John Kelly: NASA still aiming for manned Mars mission Florida Today

NASA’s not giving up on flying people to Mars.
Some critics of the space agency’s recent proposal to fly astronauts to an asteroid say we’re “settling” for something less than the big prize: humans walking on the red planet.
Not true. The mission to an asteroid is part of a stepping-stone approach to sending human beings exploring deeper into the solar system. A sensible look at NASA’s current flight capabilities, human limitations and the space exploration budget means Mars isn’t possible yet.
NASA’s top human spaceflight chief, Bill Gerstenmaier, recently went over the payoffs with a committee of the NASA Advisory Council.