar far side, it would be in direct communication with Earth.  Astronauts stationed at the L-2 Gateway would communicate with robotic spacecraft on the surface of the lunar far side – directing rovers to collect samples and emplace geophysical and astronomical equipment.  An L-2 Gateway station could be a staging point for future human missions to the lunar surface, near Earth asteroids, and to Mars and its moons.

Read more: Gateway L-2 Mission: Opening Cislunar Space or Dead End? | Spudis Lunar Resources

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