The space Gateway is the next structure to be launched by the partners of the International Space Station.
During the 2020s, it will be assembled and operated in the vicinity of the Moon, where it will move between different orbits and enable the most distant human space missions ever attempted.
Placed farther from Earth than the current Space Station – but not in a lunar orbit – the Gateway will offer a staging post for missions to the Moon and Mars.
Like a mountain refuge, it will provide shelter and a place to stock up on supplies for astronauts en route to more distant destinations. It will also offer a place to relay communications and can act as a base for scientific research.
The Gateway will weigh around 40 tonnes and will consist of a service module, a communications module, a connecting module, an airlock for spacewalks, a place for the astronauts to live and an operations station to command the gateway’s robotic arm or rovers on the Moon. Astronauts will be able to occupy it for up to 90 days at a time.