NASA needs a bigger budget from Congress to get to Mars. Check out Dan Vergano’s article, NASA's Mars Program Is As Sad As It’s Ever Been
Elon Musk is considering pulling back on Mars for now. Check out this interview:
He needs to get the astronauts to space and to the ISS. He also needs to make it happen by next year. No pressure. Except, no more landing legs for Dragon (see minute 35:45). So no power landing for it either, so no Red Dragon, either, and Dragon won’t land on the moon either. Come to think about it, that’s a lot of things. And there goes much of Musk's Mars plans for Mars out the window. And why? Well, real practical practice takes priority over dreams.
Notice that Musk said, “If you want to get people fired up, you make a base on the Moon. And then going beyond that, getting people to Mars.” He said this in minute 24:46.
Robert Bigelow was also at the same conference Musk was at. Check out this video.
Bigelow proposes going back to the moon before Mars because the Chinese are heading to the moon and we need to beat them to it. The prize is resources.
ESA wants to make an international base on the moon. They have been in talks with China about it, (article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/moon-base-outpost-china-europe-chinese-space-agency-collaboration-together-a7702936.html) That’s very interesting. Let’s wait and see how things pan out.
It seems that Russia also has an interest in a mission to the moon (article: https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/15/roscosmos-first-manned-moon-landing/) We also need to wait on this as well. Maybe they will hook up with another country for this.
So what do we make of all this talk in the summer of 2017? To me, I can only conclude that for now Mars is out and the Moon is in on everyone’s agenda, including NASA’s. In my opinion this represents a change of plans that is steered by finances and resources. It’s sad that the dreamers dreams are put on hold for Mars. If you want to see a Mars landing, I suggest you keep healthy and plan to live a long life.
“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” Robert Burns.