The Planetary Society, long an advocate of a vigorous, international
program of Mars exploration, strongly supports NASA’s series of planned
missions outlined today in their description of a new Mars program. At
the same time the Society is disappointed with what was not said — the
lack of long term commitments to either a permanent robotic presence or
human missions on Mars.

Dr. Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society, made the
following comment regarding NASA’s goals for Mars:

“The US government made a national space policy for a ‘permanent robotic
presence on Mars,’ that now seems lost. More disappointing in NASA’s plan
is the failure to connect the robotic program to the popular interest in
eventual human exploration of Mars. NASA’s Office of Space Science has
done a good — but limited — job with their new plan. NASA and the
European partners are planning great missions to Mars, but they are still
missing the opportunity to connect to the public interest in sending human
explorers to the Red Planet. Until they do, the program will continue to be
underfunded and less purposeful than it should be.”

To interview Dr. Friedman about the plan to explore Mars, contact Susan
Lendroth at (626)793-5100 ext 214.

Visit our web site at for more information about Mars
and the Society’s programs connected with Mars.

The Planetary Society

65 N. Catalina Ave.

Pasadena, CA 91106-2301

Tel: (626) 793-5100

Fax: (626) 793-5528