A hurry-up launch in 2021 for a human flyby of Mars proposed by pioneer space tourist Dennis Tito would make a good “bridge” between the International Space Station and more sustainable missions closer to Earth, according to experts testifying before a skeptical House Science Committee Feb. 27.
The mission would require an advanced version of NASA’s heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) and other new hardware to take advantage of a unique opportunity to reach Mars with a gravity assist from Venus. Committee witnesses were unwilling to put a price tag on that work, and conservative members of the panel said they were uneasy with open-ended spending for a high-risk project on a tight deadline.
“Do you really see right now that there’s a commitment in this country so that we don’t start down this trail, spending a lot of money, and then at the end of the trail not have accomplished the mission because the window wasn’t there?” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), asked Sandra Magnus, executive director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.They should be skeptical. There shoudn't be a single taxpayer dollar spent on this farce. To read more, click here.