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Human Space Exploration: The Moon, Mars, and BeyondAmerica is returning to the Moon in preparation for the first human footprint on Mars, guided by the U.S. Vision for Space Exploration. This presentation will discuss NASA's mission, the reasons for returning to the Moon and going to Mars, and how NASA will accomplish that mission in ways that promote leadership in space and economic expansion on the new frontier. The primary goals of the Vision for Space Exploration are to finish the International Space Station, retire the Space Shuttle, and build the new spacecraft needed, to return people to the Moon and go to Mars. The Vision commits NASA and the nation to an agenda of exploration that also includes robotic exploration and technology development, while building on lessons learned over 50 years of hard-won experience. Why the Moon? Many questions about the Moon's potential resources and how its history is linked to that of Earth were spurred by the brief Apollo explorations of the 1960s and 1970s. This new venture will carry more explorers to more diverse landing sites with more capable tools and equipment for extended expeditions. The Moon also will serve as a training ground before embarking on the longer, more difficult trip to Mars. NASA plans to build a lunar outpost at one of the lunar poles, learn to live off the land, and reduce dePendence on Earth for longer missions. America needs to extend its ability to survive in hostile environments close to our home planet before astronauts will reach Mars, a planet very much like Earth. NASA has worked with scientists to define lunar exploration goals and is addressing the opportunities for a range of scientific study on Mars. In order to reach the Moon and Mars within a lifetime and within budget, NASA is building on common hardware, shared knowledge, and unique experience derived from the Apollo Saturn, Space Shuttle and contemporary commercial launch vehicle programs. The journeys to the Moon and Mars will require a variety of vehicles, including the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle, which transports the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, and the Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle, which transports the Lunar Surface Access Module. The architecture for the lunar missions will use one launch to ferry the crew into orbit, where it will rendezvous with the Lunar Module in the Earth Departure Stage, which will then propel the combination into lunar orbit. The imperative to explore space with the combination of astronauts and robots will be the impetus for inventions such as solar power and water and waste recycling. This next chapter in NASA's history promises to write the next chapter in American history, as well. It will require this nation to provide the talent to develop tools, machines, materials, processes, technologies, and capabilities that can benefit nearly all aspects of life on Earth. Roles and responsibilities are shared between a nationwide Government and industry team. The Exploration Launch Projects Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center manages the design, development, testing, and evaluation of both vehicles and serves as lead systems integrator. A little over a year after it was chartered, the Exploration Launch Projects team is testing engine components, refining vehicle designs, performing wind tunnel tests, and building hardware for the first flight test of Ares I-l, scheduled for spring 2009. The U.S. Vision for Space Exploration lays out a roadmap for a long-term venture of discovery. This endeavor will inspire and attract the best and brightest students to power this nation successfully to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. If one equates the value proposition for space with simple dollars and cents, the potential of the new space economy is tremendous, from orbital space delivery services for the International Space Station to mining and solar energy collection on the Moon and asteroids. The Vision for Space Exploration is fundamentally about bringing the resources of the solar system within the economic sphere of humaind. Given the immense size of our solar system, the amount of available material and energy within it present an enormous economic opportunity.
Document ID
20070031727
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Sexton, Jeffrey D.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
April 6, 2007
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Meeting Information
Meeting: Purdue Pugwash: Social Responsibility in Science and Technology
Location: West Lafayette, IN
Country: United States
Start Date: April 6, 2007
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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