Space Exploration: Development, Planning and Challenges
Human spaceflight at NASA began in the 1960s with the Mercury and Gemini programs leading up to the Apollo moon landings. After the last lunar landing, Apollo 17, in 1972, NASA shifted its attention to low earth orbit operations with human spaceflight efforts that included the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs through the remainder of the 20th century.
Exploration of our solar system has brought great knowledge to our Nation’s scientific and engineering community over the past several decades. As we expand our visions to explore new, more challenging destinations, we must also expand our technology base to support these new missions.
NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is tasked with developing these technologies for future mission infusion and continues to seek answers to many existing technology gaps.