As NASA moves forward with plans to send astronauts to the Moon under Artemis missions to prepare for human exploration of Mars, the agency is calling on U.S. industry, academia, international communities, and other stakeholders to provide input on its deep space exploration objectives.
NASA released a draft set of high-level objectives Tuesday, May 17, identifying 50 points falling under four overarching categories of exploration, including transportation and habitation; Moon and Mars infrastructure; operations; and science. Comments are due to the agency by close of business on Tuesday, May 31.
“The feedback we receive on the objectives we have identified will inform our exploration plans at the Moon and Mars for the next 20 years,” said Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. “We’re looking within NASA and to external stakeholders to help us fine-tune these objectives and be as transparent as possible throughout our process. With this approach, we will find potential gaps in our architecture as well as areas where our goals align with those from industry and international partners for future collaboration.”
At this time, no formal request for information or other procurement activity is anticipated for this effort, which is managed by a team in the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
“These objectives will move us toward our first analog Mars mission with crew in space and prepare us for the first human mission to the surface of the Red Planet,” said Jim Free, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate. “After reviewing feedback on the objectives, we will work with our partners to discuss input and finalize our framework this fall.”
The agency will host two stakeholder workshops to discuss feedback on the draft objectives. The first is planned for June with partners from American industry and academia, who will be invited based on NASA’s interest in their feedback to the objectives, followed by a second workshop in July with international organizations.
Comments are also being solicited from the NASA workforce to contribute to the updated objectives through internal agency processes.