Science: Humans to Mars? Why Not?

A rousing call for a joint U.S.-Soviet mission

Its tallest volcano is three times as high as Mount Everest, and its great rift valley plunges to over four times the depth of the Grand Canyon. Global dust storms with winds up to 300 m.p.h. sometimes obscure its arid surface, which is pocked with vast gulches and deltas apparently left by ancient rivers. And maybe, just maybe, its stones bear fossils of primitive creatures that vanished billions of years ago with the waters that gave them life.

Despite the vivid images relayed by the Viking landers in the mid-1970s, Mars to most people remains a planet of the imagination, as...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!