How Lunar Gateway Space Station Will Support Human Colonization Of The Moon And Mars In This Century

As NASA plans to return humans to the surface of the moon in the 21st century, the agency is also partnering with other agencies to place a space station called the lunar gateway around the moon’s orbit. However, this lunar gateway space station is going to serve numerous purposes on the moon’s orbit, including aiding in human colonization of the moon and possibly Mars. But how can NASA achieve moon colonization with the technologies of this sophisticated space station? Continue reading to find out.

What You Should Know About The Lunar Gateway Space Station

Image Credit: NASA

The Lunar Gateway space station is the first ever planned extraterrestrial space station that will operate around the lunar orbit. It will serve as a science laboratory, a solar-powered communication hub, and a short-term habitation module for government-agency astronauts and also contain extra regions for holding rovers and other robotic vehicles.

This futuristic space station involves the multinational partnership of the four International Space Station partner agencies including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), European Space Agency (ESA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The Lunar Gateway space station will be the first space station to another celestial body that is not Earth since we commenced space exploration.

How Lunar Gateway Space Station Will Make Human Colonization of the Moon Possible

Image: NASA

In November 2025, NASA is planning to launch the Gateway’s Habitable and Logistics Outpost (HALO) atop Falcon Heavy SLS Block 1B from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 LC-39A LC-39B. This launch will commence the first major step to establish a long presence of humans on the moon’s surface. Once it arrives in the lunar orbit in 2025, the agencies collaborating on this project will begin to prepare it to receive the first crew.

NASA has already announced that the Artemis 4 astronauts will be the first crew to use the Lunar Gateway in 2028. Once the crew arrives, they will use the technology of the station to explore the moon. The primary intention of this space station is to make the moon more accessible for the crew. Once their capsule docks with the Habitable and Logistics Outpost (HALO), they will spend some time in lunar orbit, conducting scientific experiments.

NASA recently contracted Blue Origin to design a Blue Moon Lander that will enable astronauts to land on the lunar surface from the Gateway. However, Artemis 4 astronauts will not use this futuristic lander to get to the moon’s surface as NASA is collaborating with Blue Origin to get the Blue Moon Lander to the Gateway in 2029 for the Artemis V mission. Hence, the crew participating in Artemis V will likely use this futuristic technology to get to the lunar surface.

After the Artemis V, NASA and its partners will continue to access the lunar surface with the technologies of the Gateway. This space station will be built to last for about 15 years. During its lifespan, NASA and its partners hope to make progress in establishing a permanent human presence on the moon. Before its retirement, other space stations will be around the moon.

How Lunar Gateway Space Station Will Aid To Human Colonization of Mars

The idea of the lunar gateway is to make the moon accessible to humans. However, as space agencies are also looking towards colonizing Mars, they will also deploy the knowledge obtained from the Gateway’s operation around the moon on Mars. Since the Gateway will be in operation before the end of this decade, space agencies have all the time needed to prepare for the use of such technology in Mars’ orbit as well. Establishing a permanent human presence on Mars will be more challenging than on the moon.

This difficulty has to do with distance and technologies to sustain humans during the duration journey to the distant world. However, if space agencies successfully operate the lunar gateway around the moon, they will fasten the technological progress that will help in establishing a long-term human presence on Mars. NASA and other space agencies have successfully operated orbiters around Mars and other distant planetary bodies.

However, maintaining a crewed module around the red planet will require extra effort from any space agency attempting such a milestone. But as NASA, CNSA, ESA, and other government agencies are looking at sending humans to Mars before 2050, the need to fasten the progress of the Martian orbital crewed space station will surely arise. The motivation to attain such technological progress will all begin with the successful operation of the Lunar Gateway around the moon.


Lunar Gateway is the first extraterrestrial crewed orbiting laboratory that will enable space agencies to establish a permanent human presence on the moon. The success of this project will surely lead to human colonization of the moon and Mars before the end of this century. What do you think about this space technological progress made by NASA and its partners?

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