The Vision for Space Exploration

As a primary research and development center for NASA, Glenn has made significant contributions human space programs such as Apollo, the Space Shuttle, and the International Space Station. As NASA moves forward to fulfill The Vision for Space Exploration, Glenn is focusing efforts related to Space Exploration Systems the areas of space power, propulsion, communications and microgravity and biomedical sciences.

In 2005, NASA will continue to bring the Vision for Space Exploration to reality by returning the Space Shuttle safely to flight, continuing International Space Station expeditions, sending another spacecraft to Mars and developing the technologies needed to further explore the Earth, Moon, Mars and beyond. Join us at the Visitor Center as we continue our popular 'Third Saturday' special event series and learn more about planned robotic and human exploration of the solar system.

'Into the Cosmos'

With a minimum of two lunar missions per year, momentum will build quickly toward a permanent outpost. Crews will stay longer and learn to exploit the moon's resources, while landers make one way trips to deliver cargo. Eventually, the new system could rotate crews to and from a lunar outpost every six months.

Planners are already looking at the lunar south pole as a candidate for an outpost because of concentrations of hydrogen thought to be in the form of water ice, and an abundance of sunlight to provide power.

These plans give NASA a huge head start in getting to Mars. We will already have the heavy-lift system needed to get there, as well as a versatile crew capsule and propulsion systems that can make use of Martian resources. A lunar outpost just three days away from Earth will give us needed practice of "living off the land" away from our home planet, before making the longer trek to Mars.

As President Bush said when he announced the Vision for Space Exploration, "Humans are headed into the cosmos." Now we know how we'll get there.

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