When humans first landed on the moon on July 21, 1969, many people believed that we would have visited Mars before the end of the century. However, the year 2000 came and went, and dreams of going to Mars felt no more realistic than they had in 1969. Our species underestimated the challenges that sending humans to Mars posed. Although we discovered several challenges that needed to be overcome with scientific and engineering ingenuity, the biggest obstacle was with government funding. The richest country on the planet during the past four decades has been unwilling to invest the funding it would take to make us a two-planet species. As a result, people pushing for Martian colonization are looking to private industry. In 2012, two companies have made firm proposals with the goal to colonize Mars this century: Mars-One and SpaceX.
On May 31 2012, Mars-One announced plans to…
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