Space Exploration Overhaul: Next Five Years ‘Critical’

After decades of sending probes across the void of interplanetary space, officials are now reshaping how solar system exploration is accomplished. The renovation is due in large measure to the visionary Moon, Mars and beyond directive given to NASA by U.S. President George W. Bush just more than a year ago. While money and mandate are in a state of near-rendezvous, the melding of space science objectives with human exploration goals is still to be fully played out, as is the prospect of broader international collaboration. “The scientific exploration agenda NASA has been pursuing for the past decade or so is bearing enormous fruit, providing key early inputs to how NASA implements the vision,” said James Garvin, NASA Chief Scientist in Washington, D.C. “Initial robotic steps in the vision implementation will inform and guide future decisions that will ultimately steer how human beings explore the Moon and Mars.”