New details about the Northrop lunar station

Northrop Grumman (NOC) has revealed some details of the production of the first module for the station in orbit of the Moon. The company has chosen a contractor for new communication technology and may acquire a good business in the future. In 2019, Northrop won a contract to build the first habitable module for the Gateway lunar station came as a surprise. Still, a module called HALO (Gateway Habitat and Logistics Outpost) is already under construction, and Northrop intends to complete its assembly and preparation for launch in 2024. 

The module is essential as the first part of an ambitious project of the most distant inhabited space outpost in the history of cosmonautics. And Northrop integrates the latest technologies into it with the prospect of many years of operation. It recently became known that the HALO module will use a space Wi-Fi router from the private company Solstar Space, an analog of a home router but adapted to work in space. It will provide communications within the module, connection to the Moon-Earth communication system, and, most importantly, contact with other modules. 

In addition to the difficulties with the placement of connectors and wiring, it was usually necessary to go into space and manually attach the plugs to the new module. There are no such problems with the wireless network because containers with experiments or other equipment do not have to the station. In the future, NASA plans to deploy a wireless network called LunaNet in lunar orbit, ensuring continuous communication of all spacecraft, including those launched, with the Earth. For Northrop, this is a new direction of the space Internet of Things. It cannot rule out that, eventually, Solstar Space will become part of Northrop.


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