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Bill Anders, a former NASA astronaut has lashed out at NASA stating that their plans to send humans to Mars are ridiculous and stupid. The astronaut who was on board the Apollo 8 manned spaceflight mission to the moon in 1968 claimed that he is a big supporter of unmanned Mars probes, but makes it clear that manned missions to the Red Planet are not at all necessary.

These comments from Anders came at a time when NASA is busy preparing to send humans back to the moon, and they are also apparently eyeing to build technology to take humans to Mars safely.

Bill Anders made these comments while talking to BBC Radio 5 Live.

"What's the imperative? What's pushing us to go to Mars? I don't think the public is that interested," said Anders during the talk, Inquisitr reports.

Anders even alleged that NASA has turned into a jobs programme over the course of years.

"NASA couldn't get to the moon today. They're so ossified... NASA has turned into a jobs programme... many of the centers are mainly interested in keeping busy and you don't see the public support other than they get the workers their pay and their Congressmen get re-elected," argued Anders.

Anders also shared his skepticism about the plans of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk to set up a human colony on Mars.

"Musk and Bezos, they're talking about putting colonies on Mars, that's nonsense," added Anders.

Anders along with crewmates Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida in December 1968, and they completed 10 orbits around the moon. The success of this mission had played a crucial role in materializing Apollo 11's historic moon landing.

NASA recently landed their Insight space probe on the Martian surface, and in the two-year mission, it will study the interiors of the Martian surface, thus looking for potential signs of life.