The remarkable optical properties of the solar gravitational lens (SGL) include major brightness amplification (~1011 at λ=1 µm) and extreme angular resolution (~10−10 arcsec) in a narrow field of view (FOV). Such an instrument could benefit many areas of astrophysics involving exoplan-ets, star formation, nebula, accretion disks, neutron stars, galactic center, etc. Here we focus only on remote investigations of exoplanets. A mission to the SGL carrying a modest telescope and coronagraph opens up a possibility for direct megapixel imaging and high-resolution spectroscopy of a habitable Earth-like exoplanet at a distance of up to 100 light years. The entire image of such a planet is compressed by the SGL into a region with a diameter of ~1.3 km in the vicinity of the focal line. The telescope, acting as a single pixel detector while traversing this region, can build an image of the exoplanet with kil-ometer-scale resolution of its surface, enough to see its surface features and signs of habitability. Although theoretically feasible, the engineering aspects of building and operating such an astro-nomical telescope on the large scales involved were not previously addressed. This unique con-cept requires serious consideration. We report here on the results of our initial study of a mission to the deep outer regions of our so-lar system, with the primary mission objective of conducting direct megapixel high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy of a potentially habitable exoplanet by exploiting the remarkable opti-cal properties of the SGL. Our main goal was not to study how to get there (although this was also addressed), but rather, to investigate what it takes to operate spacecraft at such enormous distances with the needed precision. Specifically, we studied i) how a space mission to the focal region of the SGL may be used to obtain high-resolution direct imaging and spectroscopy of an exoplanet by detecting, tracking, and studying the Einstein ring around the Sun, and ii) how such information could be used to detect signs of life on another planet. We considered several mission concepts involving either i) a single probe class spacecraft, ii) a “string-of-pearls” mission concept using multiple sets of moderate size spacecraft, and iii) a swarm of small and capable spacecraft. Our results indicate that a mission to the SGL with an objective of direct imaging and spectroscopy of a distant exoplanet is challenging, but possible. We composed a list of recommendations on the mission architectures with risk and return tradeoffs and discuss an enabling technology development program. Under a Phase I NIAC program, we evaluated the feasibility of the SGL-based technique for di-rect imaging and spectroscopy of an exoplanet and, while several practical constraints have been identified, we have not identified any fundamental limitations. We determined that the founda-tional technology already exists and has high TRL in space missions and applications. Further-more, the measurements required to demonstrate the feasibility of remote sensing with the SGL are complementary to rotational tomography measurements and ongoing microlensing investiga-tions, so our effort would provide high-value scientific information to other active astrophysics programs. Our results are encouraging as they lead to a realistic design for a mission that will be able to im-age exoplanets. It could allow exploration of exoplanets relying on the SGL capabilities decades, if not centuries, earlier than possible with other extant technologies. The architecture and mission concepts for a mission to the SGL, at this early stage, are promising and should be explored further.