Lunar Discovery and Exploration
In the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), the Exploration Science Strategy Integration Office (ESSIO) ensures science is infused into all aspects of lunar exploration. Through researching the Moon and its environment, and by using the Moon as an observation platform, NASA strives to gain a greater understanding of the Moon itself, the solar system, the universe, and the deep space environment. ESSIO integrates goals of the National Academy’s Decadal Surveys as well as other scientific community documents with the priorities of the Agency into a comprehensive strategy for lunar science. Our office is tasked with the integration of science into Artemis and the Moon to Mars architecture.
ESSIO leads integration between SMD Divisions, NASA Mission Directorates, other government agencies, international partners, as well as the broad scientific and commercial communities.
This integration is accomplished through development of instruments/payloads, leading cross-directorate activities, fostering international partnerships, and creating innovative methods of sending payloads to the lunar surface with commercial entities.
The Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) aims to build a sustainable lunar economy that will produce rapid, frequent, and affordable access to the lunar surface and cislunar space.
The payloads we are sending to the Moon have instruments that will produce new and complementary lunar datasets to aid in scientific research and exploration of the Moon and beyond. These payloads will help us answer high priority science questions, allow us to test new technologies, and help us prepare and reduce risk for human surface exploration.