With all these private companies vying with each other and planning to send humans to Mars, President Barak Obama has come up with an announcement according to which, United States will also be joining the race. Apparently, US will be partnering up with private organizations in its bid to get humans to land and stay on the red planet for extended periods of time.
The announcement was made through an Op-ed published for the CNN. In the article, which began with Obama reminiscing about his memories associated with America’s space programs, Obama goes on to talk about US and its interests in space, both public and private. He also stated that today, there are almost 1,000 companies across nearly all 50 states are working on private space initiatives.
Speaking on the topic, he said
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. 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.
Apparently, US is also working in close collaboration with commercial partners to build new habitats that can sustain and transport astronauts on long-duration missions in deep space. President Obama also said that these missions will teach humans how to live far from Earth “something we’ll need for the long journey to Mars”.
He also talked about how space research wasn’t just about space research but a lot more. While working with the aim of producing more knowledge and technologies for advancing in one particular field, humans inadvertently discover things that are useful elsewhere. Much of the progress that we have made in fields like energy, medicine, agriculture and artificial intelligence, comes from the same source.
Obama hopes that thanks to the Mars push, humanity will take a huge step forward, not just in space, but also towards a better understanding of our environment and ourselves.
The president concluded with a statement that provides us with a glimpse of not just his, but many people’s hopes for the future — a future that has seen the human race established in places beyond the earth so that should anything inadvertently happen to our beautiful, blue planet — all the progress, all the advances that we have so painstakingly made over thousands of years, wouldn’t be lost.
Someday, I hope to hoist my own grandchildren onto my shoulders. We’ll still look to the stars in wonder, as humans have since the beginning of time. But instead of eagerly awaiting the return of our intrepid explorers, we’ll know that because of the choices we make now, they’ve gone to space not just to visit, but to stay — and in doing so, to make our lives better here on Earth.
Meanwhile, the announcement could provide a huge boost to the Mars mission. With the US government teaming up and perhaps augmenting the efforts of private players using some of the considerable resources at its disposal, well, even Mars doesn’t look all that far.