Sunday, December 15, 2013
A modest proposal: How to get massive public financial support for a Mars colony
One of the nagging questions regarding a Mars colony is funding. Sure, some think they have that solved, but only via cutting a lot of corners.
So I ask; wouldn't it be better to go with massive financial support? Yes, it would, and the good news is there's an easy way to get it - while doing a lot of good along the way.
The answer, in brief, is to use the SLS as the launch vehicle for the numerous launches required, and more importantly, having it live up to its moniker: Senate Launch System.There's also the point that this is probably the only way the SLS will ever be of worthwhile use.
What I'm proposing here is to make Congress, all of it, the colonists, while also asking people to donate via the slogan "Send Congress on a one way trip into space!" I guarantee that the money would flood in.
Convincing Congress to go is the easiest part; simply point to polls showing that voluntarily leaving Earth would make them very popular with the electorate, and whisper in their ears the magic words "guaranteed reelection!"
As for the colony, you wouldn't need to worry about (or spend money on) implementing ISRU, life support, or any other infrastructure. Congress, once on Mars and when in need of something, could just do as it usually does and vote for it, paying no heed to any practical considerations whatsoever. If they need food, they can simple tax the locals - being a rock is no excuse for not paying taxes. If they need water, they could appropriate it by legislative fiat. If they are hindered by the low G, they could simply amend the law of gravity. If they're a couple of days from running out of oxygen, they can simply declare the issue an "Oxygen deficit" and thus ignore it.
But why stop there? Let's do this right and send all politicians on this grand adventure to create a thriving, livable world - called "Earth".