This vertical treadmill is used to develop exercise countermeasures for keeping astronauts healthy in microgravity. It is also used to study human mobility in partial gravity environments on the moon and Mars.The Advanced Capabilities Division (ACD) provides the knowledge, technology, and innovation that will enable current and future exploration missions. ACD is composed of three major programs: the Lunar Precursor Robotic Program (LPRP), Human Research Program (HRP), and the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). These ACD programs and their projects provide knowledge as a result of ground-based research and technology development, research conducted in space, and observations from robotic flight missions. ACD also develops and matures advanced technology, integrates that technology into prototype systems, and transitions knowledge and technology to the Constellation Program. Through its activities, ACD provides operational and technical risk mitigation for Constellation Projects.
The LRO will provide detailed mapping for human landing site selection. A secondary payload, the LCROSS, will observe the impact of its rocket stage into the Moon to determine if water is present in the plume of ejected material.Maturing relevant new technologies will allow NASA to place Orion, the crew vehicle, into service as soon as possible after the Space Shuttle's retirement. These technologies include structures, thermal protection systems, propulsion, life support systems, capabilities for using localized resources, and many others that will enable future human and robotic exploration missions. Both ground-based and ISS-based research will support these development efforts.