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Taking the Vision to the Next Step
Artist's concept of lunar exploration NASA is taking the next steps in moving The Vision for Space Exploration from concept to reality. Working with the best in the aerospace industry, the agency is already exploring and refining the concepts that will help America return to the Moon, and ultimately travel to Mars and beyond.

Image left: The presentation from tSpace (Transformational Space Corporation) proposes using cargo canisters to create extra space for lunar habitats. Photo credit: tSpace.

On Sept. 1, 2004, NASA tapped 11 companies (list at left) to conduct preliminary concept studies for human lunar exploration and the development of the crew exploration vehicle.

"These study contracts reflect NASA's new commitment to find the best outside expertise that will work in partnerships to benefit the nation's goals for space exploration," said retired Navy Rear Adm. Craig E. Steidle, Associate Administrator of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate.

"We are developing a sustained and affordable human and robotic program that will explore the solar system and beyond. We will accomplish this using the same ingenuity, commitment and unwavering determination that forged the success of the Apollo program," said Steidle.

Each of the contractors has presented unique ideas about the space transportation systems needed for future journeys. You can explore the presentations yourself, or visit the companies' Web sites, by clicking the links below.

Andrews Space: 2.3 Mb PDF | Web site
Boeing: 1.5 Mb PDF | Web site
Draper/MIT team: 1.4 Mb PDF | Web site
Lockheed-Martin: 2.1 Mb PDF | Web site
Northrop Grumman: 1.7 Mb PDF | Web site
Orbital Sciences: 1.2 Mb PDF | Web site
Raytheon: 1.1 Mb PDF | Web site
SAIC: 1.6 Mb PDF | Web site
Schafer: 1.6 Mb PDF | Web site
Spacehab: 1.4 Mb PDF | Web site
tSpace: 6.7 PDF | Web site