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NASA Chief: Future Of Humanity Awaits In Deep Space

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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 22: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden delivers the opening keynote address at the Humans to Mars Summit on April 22, 2014 at George Washington University in Washington, DC. With the goal of sending a manned spacecraft to Mars within the next two decades the summit helps promote the improvement of technologies that will make travel to the planet more feasible. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 22: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden delivers the opening keynote address at the Humans to Mars Summit on April 22, 2014 at George Washington University in Washington, DC. With the goal of sending a manned spacecraft to Mars within the next two decades the summit helps promote the improvement of technologies that will make travel to the planet more feasible. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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TAMPA, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – The future of U.S. human space exploration is in deep space according to NASA’s chief Charles Bolden. 

Bolden spoke during a visit to the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) on April 18 where he met with professors, students and the public. He explained NASA’s master plan for space exploration, which includes capturing an asteroid with a robotic probe and towing it near the moon so that it can be explored by astronauts.

The goal is to accomplish this by 2025 and in 2030, Mars would be next. This plan has yet to be pitched to Congress.  

“I wouldn’t say it’s a hard sell,” Bolden told Space.com. “It’s just that political people are ideologues. They are just one group of ideologues.”

He added that people are still in the Apollo era in terms of dealing with the moon. 

“We’re going to go back there … but we are looking at the future,” Bolden said. “And the future for humanity is deep space. It’s getting to Mars. It’s trying to find answers to the question of how do we protect this planet against asteroids and other threats.”

Bolden shared that there is more to traveling in space than just rockets and spaceships always launching. 

“Everybody likes to talk about grand visions and stuff — but at some point, then, you’ve got to take the grand vision, and you’ve got to do little things to make that grand vision work,” Bolden said. “And we’re now at that point … We’ve talked enough about the grand vision. We’re now talking real, gory details. People are now seeing the sausage made … let me put it that way.”

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