I simply ‘space out’ when an article explains we will launch all the materials for a Mars mission from the Earth using a monolithic launch system like SLS. Here they actually talk about using water from the Earth’s surface.
We will get to Mars by getting the water from space and by constructing the vehicles in space. This we can use ionic engines to move, not chemical ones.
There are some real unknowns here as we have not accomplished the needed pieces, while we do know how to build monolithic rockets. But that does not mean we ill have the same options in a decade.