A SPANISH company has been contracted to build parts for a space station that will be the first to orbit the Moon.
A group of agencies including Europe’s ESA and NASA have signed five contracts with the Basque Country-based SENER to built parts for the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway.
It is set to design robotic arms, several mechanised gates and two communication antennas.
SENER said in a statement that it had been a first-level supplier of components and systems for space-going structures for more than 50 years.
.@NASA‘s lunar outpost will extend human presence in deep space! The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway will consist of at least a power and propulsion element and habitation, logistics and airlock capabilities. MORE >> https://t.co/DgrT2rr77F pic.twitter.com/RIiT5EEWc1
— NASA_SLS (@NASA_SLS) April 26, 2018
Gateway Sweet Gateway ❤️#Boeing’s Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway concept will give astronauts a base for @NASA’s plans to go to the Moon’s 🌕 surface, operating robots 🤖 in space and performing research for Mars trips. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/xkXJLBsMJq
— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) February 23, 2018
Companies in the US, Canada, Russia and Japan have also been contracted to make parts for the station which is due to be built in the 2020s.
The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway is set to contain an on-board laboratory, living quarters for astronauts and a lander and rover to explore the Moon’s surface. It is similar in design and function to the International Space Station (ISS) which currently orbits the Earth.
It is due to be assembled over several years before becoming operational in the late 2020s at the earliest.