NASA has set up a new office called the Moon to Mars Program Office. This office will be located at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Its job is to make sure that NASA’s human exploration missions to the Moon and Mars go smoothly and benefit everyone on Earth, according to an official press release.
This office is part of the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate. It reports to Jim Free, who is the Associate Administrator of the directorate.
The new Moon to Mars Program Office will help NASA get ready for its exciting missions to the Moon and Mars. According to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, the agency intends to send humans to Mars for the first time.
Nelson further explained that this new office would make sure that NASA has a strong presence on the Moon, which will be an important step in preparing for the trip to Mars. We are living in a time of great exploration, and this new office will help make sure that NASA’s missions are successful.
Today, I announced the new Moon to Mars Program Office, reporting to me under Exploration Systems Development. The office will implement the schedule, budget, and architecture to build a long-term lunar presence and plan the long-lead items for human missions to Mars. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/XjHb7WnS8M
— Jim Free (@JimFree) March 30, 2023
Main focus of the ‘Moon to Mars’ Office
The Moon to Mars Program Office focuses on developing hardware, integrating missions, and managing risks for NASA’s exploration program. This program uses Artemis missions to explore the Moon and prepare for future missions to Mars.
The team is responsible for important aspects of space exploration, including the Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, ground systems, human landing systems, spacesuits, and Gateway. They also plan and analyze long-term developments needed for future human missions to Mars.
‘Moon to Mars’ Office Team
Amit Kshatriya, who previously worked as the acting deputy associate administrator for Common Exploration Systems Development, is now leading the new office.
As a leader, Kshatriya oversaw several programs that now fall under the Moon to Mars Program Office, according to NASA’s official press release.
Indian-origin software & robotics engineer, #AmitKshatriya has been appointed as 1st head of #NASA's new Moon to Mars Programme Office at agency's headquarters in Washington.
New office will also lead planning & analysis for long-lead developments to support human Mars missions. pic.twitter.com/GEX96Zymgl
— IANS (@ians_india) March 31, 2023
Additionally, Stephen Creech will serve as the technical deputy, ensuring that technical problems are resolved across all programs under the Moon to Mars Program Office.
The mission directorate has also undergone some updates, including the addition of the Strategy and Architecture Office. This team will work on a plan for achieving NASA’s Moon to Mars Objectives, along with other mission directorates for science, space technology, and space operations.
NASA aims to continue leading the nation in exploration and building a coalition of international partners in deep space, working together with the Artemis Accords, says the press release.
Role of NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate
NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate is responsible for managing all space operations in the lower Earth orbit. This includes the space station, space communications, and navigation.
These operations support all of NASA’s human and science exploration missions, as well as the development of a thriving commercial space economy closer to home.
In addition to this, Space Operations oversees the Launch Services Program, Commercial Crew Program, Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program, Human Spaceflight Capabilities, and other relevant resources, NASA reported in an official press release.
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