President Barack Obama says the U.S. must sent humans to Mars. In an op-ed for CNN, Obama said one of his earliest memories is when he was child in Hawaii sitting on his grandfather's shoulders watching the astronauts return home.
Obama says America's accomplishments in space exploration and discovery have set a goal he calls vital to the next chapter of America's story in space. The President says we have to send humans to Mars by the 2030s and return them safely to Earth with the intent to stay on Mars for an extended period of time.
Obama says getting to Mars starts with the younger generation and investing in STEM education.
Obama's op-ed comes just days ahead of the White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh.
The President will host the event on October 13. The conference will focus on the U.S.'s role in science, technology and innovation.