1 year ago 0

Barack Obama is off to Pittsburgh this week for the science and technology focused White House Frontiers Conference. The president re-announced his love for outer space, and broadcasted that the United States has partnered with private organizations in order to get humans to Mars by the 2030s years.

“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,” Obama wrote. “These missions will teach us how humans can live far from Earth. Something we’ll need for the long journey to Mars.”

Explanations of the partnership are sparse, and Obama still hasn’t given any money, but the White House will probably elaborate on the partnership this week. Obama has been postponing the idea of getting humans to Mars for some time now, but he hasn’t gone so far as to give funding for a Mars expedition. This new broadcast, while lofty in its rhetoric, stops short of actual policy that would allocate funds. Mr. Obama is indeed soon-to-be out of office.

NASA is currently working on a mission that would send an improved rover to Mars in the year 2020. The new rover is modeled after the extremely successful Curiosity vehicle, which has been moving around the mars since 2012.

It’s interesting that Obama notes that he hopes the missions to include a way to “return safely to Earth”, as Elon Musk over at SpaceX just proposed an ambitious plan that would require people to travel to Mars forever. Politics can really suck the life out of you, but listening to a President thrilled about pushing the boundaries of space exploration is pretty cool.