Am I the only one who thinks this is a damn waste of money? Are they going to learn anything on Mars that will feed the hungry on earth, help us fix what we've screwed up in our atmosphere, replace what we've used up & wasted, cure any diseases?? Anything fricken useful for real anyone other than scientists and academics??
Google Neil degrasse Tyson and NASA budget. That will get you a long way towards understanding why stuff like this is not frivolous.
I wholeheartedly agree. Dr, Tyson makes rational, passionate arguments for a shift in our national priorities in terms of spending. I bought Space Chronicles a
t the beginning of the summer, but my summer reading so far has been fiction rather than start reality based stuff.
This Mars venture, however, is part of the new experiment in the privatization of the space industry
. I am dubious about its success. I would prefer to see a national commitment of resources to the sciences in general. But in spite of my philosophical reservations, I'm still hoping for the success of the private sector. It sure beats doing nothing.
This project will be funded in a variety of ways. First off all, there will be sponsors/investors from the super super rich classes (think EV's recent post) who are more than happy to drop a few million dollars each in hopes that their heirs will have a controlling interest in the new frontier. These are probably the same interests that are landing grabbing in Africa and speculating in anticipation of global food shortages. They want to make sure that their descendants control the food in the old world, and have a say in the creation of the new worlds.
In addition, they say that they are going to make a reality TV show out of the selection process. This is actually a brilliant strategy. After a lottery, they will end up with a bunch of candidates. Then they will televise the selection process, both publicizing their efforts (and increasing the interest of potential donors) and making money off of voyeuristic viewers and corporate investors. I admit that I would watch the show. And I am not part of the pre-existing "reality tv" crowd. They will make gobs of money.
From what I can tell, they have a surprisingly solid financial plan. I don't like it. But I think it is solid.