Thank you, Reader, for taking the time to read the articles presented here. I have tried the best to give proper credit where credit is due. This includes crediting journals, journalists, Representatives, public figures, photographers, etc. to my greatest and humblest confidence. Forgive me Twitter, if you say some clever verbatim I will mention, however, I do not have adequate access to credit individuals. I also try to write from memory and thoughts alone, without clinging to notes to build a blog that isn’t reseach heavy as a break from my normal routine. Forgive me and thanks again. dA
Human Exploration to Mars and US policy
It’s no secret that the U.S. government has plans to eventually get to Mars, however, a point that is largely missed here is the natural inefficiency of government to get things done. A wonk might use the term “institutional friction” here, largely, forces working against the system to get the system changed or competing forces for change within the system, however when it comes to Mars one may conclude we don’t have a direct plan to get humans there.
We do however have unlimited routes for the US government to take, we have companies like SpaceX and our own government agency NASA to do the heavy lifting for us, and we have a total of about $16 billion tax dollars per year to spend. We have a new Presidency coming in 2016, and therefore a new space agenda to be set. One can only hope for the best and expect Congress to match the President’s direction.
SpaceX and Mars Colonization
Mulling over recent coverage of fatal SpaceX firexplosion (Twitter) or rather, anomaly, upon which a payload valued at $200 million dollars (largely a Facebook satellite meant to bring internet to poor South Africans) was destroyed, I’ve concluded SpaceX has isolated the incident to a problem through SpaceX’s own fault, with fueling the spacecraft. Skipping any and all hype about the incident, I wanted to move on and discuss SpaceX involvement and plans to colonize Mars.
Elon Musk gave a rather boring but rich-in-content, hour-long presentation about SpaceX’s ambitious plans to go to Mars, this past 27 September. There are quite a few articles that explain Musk’s details of the plans, and I encourage reading many articles about the “lecture”, or simply watching the presentation yourself.
In conclusion, the current price for ticket to Mars would be 10 billion dollars, far more money than anyone, even perhaps Musk, has for the venture. The tricky part is lowering the cost of the ticket. My next point will be criticism from those who look at Mars as an endeavor that can be achieved with let’s say, $10 billion. This is too high of a cost to pour money into. The price of this “ticket” must simply come down, and Musk either 1) Foresees the prices to drop; or 2) needs $10 billion to get his project off the ground.
The crucial detail here is you can’t “colonize” Mars without getting humans there first, and without humans occupying Mars land in some form, through NASA or SpaceX, etc, then we simply don’t have human exploration of Mars program. We have visions and plans, costs, benefits and investors, astronauts, physicists, lawyers and engineers, but we lack a human presence simply because the technology for an affordable ticket for one individual just isn’t there (yet).