PHOENIX – According to NASA, which has a module under contract and will soon be officially awarded a second module, the development of the Moon Gateway, one of the key elements of its Artemis effort to return people to the moon, is progressing as planned.

During a panel discussion on September 11 at the American Astronautical Society’s Wernher-von-Braun Memorial Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, NASA officials said they were making good progress on the first two elements of the gateway that served as the starting point for missionsis lunar surface.

I can tell you that both the PPE and the HALO have a production movement, “said Dan Hartman, program manager for the gateway at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and used the abbreviations for these two modules.”That’s real.

We have contracts and real hardware is being built. The first of these is the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE), for which NASA selected Maxar Technologies for its May development. The module, which is based on the company’s 1300-series commercial satellite bus, will power the gateway and electric drive. The introduction of the PSA is scheduled for the end of 2022, followed by a one-year test.

He said NASA and Maxar are working on “integration issues” caused by using a commercial spacecraft with NASA hardware, “There are going to be some changes, and we’re starting to work through them,” he said, but without the specific onesTo disclose problems that are being worked on. In addition to providing power and propulsion, the PSA will also serve as a platform for other payloads.

Two payloads are installed on the outside of the module at startup, he said. Hartman said the agency is considering adding several unidentified payloads to the PSA.

The PSA will have two tank openings, he said. “Europeans are keen to get a tanker on the market, so we think we can maintain PSA with hydrazine and xenon for a very long timeuphold and stay active. ” The other module is the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), formerly referred to as a utility module or “mini-hab.” NASA announced in a Procurement Notice in July that it wished to give Northrop Grumman a single contract to build the module afterShe noted that it was the only company that could complete the module on time to support a 2024 moon landing

Hartman said the company is already working on HALO, “Northrop Grumman is in the process of developing this module for us,” he said. NASA spokeswoman Rachel Kraft said on September 17 that “while NASA is still negotiating a deal with Northrop for HALO, the company has only been given limited powers to work on urgent HALO requirements in line with HALOFederal Acquisition Regulations. ”

HALO will be based on the company’s Cygnus spacecraft used for International Space Station freight missions. The company used this design in previous work as part of NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships program.

Hartman said HALO will have an additional section or bay compared to the current three-berth Cygnus used for cargo missions. This stretched version will provide more volume and also ensure a reasonable distance for the docking ports.

It really is the hub of the gateway, “he said of HALO, noting that there are two axial and two radial docking ports, a power distribution system, and command and control systems.”It will be the head of the outfit. HALO is due to launch in late 2023 with a commercial rocket that still needs to be selected.

HALO will then autonomously dock with the PSA, which, according to Hartman, also applies to later elements of the gateway. At the launch, HALO will serve as a cargo module transporting a tonne of cargo needed for the 2024 Lunar Emission mission and other purposes. This could also include the space suits that astronauts carry on their lunar walks on this landing mission when they are ready in time. “Anything we can accomplish to make the entire upward movement for this mission successful in 2024 will be oursBenefits to use. ”

Additional routine cargo shipments will be provided by commercial spacecraft under the Gateway Logistics Services program, which is based on the ISS Commercial Freight Program.

NASA issued a call for proposals for this program with proposals for October 1 on August 16, and Hartman said he could not discuss the program in more detail due to this ongoing procurement.

Future elements added to the Gateway as part of what NASA calls “Phase 2” after 2024 will depend on the capabilities of international partners. In a statement issued on 28th August, the ISS partners stated they supported the development of the gateway and thought about housing modules, logistics facilities and airlocks.

All of these international partners are involved with their governments, just as we are dealing with our government, “Hartman said. If their governments agree, the agreements would build on the existing intergovernmental agreement of the ISS.