May 26, 2002
NASA SAYS IT HAS FOUND huge amounts of water ice on Mars. This obviously makes the terraforming discussion in my TechCentral Station column a bit more relevant. Meanwhile, other reports say that NASA is planning a manned mission to Mars as a result. I’m sure that some people at NASA are working on plans, anyway. NASA has been refining the Mars Direct plan originally developed by Bob Zubrin and estimates that a manned mission to Mars could be done for about $40-50 billion in 1998 dollars — less than a tenth of what NASA had estimated in the early 1990s using a far more cumbersome approach.
Whether anything will come of this, I don’t know — but it’s certainly moved the issue off the back burner, where it’s been for quite a while.