NASA gets Trump's approval to plan trip to Mars

Posted at 5:06 PM, Sep 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-27 17:06:53-04

(RNN) - The U.S. and Russia have announced a NASA-led partnership to build the first-ever lunar space station.

The project is part of a larger effort called the "Deep Space Gateway," which hopes to eventually send humans to Mars and perhaps farther into the solar system, according to The Guardian.

A spaceport will be built in lunar orbit serving as a "gateway to deep space and the lunar surface," NASA writes.

NASA's targets have moved with the rise and fall of each presidency. While George W. Bush wanted the U.S. to return to the moon by 2020, Barack Obama scrapped those plans, instead opting for a more Mars-focused plan. The Trump presidency has brought the Moon back to center stage, with manned visits a possibility in the not-so-distant future.

The Russian equivalent to NASA, Roscosmos, said that an agreement between the two nations had been signed, detailing the initial steps in a statement.

 “The partners intend to develop international technical standards, which will be used later, in particular to create a space station in lunar orbit,” the Russian agency writes.

The agency said that Russian design will be used to create the station's docking units, as well as future portions of the lunar station.

“Roscosmos and NASA have already agreed on standards for a docking unit of the future station," Roscosmos writes. "Taking into account the country’s extensive experience in developing docking units, the station’s future elements will be created using Russian designs.”

NASA said they want to send humans to Mars by the 2030s, and hope to offer plans to colonize the red planet later.

Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.