We talk a lot about going to The Moon again, but what about very high Earth orbit, say geostationary and beyond? Are there any plans for crewed missions? If so, what would their goals have been?

I'm looking for missions that are either currently in the planning process or were recently considered (say, post Constellation program). I am specifically looking for non-Lunar orbit or landing missions, but I am OK with missions beyond The Moon, say to a Lagrange point.

Edit: I just realized how specific I need to be. I mean a sort of "Earth Neighbourhood" type mission. So not to anywhere, just to space. Thus Mars missions are out.

  • $\begingroup$ Is there something that can be done only in a manned mission and only in a very high orbit? Something not possible in a low orbit? $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    May 8, 2020 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ Some kind of salvaging or servicing mission to GEO? Like this? space.nss.org/wp-content/uploads/… $\endgroup$ May 8, 2020 at 17:50
  • $\begingroup$ What ever happened to the Asteroid Redirect Mission? and searching this site for space.stackexchange.com/search?q=obama returns many posts that discuss plans for crewed flight beyond The Moon. By the way are you looking for the term cislunar? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 8, 2020 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ The Apollo missions are the only experience we have keeping a crew alive outside the Van Allen radiation belts. But they lasted days, far shorter than what is needed for Mars, or for a long-term lunar presence. The ISS and other stations have all been in low Earth orbit, inside the radiation belts and frequently resupplied. A long-term, high Earth orbital mission would give the science and engineering experience needed for longer missions beyond LEO. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    May 8, 2020 at 20:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MichaelStachowsky: Yes, but less dangerous than the actual (Mars/moon) missions it would prepare for. You could abort to Earth's surface quickly in an emergency. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    May 9, 2020 at 0:13


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