This blog is dedicated to getting those that want to live on mars a way to do so. $200 million in seed capital, and work that is already done or being completed, is all that is required.
Why mars? The only justification required (not forcing others to pay for it) is some people want to go.
Yes, others will give you other reasons, but they're all window dressing. We don't need any other reason (no matter how good.) Personally, I think it's a moral imperative to add the wealth of the solar system to humanity and those that would deny that by taking away property rights are evil. But that's just me.
How mars? Pay for it.
We can do the engineering to get to and live on mars. Those that use scare tactics to argue otherwise are free not to join the martian colonist. That's the beauty of a simple justification.
Getting to Mars.
My proposal is the Mars Colony Trust (not to be confused with a Mars Colony Transport) which resolves a chicken and egg problem. Nobody owns mars so it can't be sold to pay for travel there. A trust can solve this. People pay into the trust over time. The trust pays for tickets to mars (based on available means and rates.) Martian colonists then make reasonable land claims on mars after they arrive which are put into the trust. The trust issues deeds to those that paid into it (size of plots corresponding to amount paid.) Thus, mars itself pays for travel there.
Ownership is (and always has been) determined by chain of title. The beginning of that chain is a reasonable claim which historically is done by possession (flag or boot.) Mars has claimable assets; 144 million square kilometers of potential real estate. It has no current value but does have potential future value. We sell mars at the future value market rate.
Living on Mars.
Mars can be an industrial world adding tremendous wealth to humanity. None of this wealth requires expensive transportation from mars. It only requires local wealth building by the martians which is electronically participated in by earth. Mars does not require the delay or risk of terraforming. Practice that on venus instead where it can't hurt mars.
Quality of life on mars.
Bond servants living in tin cans is not my vision for mars. The most important rule for martians should be absolute property rights. No eminent domain. No taxation. No regulations that are not locally created. I would suggest 100 square kilometer townships (10 x 10) made up of one square kilometer wards, but that should be left up to the martians themselves.
I envision martians rarely using their spacesuits after initial landing. They just need ownership of property and heavy equipment (trench digging) to build mansions and malls.
Scare tactics and elitism.
The purpose of going to mars is not science. It's to live. Colonist will prove we can live on mars and will make it possible for others to go, including scientists. Those 200,000+ that paid money to Mars One should all be able to go. It will not happen using Musk's vision or Mars One's. Here's how it will...
The first mars mission will take a dozen or more colonists to mars orbit. Less puts their lives unnecessarily at risk and limits the skill required for a full industrial ecology. Landers will be waiting to take them two at a time to the surface with 1000 kg each of personal possessions. Each martian will travel for free (paid by the trust) and arrive on mars a millionaire. What? How is that?
Those 1000 kg of personal possessions includes a mass surcharge equal to the cost it would take to buy those items from earth. My estimate is $60,000 per kg. but most estimate much higher. Whatever less value they retain (say $1000/kg) pays for their pursuit of happiness. It doesn't matter if none of it can be sold immediately. It still represents valuable assets (if chosen wisely to retain their value.) Martians will engage in free trade and will need things from earth. All sorts of trade possibilities will be engaged in. This completely negates the need for separate costly resupply missions and provides a powerful incentive $$$ to those seeking the benefits of living on a new world.
The fact is, until private business can meet the need (and isn't that a good problem to have?) not everyone wanting to go to live on mars will be able to. But we can do better than a miserable rate of about one or two a year. We should do much better and we can. We can start paying for it now without taking any of it from taxpayers. Will Mars One trade us commercials for transportation?
Lawyers and websites are expensive. Will any volunteer to make history? You know, like transitioning to the space colony age from the information, industrial and agricultural ages that came before?
Privately funded architecture in as little as half a decade from now. This doesn't require using a trust, just $200m in seed capital.
Depreciated tabs (steps, profit, thoughts)