24 August 2018
GeekWire reports that on Thursday, in a talk to NASA personnel at Johnson Space, Vice President Mike Pence enthusiastically backed a plan to put American astronauts on a new space station in lunar orbit by 2024. Pence said the Trump administration is collaborating with Congress on an initiative to maneuver NASA’s Lunar Orbital Platform – Gateway from “proposal to production.” The first portion of the outpost, known as the Power and Propulsion Element, is set to launch in 2022, with the first crewed launch of NASA’s Space Launch System scheduled for 2023. The 2023 mission entails sending astronauts around the moon and back via an Orion deep-space capsule. Pence suggested that a subsequent launch would have astronauts dock with the Gateway sometime the next year. “Our administration is working tirelessly to put an American crew aboard the Lunar Orbital Platform before the end of 2024. … It’s not a question of if. It’s just a question of when,” Pence said.
More Info (GeekWire)