I just hope when the time comes to go to Mars they have a nuclear supply to power a VASIMR style rocket getting them to Mars in a month instead of 7 or 8 months. The faster they get to Mars the less bad side effects of the journey.
Like the radiation load even with a benign sun period.
If they get hit with a major storm, the craft will arrive fine but the crew would be dead.
I think it is folly to even plan for a trip with normal rocketry with a trip time of 3/4ths of a year.
They know how to make such a powerful ion rocket and that should be the first goal, perfecting such a device.
It might be a suicide mission the way things are going now.
One interesting idea would be, once they are there in a permanent way, conductors, hopefully superconductors, placed around the Martian equator, can recreate the original Martian magnetic shield to protect the whole planet from the ravages of the sun.
Left as it is, suppose a couple hundred years from now they start or are in the middle of Terraforming Mars, without a magnetic shield, whatever atmosphere they manage to make would be relatively short lived.
But a planet wide magnetic field would allow a permanent atmosphere.
So maybe a thousand years from now they can walk around Mars like we do now on Earth.