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NASA shares first moon to Mars architecture concept review results

NASA has released the results of its first Architecture Concept Review aimed at aligning the agency's moon to Mars exploration strategy and developing a supporting architecture. The process has resulted in an Architecture Definition Document, as well as an executive summary, to provide a detailed look at NASA's moon to Mars architecture approach and development process. The agency's moon to Mars architecture represents the hardware and operations required for human missions to the moon and Mars, and how they function together as a system.

Milestone for NASA's Moon to Mars Strategy

NASA's Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy has called the first Architecture Concept Review a milestone for the agency's moon to Mars strategy. The process has provided a goal-based foundation upon which NASA can build its current and future exploration plans. Cathy Koerner, deputy associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said that the approach is designed to ensure exploration of the moon and Mars has staying power.

Supporting White Papers Released

Along with the Architecture Definition Document and executive summary, NASA has released six supporting white papers addressing frequently discussed exploration architecture topics. These papers will provide additional context and information for stakeholders interested in understanding the agency's approach to exploring the moon and Mars.

Moon to Mars Objectives

NASA released its revised moon to Mars Objectives in 2022 to help guide the agency's moon to Mars exploration approach. These objectives cover four broad areas: science, transportation and habitation, lunar and Martian infrastructure, and operations. They were informed by input from US industry, international space agencies, NASA's workforce, and others.

Architecture Definition Document

The Architecture Definition Document provides a detailed look at how current objectives are distilled into specific architecture elements. It describes the rockets, spacecraft, rovers, spacesuits, communications relays, and more that will be incrementally developed and delivered to the moon and Mars for long-term, human-led scientific discovery in deep space.

Yearly Architecture Concept Reviews Planned

NASA plans to conduct Architecture Concept Reviews every year to incorporate new technological capabilities and evolving objectives. These reviews will ensure that NASA's moon to Mars architecture remains up to date and that the agency's exploration plans are aligned with its objectives.

Artemis Program

Under the Artemis program, NASA plans to explore more of the moon than ever before. With the crew for Artemis II recently named, the agency plans to return humans to the moon and establish a cadence of missions starting at the lunar South Pole region. These missions will set up a long-term presence to inform future exploration of Mars and other potential destinations in the solar system.


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