Southern California aerospace companies are poised to be major beneficiaries of President Obama’s vision for public-private colonization of Mars in the next decades.
In an op-ed published on CNN.com Tuesday, Obama outlined a vision for what he called the “Mars generation.”
“We have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America’s story in space: sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth,” he wrote, “with the ultimate ambition to one day remain there for an extended time.”
Companies like General Atomics in San Diego, which makes compact nuclear reactors that could power settlements, and SpaceX in Los Angeles, which builds rocket boosters, would be among the key private companies involved.
Obama said his administration’s encouragement of private investment in space technology is paying off with significant new business for American companies
“Just five years ago, U.S. companies were shut out of the global commercial launch market. Today, thanks to groundwork laid by the men and women of NASA, they own more than a third of it,” he wrote. “More than 1,000 companies across nearly all 50 states are working on private space initiatives.”
He noted that within the next two years, both SpaceX and Boeing will begin flying astronauts to the International Space Station on private rockets.
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