NASA has big plans for the Red Planet:
Prasun Desai, acting director of Strategic Integration with NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, said NASA already is working on technologies that it’ll need to not only get astronauts to Mars but to enable them to live there temporarily and then to make it back to Earth.
He noted that scientists are working to improve life-support systems, power sources, navigation, radiation protection and propulsion.
Desai also noted that NASA is investigating whether 3D printing can be used to build tools and spare parts in deep space to help decrease the weight a spacecraft would have to carry on a long journey to Mars. 3D printers might also be able to create food for astronauts that they could eat in place of freeze-dried meals.
Perhaps NASA is only mostly dead.