Mars fans seek share of space spotlight

Mars mission
An artist’s conception depicts a crewed mission to Mars. (NASA / JPL-Caltech Illustration / 2004)

As NASA shifts the focus of its space exploration effort to the moon, the advocates of Mars exploration and settlement have a message for future lunar explorers: Don’t get too comfortable.

“I do think the moon should be included in the plan for human expansion into space,” Robert Zubrin, president of the Mars Society and author of a new book titled “The Case for Space,” told GeekWire. “But we don’t want it to become an obstacle for further human expansion into space.”

Chris Carberry, executive director of Explore Mars, takes a similar stance.

“If we spend years and years and years getting there, and then we decide we’re going to stay there for a long time, it could delay Mars by decades,” he said.

Future Mars exploration will be grabbing a share of the spotlight once more this week at the annual Human to Mars Summit, sponsored by Carberry’s nonprofit group in Washington, D.C. Among the speakers on the agenda are NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, other officials from NASA and the European Space Agency who are planning Mars missions, and Paul Wooster, one of the engineers leading SpaceX’s charge to the Red Planet.

The three-day conference will be live-streamed from start to finish, starting at 8:30 a.m. ET (5:30 a.m. PT) on May 14.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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