President Barack Obama Promises to Send Humans to Mars by the 2030s

In a new op-ed for CNN, President Barack Obama unveiled his ambitious yet unwavering plans to dispatch human explorers to Mars. Obama is urging astronauts to visit the Red Planet by the 2030s and then return to Earth safely—the end goal is “to one day remain there for an extended time,” says the POTUS. The president assured readers that NASA along with over 1,000 private companies involved in aerospace will be working together to presumably turn Americans into full-fledged Martians.

Obama went on to praise America’s space agency for its phenomenal projects since the space race with the Soviet Union. “Just five years ago, US companies were shut out of the global commercial launch market,” the president said. “Today, thanks to groundwork laid by the men and women of NASA, they own more than a third of it.” Having also mentioned recent scientific discoveries, breakthroughs and undertakings to bolster nationwide excitement in space exploration:

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. Our space telescopes revealed additional Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars, and we’re pursuing new missions to interact with asteroids, which will help us learn how to protect the Earth from the threat of colliding with one while also teaching us about the origins of life on Earth. We’ve flown by every planet in the solar system — something no other nation can say. And we continue to drive down the cost of space exploration for taxpayers.

President Obama concludes the piece by saying that 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.”

Head over to CNN to read the entire piece here.