Friday, December 01, 2017

Deep Space Gateway "Key Part of Exploration Roadmap"

          By Henry Stewart

Space News is reporting that the "Deep Space Gateway," a crew-tended cis-lunar space station concept proposed for possible partnership between NASA, Roscosmos and other international space agencies, will serve as the core of an updated Global Exploration Roadmap being drafted by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG).

Artist representation of proposed DSG, including the solar sail and small next generation Canadarm proposed by the Canadian Space Agency. As outlined in the September 25th, 2017 Planetary Society post, "NASA, international partners consider solar sail for Deep Space Gateway," Canadian specialists believe "a solar sail could play a secondary role in orienting the DSG, saving fuel for traditional rocket thrusters designed to maintain the outpost's position." Graphic c/o Anatoly Zak / RussianSpaceWeb.

As outlined in the November 30th, 2017 Space News post, "Deep Space Gateway key part of updated exploration roadmap," the ISECG is a forum of international space agencies (including Canada) where members "share non-binding plans and objectives" for international co-operation in space.
Since NASA’s first flight of its heavy-lift Space Launch System with an Orion capsule is scheduled for as soon as late 2019, it’s time to decide “what we are going to do with these vehicles,” Kathy Laurini, NASA senior adviser for exploration and space operations, said during a Global Exploration Roadmap community workshop at the NASA Ames Research Center Nov. 29. 
“We’ve been engaged with our international partners on how we’ll use these to explore together.”
The post acknowledges that basing the entire plan around an unfunded NASA proposal could be problematic without the acknowledged support of the Trump administration. According to the post, "future exploration plans will become clearer when the Trump Administration and Congress weigh in on the agency’s (NASA's) budget."

The ISECG published its last Global Exploration Roadmap in 2013. ISECG members will use the new roadmap as a sales aid to lobby domestic policymakers for funding to implement the proposed programs.

The new plan is expected to be released in January 2018.

As outlined in the October 26th, 2017 post, "A Quick Overview of the Next Few Expected Federal Announcements Concerning the Canadian Space Industry," the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is likely already on board with the Deep Space Gateway and the upcoming ISECG proposal.

Henry Stewart is the pseudonym of a Toronto based aerospace writer.

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