US president Barack Obama has said sending astronauts beyond the moon and into deep space should be possible by 2025. Obama said the revamped space policy ultimately aimed to pave the way for a manned Mars mission.
Speaking at the Kennedy Space center in Cape Canaveral Florida, Obama attempted to answer critics by promising some four and half billion euros in extra funding for NASA over the next five years.
“Early in the next decade, a set of crewed flights will test and prove the systems required for exploration beyond lower earth orbit, and by 2025 we expect new spacecraft designed for long journeys to allow us to begin the first ever crewed missions beyond the moon into deep space,’‘ President Obama said.
“By the mid-2030s I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth. And landing on Mars will follow, and I expect to be around to see it,” Obama added.
Obama has come under heavy criticism from the likes of Neil Armstrong after NASA killed the Constellation program in March, developed under the Bush administration.
The Apollo 11 great and opponents have also said US missions to the International Space Station will be reliant on Russian goodwill until new NASA spaceships are ready.