I like the Planetary Society, but I don't like their vision of orbiting Mars or going to Phobos instead of sending humans to land on Mars. Video suggests we shouldn't send humans to Mars because contamination from us could ruin any possible endemic Martian life. It has a fear mongering flavor, IMO. Some of the other arguments for staying in orbit or going to Phobos instead, are that it's essentially cheaper and you could do almost everything of what you could do with people on the surface through telepresence, besides of getting sample-return from Phobos which contains samples from Mars due to ejecta. For science is all perfect, no doubt. It's also less complicated. However, the thing is that I'm quite sure that people don't really care about the science, but on the cultural reward due to expansion of the human experience, caused by "human walking on a another planet." No orbit or Phobos will ever accomplish that.


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