Atlanta, Ga. 4/15/2010 09:59 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)
President Barack Obama told a gathering of staff and guests at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida that astronauts could orbit the planet Mars by the mid-2030s.
Obama was at Kennedy Space Center to outline his policy for the space program and encouraged NASA to meet the challenges that lay ahead. Much of what Obama spoke about extended far beyond his presidential term but he made it clear he was in support of laying the groundwork for ambitious goals.
Among those goals, “By 2025, we expect new spacecraft designed for long journeys to allow us to begin the first ever crew missions beyond the Moon into deep space. So, we'll start by sending astronauts to an asteroid for the first time in history.”
Obama went on to say “By the mid-2030s, I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth, and a landing on Mars will follow.”
While Obama had been criticized for his plans to shut down the current Constellation program he tried to emphasize that the space program needed renewed enthusiasm saying, “The bottom line is: nobody is more committed to manned spaceflight, the human exploration of space, than I am. But we've got to do it in a smart way; we can't keep doing the same old things as before.”
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