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#1 2002-06-28 19:25:42

Dayton3
Member
Registered: 2002-06-03
Posts: 137

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

Why not support passing a law that offers the first corporation or individual that successfully puts a manned crew on Mars (a minimum of 3 NASA astronauts) on the surface of Mars for a minimum of 100 days and safely returns them to Earth a grand payout of 10 billion dollars?

If they can do it for 7 billion dollarsm they'll rake in 3 billion dollars in raw profit.

If they go over 10 billion, they won't get any extra though they could still make money selling the technology to the government.

Dr. Zubrin has estimated that you could get a successfull mission to Mars for only 3 billion to 5 billion dollars if done by a private corporation.

If you think 10 billion is too little, how about 15 billion?

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#2 2002-06-29 14:13:27

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

Why not support passing a law that offers the first corporation[/quote:post_uid3]
*Hmmmm.  As for corporate sponsorship, what with the recent Enron, Martha Stewart Inc., and WorldCom scandals [Xerox got in on the act too], the trust and confidence in corporate integrity and strength is currently not good and probably won't be for awhile.  I'm also wondering how reluctant many corporations would be to sponsor a mission to Mars; let's say Microsoft funds the first mission, and then something goes disastrously wrong with all crewmembers dying in the mishap.  Can you imagine the lawsuits which would come out of that?  Families suing, Microsoft suing the firm which built the craft, that company counter-suing Microsoft...yipes. 

If a single government were to fund the mission, it would have total control over the project.  Can we get the wealthy nations to cooperate on this one, especially in light of the current terrorist activities and continued threats in that regard?  Governments are already shelling out zillions of dollars for beefed-up security, increased military personnel, the "war on terrorism," etc.

Frankly, I don't know what the answer is in this regard. 

However, generally speaking, if someone is willing to lead, others will follow.  Not every American was going bonkers with joy over the Mercury and Apollo missions; many whined and grumbled that this was all a waste of time and money.  Many people *were* excited, however, about Apollo 11; I'd just turned 4 years old in the summer of 1969, and I do remember the excitement and the intense optimism had gripped people, including me.

If I had Bill Gates' money, I'd fund the mission myself!

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#3 2002-06-29 15:21:43

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

I don't think we have to blast all of Corporate America because of a few bad apples.  I mean government officials aren't exactly your incorruptible best friends either.  I like the idea of a prize for the first people to get to Mars.  It's reminiscent of the X-Prize that was created to give 10 million dollars to the first private company to launch three people into suborbital space on a fully reusable vehicle.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#4 2003-01-08 01:01:23

Roark
Member
From: 48°N, 97°W
Registered: 2003-01-08
Posts: 15

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

Encouraging a private mission with public money is on the right track, but a far better method of creating private incentive for a Mars mission exists.  Harry Binswanger, who I believe is a fellow with the Ayn Rand Institute, proposed that the entire surface of Mars be given as private property to the first corporation or person who lands there.  If people on Earth "buy" stars as gifts, I'm sure they would be willing to buy plots of Martian land from the winning corporation.  The land sales combined with advertising and other profitable angles of such a mission could make it a highly successful venture for any company.

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#5 2003-01-08 02:51:02

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

I don't think Ayn Rand would have liked those people who suggested giving the whole planet to the first bunch to land there.  The idea of squatters rights seems to revolve around land ownership going to those who make productive use of a certain parcel of land and any land they show no capability of developing economic wise they don't have rights to.  In any case, after reading Clark's posts I think you should post on the unviolable spirit of the individual and the goodness of the ego. smile


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#6 2003-01-08 08:03:13

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

Encouraging a private mission with public money is on the right track, but a far better method of creating private incentive for a Mars mission exists.  Harry Binswanger, who I believe is a fellow with the Ayn Rand Institute, proposed that the entire surface of Mars be given as private property to the first corporation or person who lands there.  [/quote:post_uid13]
*No. 

The last thing we need is a planet-engulfing corporate dictatorship. 

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#7 2003-01-09 16:07:09

Roark
Member
From: 48°N, 97°W
Registered: 2003-01-08
Posts: 15

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

Why is a government monopoly any better than a corporate one?

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#8 2003-01-09 16:24:49

soph
Member
Registered: 2002-11-24
Posts: 1,492

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

capitalism should go into space just like democracy should.  why do people have to liberalize space?

i'm no republican, nor am i a democrat, im right in the middle.  space should work on logic, not ideals.  Capitalism works here, and so does democracy.  Adding a few safeguards to prevent stagnation would further both.

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#9 2003-01-09 17:06:19

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

Why is a government monopoly any better than a corporate one?[/quote:post_uid3]
*Whose post are you referring to?

