An Orion spacecraft docked with the lunar outpost called the Gateway. The 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 the Gateway will offer a staging post for missions to the Moon and Mars. Its flight path is a highly-elliptical orbit around the Moon – bringing it both relatively close to the Moon’s surface but also far away making it easier to pick up astronauts and supplies from Earth – around a five-day trip.
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.