Humans plan to inhabit Mars by 2030s
*NASA says ‘ultimate ambition’ is extended stay on red planet
The United States Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA) and President Barack Obama have a plan to get humans to Mars by the 2030s.
In an op-ed for CNN, the president revealed his goals for space exploration in the foreseeable future, including a manned mission to the red planet and a safe return trip to Earth, and the ‘ultimate ambition’ of a long-term stay.
The piece precedes the White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh set to take place on Thursday, during which ‘scientists, engineers, innovators and students’ will team up to discuss future initiatives.
In a 2010 speech at the Kennedy Space Centre, Barack Obama first said it should be possible to send astronauts to orbit Mars by the mid 2030s.
Now, he has expanded upon these views, stating that the goal remains getting humans to Mars by the 2030s.
“The next step is to reach beyond the bounds of Earth’s orbit,’ the president wrote in an op-ed for CNN.
According to Obama, innovators are working “to build new habitats that can sustain and transport astronauts on long-duration missions in deep space.
“These missions will teach us how humans can live far from Earth – something we’ll need for the long journey to Mars.”
Getting humans to Mars will require the joint efforts of both the government and private innovators, Obama explained in the op-ed.
And in the next two years, astronauts from private companies will be on their way to the International Space Station for the first time.
Efforts such as this, along with the construction of deep space habitats, will help scientists accrue the necessary knowledge on the conditions of living outside of Earth’s orbit.
“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 wrote.
According to the president, there are over 1000 companies from almost every state working on private space initiatives.
The op-ed comes just as White House Office of Science and Technology Policy director John Holdren and United States Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA) Administrator Charles Bolden released a blog post detailing the new efforts regarding space habitation.
Recently, they explain, six companies were granted awards to begin developing systems for the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships programme.
“The idea is that these habitats or ‘habs’ would evolve into spacecraft capable of sustaining and transporting astronauts on long duration space missions, like a mission to Mars,’ Holdren and Bolden explained.