The agency is funding the Methuselah Foundation's New Organ Alliance to investigate how to get "metabolically-functional" human vascularized organ tissue that can be artificially controlled inside a laboratory.
Translated? NASA wants to clone human body parts to keep colonists on Mars supplied with skin, kidneys, and thumbs.
Eventually, of course NASA wants to get to the nearest star system. The closest with an Earth-like planet is a mere 14 light years or about 250 trillion miles away. Today's space ships scoot at around 18,000 mph. Pretty fast. But even with enough fuel and sustaining that velocity the journey would take 1.6 million years. Or twice as long as mankind has existed!
So how do we do it? Well, first we have to go a LOT faster; like a quarter the speed of light. And even then it would take 60 years. We also need to bring a big sack of DNA to clone a colony of people. And hope like hell it isn't already populated by a predator species like ourselves so we can gain a toehold before someone else shows up and try's the same thing...