Los Angeles Times: The next major mission for NASA may be a gateway spacecraft, which would be positioned at the second Earth–Moon Lagrange point, L2, some 445 000 km from Earth. (The current space station orbits at about 320 km from Earth.) From that location, astronauts could send robots to the Moon’s surface to gather rocks or study nearby asteroids. The outpost could also serve as a jumping-off point for trips to Mars’s moons or even to Mars itself. The biggest obstacle to such a mission will be the cost, which could run to tens of billions of dollars. Also of major concern is safety because of the remoteness of the location and the dramatically higher levels of radiation to which the astronauts would be exposed.