I'm anti-monopoly, period.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#10 2003-01-09 17:09:40

soph
Member
Registered: 2002-11-24
Posts: 1,492

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

there are some good monopolies.  telephone for example.  theres a reason europes cell network is 1000x better than the US's.  in some instances, regulated cable.  too many cable lines is bad.

regulated power.  no need for 15 different power lines. 

transportation-20 different transcontinental railroad companies would be dumb.  again, regulated monopoly.

There are certain monopolies that make sense for efficiency, and are good if regulated well.

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#11 2003-01-09 18:07:36

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

We call those ‘natural monopolies,’ because they exist due to location, and so on. Telephone, water, electricity, cable, etc, are all natural monopolies. In our current level of society we have to pipe those things through each and every household. In fact, my neighbors cable lines probably go through the walls in my apartment. Same goes with telephone lines, pipes, etc.

So it makes little sense for some private entity to own something which goes through my own property. This is why they're regulated. I want some control over a resource which I actually share a part in.

Natural monopolies are everywhere. The question is whether or not you want some private industry controlling them, or the public.

But anyway, I'm getting off topic.

I don't see this bounty working. The first thing people are going to do is ask for loans, so that they can build their ships. Since the price is so utterly high, we'd have maybe two competitors at best. Who can give out a 10 billion dollar loan? There's only going to be one winner! One of the other competitors will drop out quite quickly once they realize that they're behind the other. They'd quickly go bankrupt and take whoever gave them the inital million dollar loans with them.

10 billion dollars is a lot of money.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#12 2003-01-10 08:08:40

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

there are some good monopolies.  telephone for example.  theres a reason europes cell network is 1000x better than the US's.  in some instances, regulated cable.  too many cable lines is bad.

regulated power.  no need for 15 different power lines. 

transportation-20 different transcontinental railroad companies would be dumb.  again, regulated monopoly.

There are certain monopolies that make sense for efficiency, and are good if regulated well.[/quote:post_uid3]
*I was referring (as per my post of January 8) to a planet-wide monopoly which would claim sole ownership of Mars.  I'm against that idea.  I wasn't talking about lesser monopolies here on Earth (entirely different context).

smile

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#13 2003-01-12 15:28:15

Roark
Member
From: 48°N, 97°W
Registered: 2003-01-08
Posts: 15

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

I still think winner-takes-all is the best way to go, but unfortunately compromise is necessary in politics.  Instead of winner-takes-all (Martian property), 1st company gets 49%, 2nd company gets 24%, 3rd gets 11%, etc.  This assures that competitors still have some land to work with even if they are not first, and that the first corporation does not get a majority of the planet to itself.  Whatever is left can be given away in a Martian homesteading program or something in 50 years.

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#14 2003-01-12 15:32:45

soph
Member
Registered: 2002-11-24
Posts: 1,492

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

That is the best way to go.

Also, keep an incentive package for organizations that get to mars.  A 100 acre parcel of land, and, say $10 million to develop it.

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#15 2003-01-12 17:32:58

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

Um, I can assure you that if some company is ‘promised’ 50% of Mars or something for ‘getting there first’ there will be a major upset. You can't enforce that property withint something, well, which can enforce it, like weapons, or people who respect such property because oftheir cultural programming. In all likely-hood, no one is going to respect that property, and no one will have the ability to enforce the bounderies. It's not like we'd have space police the next day. Peolpe will colonize regardless. The problem with this, of course, is if 100 years down the road these corporations use some ridiculous contract with the US government to ‘take back’ the 49% of property they have a ‘right’ to. Basically annexing almost [i:post_uid0]everyone[/i:post_uid0] on the planet, and putting them under their rule for profit.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#16 2003-01-12 19:17:28

soph
Member
Registered: 2002-11-24
Posts: 1,492

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

So cynical.

Like i've said before, if somebody lands somewhere, i think they could have a 50-100 acre radius of land.  Enforcing?  The UN.  All contracts would be upheld by UN law.  It also would be an incentive to keep permanent settlements.

A company that sends people to Mars will be based on Earth---the normal corporate punishments could be used to stop illegal activity.  Frozen assests, etc.

I know you think we should all go anarchist, but like i've said, just because a system is idealistic, doesnt mean its right.  Anarchy is wrong on every fundamental of economics there is.

Sorry if that sounded overly harsh  ???

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#17 2003-01-12 21:48:30

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

Well, sorry if I'm being cynical here, but it's a lot easier to enforce 50 acres than it is 49% of a planet. Heck, even 1% of a planet is hard enough to enforce.

Do you agree or disagree that ‘Space Law’ does not exist? The Outer Space Treaty is fine and dandy, but when you realistically look at it, it's meaningless. Any person or country that wanted to and had the resources to, could set up a moon base, and they would be completely sovereign. The problems come about when they start claiming rights over things which are outside of their sphere of sovereignty. In other words, if they build a base, and claim a million acres surrounding it, their claims are completely worthless unless they can control it. This is the whole truth of the matter, and it's come up a good dozen times on these very forums. Everyone agrees with this simple logic.

