Former US astronaut Bill Anders has criticised Nasa’s plans to transport humans to Mars, describing-in a BBC interview – NASA’s ambitions to carry crews to the red planet as “stupid and ridiculous.”
The astronaut, who flew around the moon as part of the famous Apollo 8 mission, adds that he has been a supporter of the agency’s missions in the past because they were revolutionary and much less expensive, but sees current missions as a lack of vision and a waste of money.
“What’s the point of going to Mars? I don’t think anyone is interested,” he compares this to the absence of support for more important projects with much lower cost.
Anders attacked the US Space Agency, accusing it of turning to a program to preserve jobs only, and working to justify its existence by engaging in projects that do not support public opinion trends.
Astronaut Bill Anders (85) was the test pilot of the Apollo 8 mission in December 1968, which completed ten orbits around the moon before returning to Earth.
Frank Boorman, 85, who was the commander of the Apollo 8 mission, disagreed with his friend Anders for his opinion on sending missions to Mars, telling the BBC that he firmly believed that humanity needed to explore our solar system.
But Boorman criticized private space projects, such as SpaceX and Blue Origin being funded by tech billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
“I think there’s a lot of hype around Mars, Musk and Bezos talking about putting colonies on Mars, that’s bullshit,”he said.
NASA plans to send missions to Mars as early as 2030, and currently has robotic exploration missions on Mars.