She says Curiosity's discoveries could start an all-new space race, but instead of facing just the Russians, other countries will be in the running, too. With its newfound interest in Mars, the European Space Agency could also be a strong contender.
"If we don't get our act together, the first human on Mars will be Chinese," she says.
The United States has set a goal of landing humans on Mars by the mid-2030s, but a Dutch company has set a plan of trying to start the first human settlement there by 2023.
Either way, the space race may be back on.
In a statement, Bolden said "the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars."
Jason Koebler is a science and technology reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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