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For the chance to watch the sun rise over Olympus Mons, or maybe take a stroll across the vast plains of the Vastitas Borealis, would you sign on for a one-way flight to Mars?

That would depend on who went with me!  This kind of radical proposal would be unnecessary if we were to properly fund a concerted international research effort to come up with a replacement for our relatively primitive and inefficient current chemical based rocket propulsion systems.  The idea is to get to Mars and back in the shortest flight time possible, so as to minimize the potentially harmful physiological effects of prolonged weightlessness and cosmic ray exposure on the astronauts.  NASA is now moving in that direction with their recently announced 'Hundred Year Starship' program. To read the rest of the article, click here.