NASA prepared this report for Congress in August 2012, pursuant of the Conference Report (House Report 112-284) and accompanying the FY 2012 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, P.L. 112-55.
The Conference Report (House Report 112- 284) accompanying H.R. 2112, the FY 2012 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, includes the following reporting requirement: "The conferees believe that NASA needs to better articulate a set of specific, scientifically meritorious exploration goals to focus its program and provide a common vision for future achievements. Consequently, the conferees direct NASA to develop and report to the Committees on Appropriations a set of science-based exploration goals; a target destination or destinations that will enable the achievement of those goals; a schedule for the proposed attainment of these goals; and a plan for any proposed collaboration with international partners. Proposed international collaboration should enhance NASA's exploration plans rather than re place capabilities NASA is de veloping with current funds. This report shall be submitted no later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act." This report responds to this focused requirement, using the specific points of request as its outline:
- Science-Based Exploration Goals;
- Target Destinations Enabling Achievement of the Science-Based Exploration Goals;
- Schedule for Proposed Attainment of the Goals; and,
- Plan for Proposed Collaboration with International Partners.