European Space Agency Space Control Center.
On October 27, the European Space Agency announced that the Director of the Agency Werner and NASA Director Bridenstine have signed a mutual memorandum of understanding, agreeing that the European Space Agency will be the US “Gateway” for the lunar orbit. The station will build two cabins and will have three opportunities to send European astronauts to the orbital station.
According to a report by the Russian Satellite News Agency on October 28, the memorandum confirmed that the European Space Agency will manufacture at least two service modules for the US “Orion” manned spacecraft. In addition, the European Space Agency will also build a main housing module for the US “gateway” lunar orbit station, as well as an on-orbit refueling and communication service module with portholes. The memorandum also stated that the European Space Agency will have three opportunities to send European astronauts to the “Gateway” lunar orbital station.
The United States is planning to build a lunar orbital space station called the “Gateway” and will invite project partners from the International Space Station to participate. US President Trump has signed the “Space Policy No. 1 Directive” and announced the United States’ “Return to the Moon Program”, that is, the United States will re-send astronauts to land on the moon and finally achieve a manned landing on Mars. The “Gateway” lunar orbiting space station is part of this plan. The mission of the station is to become an outpost for mankind to explore the moon and carry out manned missions to Mars.
Currently, Japan has expressed interest in joining. It is expected that SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch vehicle will send the Energy and Propulsion System (PPE) and Habitation and Logistics Module (HALO) of the “Gateway” space station to lunar orbit in 2023.
The Russian Aerospace Corporation and NASA signed an agreement on the joint construction of the lunar orbital station in 2017. But then Rogozin, president of the Russian Aerospace Corporation, said that Russia could not participate in the project because the role assigned by the US to Russia was not important enough.