NASA and the European Space Agency formalize the partnership with Artemis Gateway


NASA and the European Space Agency formalize the partnership with Artemis Gateway

Press release from: NASA HQ
Published: Tuesday 27 October 2020

NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) have finalized an agreement to collaborate on Artemis Gateway. This agreement is an important element in a broad U.S. effort to engage international partners in sustainable lunar exploration and to demonstrate the technologies needed for a future human mission to Mars. The agreement, signed on Tuesday, marks NASA’s first formal commitment to launch international crew members into the lunar vicinity as part of NASA’s Artemis missions.

The deal is a key part of NASA’s efforts to lead an unprecedented global coalition to the moon. Further Gateway agreements with other international partners will be executed in the near future, further contributing to the creation of a dynamic and sustainable lunar exploration architecture.

Under this agreement, ESA will contribute housing and supply modules, along with enhanced lunar communications, to the Gateway. The refueling module will also include crew observation windows. In addition to providing the hardware, ESA will be responsible for the operations of the Gateway elements it supplies. ESA also provides two additional European service modules (ESMs) for NASA’s Orion spacecraft. These ESMs will propel and power Orion into space on future Artemis missions and provide air and water to its crew.

“This partnership leverages the exceptional cooperation established by the International Space Station as we push forward to the Moon,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “Gateway will continue to expand NASA’s cooperation with international partners such as ESA, ensuring that the Artemis program results in safe and sustainable exploration of the moon after the initial human lunar landing and beyond.”

The International Habitation (I-Hab) module includes components that Japan intends to contribute and two docking ports where human landing systems can aggregate. The housing module will also house the outpost’s Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), contain accommodation for indoor and outdoor science experiments, and provide additional work for the crew and living space. I-Hab’s ECLSS will augment the Gateway life support system capabilities provided by the docked Orion, allowing longer lifespans to the Gateway and will support more robust Artemis missions on the lunar surface.

“The Gateway is designed to be complemented by additional capabilities provided by our international partners to support sustainable exploration,” said Kathy Lueders, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration Mission Directorate and Operations at the NASA headquarters. NASA. “Gateway will give us access to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before and we are delighted that partners like ESA will join us in these revolutionary efforts.”

The Gateway will be assembled in orbit around the Moon as a staging point and enabling platform for missions to the lunar surface, Mars and other destinations in deep space. About one sixth the size of the International Space Station, the Gateway will function as a transit station located tens of thousands of miles from the lunar surface, in a nearly straight Halo Orbit, from which NASA and its international and commercial partners will be able to springboard of launching robotic and human expeditions to and around the Moon and Mars. It will serve as a meeting point for astronauts traveling in lunar orbit aboard NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion before transiting to low lunar orbit and the surface of the Moon.

“Gateway is the physical manifestation of the international and commercial partnerships that will be the hallmark of the Artemis era of exploration,” said Mike Gold, NASA associate administrator for the Office of International Relations and Inter-agency at NASA’s headquarters. “Artemis will leverage the largest and most diverse human space exploration coalition in history and the signing of this MoU is the first step in what will be a historic voyage of discovery.”

In addition to procuring commercial services to deliver NASA astronauts to the final leg of the journey to the lunar surface, NASA has contracted with the US industry to develop the first two Gateway components, the integrated power and propulsion element and also Habitation and Logistics Outpost. as a logistic supply for Gateway.

In March, the first two scientific investigations were selected to fly aboard the Gateway, one from NASA and the other from ESA. ESA has developed the European Radiation Sensors Array, or ERSA, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is building the Heliophysics Environmental and Radiation Measurement Experiment Suite, or HERMES. The two mini weather stations will share the work, with ERSA monitoring space radiation at higher energies with a focus on protecting astronauts, while HERMES monitoring lower energies critical to scientific investigations of the Sun.

All of Gateway’s international partners will work together to share the scientific data that will be transmitted to Earth. Additional scientific cooperative payloads will be selected to fly aboard the Gateway in the future.

“Science will play a vital role in the Artemis program,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA’s Washington headquarters. “Between NASA’s HERMES and ESA’s ERSA, these and future payloads on the Gateway will help us learn more about space weather and astronaut protection, although our work to land commercial payloads on the Moon helps advance the lunar science and human exploration on the surface of the Moon “.

In addition to supporting missions to the lunar surface, the Gateway will support activities that will test the technologies required for human missions to Mars. Using the Gateway, NASA will demonstrate the remote management and long-term reliability of autonomous spacecraft systems and other technologies.

“The Gateway will enable sustained Artemis operations and will also act as a catalyst for research and demonstration of new technologies, leveraging the unique environment in the lunar orbit,” said Dan Hartman, Gateway Program Manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. in Houston. “ESA’s impactful contribution will allow for a longer crew stay around the moon and provide unique capabilities needed to support its operations.”

Learn more about NASA’s Gateway Program at:

Learn more about NASA’s Artemis program at:

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