Re: from 6 billion to 500 million: how?

From: John Marlow (
Date: Fri Feb 02 2001 - 00:31:32 MST

You know I can't tell if you're serious?
I really can't.
Not at all.



On 1 Feb 2001, at 21:43, Spike Jones wrote:

John Marlow wrote:
    You know, I've changed my mind? I like your posts, practicality be 
    damned. jm
Practicality be praised. Part of the reason I squick people with
single astronaut riff is that I fail to provide enough background on 
my assumptions. Those interested in Mars colonies need to start 
out by realizing two things 1. how damned expensive it is, and 
2. where the money is coming from.
I think it was you who pointed out that governments are unlikely 
to come up with the money. Did not Papa Bush ask NASA what 
it would cost? He was told 500 billion. Hmmmm. Turns out 
governments are not at liberty to do the stunts that privately funded 
organizations are free to do.
.edu/galleries/gal100/viking.htmlThese links are not great, but they are a starting point. It points 
out an order of magnitude on how much it takes to soft-land stuff 
on Mars, or the moon for that matter. For instance the Vikings were 
launched by a Titan III with a Centaur upper stage. The mass of the 
lander was 576 kg. Cost of the mission in current bucks, about 
3 billion.
Nowthen, all the propulsion/guidance tech needed to do a Mars 
mission today is already developed. However, if you take the 
time to review the sizes of the past Mars landers, you will see 
why we need to go to absurd lengths to reduce the weight of 
the payload. A typical stock buyer would perhaps drop 100 
bucks for a share, eh? Well, fine, that constitutes *one gram* of 
food. Dinner will run well over a thousand dollars per bite. Shall 
we not search far and wide for the minimal biter? This minimal 
approach is all about practicality, John.
ct suggested removal of redundant organs. Well, why not? But 
not intestines, those need to be fully functional and extracting 
every calorie, especially considering those calories cost 30 bucks 
apiece. And that is an optimistic estimate. Keep those in there.
All of these problems will be solvable if someone would just 
kindly provide us with a person 30 cm tall and weighing 5 kg, 
with an appetite to match. The rest of the miniaturization we 
can do. spike
John Marlow

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