Explore Mars Issues Report with Findings & Recommendations

The Humans to Mars Report 2017

Explore Mars, Inc.
Full Report (PDF)


  • The wide range of architectures for the exploration of Mars and the credibility of the institutions and companies producing them demonstrate both the wide interest in Mars exploration and the positive opinions of the viability of current technology to achieve it.
  • Mars exploration architectures must consider and address affordability, including how the architecture will return appropriate value to its stakeholders, as a fundamental requirement for credibility.
  • Sustainability is also a fundamental requirement and will be driven by, besides affordability, international and commercial partnerships. To effectively engage these partners, clear consideration of their contributions and objectives must be made.
  • A well-defined set of accepted scientific objectives will anchor coordination between the human spaceflight and science communities and ensure the widest possible support for human exploration of Mars.
  • Timely identification of strategic knowledge gaps and a robust technology demonstration program is needed to mature systems for Mars explorations. Testing systems at the International Space Station and in cislunar space would provide valuable operations experience for Mars systems.
  • Robotic reconnaissance of Mars from orbit and on the surface is needed to finalize selection of landing sites and inform technology development and system design.
  • The ongoing discussion and development of systems and architectures for deep space exploration is valuable with each idea contributing new perspectives and possibilities. Architecture choices must be rational and transparent to maximize participation. Open and wide ranging discussion will produce the strongest possible Mars architecture.
  • Mars is achievable.

Recommendations for 2017

  • The question ‘Why Mars? needs to be better articulated by the space community.
  • After NASA, the media/press provide the primary influence on public perception. Better relationships must be built with the national and international press, and press briefings should be scheduled more regularly, to ensure that the public is furnished with the facts about Mars exploration.
  • Dispel the $1 trillion myth: Recent studies have shown that human missions to Mars will only cost a fraction of this amount.
  • Better storytelling: NASA and the space community need to explain better the path to Mars and how current programs will advance that path.
  • Strengthen Hollywood partnerships: NASA and the space community regularly collaborate with the entertainment industry, but these ties need to be strengthened to amplify the messaging for human missions to Mars.

Continuing Recommendations From  2016:

  • Early research indicates that the level of press coverage for Mars has increased over the past eight years and that positive press coverage now greatly exceeds negative press coverage. Comprehensive press analysis should be conducted to verify and quantify this trend.
  • Special emphasis should be made to inform the public that landing humans on Mars by 2033 is an achievable goal.
  • While international and private lunar surface missions should be applauded, increased education needs to be undertaken to articulate why lunar surface operations are not the best path to Mars

  • Kapitalist

    I had much of that conference on in the background and watched parts of it as it sounded interesting. Which wasn’t often. Many talkers, few doers. They fantasize about launching dozens of the failed SLS to make the first human Mars landing. Just won’t happen that way at all.

    The best part was Buzz Aldrin who had a planned presentation and then a “5 minute question” at the very end of the circus 1:54:00 into the clip below. The talkers just cannot interrupt the Buzz, and when the talkers don’t talk they have nothing:

    Buzz Aldrin seems to want to merge his great Mars cycler concept with whatever craziness the talkers talk about, like now this pointless and dangerous Deep Space Gateway, and evolve it from there. I don’t remember him being this diplomatic before.

  • JamesG

    If only the amount of time spent and paper used on Mars plans over the past 50 yrs…

  • Robert G. Oler

    Mars is achievable.

    the talking point that makes the rest fiction

  • Robert G. Oler

    Mars presentations always latch onto whatever the NASA project dejure is in launch vehicles to try and get the program started…I have reports from the 80’s what were all about shuttle derived engines/vehicles and the like

  • Kapitalist

    Well, SLS is Shuttle derived. Not a single new engine developed for it. Maybe we should try to listen to their repetitive madness after all?

    Nooo, this cannot be repeated, this is the candle going out for NASA human space flight launcher and spacecraft. They’ve F-ed up this for good with the SLS/Oreo space raft.

  • ReSpaceAge

    Just heard rumors that Orion may ride on a Delta again.

    Maybe SLS is slipping off the raft.


  • Kapitalist

    Oreo on a Delta again?
    Well, they could put the ashes of already dead astronauts aboard. Wannabes allowed too. At really low per ton bargain minibar prices. And when that suborbital flight’s trajectory crashes into a bolide above the White House precisely according to plan, Trump himself could salute it from his new real estate back yard. Unless it happens to be clouded in D.C. then.

  • windbourne

    A DIVH that will cost 750M-1B and only launch 28 tonnes to LEO?
    Not likely.

    We need to convince CONgress to give SLS to those companies that have developed it, and allow them to sell it as a service and compete against SX, BO, etc.

  • Kapitalist

    Oh, I read that Messier doesn’t like Buzz Aldrin talking at Humans to Mars. He thinks it is off topic and out of place for a moonwalker to speak for one hour during a three day conference about going to (the orbit of) the Moon! Maybe he is out of place for this corrupt conference’s actual purpose.

    I suppose Jeff Foust would rather like to hear himself. He lets corrupt space haters publish this attack stuff only as a clickbait. In Jeff’s fantasy, Buzz Aldrin would respond on his site. I doubt he would in a way that Jeff dares publish. Except of what Buzz said about his brilliant Mars cycler concept, very little was memorable from the H2M. A bunch of failed bureaucrats who are totally out of touch with reality and who never have accomplished anything and don’t have any realistic plan for ever doing it.

    Oh, Buzz messes up the schedule, the autistic good-for-nothings complain. These zombies are paid, mostly with tax money, to read out their meaningless texts about space flights which can never happen because they are too stupid already as concepts. If they don’t get to read it out between 2:05 and 2:25 pm, they get nervous. They can’t improvise because they don’t know anything and have never done anything. They simply follow orders and fit into the meaningless schedule. This attack against Buzz Aldrin illustrates what’s wrong with the fake HSF program since decades.

  • Kapitalist

    Oy oy oy! Actually reading the “findings” is disgusting. Better story telling and Hollywood partnership. Yeah. That’s how Buzz got to the Moon, sure. “Public perception” is the only thing these useless kleptocrats care about.

  • Robert G. Oler

    If the choice is one of the two SLS or Orion…NASA will save Orion…

    my guess is that they want to fly one crewed on a Delta…that is the fall back plan

  • publiusr

    You can’t talk about how awful it is that SLS has political support then say it won’t fly.often. Pick one.

  • Kapitalist

    Political support doesn’t fly. Political support only means stealing the money and run away.