“We will go to Mars because it is the one place other than our Earth where we expect human life to be sustainable, and where our colonies could flourish. We will go to Mars because an examination of its geology and history will reflect back a greatly deepened understanding of our own precious Earth.
Above all, we will go to Mars because it will inspire us to clearly look beyond the difficulties and divisions of today, to a better future tomorrow.
“We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes, “but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” So with man’s epic voyage into space — a voyage the United States of America has led and still shall lead. Apollo has returned to harbor.
Now it is time to swiftly build new ships, and to purposefully sail farther than our ancestors could ever have dreamed possible…”
President Nixon in 1972
Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard M. Nixon, 1972 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1972) Wednesday, January 5, 1972