Setting foot on Mars by 2030 is human destiny and US priority: NASA chief
Melbourne: Setting foot on Mars by the 2030s is the ultimate destination in our solar system for humanity, and a priority for NASA, the agency's chief has said in a conference of space experts at George Washington University.
NASA administrator Charles Bolden also said that every dollar available must be spent on bridging gaps in knowledge on how to get there, News.com.au reported.
He insisted that despite hard economic times the United States is committed to breaking new boundaries in space exploration.
Bolden revealed that President Barack Obama, who supports a "vibrant and coordinated strategy for Mars exploration, has proposed a 17.7 billion dollar budget for NASA in 2014.
As preparation for sending astronauts to Mars, NASA is planning to capture and relocate an asteroid by 2025, a process that should inform future efforts to send humans into deep space, the former astronaut said.
Also, US astronaut Scott Kelly has volunteered to spend one year at the International Space Station in 2015 to allow doctors to assess how long-duration zero gravity exposure affects bone density, muscle mass and vision.
But Bolden acknowledged there are technological gaps to sending humans to an asteroid and to Mars.
So, he suggested that every single moment of our time and every single dollar of our assets must be dedicated to developing those technologies that allow us to go beyond low Earth orbit, beyond the Moon.