This Week at NASA: Journey to Mars update, Rosetta Mission End and More

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden joined other leaders of the world's space agencies to discuss the latest technological breakthroughs and developments in space exploration at the 67th International Astronautical Congress, Sept. 26-30th in Guadalajara, Mexico.

At the event, NASA discussed new elements to its multi-phase Journey to Mars to extend the human footprint all the way to the Red Planet. NASA will continue operations aboard the International Space Station through 2024. Work currently underway aboard the station to encourage commercial development of low-Earth orbit, develop deep space systems, life support and human health is part of the Earth Reliant phase of the Journey to Mars. In the 2020s, during the Proving Ground phase when NASA steps out farther, the agency now plans to send an astronaut crew on a yearlong mission to a deep space destination near the moon. They will conduct activities to verify habitation and test our readiness for Mars. A round-trip robotic Mars sample return mission is being targeted for the 2020s, as part of the Earth Independent phase before finally sending humans on a mission to orbit Mars in the early 2030s. Also, Zurbuchen Named Head of NASA Science, Hubble Spots Possible Water Plumes on Europa, Rosetta's Mission Ends, and Armstrong Celebrates 70 Years of Flight Research.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.