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#201 2017-01-09 17:33:54

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,304
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Re: The reason to go to mars - Going to mars is not a waste of money

I've been thinking about how to fund space colonisation. Assuming we have ticket prices to orbit below $100k, and suitable infrastructure, what I've come up with is this.

For Luna, it would start with hotels and mining support. Once that's in place, it would be followed with Lunar retirement homes, and then moving on to apartments for high net worth individuals, who have enough passive income to get by or else produce something that doesn't need them to be physically present (i.e. artists). As costs come down, they'd be followed by less wealthy (still quite rich) individuals who can sell them services at a high enough price to pay for their apartment. All people who move will pay a deposit for their return ticket, so they can be deported back to Terra if they can't pay. Basically, Lunar becomes a playground for the rich, a space Monaco. This lasts until ticket prices come down even further, to the point where the centre-upper middle class can think about moving.

For Mars, and everywhere else outside Terran orbit, it would be selling services to bases, whether government research facilities or private mining bases (those two types are pretty much the only thing you see today in the closest comparable areas of Terra we have to Mars...). This demand, hopefully, should be enough to pay for the infrastructure to be developed. I'm thinking, a Martian Development Company that would construct bases out of in-situ materials and provide transport for personnel. Once this is paid for and the costs come down, and the reliability issues are dealt with, private initiatives can start sending colonists on one way trips. Again, this lasts until costs come down even further (and Mars is, perhaps, partially terraformed - maybe we'll get lucky and there'll be massive methane clathrates we can vaporise), and it becomes possible for middle class colonists to found their own colonies.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#202 2017-01-09 18:40:06

elderflower
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Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,261

Re: The reason to go to mars - Going to mars is not a waste of money

because humans have itchy feet. Otherwise we would have become extinct before we walked out of Africa.

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#203 2017-01-09 20:20:29

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,898

Re: The reason to go to mars - Going to mars is not a waste of money

Itchy feet coupled with insatiable curiosity. We really won't have our appetites whetted until we first set foot on the planet; we don't really know enough at this point to even ask the right questions, much less provide answers.

I for one, would be going for a multiplicity of reasons: my curiosity as a scientist, for the challenge, and most of all...for the adventure. I've been a high altitude mountaineer and rock climber all my adult life, and am something of an adrenaline junkie. I grew up reading "Rockets, Missiles, and Space Travel," by Willy Ley, the Collier's magazine articles by Wernher von Braun, et. al., etc.  It was a sad day that Tricky Dick shut down the deep space goals for NASA in preference for an orbital delivery truck.

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#204 2017-01-09 20:43:23

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,728

Re: The reason to go to mars - Going to mars is not a waste of money

We do go because its there as GW put it but we have become less of a risk taker these days...

I like what was in your post Terraformer but I do not think that the price tag is low enough to get the common man on a flight...and only if wages make a big jump as you need to live off from what you make until you can save enough to go....There will be no loans for a customer to take a flight it be cash only.....

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#205 2017-01-10 05:29:34

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,304
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Re: The reason to go to mars - Going to mars is not a waste of money

It doesn't have to be low enough for the common man. Only low enough for governments and rich private organisations to be able to afford bases.

If a government could get a Mars base for $2 billion, plus $500 million per year to keep it going, how many would pay? I'm fairly certain the US and China would. Probably Russia (at that price it would fit comfortably within their current space budget) and Europe as well. Maybe even a joint Commonwealth base, shared between the CANZUK countries. As time goes on, and costs come down, other countries would be able to get bases as well, and later private organisations. Research is the MacGuffin (tourism, and perhaps some mining, on Luna) that pays for the infrastructure and development that later allows private colony initiatives a chance to establish themselves.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#206 2017-01-10 13:19:39

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
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Re: The reason to go to mars - Going to mars is not a waste of money

Money-as-profit cannot be the reason for the explorations that determine what all is there,  and where exactly it is.  Money-as-profit must be the reason to plant permanent facilities that are,  or lead to,  a colony.  Those are two separate functions,  as they have been for centuries. 

I have serious doubts that both functions could be served in one mission.  But maybe in two,  if the first does the full exploration job.  Which means not just investigating one site.  And not just collecting a bag full of rocks and planting a flag.

There will likely be only one government-sponsored mission to Mars.  After that,  commercial investment will be needed to go.  There needs to be a reason for that investment.  And it takes time to digest and figure out what the explorers actually found,  and were actually able to do.  So don't count on doing everything in one trip.

But don't count on multiple government trips either.  Look at what happened to Apollo.  If the launch rate hadn't been as high as it was,  fewer landings would have been made before the government cancelled it.  They cancelled it to spend the money instead on the Vietnam war,  although it didn't really work out that way either.  It was mostly just wasted.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2017-01-10 13:22:31)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#207 2017-01-10 16:06:35

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,898

Re: The reason to go to mars - Going to mars is not a waste of money

GW-

If only one government sponsored trip is made to Mars, the Zubrin/ Mars Direct 18 month stay is mandatory; not just the "flag and footprints."
To make scientific sense of things, we'll need to be extremely mobile while there. I see all the evidence of layered rocks and cannot help but wonder what fossils might be lurking there. The time frame in which Mars had water and warmth could possibly had Trilobites, Nautiloids, etc., and possibly some oxygen producing sea plants.

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#208 2017-01-10 19:53:09

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,728

Re: The reason to go to mars - Going to mars is not a waste of money

I feel that a 30 day stay to leverage the small payloads we currently can land may be the only way to proceed with a  "flag and footprints" mode but it needs to have followup mission of possibly 3 -4 to the same site to maximize the efforts to create a toe hold and to do science to the fullest. Hopefully be then larger ships will be able to land and we can further explore more of Mars.

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#209 2017-01-10 20:40:56

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,898

Re: The reason to go to mars - Going to mars is not a waste of money

The whole program is driven by the economics at the time. Instead of doing things by one-sies and two-sies, we actually send a larger number of the small supply ships in advance as well as the return vessel for one of the crews. Initial launches: 1 Habitat with basic science supplies + one supply only vessel, with consumables + ERV. Second set of launches: Another Habitat + one supply vessel with consumables + one supply vessel with construction equipment and greenhouse module + ERV. It really depends on the size of the first rockets used. If we're only looking at the Falcon Heavy upgrades, we could have only a crew of 4 initially and possibly a 5 person replacement-reinforcement crew. From the first crew of 4, we recruit 2 to stay and bring the base up to 7. A repeat on the next Hohmann transfer window and we have possibly 12 on Mars with 2-3 returning to Earth. We grow stepwise, with each transit opportunity increasing the base population and equipment on hand.

I cannot see doing a Flag and Footprints mission at all. 30 days isn't really enough time to accomplish any in-depth science. We also need time in order to do a wide search for accessible water supply.

What we need here is another thread discussion of the Mars Base -I, and the science lab and associated equipment; also discuss the types of scientists we'll need to get the most bang for the Gigabucks.

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#210 2017-01-11 05:15:22

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,304
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Re: The reason to go to mars - Going to mars is not a waste of money

I think anyone going to Mars is going to be looking at a ~5 year tour of duty, ensuring the base is continuously occupied.

I'd set up the base on the first mission, leaving half the crew behind, but then I'm probably thinking of a much bigger mission than anyone else here...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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