"This is one of many reasons I'm glad that The Planetary Society is advocating an orbit-first approach to human exploration. If we keep our filthy meatbag bodies in space and tele-operate sterile robots on the surface, we'll avoid irreversible contamination of Mars -- and obfuscation of the answer to the question of whether we're alone in the solar system -- for a little while longer. Maybe just long enough for robots to taste Martian water or discover Martian life."
More Vaporware From The Space Advocate Community, earlier post
"In April 2015 the Planetary Society held an invitation-only "Humans Orbiting Mars" workshop wherein they unveiled their idea for a mission to Mars. At a quick press conference after the event (no media were allowed to attend the workshop) the Planetary Society promised more detail would be made public - later. It has been 6 months. Nothing but crickets from the Planetary Society."
Keith's note: Now it is becoming clear what is really behind the Planetary Society's "Humans Orbiting Mars" plan. They don't really want to have Humans On Mars. Indeed, they never really have wanted them there at all. And their unreleased plan (as much as is known thus far) involves defunding the International Space Station as well thus cutting another human spaceflight effort. And what would Humans Orbiting Mars do? They'd drive robots on Mars.