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#1 2006-10-09 09:39:29

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars: open for business?

In a current Space Review article Frank Stratford makes a business case for private missions to Mars.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#2 2006-10-09 19:13:31

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,208

Re: Mars: open for business?

There are many plans on how to get to Mars, some ranging from $2-billion one-man shots right up to $500-billion government programs. None of us know with certainty which plan will be used first, but the options are out there for any entrepreneurial businesses to take advantage of what is currently a wide open market.

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#3 2012-10-21 15:52:58

falkor
Member
From: Surrey
Registered: 2004-08-21
Posts: 112

Re: Mars: open for business?

interesting to read that article dated 2006

at the end of it all 6 years have gone by and what has changed? big_smile

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#4 2012-11-17 16:27:10

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: Mars: open for business?

No more VSE sad

But the thrust if the argument is more-or-less correct.  The basic question that we need to be asking ourselves is how we cab make Mars, or space exploration/exploitation/colonization worth our while as a species.  I would add that this doesn't necessarily preclude a government funded mission.  A government funded effort would likely be justified based on tangible benefits to large groups of people that it would be hard to extract profit from.  For example, a mirror in orbit that could be pointed at the ocean to increase precipitation over large areas and thus help agriculture, especially in times of drought.

Science could probable be enough to justify government missions if a more limited scope, on the scale of a "Mars Direct" mission.  However, this would probably have to be science that relates directly to earth somehow as opposed to science for its own sake.  A few supportive congresspeople or senators wouldn't hurt either.

The private sphere is simpler:  Show the opportunity for real profit (comparable to other investment opportunities) and it can be done.  That article reminds me of another fascinating article that I read last week.


-Josh

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#5 2012-11-26 12:58:27

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,027
Website

Re: Mars: open for business?

The last 500 years' e4xperiences here suggests that explorations and technology development are best done by government agencies working with certain business contractors. 

The kinds of visits that lead to colonies (or not) seem to have been most successful when there was a partnership between government and industry.  This allowed both to share risks and expenses,  and gave the companies the potential for monopoly profit.  The Dutch and British East India companies come to mind. 

Colony-planting was actually best done by companies,  and with an eye toward creating a mutual trade network that would persist through independence for the colonies.  The Spanish and French weren't so good at that last point,  while the British and Dutch were.  Which explains why mostly-English-speaking North America did better than mostly-Spanish-speaking Central and South America.  Even though the Spanish got there first.

I think history has a lot to teach us about how to really do the exploration and utilization of space. 

GW


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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#6 2012-11-26 14:44:42

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Mars: open for business?

I think you have to say Spanish, French and Portuguese, who all got to the new world before the English.   

So, we have 4 relatively unsuccessful colonial powers that allegedly do not share the common characteristic of "creating a mutual trade network that would persist through independence."  And one that does share this trait with one of the unsuccessful one.  That does not seem like strong evidence.  Also, mutual trade networks with Spain, France and Portugal did persist past colonial independence.

There are many, many varied reasons why Canada and the US are more successful, in some ways, than Latin American countries, e.g., the Mexicans didn't mostly exterminate the indigenous peoples, and the English didn't discover gold till much later. 

At least as important, the US and Canada benefited very greatly from inheriting the English understandings and approaches to governance and economics.  The fact that free trade amongst the former colonies is required in the US Constitution is an example.  Canada's continued use of the Queen as head of state is another.  The use of the Common Law in both the US and Canada - to this day - is still another. 

History has a lot to teach, but it's not an easy study.

Last edited by bobunf (2013-01-02 14:35:57)

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#7 2012-11-26 18:54:45

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,854

Re: Mars: open for business?

bobunf wrote:

I think you have to say Spanish, French and Portuguese, who all got to the new world before the English.   

So, we have 4 relatively unsuccessful colonial powers that allegedly do not share the common characteristic of "creating a mutual trade network that would persist through independence."  And one that does share this trait with one of the unsuccessful one.  That does not seem like strong evidence.  Also, mutual trade networks with Spain, France and Portugal did persist past colonial independence.

There are many, many varied reasons why Canada and the US are more successful, in some ways, than Latin American countries, e.g., the Mexicans didn't mostly exterminate the indigenous peoples, and the English didn't discover gold tell much later. 

At least as important, the US and Canada benefited very greatly from inheriting the English understandings and approaches to governance and economics.  The fact that free trade amongst the former colonies is required in the US Constitution is an example.  Canada's continued use of the Queen as head of state is another.  The use of the Common Law in both the US and Canada - to this day - is still another. 

History has a lot to teach, but it's not an easy study.

The US and Canada occupy the temperate zones.  Look at Argentina down the other end. That quickly became a successful country - and by mid 20th century was actually in the top ten of developed nations, I seem to recall.

Generally speaking economic success - until recently (technological developments now overcoming natural disadvantages) - has concentrated in the temperate zones where large scale agriculture can be pursued successfully, where there are a range of animals that can be domesticated, and where disease is less prevalent and less deadly.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#8 2013-11-03 08:19:21

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Mars: open for business?

I think it will work better with government in the back seat encouraging business with tax breaks and subsidies and businesses following their own economic interests. The Apollo program was a lousy model for a manned space program, we went for the wrong reasons and it all depended upon fickle politics. I think businesses should be encouraged to make the initial investments and the returns on those investments will sustain the space programs.

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#9 2013-11-03 13:00:07

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,208

Re: Mars: open for business?

I think if Nasa Is the only ship going then it should have other mars sites clammering to ride piggyback to where ever they are going. That said the ride problem is solved and its up to gaining promotional funding for there own respective project from what ever is done on the piggy back mission.

That said since the writing of the initial posts story there will have been at least 2 landing and a new mission about to be sent to Mars. With Nasa still searching for life signs and water sad with the next studing the atmosphere, with no soil return in sight sad
The second link in the topc talks about cost of flight and while rockets are expensive its been the lead taken by space x that has shown that it does not need to be in the billions per space flight....

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#10 2013-11-03 14:01:06

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: Mars: open for business?

I think someone like SpaceX or MarsOne is much more likely to do soil return than NASA.  To start with, their current soil return plans are contingent on SLS, which we all know will never fly.


-Josh

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#11 2013-11-04 10:26:11

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Mars: open for business?

NASA does things way too expensively, and people are finding out that much of that expense is unnecessary. NASA is very cautious and careful, it tests and tests and tests again before it lets anything happen, I wish other government agencies would follow that model and not release things that don't work! But its ironic, NASA is too careful while other agencies are not careful enough, private industry accepts a certain level of risk, it can't be too careful because it has limited resources for exercising caution, on the other hand it doesn't want to lose its investment either, so it has to take reasonable precautions. NASA doesn't really have a balance sheet, it is given a budget by the government and is told to spend it on x, y, and z. Companies risk their own investments, so they tend to be more frugal than government agencies that risk other people's money.

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#12 2013-11-08 15:47:42

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: Mars: open for business?

To be fair, NASA is hardly an example of an efficient government agency.  I would say that the efficiency issue with government agencies is that they can run the scale and don't run too much a risk of going out of business.  That means that you can have efficient and well-run government agencies as well as inefficient and overly bureaucratic ones.  NASA certainly falls in the latter category, but interestingly up until recently all of their subcontractors have as well.  The issue is that NASA isn't a good bargainer because they have no latitude to cancel projects legislated by Congress if the costs get too high.

Then again, NASA is considered to be a science agency by the federal government.  Maybe we shouldn't be surprised that it's run like one.


-Josh

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