The Space Review: The cislunar gateway with no gateon October 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm
NASA and industry have considered proposals for facilities in cislunar space in recent years, but a reported NASA approach may not be sustainable. (courtesy: M. Raftery (Boeing Corp.))
The cislunar gateway with no gate
by John K. Strickland
Monday, October 1, 2012
Once again, bureaucracy and politics seems to be trying to swap a silk purse for a sow’s ear. Starting in 2005, the Vision for Space Exploration was turned into “Apollo on Geritol”. In the last two years, Congress essentially robbed money from the Commercial Crew program, lengthening our dependence on the Russians for crewed trips to orbit, and given it instead to the SLS program, a program that critics have dubbed the “Senate Launch System” or the “Rocket to Nowhere”.
Now, there seems to be an attempt to replace the best new set of coherent ideas for effective in-space transportation, the cislunar concept, with what is essentially a fake version of it. This may sound like a harsh judgment to many, but let us look at what a real cislunar transportation system would provide us with, and what is totally lacking from the proposed L2 “Gateway” station that has been reported in the media recently. To be clear, this is not an argument about government versus private space, but instead about making rational choices on expenditures to enhance our ability to efficiently use and explore space in and beyond low Earth orbit (LEO).