Official Mars Society Statement Regarding Augustine Commission Report Mars Society

The recently released report from the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee (AKA: The Augustine Commission), Seeking a Human Space Program Worthy of a Great Nation, states that “A human landing and extended human presence on Mars stand prominently above all other opportunities for exploration. Mars is unquestionably the most scientifically interesting destination in the inner solar system. It possesses resources which can be used for life support and propellants. If humans are ever to live for long periods with intention of extended settlement on another planetary surface, it is likely to be on Mars.”
The Mars Society is in perfect agreement with this statement and we hope that NASA will pursue a program that will realize this goal as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, the Augustine Commission report then goes on to state that we are not ready to go to Mars with current technology and we can go nowhere in the next decade, even with the expenditure of over a hundred billion dollars. While challenging, sending humans to Mars is possible with current technological expertise and we could have humans on Mars in the 2020s.