surface of mars
NASA and Mars

On January 14, 2004 President Bush announced a new vision for NASA, the U.S. government space agency, including further manned exploration of the moon by 2020 and a commitment to send people to Mars after that.  A presidential commission produced a report on "The Moon, Mars, and Beyond."  Is this a realistic goal?  Can the federal government afford to do it?  Will it have the necessary political support? Should NASA be the one to do it?  (Some Mars enthusiasts believe going to Mars should be done by private industry, not a federal agency).

Bush's commitment:
NASA's policy
Presidential Commission Report
commentary on the report

story on budgetary issues
lack of presidential support
focus on the moon instead
learning from history
concerns among scientists

Mars enthusiasts:
The Mars Society
Zubrin on reducing the cost
an article with suggestions
Space Frontier Foundation Mars Page
Moon to Mars web site