The international environment has also changed dramatically over the past several years. With the end of the Cold War, we are moving into the next millennium in a true spirit of international cooperation in space exploration and research and development. The ongoing series of Shuttle-Mir missions and the international Space Station form the cornerstone of our expanded global cooperation in space and will lead to international human missions to the Moon and to Mars, both within the next 25 years.
The aforementioned strategic decisions and the overarching direction for America's aeronautics and space program are addressed in this Strategic Plan. Our Strategic Plan is critical to our ability to meet the challenges of this new era and deliver a vibrant aeronautics and space program that strengthens and inspires the Nation. The Plan is our top-level strategy. It articulates what we do, who our customers are, where we are going, and why. Furthermore, our Plan provides a common basis for NASA's Senior Management team to make decisions regarding the implementation of our programs and the deployment of our resources necessary to turn this Plan into reality.
This document builds on our previous plans. While we continue to maintain a constant vision, mission, and set of goals for NASA, we have simplified the document by integrating our "Operating Principles" into the Agency's values and strategies and by addressing our work processes in our Strategic Management System Handbook. New in this Plan are NASA's Strategic Roadmaps for the future that define the near-, mid-, and long-term goals of the Agency and our five Strategic Enterprise, the deployment of a new "Centers of Excellence" approach that will lead to the streamlining and consolidation of the Agency's technical capabilities, and the establishment of a new set of strategies that will enable us to revolutionize NASA.
I urge all NASA employees to read this Plan and look for ways you can participate in the revolution of our Agency. Each one of us-individuals who work directly on programs as well as those who provide critical support capabilities-has an opportunity and responsibility to contribute to the development of a new NASA, the achievement of our mission and goals, and the satisfaction of our customers.
We welcome comments-from inside and outside NASA-on this Plan and suggestions on ways to improve it. Improving our Plan is important to us, because it will be an essential tool for the Agency as we go forward into a new era in space and aeronautics as well as a new era in Government.
Daniel S. Goldin