Op/Ed: Relaunch the space race USA Today

Russian-American relations are deteriorating. It is not just a matter of side issues such as Edward Snowden and Syria. A faction in the Kremlin’s ruling camp, exemplified by prominent Putin adviser Alexander Dugin, is urging the regime to embrace a new “fourth political theory” synthesis of communism and fascism to prop up the regime’s domestic power and make Russia the leader of the global forces opposing the West. “Liberalism,” says Dugin, meaning the whole Western consensus, “is an absolute evil. … Only a global crusade against the U.S., the West, globalization and their political-ideological expression, liberalism, is capable of becoming an adequate response. … The American empire should be destroyed.”
This is dangerous stuff. It not only threatens the prospects for freedom in Russia but also could lead to a global catastrophe. We need to turn this trend around. How? Here’s my answer: Let’s invite Russia to join with us in a grand project of sending humans to Mars.