Deep Space Exploration Systems

The FY 2023 budget request allocates $7,478.3 billion for the Deep Space Exploration Systems program area. The budget request is split between four themes:[1]

  • Common Exploration Systems Development (CESD): $4,668.4 billion. CESD programs are focused on building the space transportation system which consists of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the Orion crew vehicle, and the Exploration Ground System (EGS). This system will make Artemis missions possible.[2]
  • Artemis Campaign Development (ACD): $2,600.3 billion. The goal of the ACD theme is to advance systems that will land humans on the moon, as well as examine the lunar surface, and prepare for the exploration of Mars.[3]
  • Human Exploration Requirements & Architecture (HERA): $48.3 million. The HERA makes it a goal to support human exploration campaigns for trips to the moon and beyond.[4]
  • Mars Campaign Development (MCD): $161.3 million. The MCD theme prepares for the success of crewed missions to Mars by working on long-lead technology challenges.[5]


  • Within the CESD, the Orion program requests $1,338.7 billion, the SLS requests $2,579.8 billion, the EGS requests $749.9 million, and Construction & Environmental Compliance Restoration requests $86.2 million.[6]
  • Major changes for FY 2023 include:
    • Rename Exploration Systems Development theme to Common Exploration Systems Development.[7]
    • Orion Production and Sustainment and Exploration Operations Program funding moved to Space Operations account.[8]
    • Artemis Campaign Development is a new theme that encompasses the Gateway, HLS and ACSC programs (previously under ERD theme). The fourth program within ACD is xEVA and Human Service Mobility program.[9]
    • Human Exploration Requirements & Architecture joins as a new theme.[10]
    • Exploration Capabilities program, previously under the Exploration Research and Development (ERD) theme, will now be under the new theme: Mars Campaign Development.[11]

Updated November 2022, by Jackie Johnson