I'm sorry, you misunderstood me. There is no race to Mars. I suspect there never will be a race to Mars. That's all I was saying. There will eventually be a multinational expedition with people on board but until then the best you can hope for is unmanned craft and if we're really lucky, robots.
Yeah, but this is Sci-Fi, where anything can happen. Just because it doesn't seem like anything is being done right now doesn't mean that there won't eventually be a race to Mars. People once thought we'd never get to the moon and it became a race to see who'd get there first, not only as people, but technologically as well. Technological Prowess. You're right in that it would multinational, with us being allies with Russia, but that isn't stopping from other countries like China from developing their own efforts.
The Mini-series was most like Ben Bova's Mars which envisioned a realistic portrayal of what a mission to Mars could be like.
Jefferiestube is right. With all the probes and the rovers, it's not as if no effort is being made to get humans to Mars, but it is taking us longer because it's farther and requires different technology due to the different environment of Mars, but they are making an effort. The Mars rovers have been amazingly successful leading us to learn a lot about Mars. It was an amazing achievement that they lasted way past the date they thought they'd die. Instead of just getting a few months of observations, we got nearly two years!