The US space exploration program UU It should continue to focus on the recovery of robotic samples and human missions to Mars, says Scott Hubbard, editor in chief of New Space . He details the benefits and risks of this strategy in an editorial entitled "Maintain Focus on Mars," published in New Space .
Scott Hubbard, Associate Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University and former director of NASA's Ames Research Center, recounts the commitments of the four previous Administrations to space exploration, beginning with the president's promise Kennedy in 1961 to send a man to the moon and return him to safety, the only initiative that has been funded and successfully completed. In October 2017, Vice President Pence proposed that NASA plan "human missions to the Moon" as a "springboard" for post-Mars human missions. In the current editorial, Professor Hubbard presents possible ways to offset the great cost of space exploration, including international partnerships, and discusses what makes Mars such a compelling scientific goal.
"I strongly recommend completing the return of samples from Mars," says Professor Hubbard. "That initiative alone will show the continued leadership of the US And perhaps provide answers to the most fundamental questions that humans ask:" Are we alone? "I also believe that any future plan of Human exploration must continue moving towards Mars. "
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Scott Hubbard, keeping the focus on Mars, New Space (2017). DOI: 10.1089 / space.2017.29012.gsh