NASA’s Stakeholder Collaborations Help Inform Moon to Mars Planning

Moon to Mars Objectives

Credit: NASA.

NASA released a revised version of its Moon to Mars Objectives, forming a blueprint for shaping exploration throughout the solar system. These guideposts in the agency’s Moon to Mars exploration approach will help shape NASA’s investments, as well as those of the agency’s industry and international partners, toward the Moon and beyond.

Starting with 50 draft objectives developed by agency leaders across mission directorates earlier this year, NASA invited its workforce, the public, industry, and the agency’s international partners to provide feedback and followed up with two workshops with industry and international partners to engage in further discussions.

The resulting revised 63 final objectives reflect a matured strategy for NASA and its partners to develop a blueprint for sustained human presence and exploration throughout the solar system. They cover four broad areas: science, transportation and habitation, lunar and martian infrastructure, and operations. The agency also added a set of recurring tenets to address common themes across objectives.

Under Artemis, NASA has set a vision to explore more of the Moon than ever before. With its Artemis I mission now on the launchpad, the agency plans to return humans to the Moon and establish a cadence of missions including at the lunar south polar region. These missions set up a long-term presence to inform future exploration of farther destinations, including Mars.

The Artemis campaign represents the capabilities and operations needed to safely conduct deep space science and exploration missions at the Moon and is tightly coupled with Mars mission planning. Science is a top priority of the Artemis missions along with key exploration technology objectives.

Following a successful Artemis I launch, NASA plans to send the first humans back to orbit the Moon with Artemis II no earlier than 2024, and to the lunar surface no earlier than 2025 on the Artemis III mission. NASA will use elements of Artemis to test systems and concepts for the journey to and from Mars. The follow-on Mars campaign will remain connected to the agency’s sustained presence on the lunar surface by using the Moon as a testbed.

The final framework objectives are available online at