Op/Ed: A Mars mission would return badly-needed inspiration to our space program Asheville Citizen-Times

This month marks the 31st anniversary of the last visit of human beings to the moon. The space program is in great need of the sort of inspiration John F. Kennedy gave when he declared on May 25, 1961 that, “this nation should commit itself to … landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.” The goal is there: Mars. The capability is there, forged during four decades of space research. What is missing is the willingness to inspire the nation to seek a goal not connected with either national security or self- gratification.