The Center for Space Research is interested in the robotic and eventual human exploration of Mars. To facilitate this exploration, the Navigation and Control Lab was formed to improve the precision of interplanetary navigation, the precision of Mars terminal descent and landing, and the accuracy of Mars environmental modeling.

It is the mission of the Navigation and Control Lab to extend mankind's ability to guide, navigate, and control spacecraft on both planetary and interplanetary misisons.  In particular, it is the goal of the NCL staff to achieve increasingly demanding mission GNC specifications through the innovative and analytically sound union of modern computer capabilities and effective analysis techniques.