Can the U.S. Really Get Astronauts to Mars by 2030?


President Obama and Michelle Obama speaking to Mark Kelly, right, and other astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center in 2011.

Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In an essay published Tuesday on CNN’s website, President Obama renewed his call for American astronauts to visit Mars.

“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,” he wrote.

The plan is not new: The president laid out the same goal in 2010 during a speech at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

But the column on Tuesday, along with a joint blog post by senior White House and NASA officials, offered new details…

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