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NASA launched the "Moon to Mars" program office

The Space Operations Mission Directorate remains responsible for all space operations in low Earth orbit and focuses on the space station, space communications and navigation that support all of NASA's human exploration and science missions.

Amit Kshatriya is Deputy Associate Director of the Lunar to Mars Program Office at NASA's Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate. Credit: NASA
Amit Kshatriya is Deputy Associate Director of the Lunar to Mars Program Office in NASA's Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate. Credit: NASA

NASA established the The Office for the "Moon to Mars" Program at its headquarters in Washington to oversee the activities of manned flights to the Moon and Mars. The office will be led by Amit Kshatriya and will focus on hardware development, mission integration and risk management for programs such as the 'Artemis' missions. Key areas of development include, among others, the Space Launch System rocket, the Orion spacecraft, human landing systems, space suits and the gateway. The new office will also coordinate planning and analysis for future human missions to Mars. This is part of NASA's ongoing efforts to establish a long-term presence on the Moon and prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

The new office resides within the Manned Systems Development Task Force, and reports to its associate director, Jim Perry.

"The Lunar and Mars Program Office will help prepare NASA to carry out our bold missions to the Moon and land the first humans on Mars," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. "The golden age of research is happening right now, and this new office will help ensure that NASA successfully establishes the long-term presence on the Moon needed to prepare for humanity's next giant leap to the Red Planet."

As directed by NASA's 2022 Authorization Act, the Lunar and Mars Program Office focuses on hardware development, mission integration and risk management for programs critical to the agency's research approach using Artemis missions to the Moon to usher in a new era of scientific discovery and prepare for human missions to Mars. This includes the Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, ground support systems, human landing systems, space suits, Gateway, and more, related to deep space exploration. The new office will also lead planning and analysis of long-term developments to support human missions to Mars.

Kshatriya previously served as Acting Associate Deputy Director for Joint Research Systems Development, providing leadership and integration to several of the programs now housed in the new office.

Lakisha Hawkins will serve as the Deputy Lunar to Mars Program Office. As his deputy, Hawkins will support Kshatriya in all aspects of the day-to-day management and operations of the office. Steven Creech will serve as the office's technical deputy. In this role, Creech will be responsible for ensuring that technical issues are identified and brought to resolution across all offices and programs under the Mars Lunar Program Office.

Updates to the Task Force also include the Ministry of Strategy and Architecture which is developing the integrated master plan based on Moon targets for Mars of the agency, alongside NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Space Technology and Space Operations. With these changes, NASA will continue to lead the country in exploration while building a coalition of international partners in deep space with Artemis Agreements.

since its inception The task manager for research systems In September 2021, NASA worked diligently to assess and align two Human space flight organizations hers, while maintaining a focus on Artemis and other priorities of the agency's missions, including operations on the International Space Station, commercial crew and cargo and more.

The Space Operations Mission Directorate remains responsible for all space operations in low Earth orbit and focuses on the space station, space communications and navigation that support all of NASA's human exploration and science missions, as well as the continued development of a vibrant and expanding commercial space economy close to home. Space Operations also manages the Launch Services Program, the Commercial Crew Program, the Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program, human spaceflight capabilities, and other related resources.

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