What’s next for NASA?
First private spacecraft
In mid-2019 at the earliest, the first private spacecraft in NASA’S Commercial Crew Program – built by Spacex and Boeing – will lift off. These spacecraft will finally return crewed launches to US soil.
Space Launch System
NASA hopes to launch its huge new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for the first time by 2020. This will be used to take astronauts back to the Moon and maybe on to Mars.
Lunar space station
NASA currently has tentative plans to launch a space station into lunar orbit in the 2020s called the Deep Space Gateway (DSG). The international collaboration will replace the ISS.
Missions to Mars
In the late 2020s NASA hopes to return samples from the surface of Mars with robotic probes. They still hope to send humans there in the 2030s.
James Webb Space Telescope
The much-delayed James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is planned to launch in March 2021. The successor to Hubble, it will give us a glorious new view of the universe.