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LSSW: The NASA Exploration Introduction March 18, 2009

Posted by Nick Azer in Lunar Surface Systems Workshop, NASA.

It’s time today for the first feature in my new series of coverage of the NASA Lunar Surface Systems Workshop presentations.

First up to the plate is the brief introduction by Doug Cooke, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. At 5 slides, the presentation isn’t a whopper like many from this forum were, but it still manages to hold some goodies.

It begins with a straightforward summary of the foundation of NASA’s exploration policy:

  • Complete the ISS
  • Safely fly the  Space Shuttle until 2010
  • Develop and fly the ‘Crew Exploration Vehicle’ (the Orion)
  • Extend the human presence in space
  • Implement a “sustained & affordable” human+robotic program

And, perhaps most significantly:

  • Promote international+commercial participation in Exploration

The last point, highlighted in the presentation, ties into some of the main themes of President Obama’s campaign space plan–in particular, Obama’s desire to “reach out to include international partners and to engage the private sector to amplify NASA’s reach”. NASA is also currently studying the idea of an International Lunar Network: a system of infrastructure nodes installed across the lunar globe by different nations and organizations. The linked page there sets a 2013 start date for the ILN.

The best visual treat is embedded below (click for larger):


That is NASA’s roadmap outlook for the development of the lunar exploration program. The most interesting aspect is the ~2018 era, where development is complete and the Lunar Outpost Buildup begins (running through 2025).

The rest of the presentations for the workshop are an overview of, and concepts for, all the technology that will compose the actual outpost as it builds over that 2018-2025 period. So, stay tuned, as all the best details on that are soon to come here at Luna C/I :)



1. LSSW: NASA’s John Olson Presents Exploration and Architecture Plans, In Brief « Luna C/I: Moon Colonization and Integration - March 19, 2009

[…] The presentation begins with some introductory content–why explore the Moon, and more on the partnerships potential detailed in the first presentation.  […]

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