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Space agencies should first undertake Human mission to Mars's little moons before attempting Mars's surface
A mission to Phobos would win a space race in setting the first foot on a celestial body outside the Earth-moon system from a mission to the surface of Mars.
As a human mission to Phobos can be undertaken in the near future, as it is not at risk of losing trust, public support and funding as the result of long term setbacks that could plague the setup of a Human mission to the surface of Mars.
Given that the distance is effectively the same, the duration of the mission wouldn't be drastically different.
Winning the race to Phobos might lose the race to establish a human colony on Mars.