Here’s some optimistic news: 71 percent of Americans are confident humans will get to Mars in 20 years, according to a new poll. Here’s some disappointing news: Americans think NASA gets way more of the federal budget than it really does.
The second sentence doesn't surprise me at all. Most Americans think the majority of our budget goes to foreign aid, NASA, NPR, Big Bird, and giving condoms to five-year-olds. But the first sentence surprises the hell out of me. What evidence is there that we're on the verge of sending a human to Mars? We seem to be stuck with the same dead-end space technology that we've had for the last thirty years or so. Sure, we've sent Curiosity to Mars, but that's the baby step at the very start of a long journey.
But what do I know? Technology moves quickly. Maybe we will get there in two decades. What do you think?