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Marshall Missions

From rocket engines to 3-D printing in space, Marshall Space Flight Center capabilities and experience are essential to nearly every facet of NASA’s mission of exploration and discovery about Earth, the sun, the solar system and beyond.

An enormous swirling vortex of hot gas glows with infrared light, marking the approximate location of the supermassive black hole at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy.

Active Programs and Missions

The Marshall team is leading development of NASA’s Space Launch System — the most powerful rocket ever built — to carry human explorers, their equipment and science payloads deeper into space than ever before, to an asteroid and to Mars.

The center’s experience building elements of the International Space Station and managing the astronauts’ work on the growing number of science programs in orbit is advancing the technology and knowledge about living and working in space that are vital for deep-space missions and a journey to Mars.

Marshall is also developing safe, affordable space vehicles, telescopes, instruments and other systems that use the unique vantage point of space to look back at Earth and out into the universe. All these efforts increase understanding and create real benefits for life on Earth, while preparing the way for long-term, high-value research and discovery missions in deep space.

Active Marshall Programs and Missions


NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher at Launch 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Space Launch System

Astronaut on planetary surface.

Human Landing System

Illustration of the Chandra X-ray Observatory spacecraft


Illustration of the Lucy spacecraft near a large asteroid with Jupiter visible in the distant background

Planetary Missions Program Office

Hinode spacecraft



Centennial Challenges

Low-Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) on a ship deck after reentry after the demo on November 10, 2022.

Technology Demonstration Missions

Past Missions

Marshall’s legacy in rocket engineering includes providing the Saturn rockets that powered Americans to the moon and the Lunar Roving Vehicle that aided exploration of the moon; managing the development of Skylab, America’s first space station; developing space shuttle propulsion systems and experiments, including Spacelab; building the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory; and building the International Space Station’s laboratory modules and experiment facilities and operating station science experiments.

In addition to these major programs, Marshall has built many smaller science experiments and conducts science in a variety of disciplines. Marshall’s expertise in building large space systems and unique interdisciplinary approach to problem solving brings scientific and engineering expertise together, providing answers that improve life on Earth and provide a foundation for deep space exploration.

Past Marshall Missions

The photograph shows Saturn V S-IC flight stages being assembled in the horizontal assembly area at the MAF.




Lunar Roving Vehicles

A picture of the space shuttle during takeoff

Space Shuttle

The Hubble Space Telescope hovers at the boundary of Earth and space in this picture, taken after Hubble second servicing mission in 1997.

Hubble Space Telescope

ISS Modules

Future Missions

What’s next? As we ready NASA’s SLS mega rocket for its first crewed missions to the Moon, we’re working on a small but mighty rocket to liftoff from Mars. We’re coming up with new ways to build humanity’s first home on another planet, to push even farther into space, and discover the extreme universe beyond.

We are embracing the arc of change – building a community of partners to solve challenges at the cutting edge of aerospace. Together, we are creating new opportunities and redefining what’s possible in space.

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher at Launch 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Artemis I mission is the first integrated test of the agency’s deep space exploration systems: the Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, and supporting ground systems. The mission is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions to the Moon. Launch of the uncrewed flight test is targeted for no earlier than Sept. 3 at 2:17 p.m. ET. With Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before.