When Charlie Bolden says, “today we are closer to putting humans on Mars than in the history of human civilization,” it is more than big talk from a NASA administrator with a feel-good message. His agency has an “evolvable Mars” strategy that builds on the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) as well as the Orion crew capsule and includes advanced work in electric propulsion, deep-space habitats and—on the International Space Station—in-space testing of ...

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