Funding the usage of old space technology is a waste that is done as a form of entertainment. The proposed Mars mission would use pretty conventional technology for space launch and for interplanetary travel.
I see this as a waste of time.
We need bigger steps forward that can lower costs and drastically cut risks. A space elevator made using nanotechnology could radically slash the cost of reaching low Earth orbit. To get to Mars a nuclear electric plasma propulsion system could transport humans in less than 6 weeks.
27 November 2009
Time To Change Course On Space Exploration
From Future Pundit, via Instapundit: Space Exploration Takes Too Long For Democracies?
Image of VASIMR from Ad Astra Rocket Company.