Serhat TUNAR –TDO- One of the first astronauts to orbit the Moon has said sending people to Mars would be "stupid".
Former US astronaut Bill Anders, 85, was the lunar module pilot for the country's December 1968 Apollo 8 mission, which completed 10 orbits around the Moon before returning to Earth.
The mission was crucial in paving the way for Apollo 11's moon landing seven months later.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, Mr Anders insisted he is a "big supporter" of unmanned space programs — putting their success down to low cost — but said the idea of sending human crews to Mars was "almost ridiculous".
Citing a lack of public support for expensive missions involving human crews as the reason for his beliefs, Mr Anders asked: "What's the imperative? What's pushing us to go to Mars? I don't think the public is that interested."