The Space Operations Mission Directorate maintains a continuous human presence in space for the benefit of people on Earth. The programs within the directorate are the heart of NASA’s humans space exploration efforts, enabling Artemis, commercial space, science, and other agency missions through communication, launch services, research capabilities, and crew support.
The programs within the directorate are the heart of NASA’s humans space exploration efforts, enabling Artemis, commercial space, science, and other agency missions through communication, launch services, research capabilities, and crew support.
Commercial Crew Program
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is delivering on its goal of safe, reliable, and cost-effective human transportation to and from the International Space Station from the United States through a partnership with American private industry.
NASA continues to enable the growth of commercial space age through public-private partnerships. Building on the success of cargo and crew, NASA is working with industry on commercially owned and operated space stations.
NASA’s Human Research Program harnesses the International Space Station to carry out science experiments that show how the human body changes in space. Results of the investigations will help carry astronauts on future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
For more than 22 years, humans have lived and worked on humanity's home in low Earth orbit. The International Space Station Program brings together international flight crews, multiple rockets and spacecraft, global facilities, communications networks, and the international research community.
NASA’s Launch Services Program is responsible for launching uncrewed rockets delivering spacecraft that observe the Earth, visit other planets and explore the universe – from weather satellites to telescopes to Mars rovers and more.
NASA’s Rocket Propulsion Test Program Office provides the program management structure necessary to optimize use of NASA’s chemical rocket propulsion test assets while ensuring an agency core capability for all aspects of chemical rocket propulsion testing is maintained.
NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program serves as the program office for all of NASA’s space communications operations. Over 100 missions rely on SCaN’s two networks, the Near Space Network and the Deep Space Network.
Every day since Nov. 2, 2000, people have been orbiting our planet inside the International Space Station, bringing together science, technology and human innovation to enable new technologies and research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. NASA is working with its commercial and international partners to maintain humanity’s presence in space and extended that work beyond low Earth orbit to the Moon in preparation for Mars exploration as part of Artemis.
NASA astronaut Drew Feustel is pictured tethered to the International Space Station just outside of the Quest airlock during a spacewalk he conducted with fellow NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold (out of frame) on June 14, 2018.
Space Operations Leadership
Space Operations Mission Directorate Leadership Team
The mission of Space Flight Awareness is to ensure that each and every employee involved in human space flight is aware of the importance of their role in promoting astronaut safety and mission success.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts participate in a training session at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. From left to right: NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-4 mission specialist Jessica Watkins; NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-4 pilot Robert “Bob” Hines; NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-4 commander Kjell Lindgren; and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and Crew-4 mission specialist Samantha Cristoforetti of Italy.