Obama Announces Plan to go to Mars
October 17, 2016
On Tuesday October 11, 2016, President Barack Obama published an opinion editorial for CNN that outlined his ambitions to send humans to Mars as soon as 2030.
Back in the April of 2010, Obama had given a space policy speech at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. At the time he had claimed, “By the mid-2030s, I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth. And a landing on Mars will follow. And I expect to be around to see it.”
Now, in the October of 2016, Obama writes in the opinion piece, “We have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America’s story in space: sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth, with the ultimate ambition to one day remain there for an extended time.”
Obama believes that traveling to Mars will inspire scientists and engineers to ‘keep America on the cutting edge.’ Obama hopes to be able to get humans on Mars soon and also discover a way in the future so humans will be able to stay in space. Obama believes that getting to Mars will require the collaboration of NASA and other private companies. These many companies will help to transport astronauts on lengthy missions in space and build habitats that can sustain long missions.
Obama wrote, “Getting to Mars will require continued cooperation between government and private innovators, and we’re already well on our way,”
Following this announcement, Obama is set to speak at the White House Frontiers conference in Pittsburgh. This conference will focus on innovations and advancements in science and technology. Executives from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Moon Express and also supposed to speak at the conference.
Obama remarked in the op-ed, “This week, we’ll convene some of America’s leading scientists, engineers, innovators and students in Pittsburgh to dream up ways to build on our progress and find the next frontiers.”
He claims in his opinion piece, “Someday, I hope to hoist my own grandchildren onto my shoulders. We’ll still look to the stars in wonder, as humans have since the beginning of time. But instead of eagerly awaiting the return of our intrepid explorers, we’ll know that because of the choices we make now, they’ve gone to space not just to visit, but to stay — and in doing so, to make our lives better here on Earth.”
In the future, when humans have been to Mars and can stay there, Obama hopes to be able to see it and to have been the one to help begin the journey.