One of the first astronauts orbiting the moon said Wednesday it was "stupid" to plan human missions to Mars.
Bill Anders, the lunar landing pilot on NASA's Apollo 8 mission, told BBC Radio 5 Live Deploying crews to the Red Planet would be "almost ridiculous."
One of the goals of the US Space Agency is to send people to Mars for exploration and scientific study.
"What is the imperative, what drives us to Mars?" Anders, 85, added, adding, "I do not think the public is so interested."
The retired astronaut, however, stated that he is a great supporter of NASA's unmanned programs for Mars ̵
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In a statement, NASA told the BBC that "it will bring about a sustained return to the moon that will prepare us for sending astronauts to Mars."
] "Commercial and international partners are also involved Expand human presence in space and open up new knowledge and opportunities, "the statement says.
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Although Anders belonged to the crew in December 1968, who had become the first manned spacecraft to leave the subterranean orbit, returned to the Moon, he returned for what NASA in the decades since this historical journey has become.
"NASA could not get to the moon today," Anders told BBC Radio 5 Live. "They are so ossified … NASA has turned into an employment program … many of the centers are mainly interested in keeping up to date and you only see public support if they get the workers who own theirs Wages get paid and their congressmen get reelected. "
Anders, former teammate Frank Borman, was also interviewed about the space agency.
"I'm not as critical of NASA as Bill," Borman told 5 Live. "I firmly believe that we need a solid exploration of our solar system, and I think humans are part of it."
However, when Borman was asked about the plans of SpaceX founder Elon Musk and founder of Blue Origins, Jeff Bezos, he said this. The talk of colonies on Mars is "nonsense."
Anders and Borman spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live as part of a special documentary on the 50th anniversary of the historic Moon Mission.