We must choose to go to Mars

That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. - Neil Armstrong

Forty-eight years ago today, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. It was one of humankind’s greatest achievements.

In almost half a century since then, we’ve sent probes to other parts of the universe and we’ve put satellites and space stations into orbit, but we haven’t travelled any further. In the next 25 years that could change. There’s growing momentum for a mission to Mars, one that could be another watershed moment for humanity.

It won’t be easy – the distance is more than 100 times greater than a lunar mission. And it won’t be cheap. But we must continue to explore.

Eight years before Apollo 11, John F. Kennedy said we choose to go to the moon not because it is easy but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept. It’s in that spirit that we must now choose to go to Mars. And someday, beyond.

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