PHOENIX — With one module under contract and a second soon to be formally awarded, NASA says development of the lunar Gateway, a key element of its Artemis effort to return humans to the moon, is moving ahead as planned.
During a panel discussion Sept. 11 at the American Astronautical Society’s Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, NASA officials said they were making good progress on the first two elements of the Gateway, which will serve as a staging point for missions to the lunar surface.
“I can tell you both the PPE and the HALO have production movement,” said Dan Hartman, program manager for the Gateway at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, using the acronyms for those two modules. “This is real. We’ve got contracts in place and real hardware is being built.”
The first of those elements is the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE), for which NASA selected Maxar Technologies to develop in May. The module, based on the company’s 1300-series commercial satellite bus, will provide power for the Gateway and electrical propulsion.
The PPE is on schedule for a launch in late 2022, after which it will perform a one-year checkout. He said NASA and Maxar ...