What Mars One is counting on is that they can safely land a heavier payload than ever before, that they can do it more precisely than ever before (as in, within just a few hundred meters of previous successful landings), and they can do it for only 12% of the projected costs, with a total estimated budget of just $6 billion instead of the $50 billion price tag to do it right.
Somewhat related to my Mars post yesterday, Ethan Siegel answered a reader’s question, and explains why the Mars One initiative is a terrible idea.
I’m not sure that Mars One isn’t more bite than bark. But if they actually do reach an implementation phase, I’d have to wonder if they would be doing the Mars cause any real benefit if they simply sent four people to their likely deaths. Having it happen on reality TV would just make it worse, and might stifle actual exploration for decades to come.
A good deal of their plan seems to depend on using SpaceX technology. I wonder to what extent they’ve actually discussed this with Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX. Musk strikes me a far too level headed to have his company name tangled up in something that has a high chance of ending in disaster.
- Elon Musk: If SpaceX And Tesla Had A Baby… (businessinsider.com)
- Mars exploration is always 20 years in the future (selfawarepatterns.com)
- How Feasible Is Elon Musk’s Idea To Establish A Colony On Mars In The 2020s? (forbes.com)
- Elon Musk On The Details Of Colonizing Mars (forbes.com)