Washington: NASA chief Bill Nelson on Tuesday announced that the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) at NASA will be split into two new entities to best position the agency for the next 20 years.
The Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate (ESDMD) unit will develop systems for exploring the Moon and Mars, while the Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD) unit will focus on space operations.
"This reorganisation positions NASA and the United States for success as we venture farther out into the cosmos than ever before, all while supporting the continued commercialisation of space and research on the International Space Station," said Nelson, in the statement.
Jim Free will head ESDMD as Associate Administrator, while Kathy Lueders will serve as Associate Administrator of SOMD.
"Working hand-in-hand with our colleagues in Space Operations, we will focus on ensuring the success of Artemis missions in the near term while charting a clearly defined path for human exploration of Mars as our horizon goal," Free said.
"The space station is the cornerstone of our human spaceflight efforts, and the commercial crew and cargo systems that support the microgravity laboratory are the building blocks to our continued success," Lueders added.
NASA, however, has assured that the changes will not alter any missions or the roles played by agency research centres.