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"If we could conduct a yearlong crewed mission on this Deep Space Transport in cislunar space, we believe we will know enough that we could then send this thing, crewed, on a 1,000-day mission to the Mars system and back," said Gregory Williams, Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy and Plans, at NASA said at the Humans to Mars mission.
But NASA is also seriously considering a cislunar program.
Primarily operating in cislunar space--the volume of space around the moon featuring multiple possible stable staging orbits for future deep space missions--NASA will advance and validate capabilities required for humans to live and work at distances much farther away from our home planet, such as at Mars.
Those steps have not been universally embraced; members of Congress have repeatedly questioned NASA initiatives by asking, "How does this put us on a path to Mars?" But in contrast to the "flags and footprints" model, framing space strategy in terms of capabilities would bring benefits to Earth and prepare us to move outward to the rest of the solar system by first developing our own back yard--the Earth-Moon system, also known as cislunar space.
The Lunar Workshops include events on subjects as diverse as Scientific Opportunities in CisLunar Space (SOCS), Lunar Superconductor Applications (LSA) and LunarCubes (LCW).
First of all, with the conclusion of the moon race, governments have had little incentive to push further with manned exploration, given the enormous cost and risk of sending humans into cislunar space.
In the age when man has traversed cislunar landscapes, if senses are so sacralized as to treat them infallible, if perceptual prisons are not broken, if conceptual cages are not opened, if a flight on the wings of values is not undertaken, civilization will accelerate to ashes and dust.
The mission called for the probe to orbit the moon for over two months and then depart the cislunar region for a rendezvous with the asteroid Geographos.
"The Tennis Sport Science" Web site by Cislunar Aerospace: wings.ucdavis.edu/Tennis
The 84-pound space probe collected new data on the Van Allen radiation belts that would help others follow it into cislunar space.
NASA and Russian space agency Roscosmos had, in September, (http://www.ibtimes.com/nasa-teams-russia-build-space-station-around-moon-2594837) announced they were partnering to work on the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a NASA-led project which "is central to advancing and sustaining human space exploration goals, and is the unifying single stepping off point in our architecture for human cislunar operations, lunar surface access and missions to Mars."
"The feasibility is enabled by three key developments: the ability to discover and characterise an adequate number of sufficiently small near-Earth asteroids for capture and return; the ability to implement sufficiently powerful solar electric propulsion systems to enable transportation of the captured asteroid; and the proposed human presence in cislunar space in the 2020s enabling exploration and exploitation of the returned asteroid," the report detailed.
A cow catapulted into cislunar space is a powerful image from early childhood.
"The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway will give us a strategic presence in cislunar space.
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