NASA plans `gateway spacecraft` for Mars mission
London: NASA will build a manned base beyond the dark side of the moon as a "gateway spacecraft", to serve as a starting point for manned expeditions to Mars, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
It would remain permanently in space 277,000 miles from Earth - in context, the International Space Station is just 230 miles away.
The spaceship would expand man`s horizons - but it will require much problem-solving to figure out how to protect astronauts from radiation, and how to re-supply the ship from a quarter of a million miles away, the newspaper said.
NASA will likely use parts left over from the construction of the ISS, and will need to use the Space Launch System rocket to get the craft out of the atmosphere.
The launch project is currently being built at an estimated cost of $3 billion a year, and should be ready in 2017.
NASA then plans to begin building the moon outpost two years after that.
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