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Press Release
Media Contact: 800-787-7223 or press@space-frontier.org
Space Frontier Foundation Decries Debate Over Moon – Mars as Next Human Destination, Calls for Both

Moon Operations Center
Much of the knowledge and experience required to settle the Moon mirrors that needed to settle Mars. Artwork by R. Guidice, courtesy NASA.
Houston, TX, October 17, 2002 – Should humanity go to the Moon or Mars? This will be the topic of a debate to be held at the World Space Congress in Houston Texas this week – but the Space Frontier Foundation says there really is no debate, we should go to both.

The Foundation believes the debate, between Dr. Robert Zubrin of the
Mars Society and Dr. Paul Spudis of the Lunar and Planetary Institute, gives too much credence to the idea that there is a real argument between supporters of the two destinations. The group sees no conflict, and in fact sees them as complementary projects, believing that much of the knowledge and experience required to build and operate permanent facilities on the Martian surface mirrors that required for a continuing human presence on the Moon.

"We are for the human settlement of all space, including both the Moon and Mars, but it has to be done right, or the whole thing could backfire and lives could be lost, or we could end up with Apollo on Mars – a one-shot burst of glory, and then nothing left but flags and footprints," stated the Foundation's Rick Tumlinson. "It is simply common sense to take the right steps in the right order."

The Foundation disagrees with the premise held by some on both sides that this decision needs to be based on zero-sum government funding. Given the Moon's proximity and the commercial possibilities it represents, the group foresees a partnership wherein the government can focus on costly infrastructure and safety issues they will need to develop for Mars, while the private sector focuses on Lunar resource development, housing and other potential money makers. In the end this synergy will save taxpayers billions, kick start a lunar economy and free the space agencies to get back to the job of exploring the Far Frontier of Mars and beyond.

"For the Foundation the motto is ‘All of the Above!’ We will not be satisfied by stunts or dead-end missions. This time when humanity goes to another world we go to stay, and that means developing economic, viable, rugged and safe infrastructure, transportation and habitation, not throwing humans out into the void unprepared."

Learn more about the Foundation and its annual Return to the Moon Conference at:
http://www.space-frontier.org/Projects/Moon/


The Space Frontier Foundation is an organization of people dedicated to opening the Space Frontier to human settlement as rapidly as possible. Our goals include protecting the Earth's fragile biosphere and creating a freer and more prosperous life for each generation by using the unlimited energy and material resources of space. Our purpose is to unleash the power of free enterprise and lead a united humanity permanently into the Solar System.

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The Frontier Enabling Test
Our definition of a "frontier enabling" technology or policy is one which has as its effect the acceleration of the creation of low cost access to the space frontier for private citizens and companies, enables or accelerates our use of space resources, and/or accelerates the rate at which wealth can be generated in space. In other words, is the project or policy going to provide a return on the national investment, if we define "return" to be the economically sustainable human habitation of space?

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