A NASA official on Wednesday outlined an aggressive, multi-decade space technology and exploration development plan that includes sending humans into deep space by 2025, sending humans to orbit Mars by 2035 and landing a human on the surface of Mars sometime shortly thereafter.
NASA will make strategic investments in propulsion, robotics, structures and optics — space technologies that will lay the foundation for the agency's future, said Bobby Braun, chief technologist for NASA.
"What we are going to focus on in space technology is long-term technological goals," Braun said. "I am not talking about technology for the next Mars mission, I am talking about technology for a Mars mission a decade from now or two decades from now."
The comments came during a visit to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge on Wednesday where Braun toured the Mars Yard and reviewed some of the latest Mars rover hardware and software technology. President Obama named Braun as chief technologist in February, part of the administration's effort to reinvigorate NASA technology development and space exploration.