“Well, if we keep going on the trajectory we’re on, the first people on Mars will be Chinese. I don’t think that’s a good thing. Not because I’m anti-Chinese. I’m not anti-Chinese. I like Chinese people. I’ve been to China. I think they’re very charming, and I’m not just saying that out of political correctness — I actually think that. But they have a government which is a tyranny, and they have political and social traditions that lend themselves to tyranny.”
As it turns out, you don’t have to be a starry-eyed liberal like Neil deGrasse Tyson or Carl Sagan to push for space travel. You can be a pro-business, anti-environmentalist, America-first conservative, too. Just ask Robert Zubrin, the right-wing Mars guru.
Zubrin wants to colonize Mars, and he’s been pushing that agenda for decades. Indeed, he’s the guy who gave Newt Gingrich the idea to set up American bases on the Red Planet. I talked to him for VICE / Motherboard, and our conversation got very weird, very quickly.