After the Moon, people on Mars by 2033...or 2060The dates fixed by the space agency are 2024 for the Moon and Mars in 2033, but according to experts and industry insiders, reaching the Red Planet by then is highly improbable barring a Herculean effort on the scale of the Apollo program in the 1960s. "The Moon is the proving ground for our eventual mission to Mars," NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said at a conference this week. According to Robert Howard, who heads up the lab developing future space habitats at the legendary Johnson Space Center in Houston, the hurdles aren't so much technical or scientific as much as a question of budget and political will.