President Barack Obama has just announced on Tuesday Oct. 11th that we will be sending humans to Mars by the 2030’s, and even more importantly, have them returned home safely.
This announcement has not only caused much cheer and excitement from space enthusiasts and scientists alike. But it has also inevitably triggered some anti-Obama citizens reverting to the classic “back in my day we didn’t have to go to other planets, thanks a lot Obama.”
Regardless of what those few people say this is a huge announcement for mankind. The President’s speech includes his thoughts on space exploration and how important it is in our culture and our nature. He boasts about NASA and how far it has come.
“Last year alone, NASA discovered flowing water on Mars and evidence of ice on one of Jupiter’s moons, and we mapped Pluto — more than 3 billion miles away — in high-resolution.”
Poor Pluto, that planet has been through so much. It’s more than less like our solar system’s very own side chick. Sometimes she’s around and convenient enough to be a planet, somedays she’s not even a planet in our book.
Obama also discussed how private space innovators in all 50 states will be key to NASA’s development into deep space exploration.
“Getting to Mars will require continued cooperation between government and private innovators, and we’re already well on our way. Within the next two years, private companies will for the first time send astronauts to the International Space Station.”
But what does this mean for U.S citizens? Is Obama telling the truth about how close we are to going to Mars? Or is he just making absurd claims of future life then bouncing out of office just in time to say “LOL, nah”.
The good news is it doesn’t look like a prank. We are currently working with commercial partners to figure out how to build habitable modes of transportation for our astronauts. These habitats will allow humans to survive for a long duration and from a great distance away from Earth. The goal is to set up a setup a station on Mars, a station known as Mars Base Camp.
Mars Base Camp could conceivably be established as early as 2028, according to Lockheed. The space station would also be a way station of sorts: Shortly after the first orbital mission, other crews would head down to the Red Planet, company representatives have said, though they have not yet discussed those surface plans in detail. With the private companies helping out as well, taxpayers cost should stay about the same with little to no increase. This means everybody wins! Except Pluto, which will be the only planet we explore after Uranus. Gross.