Viewing page 1 of 2



To energize a discussion of long-range goals and strategies for the civilian space program, four bold initiatives were selected for definition, study, and evaluation:

1. Mission to Planet Earth: a program that would use perspective afforded from space to study and characterize our home planet on a global scale.

2. Exploration of the Solar System: a program to retain U.S. leadership in exploration of the outer solar system, and regain U.S. leadership in exploration of comets, asteroids, and Mars.

3. Outpost on the Moon: a program that would build on and extend the legacy of the Apollo Program, returning Americans to the Moon to continue exploration, to establish a permanent scientific outpost, and to begin prospecting the Moon's resources.

4. Humans to Mars: a program to send astronauts on a series of round trips to land on the surface of Mars, leading to the eventual establishment of a permanent base.

The intent is not to choose one initiative and discard the other three, but rather to use the four candidate initiatives as a basis for discussion. For this reason, it was important to choose a set of initiatives which spanned a broad spectrum of content and complexity.

From: NASA Leadership and America's Future in Space by Sally K. Ride (1987)

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact