Status Report

Briefing Charts: NASA Associate Administrator Craig Steidle, Office of Exploration Systems

By SpaceRef Editor
March 2, 2004
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The Nation’s Vision

  1. Return the Shuttle to safe flight as soon as practical, based on CAIB recommendations
  2. Use Shuttle to complete ISS assembly
  3. Retire the Shuttle after assembly complete (2010 target)
  4. Focus ISS research to support exploration goals; understanding space environment and countermeasures
  5. Meet foreign commitments
  6. Undertake lunar exploration to support sustained human and robotic exploration of Mars and beyond
  7. Series of robotic missions to Moon by 2008to prepare for human exploration
  8. Expedition to lunar surface as early as 2015 but no later than 2020
  9. Use lunar activities to further science, and test approaches (including lunar resources) for exploration to Mars& beyond
  10. Conduct robotic exploration of Mars to prepare for future expedition
  11. Conduct robotic exploration across solar system to search for life, understand history of universe, search for resources
  12. Conduct advanced telescope searches for habitable environmentsaround other stars
  13. Demonstrate power, propulsion, life support capabilities for long duration, more distant human and robotic missions
  14. Conduct human expeditions to Mars after acquiring adequate knowledge and capability demonstrations
  15. Develop a new Crew Exploration Vehicle; flight test before end of decade; human exploration capability by 2014
  16. Separate cargo from crew as soon as practical to support ISS; acquire crew transport to ISS after Shuttle retirement
  17. Pursue international participation
  18. Pursue commercial opportunity for transportation and other services

Key Elements of the Nation’s Vision


  • Implement a sustainedand affordablehuman and robotic program
  • Extend human presence across the solar system and beyond–Develop supporting innovative technologies, knowledge, and infrastructures
  • Promote international and commercial participation in exploration

Major Milestones

  • 2008: Initial flight test of CEV
  • 2008: Launch first lunar robotic orbiter
  • 2011: First Unmanned CEV flight
  • 2014: First crewed CEV flight
  • 2015: Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter (JIMO)/Prometheus
  • 2015-2020: First human mission to the Moon

SpaceRef staff editor.