Orbiting lunar 'spaceport' planned for 2020s
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A space station could be placed in cis-lunar orbit to act as a stepping-stone towards a trip to Mars.

According to reports, NASA is currently working together with other International Space Station (ISS) partners to plan the construction of a manned lunar space station.

This futuristic 'spaceport' would be designed to help mankind develop and test out the type of technologies that will be needed to reach Mars in the 2030s.

Back in February, representatives of the five space agencies met in Tsukuba, Japan to discuss the project and there are now indications that their plans could be finalized by as early as next year.

There are also strong indications that the station will be placed in a cis-lunar orbit which will take it as close as 900 miles and as far as 43,000 miles from the Moon during a single orbit.

The actual design of the outpost however has yet to be determined.