the best is when they talk to Bill Nye “the science guy” haha
Obama unveils plans for Mars mission
By North America correspondent Craig McMurtrie, staff
Updated Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:08am AEST
US president Barack Obama has set a bold new course for the future of US space travel, planning to send American astronauts into orbit around Mars within the next three decades.
Speaking at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, Mr Obama moved to reassure Americans that he still believes in human space exploration and defended his decision to kill NASA’s multi-billion dollar Constellation rocket program.
Addressing an audience which included former astronauts, Mr Obama said he was 100 per cent behind the US space agency.
“The bottom line is, nobody is more committed to manned space flight, to human exploration of space, than I am. But we’ve got to do it in a smart way,” he said.
To those who would return America to the moon as had been planned, Mr Obama said: “I just have to say pretty bluntly, we’ve been there before … there’s a lot more space to explore and a lot more to learn when we do”.
He sketched an ambitious vision of developing spacecraft capable of journeys into deep space by 2025, and by the mid-2030s sending astronauts to an asteroid, into orbit around Mars, and later to land there.
“And I expect to be around to see it,” he added.
But America’s best-known astronauts are at odds on the merits of Mr Obama’s plan.
Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, flew to Florida today with Mr Obama on Air Force One and supports the decision to go to Mars.
“I totally agree that we should set out sights much higher than just returning to the moon. That’s not America. America leads and should be leading in space,” he said.
But the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, is not. In an open letter to the president with other former astronauts, he called the decision “devastating”.
While Mr Obama remains committed to the commercial space industry taking over flights to low-earth orbit, he is promising more than $3 billion for research on a new heavy lift rocket for deep space exploration.
And he is promising a $40 million plan to help NASA workers who lose their jobs when the space shuttles are retired at the end of the year.