NASA Planning Deep-Space Outpost Near the Moon

NASA to announce new manned moon missions? | Crave - CNET

It has been almost 40 years since the Apollo 17 mission last landed a man on the moon. It may not take anywhere near that long before we send astronauts back to the moon's neighborhood.

Space.com reports that NASA is seriously looking at sending out a new manned moon mission with the purpose of creating a manned outpost beyond the far side of moon and eventually visiting an asteroid in 2025. This may not physically land a human on the moon, but it would establish a deep space outpost as a base for research and missions.

NASA May Unveil New Manned Moon Missions Soon | Space.com

Artist's concept of astronauts in an Orion capsule helping direct robotic teleoperations on the moon's farside. CREDIT: Lockheed Martin

"NASA has been evolving its thinking, and its latest charts have inserted a new element of cislunar/lunar gateway/Earth-moon L2 sort of stuff into the plan," Logsdon told SPACE.com. (The Earth-moon L2 is a so-called libration point where the two bodies' gravitational pulls roughly balance out, allowing spacecraft to essentially park there.) [Gallery: Visions of Deep-Space Station Missions]

NASA Eyes Plan for Deep-Space Outpost Near the Moon

The Lagrange points for the Earth-moon system. NASA is evaluating an early mission with the Orion capsule placed at Earth-moon L2. Astronauts parked there could teleoperate robots on the lunar farside.
CREDIT: David A. Kring, LPI-JSC Center for Lunar Science and Exploration

Could moon outpost propel space travel? Fmr. Astronaut Leroy Chiao weighs in – Early Start with John Berman & Zoraida Sambolin - CNN.com Blogs

What if astronauts were to return to the moon? Decades after man first landed on the moon, Space.com is reporting that it’s possible.
A space policy expert told the website that plans are in the works by NASA to travel back to the vicinity of the moon and create a manned outpost there in order to learn more about future deep-space travel. The manned outpost could eventually be used as a staging area for future missions to the moon. This morning on "Early Start," fmr. Astronaut and International Space Station Commander Leroy Chiao explains.

NASA to deploy water-seeking robot on Moon in 2017, manned lunar base could be next | The Verge

50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy told the United States that man would go to the moon. Soon, another American president may announce that the same celestial body will serve as a waypoint for manned space exploration. The Verge has learned that NASA intends to deploy a robotic lunar rover on the Moon in 2017 to search for water and other resources necessary for space travel, and that NASA may have secured support from the White House for an actual manned outpost — a space station — floating above the far side of the moon. Rumors of such a deep-space outpost surfaced as early as February of this year, when a leaked memo from a NASA administrator detailed an idea to build a "human-tended waypoint" at Earth-Moon Lagrange Point 2 (EML-2): a point in space where balanced gravitational forces allow an object to remain in stationary orbit relative to both the Earth and the Moon. From there, NASA could launch missions deeper into space — say, to Mars, or a near-Earth asteroid — using the base as a stepping stone.