Op-Ed: On to Mars — but not back to Earth Los Angeles Times

We can establish a human outpost on Mars in our generation, and reputable scientists are finally getting on board with the idea. Risky though it may be, we have the technology to place a person on the Red Planet. But, if NASA demands that the Mars explorer must return to Earth, then the idea becomes more like science fiction, and colonization probably can’t be achieved within the lifespan of those now reading this article.
For a Mars colony to be a reality within the next 15 or so years, the first traveler would have to live out his or her life as a permanent resident of an alien desert world. That person could eventually be joined by others, but return would not be an option.