According to one of the astronauts aboard NASA's Apollo 8 mission in 1968, it would be "stupid" and "almost ridiculous" to crew up to Mars.
"What is the imperative? What forces us to go to Mars?" "I do not think the audience is so interested," said Bill Anders, who orbited the Moon in a new documentary from BBC Radio 5 Live before returning to Earth fifty years ago.
Anders argued that there are many things that NASA could do. This would mean a better use of time and money, such as the unscrewed InSight rover, which recently set out to investigate the interior of Mars.
The comments of one of the most experienced space explorers in human history illustrate a profound and public philosophical rift as to whether the future of space flight will be marked by brisk missions of occupation or less costly automated missions.
Anders' key message about the BBC is based on his perception that NASA is fueling a vicious circle of well-known missions, strengthening its image, improving funding, and attracting high-level talent to launch more publicly published missions.
The dispatch of an astronaut to Mars would dominate the news Anders, argued Anders ̵
This skepticism raises the question of the cycle Unlike the ranks of other high-profile critics of NASA, Elon Musk's SpaceX, and Jeff Bezos – Blue Origin – all three have their sights fixed on the Red Planet.
For example, science communicator and advocate Bill Nye predicted last year that no layman would want to populate Mars. Nye also redoubled last month to say that anyone planning a terraforming Mars must be drug dependent.
But Anders & # 39; s own Apollo-8 crewmate Frank Borman disagreed, arguing in the documentary that exploration by crewmembers was important.
I'm not as critical of NASA as Bill, "Borman told BBC," I firmly believe that we need a solid exploration of our solar system, and I think humans are part of it. "
But Even Borman draws the line between exploration and settlement.
"I think there's a lot of hype around Mars is nonsense," Borman said. "Musk and Bezos, they talk about putting colonies on Mars. This is nonsense. "
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