Hey Space Placers!
Please take a moment to read President Obama's editorial on America getting to Mars.
NASA is doing the necessary steps to get there by continuing required medical research on the International Space Station (ISS) and building the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System. But it will take political and financial will to achieve a manned landing on Mars - "No bucks, no Buck Rogers".
The incoming President and Congress will have to fund NASA to achieve a manned landing on Mars. We CANNOT afford a "do over" of space policy and goals because of the American electoral process. Space is NOT political in of itself but alas it has always been so. Our success on the Moon was due to politics as was the cancelling of Apollos 18,19 and 20 - Kennedy and Nixon.
The Senate recently introduced the NASA Transition Authorization Act. To me the most significant provision of the Act is this one, "but the main thrust is to provide stability to NASA's human spaceflight program as a presidential transition nears."
Stability in political will. That's what we need if we want to get to Mars. That is what got us to the Moon. Political will leads to stable AND required funding. Let NASA do the job without political interference.
Sky Guy in VA