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Contact the President’s Space Commission

Contact the President’s Space Commission
Chris Carberry
Political Director, Mars Society
Feb. 27, 2004

For further information about the Mars Society, visit our website at

Those who have not contacted the President’s Commission on Implementation of U.S.
Space Exploration Policy, should do so soon.  We need to make sure they hear
our message loud and clear.  They can be contacted at

The message that we want to convey goes as follows (Thanks to Lyle Kelly of the
Ohio chapter for putting these points together):

1. THE GOAL — MARS BY 2020. We
heartily welcome the stated purpose of the human exploration of space. We believe
that our destination should be Mars, and that we should aim to get there by 2020.

2. ONGOING INDEPENDENT CONSULTATION AND REVIEW. We believe that a panel of competent
reviewers independent of NASA and its contractors will be vital to sustain the effort
long-term with minimal political add-ons and minimal organizational (inter-agency
and intra-agency) conflict.

3. DEVELOP FOR MARS. We can lower costs, and accelerate development progress, by
committing to a coherent mission architecture across all destinations. We urge that
the focus of technology development be human missions to Mars, with appropriate
adaptations for work on the Moon.

4. MODEST COST. We believe this can be accomplished with very modest expenditures,
as exemplified by the Mars Direct Plan ($30B) and by the original NASA Mars Reference
Mission plan ($55B). The vast sums floated by some commentators are irresponsible
and wrong.

5. TECHNOLOGY. We commend the re-directed investment of NASA resources into technology
development for human exploration. We especially endorse two technologies: (1) nuclear
power for Moon and Mars on-ground operations, and (2) in-situ resource utilization

6. ROBOTICS. We urge the inclusion of human exploration research requirements in
the design of robotic missions. This likely will require modifying missions already
in the pipeline for this decade.

7. HEAVY LIFT. We urge the production of heavy-lift boosters using existing technology
— the shuttle launch stack and/or modular medium- lift boosters. This saves aerospace
jobs, avoids or minimizes assembly in orbit, and greatly reduces overall cost and
schedule.  While we should plan for advances in propulsion systems, we do not
need to wait for upstream technologies to mature.

8. REGULATION. We believe in a strong role in space by private enterprise. We urge
Congress to reduce the regulatory burden on the commercial development, use and
enjoyment of space.

9. HUBBLE. We urge NASA to reverse immediately its decision to abandon the planned
upgrade and reboost of the Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble is one of the outstanding
examples of the need for, and benefits of, humans in space. The benefits far outweigh
the incremental cost.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

ON TO MARS! Chris Carberry Political Director, The Mars Society

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