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By Dr David Scott Commander of Apollo 15

Recent robotic missions to the red planet are proof positive that the Martian Century is upon us but the challenges facing future human exploration of Mars are complex and dangerous.

Dr David Scott, former Commander of Apollo 15 and one of only twelve men to have walked on the surface of the Moon, gives his view on these challenges: from why we would wish to send men and women to the red planet to whether we have the resolve to continue the programme in the event of failures and losses; from the funding, planning, science and engineering involved to the all-important human factors that also come into play.