The platform would “help us further explore the moon and its resources and translate that experience toward human missions to Mars,” Robert Lightfoot, NASA’s acting administrator. The power and propulsion element for the new station is targeted for launch in 2022. The habitation part of the platform is targeted to launch one year later, in 2023. It also could act as a stop-over for astronauts traveling deeper into space to Mars.
The Moon surface
The proposed lunar platform also would call on commercial ties. NASA envisions that resupply missions to the platform would be conducted by commercial entities, and crews would participate in “a variety of deep space exploration and commercial activities in the vicinity of the moon.”Work on the power and propulsion element began in November 2017 when NASA selected five companies including Boeing to participate in four-month studies on how to affordably develop it. Boeing officials said Tuesday much of their prototype will build on and enhance the current space station systems.