Innovative space transportation systems now in development by
NASA and its partners promise a new era of scientific discovery
in space. But the struggle to unlock the secrets of our solar
system presents unique new challenges. Central among them: faster
access throughout the solar system, and the ability to rendezvous
with, orbit and conduct in situ exploration of planets, satellites
and other solar system bodies.
This is the objective of NASA’s In-Space Propulsion Technology Program: to develop in-space propulsion technologies that can enable or benefit science at new destinations; to significantly reduce the time, cost and mass required for spacecraft to reach their destinations - in other words, to "Get More Science Sooner". Accomplishment of this objective will allow mission planners to shift their focus from the difficulty of the journey to the science challenges at the destination. To read more about the planned missions of the Science Mission Directorate, click HERE.