Mars Mission Could Pay Dividends On Earth President Obama sketched out a vision for the future of manned space travel during a visit to the Kennedy Space Center Thursday. His plan was closely watched in the politically important state of Florida. The president said his plan will keep Americans traveling into deep space, with an eventual goal of Mars.
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Mars Mission Could Pay Dividends On Earth

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Mars Mission Could Pay Dividends On Earth

Mars Mission Could Pay Dividends On Earth

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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

We have two reports, beginning with NPR's Scott Horsley.

SCOTT HORSLEY: The countdowns at the Kennedy Space Center have a grim finality these days with just three space shuttle flights left. There was no clear plan for what comes next, until President Obama splashed down at the Kennedy Space Center yesterday and tried to offer one.

BARACK OBAMA: Let me start by being extremely clear: I am 100 percent committed to the mission of NASA and its future.

HORSLEY: That future has been in doubt. In his 2011 budget, Mr. Obama threatened to cancel the overdue, underfunded Constellation Program, which President Bush conceived to put a man back on the moon. Mr. Obama's message: been there, done that.

OBAMA: There's a lot more of space to explore and a lot more to learn when we do.

HORSLEY: Political scientist Susan MacManus of the University of South Florida says that corridor is already known as a political prize in this very important swing state.

SUSAN MACMANUS: Some people will look at it politically. But let me assure you that that the people on space coast will be looking at it economically.

HORSLEY: Scott Horsley, NPR News.

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