A Sneak Peek at NASA’s Plans for Exploring Mars and Beyond

NASA has long been hungry to put the Earth in an astronaut’s rear view mirror. Today the agency finds itself embroiled in the sticky business of sorting out the financial, technical and scientific woes resident within the multi-billion dollar International Space Station (ISS) program. Putting that turmoil aside, the space agency has quietly scripted a step-by-step plan to send astronauts to locales between Earth, the Moon and the Sun, to Mars and the asteroids, and even farther — to the moons of several outer planets.