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[i]By moving the Inspiration Mars mission from 2018 to 2021, NASA's deep-space exploration infrastructure featuring SLS and Orion will have more time for full development and critical testing to support such a mission. The 2021 window is the last short-duration free-return opportunity for a Mars flyby until 2033.
Today, the IMF remains fully committed to its vision to help provide America with a viable, challenging and inspirational mission to Mars as a way to help accelerate our nation's plans for space exploration. However, given the extensive use of NASA assets that are already funded and under development, the strategy to pursue the mission opportunity in 2021 would clearly be the purview of the Congress, the Obama administration and NASA.
As a result of the past year's exhaustive work to move the vision forward, I have become a firm supporter and advocate of NASA's evolving deep-space exploration infrastructure. SLS and Orion represent the capabilities we need to take us wherever we want to go in the solar system.[/i]
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