ESA’s future for human spaceflight and robotic exploration is a sustainable and international endeavour to visit new places and discover new things. Exploring space is about travelling further and coming back with new experiences and knowledge to help us on Earth.
Our strategy includes three destinations where humans will work with robots to gather new knowledge: low-Earth orbit on the International Space Station, the Moon and Mars.
The exploration programme includes Europe’s service module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft, a landing on the Moon with Roscomos’ Luna and drilling into Mars with ESA’s ExoMars rover.
A deep-space gateway farther afield than the International Space Station is considered as a springboard for exploration beyond the Moon.
Robots will work hand in hand with astronauts and ground control to scout ahead, prepare landing sites and go to places too dangerous or impractical for humans.
ESA is working closely with international partners and commercial companies to ensure exploration of our Solar System is sustainable and peaceful. Historically, government-backed agencies have opened new paths to the far reaches of our planet and beyond for companies to step in and expand access to more parties. This time has arrived and ESA will join forces with combined missions offering space for commercial endeavours in addition to pure exploration and scientific research.