Universe

L1: New Space Station between Earth and Moon

While the end of the International Space Station is in sight, the ESA has obviously exciting plans for the next human outpost in space. The ideal place for the new space station is much further out.  Is going to be used as a base camp for the exploration of the moon.

It is the time, in the constellations in space are rearranged. Not her natural celestial bodies, but the human-induced. While the end of operation of the international space station (ISS) scheduled for 2024 is, ever ready to go China is the emerging space nation to place its own space station in outer space.

New Space Station between Earth and Moon
ESA and the architectural firm foster + partners design possible space station on the moon. She should be created by using 3D. Photo: ESA

European Space Agency ESA thinking ahead and confirmed plans for the nearest human outpost.

“We have barely scratched the surface of the moon.”

He would be much further out than so far, meet between the Earth and Moon and is equal to several purposes. From there, both the lunar exploration as well as the jump, or the trip in our solar system would be easier.

The British astronaut Tim Peake a week ago on the occasion of his return from the ISS in Cologne as a press conference gave the visions were given more food for a new space station.

The Lagrange points L1 to L5 in the Sun-Earth system
The Lagrange points L1 to L5 in the Sun-Earth system: the five points are the gravity of the Sun and Earth in the balance. There are these points between Earth and the moon. A European space station could be positioned securely on one of these points. Photo: Nasa

He would immediately go on a space mission, said Peake in the German astronaut Center. “The dream would be a moon mission. No astronaut would likely to reject that.”

Dave Parker, ESA is responsible for the manned space flight, the plans for a further exploration of the Moon, and in this context for the construction of a new space station are already tangible. “That would be our Habitat in deep space, a new place, where we learn, how we can live in space. A kind of base station, from where we will explore the solar system and the surface of the moon. ”

The new space station would initially accommodate an international team of four astronauts. You would have to cope with minimum resources, use solar energy, grow food, and recycle water and waste. “We want to return to the moon. We have scratched just its surface”, said Parker. It is now ready for the next mission, the ISS on the go. At the Ministerial Conference in Lucerne, later in the year, you will further discuss the issue, said Parker.

Position of the new space station at one of the Lagrangian points

While the ISS for 17 years the Earth, would be the place for the new space station deep in space, most likely at one of the Lagrangian points.

Named after Joseph Louis Lagrange points are places where between two celestial bodies, a gravitational equilibrium occurs so that a spacecraft at this point apparently remains. This means that there a few or even no maneuver for the correction of the place must be performed. Five such balance points (from L1 to L5) there are such systems, even in the earth-moon system.

Space Station between Earth and Moon
US Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong on July 20, 1969, on the Moon, taken by his colleague Edwin E. aldrin Jr. Now ESA wants to draw more interest of space travel on the Moon, which was poorly understood as ESA Manager Dave Parker. Photo: Nasa

L1 lies between Earth and the Moon, at a distance of 326,000 km (measured from the center of the Earth). From there, missions to the near side of the Moon could be coordinated perfectly and the astronauts could arrive within hours to the lunar surface.

On the other, the dark side of the Moon, lies the L2 point, 449.000 km away. Here is an ideal location to deploy radio telescopes, without interference from the Earth. L3 comes for a base camp not in question, because the point is in the earth moon system, on the other side of the Earth, 381.500 km away.

L4 and L5 are both close to the Moon in its orbit, and have the great advantage that a probe would hold their position there stable, without correction maneuver. However, gravitational disturbances with maneuvers should be compensated at L1 and L2. Detrimental for all Lagrange points is that fall outside the protective magnetosphere of the Earth, from the point of view of the astronauts. The threat of Solarwinde and cosmic radiation for humans would be enormous.