Transterrestrial Musings

Defend Free Speech!

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay

Site designed by

Powered by
Movable Type 4.0
Biting Commentary about Infinity, and Beyond!

« Breakfast Cereals and Garrison Keillor | Main | Splitter? »

One Man, One Way

Phil Bowermaster has some thoughts on what I think is actually quite a likely scenario for the first human on Mars. It won't be done by NASA, though, or likely any government space agency. They simply can't afford to take the risk when it's funded by taxpayers, as we've seen when the nation gets unreasonably hysterical over astronaut deaths. It will be a privately funded expedition, which will be able to do so without the intrusion of politics.

And of course, this will be more in the nature of such exploration. After all, the vast majority of polar exploration (e.g., Peary, Scott, Amundsen, Shackleton) was privately funded. Once we get the cost of access to orbit down, and establish an orbital fueling infrastructure, it will be quite feasible to raise the money for private adventures such as this.

Sadly, NASA is contributing almost nothing to those goals, instead spending billions developing expensive government-owned/operated launch vehicles and capsules that will likely become obsolete before they first fly.


0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: One Man, One Way.

TrackBack URL for this entry:


lmg wrote:

Sending just one man is a bad idea. Send a crew of 4. They are committed to stay. Send an inflatable habitat and supplies landed via the airbag method. Repeat: another crew, more supplies. They connect their habitats to one another like ISS modules. Repeat. Repeat. They're still living off supplies from Earth. Send inflatable greenhouses so they can grow food. Send solar panels and batteries. Send a small nuclear reactor. Send specialized equipment like Mars buggies, backhoes, well drillers, water processors, whatever. They get dropped in the area, dragged back to the base camp and set up. The process will have to continue at least until the colony is self-sufficient, because you can't let these people die on television.

Paul Breed wrote:

I think that the transformation of humans into a space faring civilization will look a lot like the story/book the Rocket Company.

Tom wrote:

Admittedly, one sounds like a thin crew, but the multiples add up quickly as you add crew, their supplies, and the propellant required to take them there.

Doesn't make it impossible, just more than 4X heavier.

Ryan Olcott wrote:

It seems to me it would be hard to justify sending just one person. The benefit vs. delta V necessary to send another person would more than justify it. Sure, it would shorten the time before the next necessary resupply. I just think the risk of losing the entire mission, not to mention the first astronaut to step on mars, all due to a broken ankle/leg or other appendage that with two people wouldn't end in mission and astronaut death.

Something we might not consider a very big deal here on earth can easily mean death and failure when you're all alone.

I might not mind dying on another planet if it meant establishing enough infrastructure for others to follow, but I'd be pretty pissed if I broke my leg stepping out of my lander and accomplished nothing before my supplies ran out.

Cecil Trotter wrote:

Sending 4 to the Moon is, by some, called just more "flags and footprints", but 1 to Mars is "exploration"?

Now if we were talking about sending 2 couples to Mars on a one way trip that would be colonization, on a tiny scale of course.

Frank Glover wrote:

Of course, if Mars were to be quarantined (and by whom?), as spaceflight matures and becomes more accessable for other reasons, enforcing such a ban should be interesting...

Mike G in Corvallis wrote:

Doesn't anyone remember Hank Searls' novel The Pilgrim Project?

Leave a comment

Note: The comment system is functional, but timing out when returning a response page. If you have submitted a comment, DON'T RESUBMIT IT IF/WHEN IT HANGS UP AND GIVES YOU A "500" PAGE. Simply click your browser "Back" button to the post page, and then refresh to see your comment.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on June 2, 2008 6:41 AM.

Breakfast Cereals and Garrison Keillor was the previous entry in this blog.

Splitter? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.1