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Going to Mars as a private company - How hard would it be?

  1. Apr 5, 2012 #1
    Title says it all.

    I was debating this with some friends that if I came into a nice hunk of funds, just how hard would it be to finance a two man ship to go to Mars?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2012 #2


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    I can see that you're not asking how much it would cost, so what are you asking? How much science and technology you would need to know? Nothing, because you'll hire people and buy companies for that. How much work you would have to do? Very little, for the same reason. How likely it is that the things you will need to do won't be legal in any country? I don't know the answer to that. How much time it would take before you're ready to launch? I don't know, but I'd guess 10-20 years.

    The cost is the interesting issue. Almost certainly more than 100 billion USD.
  4. Apr 5, 2012 #3


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    Ask Elon Musk, he's planning to retire on Mars. SpaceX and NASA are apparently contemplating a privately supplied Mars mission called Red Dragon but the projected cost is near half a billion and would rely on the completion of the Falcon Heavy Project.

    Overall I would say it is going to be harder for a private company; sure they have less accountability to politics and the general public but at the same time they have to secure their funding via the market and manned space travel/exploration isn't a conducive to a profitable business plan.

    Lastly I'm always sceptical of proposed manned missions to the Moon, Mars or elsewhere purely because we've had the nascent technology to do this for over 40 years but the sheer cost has prevented it from becoming a reality. If members of the public don't support their significant tax money going into such a project how will a company raise the profits to do so in a justifiable way?
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  5. Apr 5, 2012 #4

    Pretty damn hard. You have a big marketing problem. The first is that it would be highly unpleasant, unhealthy, and time-consumng to journey to Mars in a spacecraft. The second is that it would very expensive.

    I think manned spacecraft are an atavism. Unmanned probes make a lot more sense.

    It would be possible to have a robot on Mars with a virtual reality interface to Earth. The delay would be a problem, but it would be much better than actually going there.
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