Connect With Exploration

Exploration Library

ESMD speeches
Speeches, Reports and Committees

Find reports and materials from Exploration committees, conferences, workshops and forums.

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Communications and Exhibits

NASA's Exploration Experience exhibit trailer

Find schedules for state tours of NASA traveling exhibits, or request a NASA speaker for an event.

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Education in Exploration

Materials to aid educators who want to use NASA in the classroom as part of their daily curriculum.

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Why We Explore

why do we explore?
Why Do We Explore?

From the time of our birth, humans have felt a primordial urge to explore -- to blaze new trails, map new lands, and answer profound questions about ourselves and our universe.

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About the Heavy Lift and Propulsion Technologies Study Team

    Heavy Lift and Propulsion NASA is taking a new approach to long-term exploration goals by strengthening technology development and laying the ground work for heavy lift liquid chemical propulsion systems to more efficiently further and sustain the course of human exploration through affordable space launches.

    The Heavy Lift and Propulsion Technology (HLPT) Study Team was established to formulate plans to improve performance and flexibility of the nation’s current heavy lift propulsion capabilities. Initial planning includes research and development of liquid chemical first stage launch propulsion, in-space engine demonstration and foundational propulsion research.

    The HLPT Study Team has outlined key objectives that will make it possible for NASA and the nation to affordably explore multiple destinations, including the moon, asteroids, Lagrange points, and Mars and its environs.

    This approach is designed with strategic goals that will create sustainable liquid chemical propulsion capabilities for NASA and for the nation––capabilities that are:
    • Affordable: reduce the annual cost of propulsion systems to enable multiple missions with multiple customers
    • Resilient: provide innovative research and development of chemical propulsion elements to enable heavy space lift, space transfer, and descent/ascent for multiple destinations
    • Transformational: create a competitive environment of multiple and emerging suppliers across the supply chain for improved capability and reduced cost (robust and right-sized industry base)
    • Available: demonstrate robust, low cost propulsion systems for operational readiness
    • Mutually beneficial: partner with the Department of Defense and commercial space launch companies to reap the benefits of economies of scale from a common national engine
    • Innovative: create opportunities for business, entrepreneurial companies and academia and engage the public in participating in this journey.

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