12 thoughts on “Why Go To Mars And Other Places”

  1. As long as we leave areas of Human enterprise that require a high level of entrepreneurial-ship to succeed to the state there will never be a good answer to why.

  2. I think the real problem is just that there’s a high barrier to entry currently. I think that will eventually drop to the point where you don’t need society-wide agreement in order to make things like space colonization possible.

    1. Yep, we’ve been trying to climb over a wall we should be knocking down, Berliners eventually got it right, so that’s two walls built by politics.

  3. Why? Because it’s there. That’s good enough for me, and probably for many of the commenters here. Unfortunately, it’s not enough for most other folks.

    George Mallory’s famous quote referred to mountain climbing, of course. Now, to me, that is an utterly useless reason to climb mountains. I see absolutely no reason to go to the risk of arduously climbing to the summit of something one can fly to the top of with no problem.

    I expect others see manned spaceflight much as I do climbing mountains. Unfortunately, try as I might, I cannot come up with a compelling incentive for others to think like I do.

    1. It’s a selection process. A filter. Like America, the land of the free, it selects for a certain type of people. When the colonization logjam is finally broken, martians and others are going to teach us the amazing.

      Or we will continue to learn the wrong lessons by not doing it right.

  4. What about Thor Heyerdahl and his Kon Tiki raft?

    My understanding is that Heyerdahl’s theories regarding Polynesia being populated by a long arc of migration following the sea currents, starting in the Bering Sea, following the North and South American coasts southward, and heading into open ocean to reach the South Sea islands, that this theory is regarded by “serious scholars” as balderdash and utter nonsense.

    On the other hand, that Heyerdahl and his Scandinavian pals were able to float westward on a balsa raft like a cork bobbing in a pond, to live off fish they could catch for their food and hydration needs for weeks and months, and end up making landfall on a South Seas island, for this they were celebrated as adventurers and explorers in an age when we thought all of the tough challenges — North and South Poles, Mt Everest had been conquered. When Heyerdahl was honored by President Truman, the president didn’t have his science advisor whisper in his ear, “this man is a scientific crackpot who spent to last several months on a balsa fish bobber with a half dozen other half naked Norwegian dudes, who happen to be standing next to us.”

    No, these men were adventurers, explorers, discoverers, and their “science” of ethnographic theories did not come up.

    Isn’t Mars on this level, that there are dudes crazy enough to go there and try to live there, and this is cool?

    1. I encourage everyone who wants to go to Mars to finance/build their own craft and go, just as past adventurers/explorers of this planet have done.

      1. OK

        (P. S. The robot filter didn’t like the length of my comment, so this line is making it longer.)

  5. Why go to space? I look with avarice at asteroid 3354 Amun, an entire mountain of precious metals just waiting to be mined.

  6. If we can significantly reduce the costs of going places in space then this strengthens the cost-benefit analysis such that any number of reasons become sufficient to make the case.

    Can we significantly reduce the costs? I believe so. If we can conceive a space architecture in which Falcon Heavies are sufficient then launch costs would be dramatically less than occasionally-flown, non-commercial SLSs. So, consider:
    – docking FH payloads (the US hasn’t had a docking failure for > 40 years),
    – SAA acquisition,
    – Ion propulsion for cargo and space-storable propellant,
    – Shielding in Cycler orbits,
    – Aerobraking,
    – Recycling life-support such as water,
    – Inflatables, and
    – ISRU at destination (such as water for propellant, life-support consumables, and plant food).

  7. If we can…

    No if about it. We certainly can and it’s simplicity itself. Send less mass and more people. 13 ton is today’s magic number.

    F9 puts 13 ton in earth orbit. F9 puts ship, then crew in earth orbit.

    FH puts 13 ton in mars orbit. FH sends landers to mars orbit.

    One FH provides enough fuel to crew ship, which meets up with landers waiting in mars orbit. A lander could take as many as 10 at a time, lowering cost per person, but should only take 2 at a time, because personal property is vital to colonization success.

    The only thing stopping us is the cost/benefit analysis where we only look at cost and see no benefit. Doesn’t a colonized mars have any value?

    Of course it does, but those that could fund it just can’t see the value going to them. Eventually, when the logjam has burst, people will see how stupid they were… “I could have bought property in Palm Springs when it was selling for nothing!” We call them losers.

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