Humanity on Mars? Technically possible, but no voyage on horizon

A rendering of NASA’s idea of what the planet Kepler 10b might look like in an undated handout image. Robotic landers and rovers have been touching down on Mars since the 1970s. Photo/THE NEW YORK TIMES

What you need to know:

  • In the spring of 1990, then president George Bush Sr announced the most audacious promise to date -- a man on Mars before July 20, 2019, the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing. 
  • The commitment clearly never came to pass, and similar goals articulated by presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have not led to concrete programs.

Robotic landers and rovers have been touching down on Mars since the 1970s, but when will humanity finally set foot on the Red Planet? 

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.