Miles to Mars is a presentation by Chris Bellant from Mars Initiative at the first SpaceUP Live Virtual Conference. These are the session notes by The Space Tester.
For a replay of the entire conference, I can highly recommend visiting the Space Up YouTube Channel >>
MILES TO MARS: FUNDING HUMANITIES’ FUTURE
Chris Bellant has been the Operations Planner for the International Space Station at NASA, Johnson Space Center for over 5 years.
Now he is the Executive Director of Mars Initiative. This is a publicly-funded, international non-profit dedicated to raising money for the Mars Prize Fund.
This fund has been awarded to the first mission that lands humans on Mars. It supports space science education in classrooms across the world.
WHY OUTER SPACE?
According to Chris, Mars is the key to the space exploration program that will lead to exploration of planets and stars beyond our own solar system.
Because it is an outpost outside of the earth-moon-system, it will drive technology development such as reducing launch costs, improve radiation protection, further propulsion technologies and much more.
WHAT WOULD A MARS MISSION COST?
30 Billion US Dollars is a reasonable estimate of what a mission would cost. Looking at the largest two government budgets in the world, you can see it’s only a sliver of the total.
More tangible, it’s similar to the cost of two airplane carriers, 40% of the global cost of coffee sales (75 billion dollars in total), all the art in the Louvre in Paris (at least 35 billion dollars)…
WHERE CAN WE GET 30 BILLION US DOLLARS?
The following companies and people have more than 30 billion US dollars cash on hand… so in theory we could just ask them, right?
WHY NOT DO IT OURSELVES?
Or… could space enthusiasts around the world just come together and finance the first crewed trip to mars?
The support for Mars is increasing over time and with over a billion people in the world (taking in account economic factors, at least 300+ million of them would definitely be able to contribute), it would only really take about 3 US dollars per months (the price of a cup of coffee), for a total of three years per person.
With the most efficient way to transport humans to mars, it would take about 300 million miles to get there, so if you divide all the costs of the mission by the distance, it comes to about 100 US dollars per mile.
Sounds reasonable to me!
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Don’t wait for anyone to lead the Mars Mission and come together to finance it. This is exactly what Mars Initiative is doing.
Check their website: marsinitiative.org.
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