The US will work with private companies on its plan to send humans to Mars in the 2030s. President Obama announced his proposals for a crewed mission to the Red Planet in 2010. But the plan has been broadly criticized, particularly by Congress.
Nasa is already working with the private sector to resupply the International Space Station. And many private space firms like SpaceX, have made no secret of their ambitions to explore Mars.
But members of Congress and expert witnesses claimed the US space agency lacked a clear road map for Mars and that the plan needed achievable milestones to succeed. However, this has not reduced President Obama’s enthusiasm for expeditions to the Red Planet.
He said that he would be convening leading scientists, engineers and innovators in Pittsburgh this week to dream up ways to build on our progress and find the next frontiers.