Obama's Space Speech: We'll Go to Mars in This Lifetime

By Smriti Rao | April 15, 2010 5:35 pm

444867main_201004150004HQ_fAmericans will go to asteroids, to Mars, and maybe beyond–and all in this lifetime, stated President Obama at Cape Canaveral this afternoon as he reassured Americans that space exploration will continue. Speaking at the Kennedy Space Center, where America launched its moon mission decades ago, Obama said he was “100 percent committed to the mission of NASA and its future.”

Obama’s proposed space policy (pdf) would increase NASA’s budget by $6 billion over the next 5 years, which he says will create 2,500 additional jobs at the Kennedy Space Center by 2012. Acknowledging criticism for some of his changes to NASA’s missions, Obama stated that the country must “leap into the future” and not “continue on the same path as before,” saying: “The bottom line is: Nobody is more committed to manned space flight, the human exploration of space, than I am. But we’ve got to do it in a smart way; we can’t keep doing the same old things as before” [The New York Times].

In his speech, the President declared that by 2025 the nation would have a new spacecraft designed to carry humans “beyond the moon into deep space.” He added that by the mid-2030’s America would also be able to send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth, adding “a landing on Mars will soon follow.” President Obama stated: “Space exploration is not a luxury, not an afterthought in America’s brighter future…. It is an essential part of that quest” [The New York Times].

For more details on Obama’s new space policy and what it means for NASA and the future of space exploration, head over to Bad Astronomy for Phil Plait’s post, “Obama lays out bold and visionary revised space policy.”

Related Content:
Bad Astronomy: Obama lays out bold and visionary revised space policy
80beats: Neil Armstrong Slams Obama’s Space Plan; President Will Defend It Tomorrow
80beats: Obama’s NASA Plan Draws Furious Fire; The Prez Promises To Defend His Vision
80beats: Obama’s NASA Budget: So Long, Moon Missions; Hello, Private Spaceflight
Bad Astronomy: Neil Tyson Sounds Off on NASA

Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space, Technology
  • Stanley H. Tweedle

    In his speech, the President declared that by 2025 the nation would have a new spacecraft designed to carry humans “beyond the moon into deep space.”

    Doesn’t ‘deep space’ mean beyond the solar system? Or did he want to say deeper space? XD

  • Dale Ruperd

    McCain for
    president !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dale Ruperd

    Go back to Isreal Obama!

  • Dale Ruperd

    [This comment has been deleted due to its racism.]

  • Anonymous

    Rather than whine in the comments about Constellation getting axed, we should read between the lines of his speech to see what Obama’s real intent here is.

    Instead of take the next decade finishing up a program designed to return to the moon, Obama’s going to waylay a couple of years for reformation / research, in order to soundly beat China to Mars.

    I’d way prefer that than going to the moon along with them, >50 years later. Because it’s possible, that if Constellation was a little too slow, the Chinese could “beat” us back to the moon and make us look terrible, and it would be a huge symbolic loss of prestige. If we don’t even focus on the moon then that changes the game entirely, possibly throwing a curve ball that the Chinese simply will be unable to follow with. It would serve to show that despite the rise of other nations, they still cannot even compare to the US’s prestige and leadership with space exploration.

  • ChH

    I suspect Dale Ruperd’s #5 is really from someone trying to make Obama’s opponents look bad … but regardless of your true opinion & motivation, sir, you give the anus a bad name.
    Also, Obama is a lousy President, but that certainly doesn’t mean McCain would have been a good one.

  • scott

    Dale, you have been tagged by us – the great Obama ,muslim, socialist society. We are coming for you and when we get you, we will tax you into oblivion and use the money to save baby owls, pay for immigrants plastic surgery and tooth whitening and make gay weddings more fabulous. Also, you will be required to pray on rugs everyday and to reject Christ.

    You can’t hide in your millitia hideout in Idaho for long. No matter how many guns and cans of SPAM you stock…we will get you. You will submit….resistance is futile.

    **Actually, I have relatives in Texas who are stocking up in fear of these things…although I was just trying to be silly, I have heard these things from them. The ignorance of so many these days is the biggest threat to this planet, more so than all the pollution we could possibly dump out. If civilization crumbles, it will be because of fools like the above.

