The American aircraft manufacturer is very interested in space exploration. Recently, the firm unveiled an ambitious project to place a space station in orbit around the Moon and said that only four missions would be enough!
baptized Deep Space Gateway, this lunar space station would become the new launch pad among others towards the planet Mars. The station could then accommodate the Deep Space Transport Vehicle, a ship that would be able to take men to the red planet. Strongly supplied with food, the station would allow future ships not to leave Earth with too much cargo.
Once on Mars, astronauts could use a lander to perform surface missions or other science missions in orbit. According to Boeing, the spacecraft would be able to protect passengers « Dangers of Space » and its propulsion would be “using solar energy”.
The project, which will probably be shared with NASA and other groups, is still to be taken with a grain of salt. Indeed, Boeing’s press release is sorely lacking in clarity and precision. It indicates the dangers from which the astronauts will have to be protected, but their nature is not disclosed. Are we talking about cosmic rays here? We won’t know unless Boeing decides to shed some light on this issue.
At the level of propulsion, we do not know either in what proportions it will work thanks to solar energy. In reality, Boeing does not really give the proof that its project will be able to do without fuel!
Finally, there is also the question of the creation of a lunar habitat. What would it actually be used for? We already have the ISS used for scientific research purposes, which brings us to the concept nature of « relay station for trips to Mars » which arouses some skepticism. Indeed, from a strictly financial point of view, sending a spacecraft directly from Earth to Mars would cost less than having it reach lunar orbit and then redirect it to the red planet.
Finally, the Boeing project could be useful in the event that it is really feasible, if one day humanity builds a base directly on the Moon. However, no such project is on the agenda.
Sources: L’Express – FredZone