A manned trip to Mars has the ability to captivate the American imagination and produce an emotional connection to and a broader appreciation of space. Harvesting the American public’s appreciation for space—and the technology’s based within it—will be vital if the U.S. is to improve its national security. Without broad public support for increases in space-based national security investments, the U.S. is likely to fall behind strategic competitors putting Washington’s military preeminence in jeopardy. Creating a personal link with the importance of space should therefore be a major priority for policy makers as the U.S. considers a trip to Mars. The Cold War’s space race is proof of this.
To read the full op-ed, visit The National Interest website.