By: Christopher P. Mulder

What is the kernel of the issue?

China and Russia have publicly stated their ambitions to send humans to Mars in the coming years.

Why is the issue important?

If China and Russia accomplish this goal first, US credibility and resolve will be significantly degraded and questioned. Making our way to Mars first will unlock resources in deep space that will benefit humankind on earth, provide US additional prosperity, and instill pride in the nation.

What is the recommendation?

The Biden administration should fully embrace NASA’s goal to send Americans to Mars soon after landing Americans back on the Moon in 2024. To ensure the US sends humans to Mars before China and Russia, the Biden administration and private sector should heavily invest in human capital initiatives (STEM education and new human resource strategies); focus on keystone technologies (space nuclear power and propulsion, space launch, and In-Situ Resource Utilization—extraction and production of material in space); and widely educate the public on why an “America to Mars” goal is vital for national security and US leadership in the world.

Related Experts: Christopher P. Mulder