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Sending astronauts to Mars would be stupid, says the astronaut



  Bill Anders on Apollo 8

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NASA

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Bill Anders on Apollo 8 in December 1
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One of the first men orbiting the moon has told BBC Radio 5 Live that it's "stupid" to plan human missions to Mars.

Bill Anders, pilot of the lunar module of Apollo 8, the first manned spaceflight in the world The occupation to Mars is "almost ridiculous".

Nasa is currently planning new human missions to the Moon.

She wants to learn the skills and develop the technology to enable a future landing on Mars. 19659007] Nasa was approached for answering Anders' comments, but did not respond.

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Bill Anders today. He says Nasa should not aim to send manned missions to Mars

Anders, 85, said he was a "big proponent" of the "remarkable" unmanned programs, "mainly because they are much cheaper". But he says public support is simply not there to fund far more expensive human missions.

"What is the imperative?" He said, adding, "I do not think the public is that interested."

Meanwhile, robot probes are still exploring Mars. Last month, the InSight lander used the Explore the interior of the planet successfully at Elysium Planitia.

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NASA

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Rendering of a concept of the Mars Ice Home by an artist.

In December 1968 Anders descended with Crew members Frank Borman and Jim Lovell on a Saturn V from Cape Canaveral in Florida before completing ten orbits around the Moon.

The crew of Apollo 8 spent 20 hours of orbit before returning to Earth.

They rippled in the Pacific on December 27 and landed only 4,500 meters from their target point. They were picked up by the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown.

It was at this time the farthest humans on their home planet – and only seven months later an important step on the way to the historic moon landing of Apollo 11.

But the former astronaut is worried about how Nasa has been since the intoxicating days when, in the late 1960s, President John F. Kennedy pledged to land a man on the moon.

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The famous Earthrise image of Apollo 8

"Nasa could not go to the moon today, they are so ossified … NASA has turned into a job program … many of the centers are mainly interested in doing business and the public is not seeing others Assistance as the workers receive their wages and their congressmen are re-elected. "

Anders also criticizes the decision to focus on exploring the near-Earth orbit after the Apollo program was completed in the 1970s. "I think the Space Shuttle was a serious mistake, it had little else than an exciting start, but it never kept what it promised," he said.

"The space station is only there because you had a shuttle, and vice versa: NASA has really misunderstood the manned program since the late moon landings."

This view may surprise a proud patriot and servant of the US military, who still remembers his own mission in space. It is also a view that Anders accepts that she does not sit well with some in the space community.

"I think Nasa's luck with having what they have – which is still hard to justify in my eyes – I'm not a very popular guy on Nasa because he said that, but I think so too, "he explained.

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NASA

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The Apollo 8 astronauts prepare for take-off

His former team-mate Frank Borman, who commanded the Apollo 8 mission and spent two weeks orbiting Earth during the Gemini program, is more enthusiastic.

"I'm not so critical of NASA as Bill," he told 5 Live. "I am firmly convinced that we need a solid exploration of our solar system, and I think that human beings are part of it."

But asked for the plans of Space X founder Elon Musk and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, who both talked about starting private missions on Mars, Borman is less complementary.

"I think there's a lot of hype around Mars, which is nonsense, Musk and Bezos, they talk about putting colonies on Mars, that's nonsense."

Apollo's Legacy

Thinking About Their Own Historical Mission Before the moon, Borman described Apollo 8 as a "big undertaking" and agreed that he had won the space race.

Anders said he believed the mission's legacy was "Earthrise," a photograph of the crew hanging over the lunar horizon in the blackness of the universe, the home planet of humanity.

Speaking to Prime Minister of BBC Radio 4, Crewmate Jim Lovell also reflected on the Earthrise moment: "When I looked at the earth itself … I began to wonder why I am here, which is my intention here is … it somehow dawned on me, "he said.

"And my perspective is that God has given humanity a stage on which to perform, and how the play turns out to be up to us."

Frank Borman and Bill Anders spoke with BBC Radio 5 Live as part of a special documentary on the 50th anniversary of their historic moon mission. Apollo 8: Christmas on the other side of the moon will be broadcast live on December 24, 2018 at 20:00 GMT.


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