If the government can’t, private enterprise will. SpaceX tweeted on April 27, 2016 that they plan to send their Dragon spacecraft to Mars as soon as 2018.
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California, USA. It was founded in 2002 by former PayPal entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk with the goal of creating the technologies to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars. It has developed the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, both of which were designed from conception to eventually become reusable, and the Dragon spacecraft which is flown into orbit by the Falcon 9 launch vehicle to supply the International Space Station (ISS) with cargo. A manned version of Dragon is in development.
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