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United States will send Humans to Mars by the 2030s, says President Barack Obama

Obama said the U.S. government is already working with commercial partners to construct new habitats that can accommodate humans on extended space missions

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Mars
FILE - The base of Mars' Mount Sharp is pictured in this August 27, 2012 NASA handout photo taken by the Curiosity rover. VOA

October 11, 2016: President Barack Obama says with the help of private companies, the United States will send humans to Mars by the 2030s.

In an op-ed published on CNN.com, Obama wrote, “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 remains there for an extended time.”

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Obama said an effective public-private partnership that is essential to transporting humans to Mars is already under way. U.S. companies, he said, already own more than one-third of the global commercial launch market. And within two years, Obama said, private companies will send astronauts to the International Space Station for the first time.

FILE - In this frame grab taken from NASA Television, a SpaceX Dragon capsule separates from a robotic arm of the International Space Station en route back to Earth with a load of science experiments and gear from the space station, Aug. 26, 2016. VOA
FILE – In this frame grab taken from NASA Television, a SpaceX Dragon capsule separates from a robotic arm of the International Space Station en route back to Earth with a load of science experiments and gear from the space station, Aug. 26, 2016. VOA

Obama said the U.S. government is already working with commercial partners to construct new habitats that can accommodate humans on extended space missions.

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“These missions will teach us how humans can live far from Earth — something we’ll need for the long journey to Mars,” Obama wrote.

FILE - SpaceX founder Elon Musk tells the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, that he envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying en masse to Mars and says it could become reality within a century, Sept. 27, 2016. VOA
FILE – SpaceX founder Elon Musk tells the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, that he envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying en masse to Mars and says it could become reality within a century, Sept. 27, 2016. VOA

Obama cautioned it will take years to prepare for a trip to Mars, including educating the next generation of workers who would help make the trip a reality.

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“For the first time, more than 100,000 engineers are graduating from American schools every year, and we’re on track to accomplish my goal of training 100,000 excellent new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers in a decade.”

FILE - This color image taken August 8, 2012 from NASA's Curiosity rover, and released August 13, shows part of the wall of Gale Crater, the location on Mars where the rover landed on August 5, 2012. VOA
FILE – This color image taken August 8, 2012 from NASA’s Curiosity rover, and released August 13, shows part of the wall of Gale Crater, the location on Mars where the rover landed on August 5, 2012. VOA

The president said stronger leadership of the space program will lead to new scientific advances and provide a better understanding of the human race and Earth’s environment.

When humans have gone to Mars to stay, Obama said the advances that got them there will “make our lives better here on Earth.” (VOA)

  • Diksha Arya

    That is great… After all looking at the current environmental condition of earth we might need another planet to stay…

  • Antara

    So, a habitat that can accommodate the humans; is on the way! This is great news!

Next Story

Robot Equipped with Emotion-Sensing Heads to International Space Station

Emotion-sensing Robot Heads to Space Station to Help Astronauts

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Robot
Bret Greenstein, IBM Global Vice President of Watson Internet of Things Offerings, holds a clone of an artificial intelligence bot named CIMON, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. VOA

An intelligent robot equipped with emotion-sensing voice detectors was headed to the International Space Station after launching from Florida on Thursday, becoming the latest artificial intelligence-powered astronaut workmate in orbit.

The Crew Interactive Mobile Companion 2, or CIMON 2, is a spherical droid with microphones, cameras and a slew of software to enable emotion recognition.

The droid was among 5,700 pounds (2,585 kg) of supplies and experiments aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, whose midday launch had been delayed from Wednesday because of high winds.

Create a companion

“The overall goal is to really create a true companion. The relationship between an astronaut and CIMON is really important,” Matthias Biniok, the lead architect for CIMON 2, told Reuters. “It’s trying to understand if the astronaut is sad, is he angry, joyful and so on.”

Based on algorithms built by information technology giant IBM Corp and data from CIMON 1, a nearly identical prototype that launched in 2018, CIMON 2 will be more sociable with crew members. It will test technologies that could prove crucial for future crewed missions in deep space, where long-term isolation and communication lags to Earth pose risks to astronauts’ mental health.

Robot companion
The overall goal of creating this robot is to create a true companion. (Representational Image). Lifetime Stock

While designed to help astronauts conduct scientific experiments, the English-speaking robot is also being trained to help mitigate groupthink — a behavioral phenomenon in which isolated groups of humans can be driven to make irrational decisions.

“Group-thinking is really dangerous,” Biniok said. In times of conflict or disagreement among astronauts, one of CIMON’s most important purposes would be to serve as “an objective outsider that you can talk to if you’re alone, or could actually help let the group collaborate again,” he said.

Inspired by Professor Simon, HAL

Engineers have said CIMON’s concept was inspired by a 1940s science fiction comic series set in space, where a sentient, brain-shaped robot named Professor Simon mentors an astronaut named Captain Future. CIMON 2 also parallels HAL, the sentient computer in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” film.

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SpaceX is the first private company to fly to the space station, a $100 billion project of 15 nations. Along with CIMON 2, the cargo aboard its 19th resupply mission to the orbital research lab included 40 live mice that will show scientists how muscles change in the microgravity of space. (VOA)