Former NASA astronaut says sending people to Mars "almost ridiculous"

Former NASA astronaut says sending people to Mars

Bill Anders, who is also one of the most accomplished space explorers in human history, is speaking for an entire section of the population who thinks that the United States space agency should rather focus on cheap, uncrewed missions, such as the InSight one which recently landed on Mars, than on potentially-dangerous human-crewed missions.

According to Bill Anders, the first person to fly out of Earth's orbit who was part of Apollo 8 mission to the moon's orbit, the attempt by government and private agencies to have manned missions to Mars in the near future is "ridiculous".

"What's the imperative? What's pushing us to go to Mars", 85-year-old Anders told BBC Radio 5 Live.

NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsNASA has always been exploring other worlds with the goal of eventually sending astronauts back to the moon and even to Mars for the first time.

"I do think there's a lot of hype about Mars that is nonsense", Borman said. Its most recent exploration on Mars is the landing of the InSight spacecraft on November 26, which is created to study the deep interior of the red planet. On Wednesday in the interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, he also said sending manned mission to Mars would be "stupid".

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But Anders' own Apollo 8 crewmate Frank Borman disagreed, arguing in the documentary that crewed exploration is important.

In a statement, NASA told the BBC that it was "leading a sustainable return to the Moon, which will help prepare us to send astronauts to Mars". NASA stated that its commercial and worldwide partners are keen to expand presence of humans in space to bring back new knowledge and opportunities. Commenting on the plans to fly to Mars, former NASA astronaut and member of first crew to orbit the moon in a manned ship, said that the human presence on other planets there's no point yet.

"NASA couldn't get to the Moon today". He said the public support simply isn't there to fund vastly more expensive human missions.

"I'm not as critical of NASA as Bill is", he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "I firmly believe that we need robust exploration of our Solar System and I think man is part of that". Musk and Bezos, they're talking about putting colonies on Mars.

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