The future of human expeditions to Mars—American or otherwise—may be linked to commercial efforts to lower the cost of space access, thus making Mars missions and other efforts more affordable.
(credit: NASA)

Which way to Mars?

by Frank Stratford
Monday, October 22, 2012

When considering how a human Mars expedition might be funded, there are two “umbrella” methods that encapsulate all ideas on how to fund this program. One way can be called the “miracle gift” method, and the other is a “step by step” approach. In the miracle gift method we have concepts from sudden government funding to billionaire philanthropy to more fanciful ideas such as corporate sponsorships, funding from gimmick ideas and events, or reality TV programs. While some of these methods do have merit in isolation, their fundamental weakness is that they fail to adequately address the elephant in the room, which is the complex nature and unknown costs of any humans-to-Mars design.

Read more: The Space Review: Which way to Mars?.

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