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Space & Astronomy

Apollo astronaut: 'Mars trip would be stupid'

December 27, 2018 | Comment icon 12 comments



Is it really a good idea to send humans to Mars ? Image Credit: NASA / Pat Rawlings
One of the three astronauts who flew to the Moon aboard Apollo 8 has criticized efforts to land humans on Mars.
In a new documentary by BBC Radio 5 Live, pioneering astronaut Bill Anders described the idea of sending humans to Mars as "almost ridiculous" and "stupid".

Anders, who was one of the first astronauts to orbit the Moon, argued that there are far more important things for NASA to be doing than spending billions on efforts to launch a manned mission to Mars.

"What's the imperative ?" he said. "What's pushing us to go to Mars ?"
"I don't think the public is that interested."

Instead, Anders argued, NASA should be spending more money on unmanned exploratory missions.

His Apollo 8 crewmate Frank Borman is not quite so critical, but does agree on some points.

"I firmly believe that we need robust exploration of our Solar System and I think man is part of that," he said. "[However] I do think there's a lot of hype about Mars that is nonsense."

"Musk and Bezos, they're talking about putting colonies on Mars. That's nonsense."

Source: Science Alert | Comments (12)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Ares_Zeusson 3 years ago
But then he'll just wind up as President of Mars.
Comment icon #4 Posted by esoteric_toad 3 years ago
Given the support, or lack there of, of most space programs I think it is too ambitious and risky. I think we would be far better off using the moon as a test bed for building bases and off world colonies. If we can live on the moon we would likely have a far greater chance of succeeding on Mars.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Robotic Jew 3 years ago
I volunteer to go to Mars. I'm always doing stupid things and nobody would miss me if things went the way they're bound to go. Hopefully, some secret government employee is scouring the internet searching for candidates and sees this. Take me! Take me!   It would be a tremendous achievement to get somebody there and back though. I just don't know how feasible it is with our current technology and resources. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by NCC1701 3 years ago
With such an attitude,mankind would still be living in Africa. That guy should not have taken up the job as an LM pilot and have stayed safely on earth.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Rolci 3 years ago
Finally. We found the perfect motto we shall be displaying over the gates of the first permanent settlement on Mars in 2030 in huge 2m tall bold capital letters: Putting colonies on Mars. That's nonsense. Bill Anders
Comment icon #8 Posted by Nnicolette 3 years ago
When i was a kid in school they used to tell me that our class was just the right age to be candidates  because they would be going when we were 20. Some of our kids are about old enough now... I think with the presidential cycle of undoing each others work our country is running like it is handicapped with turets syndrome and it will definitely be the work of private corperations.
Comment icon #9 Posted by stevewinn 3 years ago
what year is the manned mission to Mars? (surface)
Comment icon #10 Posted by qxcontinuum 3 years ago
I agree.. why Mars... Titan or Europa seems to be better chooses.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Artaxerxes 3 years ago
There is the problem of deep space radiation. Any astronauts that traveled to Mars would be almost certain to get cancer very soon after arriving on Mars. Until the problem of radiation in deep space is solved there is really no safe way to send any living creatures to Mars.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Mr Supertypo 3 years ago
Well he has his opinion. I think manned exploration is far more rewarding than few robots. Sorry.


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