Documented here are NASA's Moon to Mars strategy and top-level goals and objectives, designed to achieve the vision to create a blueprint for sustained human presence and exploration throughout the solar system.
The vision – bold and complex – must be broken down via systems engineering application to ensure strategic progress toward success. Systems engineering begins with understanding the motivation for the effort, the opportunities and risks to the process, and a discussion of recent history that has influenced the current state.
Through systems engineering, the vision is broken into attainable pieces, starting with an initial endeavor, goals and objectives associated with that endeavor, and the additional pieces necessary to achieve the goals and objectives. Five methodology principles combine with the robust systems engineering process to guide implementation toward the blueprint vision and in so doing, improve resilience for the Moon to Mars endeavor.
The Moon to Mars goals and objectives are the centerpiece of this document, which serve as a guidepost for the years-long endeavor. Development of the objectives spanned one year, and involved gap analysis and cross-assessment within NASA, a robust feedback campaign with the public, industry, academia, and international partners, and a vetting process to revise the goals and objectives. Recurring tenets came out of the vetting process, along with rationale for the goals.
The strategy is not static; it requires ongoing review and feedback to continue to evolve based on new minds, new technology, and new developments. Annual iterative reviews form the strategic next steps, with the goal of implementing change with detail, rigor, and consistency such that the vision, goals, and objectives are not altered, but improved.