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No to NASA's gateway, but yes to China



  During a discussion presented by the International Academy of Astronautics in Washington, DC, Apollo 11 Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin remembers how enthusiastically he and his crew members were greeted on a goodwill mission during a post-mission tour. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)
During a discussion presented by the International Academy of Astronautics in Washington, DC, Apollo 11 Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin recalls how he and his crewmembers thrilled during a post-mission tour Goodwill tour were welcomed. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

WASHINGTON, DC – Apollo 11 Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin says that the outpost of the orbiting gate, which plays a key role in NASA's vision, is to land astronauts on the moon by 2024, is not required.

Instead, he imagines a differently configured transportation system that makes use of it. Commercial missiles under the leadership of a "Space Exploration Alliance," which includes China and NASA's current partners.

"I'm not a big person." Fan of the Gateway, "Aldrin said today during a panel discussion held by the International Astronautics Academy at this week's International Astronautical Congress in Washington. "I do not think we need a permanent structure around the moon."

Aldrin was friends with critics claiming that the Gate's benefits as a stopover for moon-bound astronauts are outweighed by its limitations and billions in costs.

] NASA has objected to this criticism that the Gateway is a key element of a Moon Mission puzzle, which includes the Orion Space Capsule and a launching missile called the Space Launch System (SLS). In order to meet the White House deadline of 2024 for a moon landing, NASA will initially rely on a slimmed-down gateway and expand the structure in the following years.

NASA must procure a lunar Lander and a transfer vehicle to bring the lander from the gateway's highly eccentric lunar orbit to a lower, circular orbit.

Aldrin saw this as a mistake, not a feature. "SLS can not put Orion into lunar orbit with a certain maneuverability – and so we have to dive into an orbit that is not close enough, and now we have to build a big spaceship," he complained. "A landing requires three spaceships."

Alternatively, Aldrin proposed the construction of a reusable orbit ship to transport the astronauts and their equipment from orbit to lunar orbit and back. "I call it Buzzcraft," he said.

The concept is similar to Aldrin's long-recommended spacecraft system for Mars missions.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Missiles or Blue Origins new Glenn heavy-duty missiles still to be built could be used to send astronauts to the trans-orbit ship, and the space launch system could be used to ship cargo as needed.

Aldrin acknowledged that it would be difficult to radically change NASA architecture for the upcoming Artemis lunar missions.

"We can not cancel SLS, we all know that," said Aldrin. "Politics and persistence of big corporations … lobbyists … congress … that messed up our program."

In the long run, he said it would make more sense for the space nations of the world to pool their efforts under the auspices of The Space Exploration Alliance. According to Aldrin, such an alliance should include NASA and its traditional space partners, including Russia, the European Space Agency and Japan. He said that this should include China, which was largely excluded from cooperative space efforts because of US law.

China has its own plans for missions to the Moon and Mars, as does SpaceX.

It will require a larger international organization to bring consensus to a plan, "Aldrin said. "What is the exploration plan? Who can offer something? … how do we make decisions? I do not think the United States is a good model for it. I do not know what that is, but that's a big challenge. He said the alliance could target private space companies including billionaire Elon Musk SpaceX, Blue Origin's Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and the United Launch Alliance, a Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture To implement consensus vision into reality.

"I'm not sure if SpaceX, working with NASA or Blue Origin, working with NASA, will change things a lot. They will do their thing, "Aldrin said," but if there is this Space Exploration Alliance … working somewhere, there are now more markets, there are more reasons for SpaceX and Blue Origin to connect with the rest of the world

Finally, the alliance "Should make room for India, Australia, the Emirates" and other units that can advance space exploration, said Aldrin.

based on the wishes of return

However the international climate for cooperation evolved, the 89-year-old space pioneer said that time was crucial.

"At almost 90 … I can tell you, time is precious Resource, "said Aldrin," We've spent a lot of time with wishful thinking over the last 40 years, so I think if you had every Moonlit and Apollo astronaut here today, they would all say, "Enough Wu think again! Let's get back into action! High national purpose, the moon and Mars!

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