Deep Space Exploration Systems

The FY 2021 Budget for the Deep Space Exploration Systems account consists of two areas, Exploration Systems Development and Exploration Research and Development, which provide for the development of systems and capabilities needed for human exploration of the Moon and Mars.  The budget requests $8,761.7 million for Deep Space Exploration Systems and includes such Exploration Systems Development ($4,042.3 million) and Exploration Research & Development ($4,719.4 million). Most of the budget request is for the development of a human lunar lander, though support for other big ticket programs such as the Orion crew capsule and the Gateway orbital platform would also continue. The program will also pursue technological innovations related to power, in situ resource utilization, lunar science, and robotic Mars missions. Highlights include the following: [1]

  • The Budget includes $12,371 million for the Moon-to-Mars campaign that will send astronauts to the Moon and prepare for the exploration of Mars and beyond.
  • Includes $3,370 million for the development of lunar Human Landing System.
  • Fully supports the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, a heavy-lift expendable launch vehicle, and the Orion crew capsule; both of which are needed for Artemis to get to the Moon.
  • Develops initial elements of the Gateway, an outpost orbiting the Moon, which will serve as a staging point for the exploration of the Moon.

Updated October 2020, by Kevine Lidoro