NASA and its partners have created two road maps, called "Asteroid First" and "Moon First." This represents the continuing argument over which destination astronaut explorers should go to first. Should it be an Earth approaching asteroid, as President Obama insists? Or should it be the moon, as many people in Congress, NASA, and NASA's partner agencies suggest?
In any event, all roads lead to Mars in the current plan. Both visits to an asteroid and to the moon are considered practice runs for what will be needed to go to Mars."
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