[Updated at 4:01 p.m.] In a speech at the Kennedy Space Center, Obama outlined his proposal to pump an additional $6 billion into NASA's budget over the next five years while halting a project to again send astronauts to the moon.
The new spending would be for research on a propulsion breakthrough to travel deeper into space, as well as development of technologies to allow humans to transport necessary supplies to work and stay longer, Obama said.
"I am 100 percent committed to the mission of NASA and its future," Obama said to applause from the audience of space program workers.
He outlined a program including a multibillion-dollar modernization of Kennedy Space Center, expansion of private-sector and commercial space industries, creation of thousands of jobs and eventually human travel to Mars.
"We will actually reach space faster and more often under this plan," Obama said, adding it would send more astronauts into space over the next decade than previously planned.
"By the mid 2030s I believe we can send people to orbit Mars and bring them safely back to Earth," Obama said. Landing on Mars will follow, and "I expect to be around to see it," he said.
[Posted at 3:32 p.m.] President Barack Obama said Thursday that he is "100 percent committed" to the mission of NASA and its future.