The statement sets a mid-2020s goal for beginning the project to be built in lunar orbit. The release also mentions that other international partners are considering signing onto the lunar base. The project has strong technical justifications: “The area of space near the moon offers a true deep space environment to gain experience for human missions that push farther into the solar system, access the lunar surface for robotic missions but with the ability to return to Earth if needed in days rather than weeks or months.”
NASA’s relying on its much-delayed heavy lift rocket the SLS, to build the Deep Space Gateway. Following in the footsteps of the International Space Station, the moon ship would be open to astronauts and cosmonauts from around the world. There is also a hope the Deep Space Gateway will allow mankind to stage space flights to Mars and elsewhere in the Solar System. US President Donald Trump announced already in his debut speech on Capitol Hill he wanted astronauts to arrive on “distant worlds” within the next ten years. NASA and Roscosmos hope the space station’s first modules would be completed by 2026 – the 250th anniversary of the United States.