Last month NASA officials gave a series of presentations about the space agency’s deep-space exploration plans to the NASA Advisory Council’s Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Committee. I have excerpted slides from those presentations to provide an overview of what the space agency is planning.
NASA’s planning is divided into three phases, beginning with the testing of life support and other systems on the International Space Station and continuing with operations in cislunar space. The final stage involves the exploration of Mars.
The habitat module would be part of a proposed Deep Space Gateway that would operate in cis-lunar space. NASA is talking to nations who are already partners in the International Space Station about these plans.
The government is providing a number of technologies for the prototype habitats the companies are building.
The PPE module would be the first element of the Deep Space Gateway. NASA has let five study contracts to industry.
NASA is also developing the Resource Prospector mission to conduct the first mining operations on another world. The rover will search for lunar volatiles and demonstration ISRU processing of lunar regolith.
Another aspect of NASA’s deep-space planning is Lunar CATALYST, a program under which it is working with three companies that want to deliver experiments and payloads to the lunar surface.
The preceding is merely a sampling of presentations delivered last month. To learn more, you can download the complete PowerPoint presentations here.