Re: It was never going anywhere NEAR Mars
During a press conference after liftoff, Musk said it was dicey whether the second stage would power up at all. The fuel could have frozen, the oxygen boiled off, or the avionics failed, as the rocket spent more than five hours in our planet's high-radiation Van Allen belts before firing up.
I'd rather like my space craft to be a bit more reliable, and for people to retain domain knowledge. Domain knowledge? There are enough (>=1) old-time rocket scientists who managed to point out problems with fuel, valve, and time-in-space problems with certain NASA missions, namely: don't use certain fuels for missions longer than a certain duration. I would have hoped that someone would have been able to calculate the thrust correctly, ensured that fuel did not freeze, shield the avionics, etc.