So sure, lie to these corporations and tell them that they can have 49% of Mars if they get their first. Of course this would never happen in a million years without governmental backing. And governments are better off doing things themselves than hiring corporations to do it for them.

In any case, when colonization begins, the people and their wonderful democracy will handle the resources justly. No one entity will be owning 49% of Mars.

And you clearly don't understand the word “economics,” since you think that economics are about ‘profit.’ Nope, economics are about [i:post_uid0]distributing resources[/i:post_uid0]. Indeed, eco- is from ‘environment’ and -nomy is loosly from ‘laws.’ Profit is only a by product in certain systems. Anarchy is the purest form of economics we can have. But of course, my comments in this thread have absolutely nothing to do with anarchy, it's just the harsh reality of the frontier.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#18 2003-01-12 21:55:22

soph
Member
Registered: 2002-11-24
Posts: 1,492

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

I say we create private space laws based on what i said, and thus, they would be easy to enforce (50 acres-100 acres).

Anarchy is just another form of utopian communism.  It sounds nice, but it couldnt work.  There is no order.  Property must exist.  If I am a farmer, and you are a clothier, you have something i dont.  this is property.  so i trade my food for your clothes.  this is putting value on my food and your clothes.  thus, we have money.

if we were to distribute everything equally, who would so distribute it?  You would need a government, or a regulatory agency, which would negate the state of anarchy.

No, economics isnt about distributing resources.  It is about managing resources.  I wouldnt take translations too literally.  The study of economics deals with managing your resources to their fullest, or so I was told by the NYU professor of economics when i sat in for a class with my mother.

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#19 2003-01-12 22:38:44

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

I say we let people do what they want in space, and see which systems work the best. Funny how you seem to lack any desire to refute that property means nothing without enforcement of some kind.

If you want, I can talk about anarchy in the other thread we have for the subject. I'm trying not to hijack any more threads because someone goes on a completely unrelated tangent.

It would be interesting to see someone prove that property is actually good for sovereignty.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#20 2003-01-12 22:40:38

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

Oh, BTW, economics is about management, sure, but the kinds of economics you have rely on the resources within a given system. Lots of resources means profit is not viable, little resources means the opposite...


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#21 2003-01-13 05:33:39

soph
Member
Registered: 2002-11-24
Posts: 1,492

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

Not necessarily on that last point, but i wont delve.

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#22 2003-01-13 12:19:57

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

Well, as long as you make unsubstantiated claims, I'll consider the discussion open. So feel free to take it to the anarchy thread.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#23 2003-02-02 19:04:00

Vooderbar
Member
From: Seattle
Registered: 2003-02-02
Posts: 1

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

[color=#000000:post_uid9]Perhaps this is a tangent to the thread, but how about developing an incentive program that encourages a creative way of getting funding for Mars, as opposed to what would be entitled to whom after we've arrived? Instead of developing a 'carrot on an interplanetary stick' incentive scheme, there exists some forum to oversee the development of a profitable ensemble of Earth-based gov't/industry sources to fund the first missions. THEN worry about who gets what when people buy into the fact that it can be done, and that the technology has been developed to do it more.

I'm doing research on this at the moment, and curious as to your thoughts on the subject...

Zach.[/color:post_uid9]

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#24 2003-02-07 17:54:50

Roark
Member
From: 48°N, 97°W
Registered: 2003-01-08
Posts: 15

Re: Why Not Offer A "Bounty" For A Mars Mission - 10 Billion dollars for the first

[color=#000000:post_uid4]I retract my previous proposal.  I have in the past two months read [i:post_uid4]The Case for Mars[/i:post_uid4] and [i:post_uid4]Atlas Shrugged[/i:post_uid4], and I have decided both Dr. Binswanger's property proposal and my own variation of it are inferior to a new plan I have formulated. 

Instead of set acreage, it should be a circle of land around the landing craft.  Both manned and unmanned private landing craft would be eligible.  A probe of a certain minimum weight would entitle its owner to ten square kilometers of Martian property surrounding the probe.  A manned landing craft would be entitled to something like 100 square kilometers of land.  These would be only initial values.  Rovers, manned or unmanned, would be allowed to plant land claim markers further away from the landing site.  The land between any three or more markers would also become property of the individual or corporation.

The land claim extension by rover solves the problem with the original idea brought up by Phobos earlier in this thread: [i:post_uid4]I don't think Ayn Rand would have liked those people who suggested giving the whole planet to the first bunch to land there.  The idea of squatters rights seems to revolve around land ownership going to those who make productive use of a certain parcel of land and any land they show no capability of developing economic wise they don't have rights to.[/i:post_uid4]  Obviously someone has shown some capability of developing the land if they are capable of traversing what they have claimed with a rover of some kind.

One of the proper functions of government is the protection of property and the establishment of property rights.  Allowing private companies to stake claims on Mars with probes will encourage private exploration by rover and humans will eventually follow.[/color:post_uid4]

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