So what do you think — as NASA contemplates Mars, should we strive for human exploration of space and colonization of planets OR should we prioritize scientific research of space in ways that benefit Earth sciences and the humans here?
Is Mars Man’s Midlife Crisis?

I don’t like the way the question is framed, but I’m not sure I have a better suggestion. The problem I have is that unmanned missions are human exploration of space. The main difference is that you don’t have a human being in a space suit planting a flag as if she had just scaled a mountain peak. Robotic explorers don’t utter pithy comments as they set foot (or wheel) on a new planet.

I’d rather see money earmarked for a manned Mars mission spent on bigger-bang-for-the-buck science projects, whether those projects are exploring the solar system, next generation orbital telescopes, or earth science satellites.

The Mars Project in its various manned mission forms is premature.

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