I love Robert Zubrin. But sometimes he's just nuts about this Mars stuff.
"We are much closer to being able to send humans to Mars today than we were to being able to send men to the moon in 1961, when [United States President John F. Kennedy] started the Apollo program," Zubrin said.

Under the leadership of Kennedy, humans first set foot on the moon July 20, 1969. Given similar visionary leadership, Zubrin said, humans can walk on Mars within the decade and begin the process of colonization.
Colonization in a decade? Is he serious?

Don't get me wrong I'd love to be hobnobbing in Valles Marineris by 2020, but it takes months to get to Mars not weeks.

I know there are a whole wack of "Mars First" people out there. I have to be the only putts that's a "Moon First" advocate but that's what I am.

If we can't even colonize our closest satellite then how does anyone expect we'll be able to do the same for Mars? Mars ain't some Earth II where we can get out breathe the air and start planting crops people. Mars is harsh, less harsh than the moon, but harsh all the same. And what's worse the trip there could take up to a year.

Zubrin's right, we are closer to being able to send people to Mars today than we were to the Moon in 1961. So if we spend the extravagant amounts of money required, and push hard enough we can get there and maybe plant a flag in the ground and set up a small settlement. Or we could spend a hundredth of that sum, and colonize the Moon - it's your pick as to which is more realistic.

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