Cis-lunar Gateway Station.
Credit: Boeing

 

Boeing is pressing ahead on scoping out its deep space gateway and transport systems plans.

A recent Future In-Space Operations (FISO) seminar hosted Boeing’s Matt Duggan who spoke on: “Next Steps in Human Exploration: Cislunar Systems and Architectures.” He is the Boeing Manager for Exploration Integration and leads Boeing’s advanced  development projects on extending human presence to cislunar space and Mars.

Mars habitat gleaned from Space Launch System propellant tank.
Credit: Boeing

Gateway    

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), which Boeing is helping develop, would deliver the habitat to cislunar space near the Moon. Known as the Deep Space Gateway, the habitat could support critical research and help open opportunities for global government or commercial partnerships in deep space, including lunar missions. It would be powered by a Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) system.

Cis-lunar Gateway elements.
Credit: Boeing

Waypoint for Mars

The Deep Space Gateway could be the waypoint for Mars missions. A Mars spaceship habitat, in fact, might be developed from SLS propellant tank structure.

Utilizing a docking system akin to what the International Space Station uses for commercial operations, it could host the Deep Space Transport vehicle, which would take humans to Mars.

Phobos lander.
Credit: Boeing

Humans on Mars operations.
Credit: Boeing

Once near Mars, crews could deploy a lander for surface missions or conduct other scientific and robotic missions in orbit – perhaps land on Phobos, one of the two moons of Mars.

The gateway and transport systems are partially being developed as part of NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Technologies (Next Step) program and an ongoing High Power SEP technology development effort within the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD).

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