Scientists have worked toward a crewed Mars mission for years, and now movies like "The Martian" and new evidence of liquid water on Mars are crystallizing enthusiasm for Mars from the public and Congress.
"Scientists for years have been pointing out that as far as technology goes, we don't really need that much more," James Schwab, who has participated in two Mars Rover challenges, told The Christian Science Monitor. "It's probably indicative of a shift in thought. For a lot of people it's seeing movies like 'The Martian' and 'Interstellar.' "
NASA collaborated with filmmakers to make "The Martian" as scientifically accurate as possible. Star Matt Damon said said he hoped "The Martian" could give viewers a taste for Mars exploration and encourage support for science.
But outside of Hollywood, NASA is struggling. Congressional Republicans had harsh words for NASA's newly released report, "Journey to Mars," reported The Hill. They wanted more details, particularly about logistics, they said.
"It's just some real pretty photographs and some nice words," said Rep. Lamar Smith (R) of Texas, who chairs the House Science Committee, during the hearing. "This [report] sounds good, but it is actually a journey to nowhere until we have that budget and we have that schedule and we have the deadlines."
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Question: What is your thought about a mission to Mars? How do you see this new mission advancing the human race?