Would that incremental approach make sense (technical, economic, political) as it did for the Apollo program to the Moon?
Would the first landing mission be designed for a surface stay of a few weeks or for more than a year?
Assuming that the transfer orbit would be a minimum energy trajectory, known as a Hohmann transfer, the trip to Mars would take on the order of 220 days using today’s chemical propulsion technology. To take advantage of the minimum energy return, a short duration stay (~ 60 days) and a long duration (~ 500 days) stay are both options (The Stafford Report).
( read more at Colonizing the Red Planet )