These images are part of the Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) Enterprise. The mission of the Enterprise is to open the space frontier by exploring, using, and enabling the development of space and to expand the human experience into the far reaches of space.
In exploring space, HEDS brings people and machines together to overcome the challenges of distance, time, and environment. Robotic science missions survey and characterize other bodies as precursors to eventual human missions. In using space, HEDS emphasizes learning how to live and work there, utilizing the resources and unique environment. The Space Shuttle and the international Space Station pave the way for sustained human presence in space through critical research on human adaptation. These programs also provide opportunities for research with applications on Earth. In enabling the development of space, HEDS serves as a catalyst for commercial space development. Throughout, we will employ breakthrough technologies and ingenious designs to revolutionize human spaceflight.
The following are goals of the HEDS Enterprise:
In exploring and settling the solar system, we pursue several strategic thrusts in
parallel. The Enterprise relies on the robotic missions of the Space Science Enterprise to provide extensive knowledge of the geology, environment, and resources of planetary bodies. The Space Science Enterprise missions will also demonstrate the feasibility of utilizing local resources to "live off the land." To prepare for human forays, HEDS will fully integrate and utilize the Space Shuttle, the international Space Station, and other international contributions. The Shuttle-Mir program demonstrates cooperation among space-faring nations and the interlocking of various technical systems. The international Space Station will be the largest multinational science and engineering program in history and provide unprecedented opportunities for science, technology, and commercial investigations. This facility is also key to developing biomedical knowledge and technology to allow people to thrive physically and psychologically in space.
We look to the Space Technology Enterprise (STE) to develop revolutionary advanced technologies critical to establishing a sustained human presence in space. HEDS will join with STE and the private sector to stimulate opportunities for commercial development in space as a key to economic growth and future human settlements. Joint pilot projects will demonstrate clear benefit to Earth from the development of near-Earth space, while the long-term emphasis will be on the use of resources and environments of planetary bodies for the benefit of humankind.
Safe, reliable, low-cost transportation is critical to the HEDS Enterprise. The Space Shuttle program is committed to flying safely, meeting the manifest, and reducing cost-in that order of priority. HEDS will support STE and the private sector to develop next-generation systems for human travel and operations in space. We will develop revolutionary, new advanced transportation concepts and demonstrate advanced propulsion systems to enable exploration.
For its beneficiaries, the Enterprise employs a strategy that contributes to the national community, shapes activities to return near-term direct benefits, and clearly communicates these benefits to the Enterprise's partners and customers, including the public.