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President Obama just announced that that U.S. government will be partnering with private companies with the explicit goal of sending humans to Mars. While their goal already sounds pretty ambitious, their timeline is the most impressive part of the partnership.

Obama said that he’d like to see humans on Mars by the 2030s.

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The President, who made the announcement through an op-ed for CNN, will soon be hosting the White House Frontiers Conference, which brings together innovators in science and technology from around the world. No doubt the excitement and support for this announcement will be *earth-shattering.*

In the piece, he explains some of his reasoning behind not only the goal itself, but also why it’s so important to our identity as Americans.

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He emphasizes that we need to be specific in our goals in order to make this dream a reality.

Since there have already been some incredible discoveries on Mars in recent years that have helped us learn even more about the conditions there, it’s certainly possible that we might be able soon learn how to send actual humans to the planet and have them return to tell their tale.

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Though Obama’s announcement is major, NASA has had similar plans in the works for a while.

The President has been a big supporter of space initiatives, with a number of cool projects — like creating livable pods that could transport people on long, deep space missions — already moving forward. Allowing private companies (many of whom have had private space initiatives for years) to partner with the government means that there will be a lot more resources and incredible minds working on all of these (literally) out-of-this-world goals.