Mars is not just a scientific curiosity; it is a world with a surface area equal to all the continents of Earth combined, possessing all the elements that are needed to support not only life, but technological society. It is a New World, filled with history waiting to be made by a new and youthful branch of human civilization that is waiting to be born. We must go to Mars to make that potential a reality. We must go, not for us, but for a people who are yet to be. We must do it for the Martians.
—The Founding Declaration of the Mars Society
President Bush announced that we were landing on Mars today... which means he's given up on Earth.
— Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
We began getting the occasional transmission along the lines of 'ANOTHER SOIL SAMPLE OF THE EXACT SAME COMPOSITION AS THE LAST ONE'...Hopefully these malfunctions will straighten themselves out," Callas said. "In the meantime, we'll simply have to try to glean what usable data we can from 'OVERPRICED SPACE-ROOMBA AWAITING MORE BULLSHIT ORDERS.'
—The Onion, "Mars Rover Beginning to Hate Mars"
By the way, this whole “we can totally survive on Mars now that we think we might have found some water” shit is a real stretch. They didn’t find a RESERVOIR, man. And if I can’t drink water in fucking Mexico, what are the odds of Martian water giving me some kind of unholy radioactive diarrhea? No space station Brita filter is gonna be enough to make that shit clean.
Before we go there and set up greenhouses, dance clubs, and falafel stands, let's make sure that, in some subtle form that could be harmed by the human hubbub, life does not already exist there. If not, then by all means build cities, plant forests and fill lakes and streams with trout — bring life to Mars and Mars to life. We'll then be the Martians we've been dreaming about for all these years.
— The Slate
Mars is essentially in the same orbit [as Earth] ... Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.
— Dan Quayle, 11-August-1989