Robert Zubrin is a passionate speaker. You can hear in his voice (and in his writings) as he addresses the crowd at the Catholic University of DC z0how excited he is to get people to Mars and how he feels that NASA needs to put more effort into it. The Mars Direct program he’s worked on is obviously his lifelong passion. “The technical challenges are much less than they were when we sent men to the moon”, he says. The audience tends to agree. The uproarious applause before his first Q&A section shows that his passion is shared. He believes that the space program needs to be worthy of this country’s “pioneerism” and we should astound the world with what free men can do. I’m reminded of 300 as he marches around the stage, riling up his troops. We need to accept the challenge of Mars. Now.
During the Q&A session, questions were brought up about what it would cost to get to Mars. He says 40 Billion for NASA, 10 billion for “real people”. He thinks that Elon Musk is doing great things and with his development of software, he’s getting to space in 1/10th the time at 1/3 the cost. By lowering these costs, we’re lowering the threshold, which moves us ever closer to the Red Planet. He believes we are a society driven by big stories of accomplishment, as in Homer’s Odyssey.
Next up, Dr. Jim Watzin, Director of NASA Mars Exploration Program was up next….