In recent weeks, NASA officials have tried to actively promote their proposed Gateway, which will serve as a space station in remote orbit near the Moon. The agency proposed this intermediate step instead of returning directly to the lunar surface with people. The agency even began to view Gateway as a “spacecraft” because it sounds even cooler than the “station”.
Mike Griffin, a former NASA administrator under the presidency of George W. Bush, was asked what he thought of these plans. Griffin currently serves as Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Development, and he was not shy about expressions.
“I think the year 2028 is so late that the plan should not even be laid out on the table. This date does not show that the United States is the leader at least somewhere. It’s 2018 now. It took us eight years to reach the moon for the first time, and now you want to tell me that it will take us ten, twelve or fourteen years to do it again when we know how to do it? I give up”.
Griffin also booed Gateway’s concept, saying that there was no point in building a lunar station until the technical need for such a station appeared.
“The architecture that they want to introduce, the creation of a Gateway before we step onto the surface of the Moon is, from the point of view of a space systems engineer, a stupid architecture,” he says. “The gateway will be useful when — but not before — we will produce fuel on the moon and bring it to the depot in lunar orbit.” We should hurry back to the moon and learn how to use the resources of the nearest object to the Earth. ”
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