NASA Announces Moon To Mars Program Office

Written By: Zac Aubert

Published: Thu, Mar 30, 2023 4:53 PM

Latest Update: Thu, Mar 30, 2023 4:57 PM

NASA has announced the establishment of the Moon to Mars Program Office at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC.

The office is set to manage the agency's human exploration efforts at the Moon and Mars for the benefit of humanity. The Moon to Mars Program Office is situated within the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, and will report to its Associate Administrator Jim Free.

The office will oversee hardware development, mission integration, and risk management functions for programs critical to NASA's exploration approach. This will include programs related to deep space exploration such as the Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, human landing systems, spacesuits, Gateway, and more.

The Moon to Mars Program Office is also expected to lead planning and analysis for long-lead developments to support human missions to Mars.

The establishment of the new office is in line with the 2022 NASA Authorization Act, which directed NASA to focus on hardware development, mission integration, and risk management functions for critical exploration programs.

The golden age of exploration is happening right now, and this new office will help ensure that NASA successfully establishes a long-term lunar presence needed to prepare for humanity’s next giant leap to the Red Planet." - Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator

Amit Kshatriya has been appointed as the head of the office, effective immediately.

Kshatriya, who previously served as acting deputy associate administrator for Common Exploration Systems Development, will head the new office. Lakiesha Hawkins will serve as the deputy for the Moon to Mars Program Office, while Steven Creech will serve as the technical deputy.

Through the Artemis program, NASA aims to land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term, sustainable lunar presence to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before and prepare for future astronaut missions to Mars.

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