The Orbital Moon Station Deep Space Gateway (DSG) will be designed not only to conduct scientific work in the Earth's orbit, but also to make expeditions to its surface, Space.com reports citing NASA representatives. But it will not become a sort of ISS 2.0, even though other participating countries will participate in the project of its construction.
"Despite the fact that the DSG will be much smaller than the ISS and most of the time it will be uninhabited, The lunar station will provide scientists with no less opportunities than the Earth's orbital platform. It can rotate in a very interesting orbit, which will either control the robots on the Moon, or make expeditions to its surface, "said Ben Bassi, a leading scientist from the Directorate of Human Spaceflight at NASA headquarters.
The first rumors about the possibility The construction of the station in the Moon's orbit appeared in autumn 2016, when a closed meeting of the International Spacecraft Development Group ISCWG was held. Within its framework, representatives of the five space powers discussed international plans for space exploration and to where humanity will move after the ISS decommissioned in the middle of 2020.
Last April, NASA confirmed these rumors. And in September, during the International Aeronautical Congress it became known that the Russian state corporation Roskosmos was connected to the project. Representatives of both sides confirmed that the countries agreed to begin the process of building the lunar orbital station, which, in addition to studying the moon, will serve as a "starting point for deep space." The construction of the base should begin in 2022, when the first modules of the future station will be sent to the Moon in the framework of the third expedition of the Orion program.
DSG Station in the NASA Art
From Russia in the person of Roskosmos, link of the station – the gateway module, which will be used for spacewalks. Together with sending the module to the Moon's orbit, it may be sent a large supply of supplies for the first expedition station. The launch will be carried out either with the help of one of the Orions, or with the help of a new Russian carrier rocket Angara-5. The truth in this case, no supplies will not be carried.
At the end of February and early March, NASA hosted the first meeting of scientists, in which leading planetologists, astrobiologists and astronomers of the world told the space agency officials what role DSG can play in their research.
These discussions, as Bassi noted, forced the agency to pay great attention to the potential scientific part of the mission and to think about using DSG as a platform for studying the lunar surface, and not just for orbital experiments, as originally planned
This idea, he said, can be implemented if the DSG rotates around the moon in a special elongated orbit, the near end of which will almost touch the surface of the Earth's satellite, and the far end will be at a great distance in the open space.  Such a trajectory of the station's movement will not only make it easy to land on the surface of the moon, but also eliminate one of the main problems – in this orbit DSG will very rarely go into the "shadow" and communication with it will almost never be interrupted.
In perspective, in addition to experiments on the Moon, the station can be used to conduct observations of the entire Earth as a whole, as well as a platform for the construction and renovation of space telescopes, some of which can be installed in lunar craters, where the Sun never peeps.
In addition to Russia, the European Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency may be involved in the construction of the station. Interest was also expressed by the BRICS countries: China, India, Brazil and South Africa.