Enthusiasm for visiting our red space neighbor seems to be growing. m4dm4n writes "A study carried out by MIT's Aeronautics and Astronautics department has concluded that getting men to Mars in the 2020 timeframe is possible. The intelligent re-use of crew habitat modules, propulsion stages, and engines in various missions will enable NASA to significantly reduce their initial timeline which was well past 2030." Relatedly, ErikPeterson wrote to mention a Space.com article where Neil Armstrong says getting to Mars may be easier than getting to the Moon was back in the day, because of the hurdles they had to overcome. From the article: "It will be expensive, it will take a lot of energy and a complex spacecraft. But I suspect that even though the various questions are difficult and many, they are not as difficult and many as those we faced when we started the Apollo (space program) in 1961." We're starting to understand more about the red planet as well, as madstork2000 writes "The BBC is reporting on the possibility of active volcanoes on Mars. So now there is water, heat, and soon big business when 4Frontiers gets there. Hopefully we'll get a Google Mars soon to check it out up close."
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