5 May 2009
Posted by Ryan Anderson
Today’s Daisy Owl comic is about the cost of a human mission to Mars. Click for the whole comic:
Fun Stuff, Humans in Space
5 Comments/Trackbacks »
Well, to be fair, there’s a substantial number of of those 7 billion for which $14 represents a week’s wages or more.
If we restrict ourselves to the population of the US, Japan, the EU, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, we get about a billion people. That $14 becomes $70. While there are people in those countries who couldn’t afford $70 for anything other than direct living expenses, it’s still a low number for anyone not living month-to-month. Say, the cost of a video game.
Yeah, the same comment comes up in the discussion on the comic page. But still, it’s not much if you spread out the cost. And of course this assumes that you have to pay all at once. The $100 billion pricetag would likely be spread over many years. I don’t think we could spend that much all at once on a manned mission even if we wanted to!
And keep in mind, that would pay for only ONLY manned mission to Mars.
Maybe that’s why we should start colonizing the Red Planet from the get-go.
But also keep in mind that most of that cost would not be repeated for a second mission. You don’t have to start from scratch and re-design and re-test everything for each subsequent launch.
Colonizing from the get-go does solve a lot of problems though, so it may be the way to go (as long as it is pitched as “colonizing” and not as “one-way suicide mission”).
A lot of people left everything they knew in Europe for a new chance in the Americas, knowing they would probably never go back.
I bet there would be a LOT of willing volunteers to colonize Mars forever, especially these days.
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Ryan Anderson, Planetary Geologist; USGS; Flagstaff, AZ
Michael Battalio, Atmospheric Scientist; Texas A&M University; College Station, TX
Lauren Edgar, Planetary Geologist; USGS; Flagstaff, AZ
Christopher Edwards, Planetary Geologist; Northern Arizona University; Flagstaff, AZ
Abigail Fraeman, Planetary Geologist; NASA/JPL; Pasadena, CA
Scott Guzewich, Atmospheric Scientist; NASA/GSFC; Greenbelt, MD
Ken Herkenhoff, Planetary Geologist; USGS; Flagstaff, AZ
Rachel Kronyak, Planetary Geologist; University of Tennessee; Knoxville, TN
Michelle Minitti, Planetary Geologist; Framework;
Silver Spring, MD
Mark Salvatore, Planetary Geologist; University of Michigan; Dearborn, MI
Roger Wiens, Geochemist; LANL; Los Alamos, NM