Copyright © by Robert Zubrin. Published to the Marspapers archive with permission.
MARS: AMERICA'S NEW FRONTIER
The time has come for America to set itself a bold new goal in space. The recent celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landings have reminded us of what we as a nation were once able to accomplish, and by so doing have put the question to us: are we still a nation of pioneers? Do we choose to make the efforts required to continue to be the vanguard of human progress, a people of the future; or will we allow ourselves to be a people of the past, one whose accomplishments are celebrated not in newspapers, but in museums? There can be no progress without a goal. The American space program, begun so brilliantly with Apollo and its associated programs, has spent most of the subsequent 20 years without a central goal. We need such an overriding goal to drive our space program forward. At this point of history, that goal can only be the human exploration and settlement of Mars.