As we prepare to fly the final space shuttle mission to the International Space Station, NASA continues with plans to extend humanity's presence into the solar system by developing a new heavy lift rocket and crew capsule to take astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit.
We will use the space station as a test bed and stepping stone for the challenging journey ahead. We are changing the way we do business, fostering a commercial industry that will safely service low Earth orbit so we can focus our energy and resources on sending astronauts to an asteroid and eventually to Mars.
All the while, NASA continues to invest in science missions that study our earth, solar system and beyond, as well as aeronautics research focused on increased safety and reduced economic impact on flight. We're also focused on educating the next generation of technology leaders and investing in high payoff, high-risk technology that industry cannot tackle today.