Human Space Exploration Goes Global

While NASA wrestles with out-of-control costs and program management woes embedded within the International Space Station (ISS) project, behind-the-scenes efforts are underway to shape long-range space goals. One such endeavor involves NASA, industry, and Russian space engineers hammering out a humans-to-Mars mission, backed by funding from the U.S. Department of State. With little fanfare, American, Russian, and European study teams have begun to sketch out the space infrastructure needed to sustain human exploration around Earth, as well as support outbound traffic to other destinations, including Mars.