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NASA Reviews Comments on Moon to Mars Objectives

NASA received more than 1,000 ideas from a variety of communities to its deep space exploration objectives in development that will drive the agency’s approach to exploring the Moon and Mars.

The agency released a draft set of 50 objectives in mid-May, seeking input from U.S. industry, academia, international communities, employees, and others to ensure its framework for exploration, set to be finalized this fall, includes ideas and contributions from a range of stakeholders. The objectives span four categories of exploration, including transportation and habitation; lunar and Martian infrastructure; operations; and science.

“We’re thrilled with the broad engagement and strong response we received about the objectives. The feedback will be tremendously helpful as we refine our plans, identify where gaps may be, and seek to build stronger collaborations with our partners,” said Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. “We’re in the process now of reviewing responses, and we look forward to talking in more depth about many of the ideas.” 

NASA will host two stakeholder workshops to discuss the feedback with organizations which contributed ideas across all four categories that the agency identified as warranting further discussion. A late June workshop will include invitees from American industry, academia, and other U.S.-based communities. A July workshop will focus on the international community, including NASA’s international partners. NASA also plans to contact individuals who provided valuable inputs to singular categories for further discussion.

“Our goal is a human mission to Mars, with our time on the Moon helping us learn about our systems while doing critical science,” said Jim Free, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We want to make sure the architecture we develop, the capabilities we build, and the technologies we invest in all feed forward to that goal, and the feedback we received is helping us do that.”