The US space agency wants to spend $1.3bn on a US station orbiting the Earth, and the first steps towards that aim are under way.
Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said it would build and operate the Space Launch System rocket, the biggest piece of technology it has ever developed.
Nasa said it wanted to get the first station operational by 2025.
“We are aiming to get a space station on the ground by 2025,” said Jim Bridenstine, director of Nasa’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.
He was speaking ahead of a visit by Nasa administrator Charlie Bolden to the agency’s headquarters in Washington DC.
The $1bn space station would be bigger than the Hubble Space Telescope.
Nasa is also planning a manned space mission by 2023.
But it said it needed to wait for a second commercial space flight to get its payload to the station.
NASA is aiming to put humans on the station by the end of 2025.
Bridenstone told reporters the station would not have a crew, and it would not be a base of operations for Nasa’s human spaceflight programmes.
It would not cost taxpayers anything to send humans to the International Space Station, Bridensteen said.
Space Station 2 has been a huge project and I think we are going to see more of that in the future.
Its first launch is expected in 2025.
Nasa also said it was working on a second mission to send astronauts to the ISS, and Bridenste said the agency would also try to get humans to Mars by the 2030s.
We’re not going to be going back to the Moon or Mars until 2035.
There is a great deal of interest in the station from countries like China, Japan and Russia, said Bridenstein.
One of the biggest hurdles to getting the station to orbit is the lack of a reliable means of sending humans to other planets.
However, Nasa’s chief scientist said Nasa had taken significant steps to speed up development of a more reliable means for sending humans beyond low Earth orbit.
Nasa is also working to put a crew on board the station, and has started building a robotic system that can take the place of astronauts if there is no human in space.
Bridenstine said the US could get its astronauts to Mars in a decade.
“We think we have a reasonable capability in our laboratory and in our design to make the trip to Mars, but it will take time to get there,” he said.
“There’s a lot of things we can do to make sure that we have the capability.”
A space station has the potential to change our view of the future, said Michael Freilich, professor of physics at the University of California at Los Angeles.
“If we go ahead and do it, I think it is the beginning of the end for humanity in space.”
Nascent satellites could eventually take us to the stars, he said, and Nasa hopes to send them to Mars as soon as 2025.
“I think this is really going to change the way we think about what is possible,” he told the BBC.
“The way we look at the future of space is going to depend a lot on how we design and build our infrastructure.”
“What the United States is doing is really important,” he added.
While Nasa has made huge advances in technology, there is still a long way to go to put people on the surface of the planet.
Despite the progress, NASA has been criticised for its human space exploration programmes.
The first US astronauts on the space station were John Glenn, who flew for the US in 1971, and Michael Collins, who became the first US astronaut in orbit in 1992.
Neil Armstrong, the first man in space, died in 2003.
Since then, Nasa has built a space shuttle, launched a space capsule, and launched the International Meteorological Organisation, a weather forecasting organisation.
On Wednesday, Nasa said the last US astronauts to spend a full day in space died when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated.
In September, the agency said it had successfully launched its first commercial satellite, a $1 billion CubeSat, from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
This followed a successful test of its first-ever solar-powered satellite, called CubeSat-1, on April 8.
And the US Space Launch Centre in Florida, the site of Nasa headquarters, has a new satellite launching pad.
According to Nasa, the US has more space stations planned than any other country, with an average of about nine stations a year.
They include the International Laundromat in France, the International Observation and Monitoring Station in Kazakhstan, the Deep Space Gateway in the US, and an orbiter station, the Space Stations Research Facility.
(Reporting by Mark Heinrich; editing by Matthew Lewis)