  • charlie

    Sad fact is people like Dale are what you scrap off the bottom of shoe, sure it smells but soon gone only to pop out of a dogs ass somewhere else

  • hari




  • m

    i doubt Mars is reachable. I have yet to see any real plan or technology that can efficiently move all that mass to Mars.

    The radiation sheilding would be heavy enough…what about all that water you need to bring.

  • Vince

    Maybe Obama is trying to get to Mars to get the Martians to impose socialism on the whole earth. Then we’ll have paid vacations and free healthcare for everyone! What a nightmare!

    Seriously though, Obama will go down as one of the greatest presidents in United States history. For those who don’t believe me, just wait for the history books to prove your blindness wrong.

  • http://www.sociologyofthecosmos.net Peter

    These are all very important matters. To engage in a debate about how we humanise the cosmos see http://www.sociologyoftheuniverse.net

  • geeta

    So would that be before the economic recovery or after?
    Why are politicians made to talk about things they do not understand; or, wait a minute, that is exactly what they do and he is already on the next campaign, I hear.

  • montra—trimek—pig—-thailand–


  • http://annuaire.refalliance.com Annuaire gratuit

    Nice post. I like to read about Obama good things

  • http://yourownonlinebusiness.net/about/ Denise Thomps

    Obama gifted his Airforce One to Rajnikanth.

  • http://boundbytheearth.com Tamra Culotti

    hi anyone, I was just checkin’ out this site and I really like the basis of the article, and have nothing to do, so if anyone would like to to have an enjoyable conversation about it, please contact me on twitter, my name is jack polaska

  • http://charter.net kenneth stevens

    obama will go down as the most spending president ever to have been in office. obama is trying to bankrupt our goverment and when this happends china will will declare to be paid and sence we dont have any money they will take land. the united states will belong to china and there is nothing we can do about it

  • http://www.clicdirectory.com french directory

    The creation of 2,500 additional jobs is a good news for the US economy

  • Ms. Corron

    What do you think? Leave a comment.

  • Shane

    I think we should and shouldn’t go to Mars. I say we should because it would be cool to find life on the planet Mars. I say we shouldn’t because the money should go to charities or people that actually need the money. I would say that we should rather wait and donate money instead.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Carla Dornan

    Well accomplished. I really like your content articles.

  • http://Poopy.com Chuck

    When we land on Mars that is the day poop will leak out of my sweet honey buns.

  • craig

    put your money into propulsion then you can get to mars in a month not 6 months. your recycled pee will taste better

  • Chris W

    Check out Moore’s Law, which seems to have held hold to this day. With the advancement of technology accordingly, a ship by 2025 is probable. The development and research of graphene, and its unique properties, will have enormous implications for our civilization. We should heavily invest into renewable energies to end our dependence on fossil fuels, and in turn become the worlds largest provider ($$$) .

    This article makes me want to flip tables because it is so damn good!

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

  • W.N. Snuffit

    If Obama is really so committed to the space program, why did he kill the constellation program that was developing the rocket (which was already being test flown – google “Ares I” and “Ares V”) to take our astronauts to the ISS, the moon, and ultimately Mars? ANSWER: More election year B.S. from a consummate purveyor of bovine offal. He doesn’t give a care about space exploration!! Most people (apparently including Obamanation) forget that every green technology we have was perfected for the space program, but it’s easier to throw the money to the insurance companies so you feel better that atleast you did that for people who don’t have health insurance, and it pays off the insurance lobby too. Curious how Constellation was killed during the fight on Capitol Hill over where to get the money for Obamacare (really, he does?). So I ask when did he start to care about space exploration since he didn’t then and where is he getting the money for it since HE told us that the US can’t afford space exploration and that was why Constellation had its funding killed. @Shane – How much money have you donated to a charity lately? @Craig, I’d love to watch you try to survive the G-forces it would be required for your fragile body to make the trip in a month. Don’t forget the radiation that astronauts would be exposed to once you leave the magnetosphere of the earth . . . one month or six – it won’t matter you’re gonna glow if no one comes up with light weight radiation shielding. Even if they got VASIMR to work they way they claimed it would the fuel load needed to get to Mars would be outrageous. VASIMR uses em fields to ionize the fuel (to something like 1,000,000 degrees if memory serves) and that requires serious power (we’re talking nuclear reactor and I don’t mean the thermal-isotope reactors) and big HEAVY magnets which means that ship is going to be “wicked-sick” heavy. So tell me how you generate thrust when your propellant (1,000,000 degree plasma) annihilates whatever it touches and the ship weighs many tons just for the engines? (And we haven’t even started talking about life support yet.) If you accellerate half that trip (2 weeks if we go by your itinerary) and decellerate the other half . . .that means you’ve literally been burning your engines for a month straight. That is a lot of fuel!! In order to achieve the velocity you need to reach Mars in a month, the heavier your ship is . . . the more Gs of accelleration you require.

