President Obama sets sights on missions to Mars

CCTV News

360-degree panorama acquired by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. AFP PHOTO / NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS / HO / "AFP PHOTO / NASA/JPL/-CALTECH/MSSS 360-degree panorama acquired by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. AFP PHOTO / NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS / HO / “AFP PHOTO / NASA/JPL/-CALTECH/MSSS

President Barack Obama says the United States is partnering with commercial companies to build “new habitats” to try to send humans safely to Mars within two decades.

CCTV America’s Jim Spellman reports.

President Obama sets sights on missions to Mars

President Obama sets sights on missions to Mars

President Barack Obama says the United States is partnering with commercial companies to build “new habitats” to try to send humans safely to Mars within two decades. CCTV America's Jim Spellman reports.

“I still have the same sense of wonder about our space program that I did as a child. It represents an essential part of our character–curiosity and exploration, innovation and ingenuity, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and doing it before anybody else. The space race we won not only contributed immeasurably important technological and medical advances, but it also inspired a new generation of scientists and engineers with the right stuff to keep America on the cutting edge,” President Obama wrote in an op-ed on CNN’s website.

Obama set a goal in 2010 to send humans to Mars by the 2030s. He says the next step is to “reach beyond the bounds of Earth’s orbit.” Obama says the U.S. is collaborating on missions that will help scientists understand how long humans can live “far from Earth.”

He writes in the op-ed that the ultimate goal is for humans eventually to stay on Mars “for an extended time.”

Obama is not elaborating on what it will cost or how the U.S. will pay for it. But he says it will require years of patience, testing and education.

“If we make our leadership in space even stronger in this century than it was in the last, we won’t just benefit from related advances in energy, medicine, agriculture and artificial intelligence, we’ll benefit from a better understanding of our environment and ourselves,” Obama wrote.

Some information from this story is from The Associated Press.