NASA wants to have a stepping stone to Mars. The agency foresees building a mini space station will help them study Mars.

To further study the red planet, NASA plans to have a mini space station, Space reported. The mini space station for studying Mars is in lunar orbit for some reasons.

According to IFL Science, the mini space station will be built near the Moon in the year 2020. NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Bill Gerstenmaier revealed the idea of the national agency for getting to Mars.

The said mini space station will serve as a gate station for human missions to Mars. NASA will use the gate station for the sake of the astronauts in several space operations and as a landing place for every fly missions to Mars.

Meanwhile, the mini space station will be built on the first three launches of the Space Launch System or SLS mega rocket along with the Orion capsule. Eric Berger clearly stated that the first launch will be used to deliver a 40kW power and propulsion system, while the second would deliver the habitation module and the last will provide the logistics module.

NASA Headquarters' Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations William Gerstenmaier said that he envisioned both international and commercial partners to contribute to the mini space station. The gateway that would serve the variety of ways for Mars exploration.

Gersteinmaier further said, "The gateway could move to support robotic or partner missions to the surface of the moon." Also, the mini space station would be a great help to support missions in high lunar orbit departing from the Mars gateway of NASA going to other destinations in the solar system.

By 2013, the NASA will be working to bring astronauts to Mars for further exploration and study. The national agency believes that the mini space station is their key to make every mission successful.