  • Nicole B.

    I believe we shouldn’t go to mars because it costs a lot, it’s dangerous, and we dont have enough knowledge for it yet. One reason is because it costs a lot of money. It cost $7 billion. another reason is because it’s dangerous. It is not safe enough for average people. I believe that we should not go to mars.

  • kevin luu

    I believe we shouldn’t go to Mars. I believe this because of oxygen, spaceship, and money. We shouldn’t go because there is no oxygen at mars because what if our space suit malfunction. We shouldn’t go to mars because our spaceship might malfunction and it’ll take a very long time to get there. We shouldn’t go to Mars because of money and our taxes will raise and it’ll cost about millions of dollars. Overall, I believe we shouldn’t go to Mars but other people have a differnt opinion.

  • Ungkhane Luanaphayvong

    I think we should go to Mars. I believe this because there might be minerals in the rocks. I also think this because there might used to be life on Mars and we’ll never know if we don’t travel there. My last reason is that if we search other planets there might be things that are really helpful that we don’t have much of on earth. Overall I believe we should go to Mars because we make our money and we can produce more.

  • ashley

    I belive we shouldn’t go to mars beacse you cold get sick or even hurt.The reasons that I wouldn’t go to mars is that you could get lost in space and you could get really sick beause you dont know what kind of diseases on mars.My last reason is it would take a year and a half to go there.Overall the reason we shouldnt go to mars is you doont know what kind of stuff is up there.

  • Elyssa

    I believe we shouldn’t go to Mars. I think we shouldn’t go because we don’t know if it’s safe enough to support life. Also we might run out of oxygen and it’s too expensive. Overall I believe we shouldn’t go to Mars.

  • LA

    I believe we shouldnt go to mars because its too expensive, we can uses the money for something else than going to space and robots can do what scientest do. We risk too many lives just going up to mars. We can use the 6-7 billion dollers for medicine and the elderly. The robots can do much more than the sscientests and are alot less expensive and we wont risk any lives. Overall I believe that we should NOT go to space.

  • Niszira South

    I believe we shouldn’t go th mars. I believe this because it would be way to much money, something could go wrong, and we have robots that are doing what the sciencetists would do. so overall I believe that we shouldn’t go to mars.

  • noah landals

    I belive we should go to Mars, I belive this because we can find out if we can live there. We can also find out if we can make medicene from the minerals. We can even find out if theres life there. Some people will say if try to go to Mars its would cost about 6 billion dollars so we souldn’t but if we do go and we succed i think it would be worth it.

  • http://yahoomail.com cahlen

    I think that we should go to mars because we could eventually establish life on mars and then eventually live there. All we have to do is make a bunch of oxygen . Then we can move there if something was to hapen to earth.

  • Max Tensen

    I believe that if we have the time, money, focus, and technology to go to Mars, that we definetly should. But some of these qualities, we lack. We would definetly have to raise taxes dramaticaly, it would also take about a decade to raise the 7-8 billion dollrs to buy the fuel, hire the men, and build the craft. Although this would create new jobs and provide new information about colonizing Mars, it would still cost way, way to much. But, why do we doubt the fact that we have these wonderful probes that allow to do the exact same thing that humans would do. Look around. All we are going to do is say,”Hey, this is pretty neat!”. What I am getting at is that we should wait 5-10 years than see where we are. We have time! We don’t have to decide just right now weither we want to go or if we don’t. That is why I am undecided weither we should go to Mars yet.

  • Ahmed Musa

    I believe we shouldn’t go to Mars. I believe this because it’s really expensive, also it would take a long period of time, and anything can happen in space.


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