Obama Announces Plan for ‘Giant Leap’ to Send Humans to Mars by 2030
Science| | By Matthew D'Onofrio
In a piece published Tuesday on CNN, President Barack Obama reminisced about and brought recently-lost attention back to the space race with grand plans of flying American people to Mars and back home safely.
“One of my earliest memories is sitting on my grandfather’s shoulders, waving a flag as our astronauts returned to Hawaii,” the 55-year-old president started off in his writing. “I still have the same sense of wonder about our space program that I did as a child.”
Obama recalled being fascinated with the space race which is often associated with thrilling vocabulary like imagination, exploration and innovation.
Although many believe America won the space race long ago, it is far from over and other prominent nations now battle the U.S. for “first place” when it comes to discovering what lies beyond just our moon.
In his writing, Obama brought up how in his inaugural address he vowed to revive science back to its former glory and that he did that (more or less). He brings up the dedication of funding established during his presidency toward the International Space Station and for NASA, applauding them on accomplishing feats like mapping Pluto in high-resolution and flying to every planet in the solar system.
Additionally, Obama included that space exploration costs have gone down, which is good news for taxpayers, and thanks American private space companies as well for their contribution to the overall progress in space.
The goal, he states, is, “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.”
The next step is finding out how humans can survive far from Earth, as far as beyond Earth’s orbit, and he announced these missions are in the works.
He called the current students of America “the Mars generation,” and says he is proud of the success STEM education has had on schools across the nation.
“Someday, I hope to hoist my own grandchildren onto my shoulders,” wrote Obama, wrapping up his piece. “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.”
Now, if he’s right, you might look back on this day 14 years in the future and say, “Thanks Obama,” from your humble abode in a quaint suburb on the planet of Mars.