NASA has signed a contract with SpaceX to transport materials for the construction of the Lunar Gateway. SpaceX will use Falcon Heavy to launch the Lunar Gateway Propulsion System Module (PPE) and Habitation Module (HALO) as early as May 2024.
Falcon Heavy has launched three launches so far, starting with the launch of the first Tesla Roadster with a dummy named Starman towards Mars. It has a Falcon 9 rocket sandwiched between two boosters, equipped with a total of 27 Merlin engines, and can launch a payload of just under 64 tons in low earth orbit.
After being placed in lunar orbit, the lunar gateway will act as a relay station for astronauts and supplies to the moon under NASA’s Artemis program. PPE is an abbreviation for Power and Propulsion Element, a spacecraft equipped with a 60kW-scale solar cell and a propulsion mechanism. As part of the Lunar Gateway, it provides power and communication capabilities and also acts as a gateway propulsion system. HALO, on the other hand, will be a pressurized living area where aviators on missions to the Moon can stop and stay to get ready, maneuvering the Lunar Gateway and acting as a docking hub for spacecraft.
With regard to the Artemis program, NASA has begun to work with private companies to speed up the program. However, in January it was revealed that the renewal period of the contract for the moon lander developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin was postponed, and in 2024 a manned spacecraft will be released to the moon. It is becoming difficult to maintain the schedule for landing.