In an op-ed published on CNN on Tuesday, President Barack Obama declared that he'd like to send humans to Mars (and back) by the 2030s. Obama wrote about how he has always been fascinated by space exploration, and he hopes that by working along with private space travel companies, the United States will get back on track and lead the world in this frontier.
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.
The next step is to reach beyond the bounds of Earth's orbit. 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. These missions will teach us how humans can live far from Earth -- something we'll need for the long journey to Mars.
Obama also touched on how his efforts to increase the number of STEM graduates and STEM teachers has been successful.