National Space Council Report on Deep Space Exploration & Development

July, 2020

At the sixth meeting of the National Space Council on August 20, 2019, the Council adopted a set of recommendations, including a recommendation that directed the National Space Council staff, in consultation with National Space Council members and the Users’ Advisory Group, to present to the Chairman of the National Space Council a Moon-Mars Development Strategy. This strategy was to include low-Earth orbit commercialization, robotic and human exploration, national security capabilities, and international cooperation for science, safety, security, and economic growth.

The strategy delineated in this paper supports an ambitious vision for human space exploration and development. This vision is one in which there is a sustainable human and robotic presence across the solar system — an expanding sphere of commercial, non-governmental activities in which increasing numbers of Americans live and work in space. This vision begins with a campaign to utilize Earth’s orbital environment, the surface and resources of the Moon, and cis-lunar space to develop the critical technologies, operational capabilities, and commercial space economy necessary for a sustainable human presence on the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

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