The planet Mars -- crimson and bright, filling our telescopes with vague intimations of almost-familiar landforms -- has long formed a celestial tabula rasa on which we have inscribed our planeto-logical theories, utopian fantasies, and fears of alien invasion or ecological ruin.
DAVID GRINSPOON, Scientific American, Nov. 2005
I'm convinced that sending people to Mars is so expensive that if you go once and bring the people back and then go again and bring the people back, we're eventually going to run out of money. But what if we send people the first time and they don't come back? What if they stay there?
BUZZ ALDRIN, Vanity Fair, Jul. 2010
We may discover resources on the moon or Mars that will boggle the imagination, that will test our limits to dream. And the fascination generated by further exploration will inspire our young people to study math, and science, and engineering and create a new generation of innovators and pioneers.
GEORGE W. BUSH, speech at NASA Headquarters, Jan. 14, 2004
President Bush announced that we were landing on Mars today... which means he's given up on Earth.
JON STEWART, The Daily Show
When we set out to land people on the surface of Mars, I think we should as a nation, as a world, commit ourselves to supporting a growing settlement and colonization there. To visit a few times and then withdraw would be an unforgivable waste of resources.
BUZZ ALDRIN, Scholastic interview, Nov. 17, 1998
Dominating all earth from outer space will have an out-of-this-world price tag, perhaps more than $1 trillion. A question: Why reach for the stars with guns in our hands? Are there weapons of mass destruction on Mars?
DENNIS KUCINICH, speech in U.S. House of Representatives, May 19, 2005
The Mars Polar Lander cost the average American the price of half a cheeseburger. A human lander would cost the average American more -- perhaps even ten cheeseburgers! So be it. That is no great sacrifice.
JONAH GOLDBERG, National Review Online, May 3, 2000
Ladies and gentlemen, I have a grave announcement to make. Incredible as it may seem, strange beings who landed in New Jersey tonight are the vanguard of an invading army from Mars.
ORSON WELLES, The War of the Worlds
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
JOHN GRAY, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus
Did the Pilgrims on the Mayflower sit around Plymouth Rock waiting for a return trip? They came here to settle. And that's what we should be doing on Mars. When you go to Mars, you need to have made the decision that you're there permanently. The more people we have there, the more it can become a sustaining environment. Except for very rare exceptions, the people who go to Mars shouldn’t be coming back. Once you get on the surface, you're there.
BUZZ ALDRIN, Vanity Fair, Jul. 2010
There are many reasons for going to Mars -- practical, spiritual and political. But the most important reason is that while people are still excited by the promise of space exploration, they are frustrated by it, because they can see that we're not actually exploring anymore. People aren't excited by International Space Station hardware delivery missions to low-Earth orbit, or by scientific flights, regardless of how useful they are. People want a more noble and ambitious space programme. Give the public Mars, and public support for the space programme will fly like a rocket.
STUART ATKINSON, New Mars, Mar. 7, 2003
Our picture of the rich geological history of the Martian flood plains and highlands will be an incomplete one if we are unwilling to make the perilous trip to Mars and look at the Martian hills through our own eyes, instead of the eyes of a television camera.
HENRY JOY MCCRACKEN, LM, Nov. 1997
It's not the value of the rocks we brought back, or the great poetic statements that will be uttered. Those things aren't remembered. It's that people witnessed that event. We are not going to justify going to Mars by what we bring back.
BUZZ ALDRIN, Magnificent Desolation
Before we go there and set up greenhouses, dance clubs, and falafel stands, let's make sure that, in some subtle form that could be harmed by the human hubbub, life does not already exist there. If not, then by all means build cities, plant forests and fill lakes and streams with trout -- bring life to Mars and Mars to life. We'll then be the Martians we've been dreaming about for all these years.
DAVID GRINSPOON, Slate, Jan. 7, 2004
Mars is there, waiting to be reached.
There they go, off to Mars, just for the ride, thinking that they will find a planet like a seer's crystal, in which to read a miraculous future. What they'll find, instead, is the somewhat shopworn image of themselves. Mars is a mirror, not a crystal.
RAY BRADBURY, Rhodomagnetic Digest, May 1950
Mars is far more attractive as an outpost colony for earthlings than the moon is.
BUZZ ALDRIN, interview, New Jersey Monthly, Jun. 2009
Am I the only one who secretly hopes that the Curiosity rover will be swallowed up by a giant alien worm living just below Mars's surface?
VICTORIA LAURIE, Twitter post, December 16, 2014
Human exploration and colonization of Mars will keep us busy for hundreds, even thousands, of years. During that time, there will be advances in nanotechnology, space sailing, robotics, biomolecular engineering, and artificial intelligence. These advances are occurring even now, affecting our outlook about what it means to be human and engage in human activity. Those technologies will not merely allow us to stay home on Earth and Mars, but our minds will extend our presence throughout the universe so that we will not need or want to extend our bodies there -- even if we could, which I think is doubtful.
LOUIS FRIEDMAN, "Beyond Mars: The Distant Future of Space Exploration", Discover Magazine, December 3, 2015
Going to Mars would evolve humankind into a two-planet species.
BUZZ ALDRIN, Cosmos Magazine, Oct. 21, 2013
Mars has been flown by, orbited, smacked into, radar examined, and rocketed onto, as well as bounced upon, rolled over, shoveled, drilled into, baked, and even laser blasted. Still to come: Mars being stepped on.
BUZZ ALDRIN, Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration