Boeing is outlining new ways for manned missions to Mars to happen, reports nasaspaceflight.com:
With a focus on building the archetypal missions for NASA’s new Space Launch System rocket, the U.S.-based Boeing Corporation has outlined their view of what technologies can be used to accomplish humankind’s goal of visiting crews to the Martian system – missions Boeing believes are possible through the combination of the SLS rocket’s lift capability, the burgeoning Solar Electric Propulsion technology field, and Bigelow’s soon-to-be-tested inflatable habitat modules.
From the Earth-Moon system to Mars:
Continuing from their initial presentation on potential SLS rocket uses beyond the opening two circumlunar missions, the Boeing Corporation has presented their idea of how to execute a phased approach to deep space exploration – with an eye for the eventual goal of landing human beings on the surface of Mars.
During the 2012 Republican presidential primary, Newt Gingrich spoke about the United States getting back involved in manned missions to the moon and embarking on crewed missions to Mars:
"I would like to see vastly more of the money spent encouraging the private sector into very aggressive experimentation, and I would like to see a leaner NASA," Gingrich said Monday. "I don't think building a bigger bureaucracy and having a greater number of people sit in rooms and talk gets you there, but if we had a series of goals that we were prepared to offer prizes for, there's every reason to believe you would have a lot of folks in this country and around the world who would put up an amazing amount of money and would make the space coast literally hum with activity because they would be drawn to achieve these prizes: Going back to the moon permanently, getting to Mars as rapidly as possible, building a series of space stations and developing commercial space."
Gingrich's remarks brought about jabs from Mitt Romney who said during a debate, "If I had a business executive come to me and say they wanted to spend a few hundred billion dollars to put a colony on the moon, I'd say' you're fired.'" Romney added, "The idea that corporate America wants to go off to the moon and build a colony there, it may be a big idea, but it's not a good idea."
HBO's Bill Maher depicted Gingrich's wife as a martian, while other media took shots at the self-described "grandiose" idea coming from the Georgia Republican.