Golly, in the midst of all the Loony Side Of Left going Bat Shit Crazy over anyone who ever talked to a Russian or drank Vodka, we have this news (bolding by me):
September 27, 2017 16:22 GMT
U.S., Russia To Cooperate On Lunar Base, Orbiting Station
The U.S. and Russian space agencies have announced a new collaboration to build a space station orbiting the moon, a rare glimpse of bilateral cooperation amid bitter tension between Washington and Moscow.
NASA and Roscosmos said in statements released on September 27 that the two entities had signed an agreement to work together on a project that will eventually serve as a “gateway to deep space and the lunar surface.”
NASA has dubbed the long-term project the Deep Space Gateway, a multistage effort to explore, and eventually send humans, farther into the solar system.
The two countries’ space agencies will cooperate to build the systems needed for both the lunar-orbiting station and a base on the moon’s surface, Roscosmos said.
Golly! Maybe there IS some hope after all. A lunar base and a lunar orbital way-point opens up all sorts of opportunities. It may be a few decades after 2001 before it’s done, but at least we’re headed back to the Moon, at last…
Details and schedule ought to be interesting. I also find it interesting that they have both an orbital and a stationary portion. That implies staging in orbit for various destinations…