I really have my fears that even that somewhat forgiving deadline is still not reachable. Why? I mean truly if we put enough money into a thing, it’s bound to happen. But is going to Mars a priority for this society? Do most Americans know what Mars is?
I find the goal to be interesting, If our objective is to establish land-based operations (with Mars’ gravity being roughly 1/3 ours). That seems rough. There’s no way to train for that. You can strand yourself in a barren environment and only wear a suit outside, but the GRAVITY you can’s fake. You will know when you get there. I guess. But we sure can calculate for what is going to happen to us when we get there, and how hard it is going to be to establish a self-sustaining colony there. We can’t even zip up our own flies half the time. Why should we care about going to Mars, other than that going there is pretty fucking cool?
We plan to, first, grab a Near Earth Object and corral it into an orbit around the Moon, and then go send people to it and land on it for samples or whatever. Isn’t that insane? A fucking asteroid no larger than a room. Why should it cooperate? What the fuck are we thinking?
This is their whole big plan though. And now we have to miss the minimum distance in 2018 or sometime around there, when Mars was really really close. 2037? Holy shit man, I’m never going to make it.
But hey, if we can somehow unanimously convince ourselves that going to Mars is an objective we need to see through, then surely put it to America to do that job correctly. We’ve been the only ones to go to the Moon so far. GO top that before you come at me with your 3rd world space program.