The journey to Mars crosses three thresholds, each with increasing challenges as humans move farther from Earth. NASA is managing these challenges by developing and demonstrating capabilities in incremental steps:
NASA aims to extend human presence deeper into the solar system and to the surface of Mars. In doing so, our human and robotic explorers will expand knowledge and discover the potential for life beyond Earth. Our goal is not bound by a single destination. We seek the capacity for people to work, learn, operate, and sustainably live safely beyond Earth for extended periods of time. We will achieve this goal with a growing number of international and commercial partners, realizing economic benefits and strengthening America’s leadership on Earth and in space.