"NASA's new boss says he will be "incredibly disappointed" if people aren't on Mars -- or even beyond it -- in his lifetime. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr., who's 62, told The Associated Press that his ultimate goal isn't just Mars -- it's anywhere far from Earth. "I did grow up watching Buck Rogers and Buck Rogers didn't stop at Mars," Bolden said in one of his first interviews since taking office last Friday. "In my lifetime, I will be incredibly disappointed if we have not at least reached Mars." That appears to be a shift from the space policy set in motion by President George W. Bush, who proposed first returning to the moon by 2020 and then eventually going to Mars a decade or two later. Bolden didn't rule out using the moon as a stepping stone to Mars and beyond, but he talked more about Mars than the moon."
"And so what all of us need to understand is that we all agree that we want to go there. What we don't agree on is how we get there. And so there are some of you sitting in this audience that think we are wasting time talking about the moon. I know there are. And there are some of you who may even say, 'Yeah, we may need to go to Mars but we can go there the next thousand years, I really don't care as long as we go back to the moon.' And there are some of you who say, 'Hey, I really like the International Space Station. So let's make sure that's really beefed up and then we can go to the moon and Mars when we can do it in good time.' "Those are all ways, they are all paths to get to where we collectively want to go. And so the challenge for us in the next few months is to figure out the single most efficient, most cost-effective path is to get there. We can't get there the way we are doing it right now."
"The space policy review is "totally different from everything else you hear about," Bolden told agency workers Tuesday. "The nation needs to have a coherent idea about what it's going to use space for. And that's military space, that's commercial space, that's NASA space, that's everything, satellites, people, all that stuff. And there needs to be a coherent policy."