By Dan Robitzski
According to one of the astronauts aboard NASA’s 1968 Apollo 8 mission, it would be “stupid” and “almost ridiculous” to pursue a crewed mission to Mars.
“What’s the imperative? What’s pushing us to go to Mars? I don’t think the public is that interested,” said Bill Anders, who orbited the Moon before returning to Earth 50 years ago, in a new documentary by BBC Radio 5 Live.
Anders argued that there are plenty of things NASA could be doing that would be a better use of time and money, like the uncrewed InSight rover that recently touched down to study Mars’ interior.
The comments, by one of the most accomplished space explorers in human history, illustrates a deep and public philosophical rift about whether the future of spaceflight will be characterized by splashy crewed missions or less expensive automated ones.
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