This is beginning to read like a Soap Opera. NASA has turned around and admitted that their current budget might not allow them to achieve their goals of a 2030 presence on the red Planet (They do state that their budget might increase in the future, but who’s to know?)
The biggest stumbling block right now appears to be Landing on Mars, and then leaving again. The technologies don’t exist, and NASA is spending most of it’s funding on the SLS, which is designed to get man to Mars in the first place.
But why? Why are NASA spending so much money on a Launch System (Working with Boeing) when SpaceX has already almost overtaken them with its Falcon rocket system? Why not allow and support SpaceX in continuing to develop this system, and turn it’s focus instead to the tricky challenge of landing us on the planet?
Once on Mars, Bigelow enterprises are working on feasible habitat systems – let them carry on doing that, which is another thing off NASA’s shoulders.
SpaceX have announced they’d like to have a man on Mars by 2025. if their target is 5 years earlier than NASA’s, and, based on their current rate of development, seems pretty feasible, why is NASA not working with them to achieve that? Why have a separate timeline?
C’mon guys, get it together!