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In an exclusive interview with Mic, four astronauts aboard the International Space Station revealed what they think it’s going to take for humankind to ever set foot on Mars: cooperation across international lines.

“I don’t think we’re going to be able to do it alone,” Scott Tingle, an astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, told Mic. “We’re gonna have to work as a human race together internationally to make it happen.”

To those of us on Earth who’ve been bombarded with headlines about growing tensions across international lines, the idea of working together with our geopolitical rivals may seem lightyears away. But for the six astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the ISS, that international cooperation is all in a day’s work.

“We’ve been operating this engineering marvel 250 miles above the earth, 365 days a year with basically no problems, I think that’s a great testament to what we can do when we work together,” Tingle said.

Watch Mic’s full interview with four ISS astronauts above.

Anthony Smith
Senior writer