Obama: Americans Will Reach Mars by 2030
It looks like President Barack Obama is pro-Mars after all. After being quoted saying that Leonardo DiCaprio is "crazy" to want to go to Mars, the president announced that Americans will definitely arrive on the red planet by 2030.
"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," President Barack Obama said in an essay published by CNN.
Based on the president's personal accounts, he stood witness to man's first step on the moon and the landing of NASA's rovers to Mars. According to Obama, he has that admiration and wonder when it comes to space science, just like many people do. He said it is born out of man's basic characteristics like "curiosity and exploration, innovation and ingenuity, pushing the boundaries of what's possible and doing it before anybody else."
The space programs of the U.S. and other nations have led to technological advancements that are beneficial to the human race in general. It also paved the way for scientists and engineers that also put the country on top of the game when it comes to space explorations.
Obama reiterated his administration's support to the ongoing space programs. The president is a supporter of NASA's deep exploration programs that aim to explore the depths of the universe beyond the Earth's atmosphere. The current administration also supports space research; Obama himself even visited the Kennedy Space Center.
In this administration, the White House is also proactive when it comes to science. In fact, the White House will be hosting the Frontiers Conference. "President Obama will travel to Pittsburgh, PA, on October 13 to host the White House Frontiers Conference, bringing together the Nation's top innovators to discuss how new frontiers in science and technology will help improve lives and shape the future," a White House official said in a statement.
During the conference, Interplanetary frontiers will be discussed including NASA's Journey to Mars where chief scientists Dr. Ellen Stofan is expected to be one of the speakers along with Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides. Other space-oriented organization will also be part of the conference including Moon Express, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Made in Space and many more.
Obama also mentioned in his essay, the latest achievement when it comes to Mars exploration and the growth of space industries worldwide. The president also takes pride in the achievements of scientists and engineers that are part of the space exploration programs. "We've flown by every planet in the Solar System - something no other nation can say. And we continue to drive down the cost of space explorations for tax payers," President Obama said.
Having said that, the next step is to purpose interplanetary missions, like the manned mission to Mars. He also stressed that the mission to Mars will entail hard work and cooperation, acknowledging the efforts by private space companies that will attempt to land on Mars ahead of NASA like SpaceX.
"I'm excited to announce that we are working with our commercial partners to build new habitats that can sustain and transport astronauts on long-duration missions in deep space," President Obama added. The president ended his piece by saying that he hope to tell his grandchildren in the future that mankind are able to stay away from Earth because of the decisions they made today.