Space: The Price of Mars

Moments before Apollo 11 's booster lifted off from Cape Kennedy last July, Spiro Agnew declared that the nation's next major space goal should be a manned landing on Mars by the end of the century. Critics immediately retorted that the Vice President's extraterrestrial ambitions were outrunning the nation's means. Last week the President's task group on post-Apollo space objectives —which Agnew happens to head—made its chairman sound uncharacteristically cautious. It said that the U.S. could send men to Mars in the mid-1980s for not much more than the $24 billion Apollo program.

In a report to President Nixon on...

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