Everyone wants to live on Mars in the future, but today the National Research Council politely points out we'll never, ever make it to Mars if we don't invest in space funding. Otherwise, we're stuck on this old garbage Earth forever.
The 286-page National Research Council report — mandated by Congress, prepared by the Committee on Human Spaceflight over the last 18 months and funded for $3.2 million by NASA — concludes that continuing to fund space flight at current levels “is to invite failure, disillusionment, and the loss of the longstanding international perception that human spaceflight is something the United States does best,” according to report from the Washington Post. (Yikes. Tell us how you really feel, NRC.)
For some reason humans are obsessed with one day leaving our garbage planet behind and inhabiting (and eventually ruining) another garbage planet, and for a while everyone wanted that planet to be Mars, because it's close, and red is flattering on everyone. (Something about Mars "possibly being inhabitable," too, probably, according to my high school science textbook.) But now the National Research Council has effectively taken that idea behind the shed and put a fancy space bullet through its head, admitting we'll never make it to Mars at our current space research funding levels. We're stuck here. Mars has a cover charge, and humans have left our collective wallets at home. “Absent a very fundamental change in the nation’s way of doing business, it is not realistic to believe that we can achieve the consensus goal of reaching Mars,” committee co-chair and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told the Post.