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NASA signs $1bn deal with Northrop Grumman to build studio apartment in lunar orbit with room for 3 vehicles

Timbo Bronze badge

"Why not a more or less circular orbit? Is this so the moon-bound ships can dock way out and "hitch a ride" down to low Moon orbit where the lander detaches for the final leg? Is it cheaper in fuel, even if further away much of the time in an emergency?"

I would assume that having a non-circular orbit, means the flight controllers can use the Moons gravity to maintain it's orbit without requiring "booster burns", when the orbital height gets a bit low.

This can save the need for fuel to be carried to HALO, in order to increase it's orbital height every once in a while (the ISS has to do this, as it's skimming Earths atmosphere which slows it down a little and it needs a "burn" to raise it's height - but getting fuel to the ISS is easy. Less so with the Moon).

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