To Mars 2

den Otter (
Sun, 1 Mar 1998 13:02:50 +0100

Some additional advantages of the Mars trip (see Mars post no. 1) would
probably be that it would create all kinds of useful technological spinoffs
(perfected suspended animation, which would make the trip dramatically
easier and cheaper, might get some more attention and funding, for
example) *and* it would almost certainly give an impulse to governmental
space programs (a matter of ego, paranoia and greed), which would in
turn produce even more useful spinoffs. Once on Mars, the motivation
to develop new technologies would be much higher, because you need
high tech to survive & prosper, while on earth the situation is somewhat
less urgent. Also, there wouldn't (initially) be much else to do then to
develop new ways to make life more comfortable. Since you have your
"spies" (mechanical/human) on earth you don't have to miss out on new
developments, on the contrary, new technologies can be implemented
much more rapidly because the laws on Mars are presumably liberal,
and there's more than enough room to test potentially dangerous new
stuff etc.

The only real problem is, IMO, money. However, there are lots of groups
that want to colonize space, for whatever reason. Also, there are some
private companies that (aim to) produce relatively cheap commercial
spacecraft. Some kind of alliance would seem like the logical thing to
do. Like I said before, any philosophical or other differences can be
always settled once everybody is offplanet, and in any case there's
space enough for everybody in space. There are a lot more people
interested in space colonization, than in, say, cryonics, and some of
these people may be very rich (they might duly see a lot of potential
$$$$$$ in this undertaking). After all, this isn't just fun, but also
the opportunity to stake your claims almost at will in the new frontier.
Funding the private colonization of Mars (and other parts of the
Solar System) should thus be feasible.

(and yes, you could even do it without the rich benefactors if you set
up some lucrative gambling 'n' stuff in some appropriate location
(like the Bahama's), or create some hugely successful electronics
company, market a totally cool new smart drug etc...but let's assume
no-one will do this).

[Oops, I'm rambling again...pardon the high SF-factor, but after all this
*is* a list where even crazier topics (like putting your mind into a machine,
and robots the size of a virus -- yeah right ;-) are discussed, so some
space travel will hardly make it weirder...]