NASA’s Path to Mars

Mars a rich destination for scientific discovery.
As we expand our presence into the solar systemwith robotic and human exploration
The formation and evolution of Mars will helpus learn more about our own planet’s history
and future. In its past the Red Planet had conditions
suitable for life, and future explorationmay uncover evidence of life, answering one
of the fundamental mysteries of humanity:Does life exist beyond Earth?At NASA, we’re reaching for new heights
so we remain the world’s leader inspace. . .
We’re pioneers and we always havebeen. And we’re building on that
pioneering sprit in science and technologyso that we make the world a better place,
so we create jobs right here on earth. NASA is developing the capabilities needed
to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 andto Mars in the 2030s. We’re building something that can go
lunar, something that can go to anasteroid, we can go to Mars with this,
this is the next step we’ve been lookingfor since the Apollo era.
Robotic explorers have studied Mars for morethan 40 years.
NASA’s path for the human exploration of Marsbegins in low-Earth orbit aboard the International
Space Station. Onboard the orbiting laboratory, astronauts
are helping us prove many of the technologiesand communications systems needed for human
missions into deep space. Well the crews right now on International
Space Station are using this wonderfuloutpost to help us get further and further
into space, to asteroids, to Marseventually, I think the science on station
ismaking incredible breakthroughs that are
going to help us make life better forpeople right here on Earth. We and our other international partner
crewmates are working off the planet forthe planet. NASA, along with our international
partners, conduct scientific researchevery day here on the station. We use this
orbiting laboratory as a stepping-stone forfuture deep space exploration.
In tandem with space station research. . . NASAwill send a robotic mission to capture and
redirect an asteroid to orbit the moon. Astronautsaboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft will explore
the asteroid and return to Earth with samples. This experience will help NASA test new systems
and capabilities, such as Solar Electric Propulsion,which will send cargo as part of human missions
to Mars. NASA’s new Space Launch System rocket will
enable these “proving ground” missions totest new capabilities. Human missions to Mars
will rely on Orion and an evolved versionof the Space Launch System, which will be
the most powerful rocket ever flown. With Orion and our heavy-lift Space
Launch System. . . we’re going to sendhumans into space farther than they’ve
ever gone before. This year’s Orion test flight will be the
most aggressive human spacecraft flightin more than forty years!Apollo happened before I was born so
this, for our generation, will be theexploration missions that we get to see in
our lifetime. A fleet of robotic spacecraft and rovers already
are on and around Mars, dramatically increasingour knowledge about the Red Planet and paving
the way for future human explorers. Future missions seeking signs of past life
will demonstrate new technologies that couldhelp astronauts survive on Mars. I think some of the most amazing things
that we are learning is actually how to bereally good detectives on another planet
which is a really difficult job. Engineers and scientists around the country
are working hard to develop the technologiesastronauts will use to one day live and work
on Mars. . . and then safely return home fromthe next giant leap for humanity. Through advanced aerospace
technologies, used in everything frommodern aircraft to suborbital rockets and
the commercial vehicles servicing lowEarth orbit today, we’re building the
machines to take us further into the highfrontier. NASA is here to raise the bar for human
achievement. We are a community dedicated to
research and discovery in service tosociety.
We have a responsibility to the futuregenerations of engineers, the future
generations of engineers, scientists,technologists, explorers, that’s our
challenge.

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