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Robert Zubrin Comments on Elon Musk’s Plans for Mars(r/spacex)
With respect to your case for the Moon over Mars. In the book “The Case for Mars” Robert Zubrin wrote the following paragraph as a conclusion to an entire chapter on why going to the Moon as a step on the way to Mars makes no sense:
> However, what needs to be clearly understood is that a lunar base is neither necessary nor desirable as an asset to support piloted missions to Mars. With respect to the path to Mars, it is a fatal siren, a diversion into a dead end. The late NASA administrator Thomas O. Paine knew all about this trap. In one of the last speeches of his life he put it this way: “As Napoleon Bonaparte once said explaining his winning strategy for war with Austria: ‘If you want to take Vienna, take Vienna!’ Well, if you want to go to Mars, go to Mars!” Well said, Tom. On to Mars.
And Elon Musk has said in an internal letter in 2013:
> Per my recent comments, I am increasingly concerned about SpaceX going public before the Mars transport system is in place. Creating the technology needed to establish life on Mars is and always has been the fundamental goal of SpaceX. If being a public company diminishes that likelihood, then we should not do so until Mars is secure.
So the bottom line is this: there is no point going to the moon if Mars is your goal, Musk (and SpaceX) really really want to go to Mars. In my mind this move makes complete sense.