Maybe you’re like me, and you’ve been excited about space exploration ever since reading a bunch of science journals when you were a kid, or maybe you grew up watching NASA space launches on television (or from your back balcony), or maybe you’ve been reading enough of my posts in which I ramble about the importance of space that now you’ve caught the bug, too. Whatever the case, if you want to have your voice heard about the space program, and especially NASA’s Moon to Mars campaign, this is your opportunity.

There is a public comment period open from now until May 31st for NASA’s defined objectives in the Moon to Mars program, which can all be found here: Moon to Mars Objectives. NASA has some details about the public comment period here: NASA Seeks Input. To make comments, go here: Feedback on the draft.

I’m working on a few of my own comments to submit by the deadline, and I would be happy to discuss the objectives here on the site, as well. This is a neat opportunity, and even if you don’t feel inclined to comment, I encourage you to check out the objectives, since they’ll be influencing what kinds of missions NASA funds over the course of the next couple of decades. I’ll close by highlighting the high level objectives from the draft:

  • Transportation and Habitation Goal: Develop and demonstrate an integrated system of systems to conduct a campaign of human missions to the Moon and Mars, living and working on the lunar and Martian surface, and a safe return to Earth.
  • Lunar Infrastructure (LI) Goal: Create Global Lunar Utilization infrastructure where U.S. industry and international partners can maintain continuous robotic and human presence on the lunar surface for a robust lunar economy without NASA as the sole user, while accomplishing Mars testing and science objectives.
  • Martian Infrastructure (MI) Goal: Create essential infrastructure to support initial human Mars demonstration.
  • Operations Goal: Conduct human missions on the surface and around the Moon followed by missions to Mars. Using a gradual build-up approach, these missions will demonstrate technologies and operations to live and work on a planetary surface other than Earth, with a safe return to Earth at the completion of the missions.
  • Exploration Science (ES) Goal: Conduct science on the Moon and in cislunar space, using integrated human and robotic methods and advanced techniques, to address high priority U.S. scientific questions about the Moon and to demonstrate methods for future science by astronauts beyond the Earth-Moon system.
  • Lunar/Planetary Science (LPS) Goal: Address those high priority planetary science questions which are best accomplished by on-site human explorers on the Moon and Mars, aided by robotic systems.
  • Heliophysics Science (HS) Goal: Address those high priority heliophysics science and space weather questions which are best accomplished using a combination of human explorers and robotic systems on the Moon and in cislunar space.
  • Biological and Physical Science (BPS) Goal: Understand fundamental biological effects when organisms are present in fractional-gravity and deep-space environments, to gain new scientific understanding and information to guide system development.
  • Astrophysics Science (AS) Goal: Preserve the far side of the Moon as a “radio-free zone” for future radio astronomy experiments.

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