A former astronaut, Bill Anders is critical about manned missions to Mars, the next target. NASA is planning to send humans to the Moon because that would be a logical step towards colonizing the red planet. The space agency wants to develop the necessary technology that will pave the way for colonization of the distant planet. However, Anders labels it as a “stupid” idea. He is now in his mid-80s and supports unmanned missions but has doubts on manned ones. His argument is that the public may not be in favor of funding such expensive activities.

He made these comments while interacting with a section of the media.

BBC reports that 50 years back, Bill Anders was a part of the Apollo 8 mission. It was in December 1968, that he and crewmates Frank Borman and Jim Lovell went into space and returned back after completing 10 orbits around the Moon that lasted for 20 hours.

Concept of activities in space has changed

The Apollo 8 mission half a century back was a major milestone and the Apollo 11 moon landing happened within seven months. Right now, NASA has two robots, Curiosity and InSight on Mars. These are carrying out exploratory activities to understand the red planet better and prepare the ground for deploying astronauts to Mars. The concept of space exploration has changed and it has assumed an international stature.

Agencies are trying to rope in commercial and international partners with the objective of “expanding human presence in space.”

Frank Borman, a former crewmate of Bill Anders, disagrees with Bill.

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Frank commanded the Apollo 8 mission and spent two weeks in Earth's orbit during the Gemini program. He is more enthusiastic. In his opinion, man must explore our Solar System and NASA is working to a specific plan. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are also in the fray along with other countries and the American space agency would not like to surrender the initiative.

Bill Anders has stirred up a controversy

According to The Sun UK, Bill Anders (85) a former astronaut of Apollo 8 mission has heaped criticism on NASA for its plans to colonize Mars. The agency wants to carry out manned missions to the red planet by the 2030s. It already has two robotic probes operating on Mars and its next step is to send humans because it is in a race for supremacy. they face competition from the ESA, Russia and other countries apart from private agencies like SpaceX. Mars One is training volunteers who have agreed to make a one-way journey to the red planet. The stakes are high and Mars is the new frontier to be conquered.