Nasa partners with Roscosmos to further develop manned Moon mission


Nasa has signed a joint statement with the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos to further develop the deep space gateway concept, which aims to enable human space exploration in the vicinity of the Moon.

The deep space gateway is also expected to confirm Nasa’s capabilities for sending manned missions beyond the Moon and deep into the solar system, including Mars.

Nasa has also engaged other industry partners to conduct additional studies for the gateway concept.

Nasa Washington headquarters acting administrator Robert Lightfoot said: “While the deep space gateway is still in concept formulation, Nasa is pleased to see growing international interest in moving into cislunar space as the next step for advancing human space exploration.

“Statements such as this one signed with Roscosmos show the gateway concept as an enabler to the kind of exploration architecture that is affordable and sustainable.”

According to Nasa, the gateway concept expects to build a manned spaceport in lunar orbit that would serve as a ‘gateway to deep space and the lunar surface’.

"Nasa is pleased to see growing international interest in moving into cislunar space as the next step for advancing human space exploration."

A Roscosmos statement was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying: “The partners intend to develop international technical standards, which will be used later, in particular, to create a space station in lunar orbit.”

As part of the new partnership, both Nasa and Roscosmos will work together to build the systems required to organise scientific missions in lunar orbit and to the surface of the Moon.

Roscosmos added: “Roscosmos and Nasa have already agreed on standards for a docking unit of the future station.

“Taking into account the country’s extensive experience in developing docking units, the station’s future elements will be created using Russian designs.”

In addition, both Russia and the US discussed using the former’s Proton-M and Angara rockets to help create the infrastructure of the lunar spaceport.

Main works under the new partnership are expected to commence by the mid-2020s.