NASA's Moon to Mars exploration programme

  • Thursday 16, January 2020 02:48 PM
Sharjah24 – Reuters: NASA's Moon to Mars exploration programme first proposed in 2015 consists of three phases.
The first, called 'Earth Reliant', involves using the International Space Station until 2024 to research deep space technologies, and study the effects of long-term space missions on the human body.

It also covers the development of the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System super heavy lift launch vehicle, or SLS.

The second phase, 'Proving Grounds', involves the creation of infrastructure in cislunar space such as the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway, to help the agency learn how to conduct operations in a deep space environment.

Missions to Mars and its moons would begin during 'Earth Independent', the third and final phase, which could see NASA using the Lunar Gateway and a spacecraft such as the Deep Space Transport.

According to Universe Today, a station in the Red Planet's orbit, like Lockheed Martin's proposed Mars Base Camp, could also be built to allow crewed missions to journey to the Martian surface.

Based on a White House directive, NASA will be aiming to land astronauts on the moon by 2024, and then on Mars by the 2030s.