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Life Sciences at NASA: Vision for Space Exploration

Artist’s rendition of a human colony on Mars.Have you ever felt the urge to explore somewhere new? A tree in your backyard, what’s beyond the stop sign at the end of your block, or what’s just over the hill in the distance? Explorers, from long ago up to today, have felt the same way! You might even say that the desire to explore is part of human nature. Can you imagine living on the Moon or in a Mars colony?

People have been fascinated by space travel for a long time. Do you ever wonder what a star looks like up close? Does life exist elsewhere in the Universe? Do you imagine living in a space colony or on Mars? In 2004, President Bush laid out a new vision for space exploration. This vision is a set of goals for people at NASA to work towards. These goals include:

One of the first steps taken on the Moon, this is an image of Buzz Aldrin's bootprint from the Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

  • Sending humans back to the Moon by 2020
  • Exploring Mars by humans
  • Arriving at destinations beyond the Moon and Mars
In addition to satisfying our curiosity about space, exploring the Universe brings many benefits to Earth. For example, space biologists are gaining a deeper understanding of human body systems both on Earth and in space. In addition, technologies developed in the course of sending humans (and robots) to distant places have led to solutions for many problems on Earth. Smoke detectors, bike helmets, and cordless appliances all use technology originally developed by NASA! You can find out more about these spinoffs at this website.

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 FirstGov  NASA
Editor: Carol Elland
NASA Official: B J Navarro
Last Updated: September 2006
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