New Mars Direct
New Mars Direct is a collaborative effort to design one or more Mars Direct-style missions with the goal to design something that can work in the immediate future to get us to Mars as quickly as possible. New Mars Direct is a proposal, currently a work in progress, based on Zubrin's original proposal of Mars Direct. It seeks to retain the most important features, while modernizing or otherwise improving others in order to lower costs, increase safety and science yield, and to be a mission architecture directly compatible with constellation and subsequent colonization.
Once the original architecture is completed, there may be a second version, "New Mars Direct 2" (NMD 2), which would investigate the possibility for a one way mission leading to subsequent colonization. Either, and both may be presented to The Mars Society or NASA for consideration. Everyone is welcome to help the NMD (New Mars Direct) planning stage, and there are no credentials necessary, although they are welcome.
Mars should be the next goal for human exploration. We have been to the moon, and it is not easily habitable. We must push out, further, to places that can make a home for human beings.
As Carl Sagan said, months before he died, to future Martians:
- "Maybe we're on Mars because we have to be, because there's a deep nomadic impulse built into us by the evolutionary process, we come after all, from hunter gatherers, and for 99.9% of our tenure on Earth we've been wanderers. And, the next place to wander to, is Mars. But whatever the reason you're on Mars is, I'm glad you're there. And I wish I was with you."