The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOP-G), also known as the Deep Space Gateway, is a planned space station to serve as a staging ground for missions to Mars and deep into our solar system. A multi-role facility, the LOP-G will house a short-term habitation module, science laboratory, solar-powered communications hub, and a holding bay for robotic rovers and other space exploring equipment. Astrophysics, heliophysics, planetary science, space biology, and observations of Earth are among the areas of study planned on the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway. Research into human health and performance will also be examined.
In accordance with international cooperation in Space, partners of the International Space Station lead the development of this monumental project, including the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), European Space Agency (ESA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), NASA, and Roscosmos. Agencies worldwide regard the creation of the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway as a critical step for humanity’s increased presence on the Moon and deeper expansion into our solar system, where the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway will serve as a staging ground. NASA’s current goals and objectives regarding its plan for incorporating the LOP-G can be found here.
After changing its designation from Deep Space Gateway to Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway in a proposal for the 2019 US federal budget, on March 2018, Congress passed an omnibus spending bill, providing NASA with a $504 Million development budget to shift the LOP-G from a conceptual stage into reality. Using NASA’s future Space Launch System, the LOP-G is scheduled to launch into orbit around the Moon by 2024, thereby activating the gateway into Deep Space and beyond. A successful deployment marks a major milestone for Humanity’s voyage into the Stars, and paves the way for manned missions deep into our Solar System.