At first glance, this whole thing sounds crazy. At second glance, it still sounds crazy to me. Why risk two lives on a dangerous mission to Mars if the closest they get to it is 70 miles above it? And lets not forget that we're talking about a barren, airless, frozen desert out there in space with no means of supporting life as we know it, just in case they might need to land on it.
Traveling in space to other worlds has captured the imagination of many of us, but the reality of that situation is that reaching other star systems would require a journey far exceeding anyone's lifetime, and it is most unlikely that anyone could survive a lifetime's radiation in space, not to mention all the other problems of daily living. And then there's the spacecraft itself and whether or not it could hold together and maintain its integrity for such a long time. All of that suggests that we'd be crazy to try it. And all these billions we're pouring into space exploration could be better spent right here on earth, solving some of our more obvious problems. But as Albert Einstein is said to have once pointed out, the commonest element in the universe is not hydrogen but rather stupidity.