Speaking at a Washington lecture over the weekend, Apollo 11 crewmembers Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins expressed concern about NASA focusing too much on past accomplishments. That is to say, they believe we should focus our efforts on Mars.
Critics believe that going back to the moon is, as Aldrin put it "a glorified rehash of what we did 40 years ago"—something that would waste time and money that we could be spending on a trip to Mars. NASA argues that going back to the moon and establishing a permanent base is an essential stepping stone to a successful Mars mission—a feat that would take at least 20 years to accomplish according to their estimates.
The issue here, it seems, is not that we should ever step foot on the moon again, it's that NASA and the Obama administration should grow a set of balls by prioritizing Mars and fully committing to a program right now. After all, we went from nearly zero to the moon in the sixties with primitive technology. What do you think? Should we skip the moon and head for Mars?