Griffin: Humans on Mars in (less than) 30 years

At last night’s premiere of the new IMAX movie Roving Mars at the National Air and Space Museum, NASM associate director Ted Maxwell noted that a few years ago the museum decided to retire To Fly!, the first IMAX movie the museum had shown, only to face criticism from museum patrons who specifically came to the museum for that movie; the film has since been restored to the lineup. “I think tonight we’re going to see a film that, maybe 30 years from now, someone will say. ‘Why did they take that Mars movie off? We came here to the museum to see it!'”

Maxwell’s introduction was followed by a few words from NASA administrator Michael Griffin. His response to Maxwell’s comment? “If, 30 years from now, Ted, you’re still showing this movie, you’ll be showing it while there are people walking around on Mars, and they won’t be the first people.” That line generated a modest round of applause, and even a “woo-hoo!” from one audience member. Later, he added, “I, for one, cannot wait until NASA sets up a permanent exploratory base on Mars. But, preceding such an event, we have many preparatory events to execute before we get there.”

8 comments to Griffin: Humans on Mars in (less than) 30 years

  • Bob

    “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Its good to hear some positive statements from Griffin — who must be feeling pretty beleaguered at this stage. Now its time to get NASA back on the road so that this journey can really begin.

  • Chris Mann

    I’m sure my great grandchildren will be so excited.

  • The closest theater to JPL showing this movie is in San Francisco (400 miles away). Impressed I am not.


  • David Davenport

    This lsuggest the inevitable wisecrack that postmodern NASA can skip the actual event and just make the movie about renewed lunar expeditions.

  • TORO


    Thirty years … ten years … a hundred years.

    We can’t even get a human being to and from LEO. Further-more (not distance), if the rocket fails, the crew escape crash dummy standard NASA set in Nov. 1963 is now available only in Ivanland and the land of the growing red Sinosaurus.

    Imagine if the DuPont Co, who at one time set the Chemical industry safety standard, were to abandon its own standard and accept a lower standard even as other chemical companies strived to meet or exceed the standard.

    That is what NASA did. NASA lowered its standards, in exuberance not learning Apollo 13 lessons and thinking failure not an option. The escape design, not the management system, saved Apollo 13. Lesson unlearned.

    It is not so much a matter of the destination. It is more the dignity of humanity at stake. After all, what is a colony on Mars when Earth has yet to be effectively colonized. And as the Rocket Man prophesized, “Mar ain’t no kind of place to raise your kids.”

  • The closest theater to JPL showing this movie is in San Francisco (400 miles away). Impressed I am not.

    Well, I’m glad to see that our modest city still beats out the hyperthyroid suburb to the south on some important things. Come on up and see it. I may be able to offer you crash space. If you E-mail me privately, I’ll ask my partner if it’s okay with her. . . .

    — Donald