Elon Musk wants to colonize Mars. Is it profitable?

Elon Musk wants to colonize Mars. Is it profitable?

Muscock, the company’s CEO and chief engineer, refers to his interplanetary aspirations as more like a science fiction hero with an ethical calling than an entrepreneur with a disastrous business plan.

The last space program to come close to Musk’s interplanetary travel ambitions was NASA’s Apollo program, which landed six spacecraft and 12 astronauts on the moon in the mid – twentieth century. Apollo Cost Today it is worth more than $ 280 billion, and in some years NASA takes up more than 4 percent of the total national budget. The space agency, which recently received less than half of the federal budget, is mapping its own plans to send humans back to the moon, eventually making its way to Mars.

The agency did not specify how much the second one would cost.

Musk’s personal wealth rises to about $ 100 billion – at least on paper – thanks in a small fraction Series of stock and stock awards From his electric car company Tesla. Musk reiterated that he expects profits from SpaceX’s other businesses, including the existing satellite-Internet venture. Beta testing, Will help fuel the development of his Mars rocket. SpaceX raises $ 6 billion from banks and venture capitalists, making it one of the world’s most valuable private companies Pitchbook. Perhaps, at least some investors will look to pay off one day.

It begs the question: Is there money to be made on Mars?

Interplanetary profit

SpaceX has many more years to develop all the technology needed for the settlement of Mars. The company is in the early stages of developing Starship, a large rocket and spacecraft system that Musk hopes will carry cargo and people across a gap of at least 30 million miles between Earth and Mars. Musk estimates that the development of the starship will cost up to $ 10 billion. Musk said he plans to launch hundreds of satellites on the starship before SpaceX takes over human life on August 31.

If it proves capable of traveling to Mars, residents will need ventilation Habitat conditions To protect them from toxins and deadly Radiation It is raining on its surface.

“It’s not about heart attack,” Musk said. “You have a good chance of dying. It’s hard … If it works, it’s glorious.”

But Michael Meyer, chief scientist with NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, said the economic situation was questionable for at least the first 100 years of human presence on Mars. Perseverance Rover to learn more about the planet for robotics.
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Musk has a plan to make Mars an attractive place for longevity: an imaginary scene in which humans make Mars more Earth-like by terrifying and pumping gases into the atmosphere. This is an attempt to make Mars’ atmosphere thicker, warmer, and more hospitable to life, with the same greenhouse gases that cause the climate crisis on our planet. Musk promoted the idea that this process could begin Dropping nuclear bombs On the planet.

The idea of ​​terraforming came from scientists around ideas, the mayor said, but not from anyone who thinks it is something that humans can or can do.

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“It was an exercise,” the mayor said. But there is no oxygen in the atmosphere of Mars. There is an infinitely small amount of water, which means that it is very difficult to grow crops, i.e. create a water cycle across Mars. It is not even clear if Mars has the resources needed to make terraforming possible.

Musk, in a photo posted on his Instagram, said that SpaceX's & quot; Capture Mars & quot; T-shirts.

“I think” Total Recall “has the right idea,” he joked. “You need to use some alien technology.”

Musk also acknowledged that terrafarming would be extremely resourceful. The concept is embodied in the SpaceX Lore, so the company sells T-shirts called “New Mars” and “Occupy Mars”.

Musk can be seen wearing one from time to time.

Values ​​and Evaluation

There are no resources on Mars worth enough to mine and resell to real estate businesses, the mayor said. “Part of the reason [scientists are] Interest in Mars – it’s made of the same materials as Earth, ”he told CNN Business.

Musk had previously suggested that he admits that the resources on Mars are valuable only to the inhabitants who expect industries to build on the planet. About him Eight years ago The only “financial transfer” between Mars and Earth’s inhabitants would be “property ownership”.
Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, has days as long as Earth's. But it is a small planet, with an average temperature of -81 degrees Fahrenheit, and its atmosphere is very thin and contains carbon dioxide.

The idea that Mars could one day become a metropolis if money-making ambitions are put aside – is accepted by mainstream scientists such as Mayer, NASA’s chief Mars expert, as a tourist destination.

The mayor said he attended a presentation on Mars’ business and tourism 20 years ago. “I’m been very skeptical about it … and I’m thinking, ‘Well, [there are] Some very reasonable ideas, ”he said, adding that he was now embracing the idea that businesses could have more access to space travel.

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The mayor added that in his mind it was not so If so A trip to Mars could one day be a lucrative venture, though when.

Musk did not elaborate on his ideas for making money on Mars, but his views on the export of property were echoed in the book by Robert Subrin, an influential and polarizing figure in the space community. long time Musk Allied.

“Ideas could be another possible export for the colonists on Mars,” wrote Subrin, head of the Mars Society, in his 1996 book, The Case for Mars.

Subrin looks to the past to look at the future of humanity.

“Just as the labor shortage in the United States during the colonial and nineteenth centuries created a flood of inventions of Yankee ingenuity, the state of severe labor shortages will also lead to Mars’ ingenuity.”

In a recent interview with CNN Business, Subrin sided with these ideas, arguing that American colonization was effective. Subrin turns back to the colonization of North America as an example of how the colonists on Mars financed their voyage, either by financing their territorial assets or by “indentured slavery”.

“If you say, OK, you have to go to Mars, you want to offer something,” Subrin said. “If you look at Colonial America, a middle class person can liquidate their farm and go to the United States, but the income will give them a one – way ticket. But if you work, all you can do is sell your labor for seven years.

Subrin, who has worked in conservative think tanks but said he was not politically involved, acknowledged that colonialism could go hand in hand with exploitation: “If someone says ‘but there will be no exploitation?’ That’s what people always do to each other. ”

(Musk did not elaborate on his thoughts on colonialism, but contributed to both US Political organizations.)

To put it bluntly: the story of American colonialism involves drip slavery and the brutalization and annihilation of many indigenous peoples.

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“There are no Native Martians,” Subrin said.

Damien Williams, a PhD student and Virginia Tech teacher who studies the separation of modern technologies, ethics, and societies, warns that our own stories about America and space exploration will miss the important context.

 A prototype of the SpaceX spacecraft can be seen at the company's Texas launch pad on September 28, 2019 at Boca Chica, near Brownsville, Texas.
It is not yet clear who Musk envisioned as the first Martian inhabitants. NASA astronauts? Looking for the ultra-rich thrill? SpaceX employees?
“This competitive stance on expansion and exploration is not a bad thing,” said Williams, who works with the Bar Group. Just Space Alliance, Said. When it comes to a private company that uses resources that international treaties claim do not belong to – “Who was brought in, how? Who was excluded, why? These things matter.”

Musk’s use of the word “colonization” denies the long history of exploiting and enslaving Americans and other Western nations. When it comes to colonizing another planet, it is important to pay attention not only to the life forms of microorganisms that may exist on Mars. Without clearly defined goals and agreements, SpaceX’s colony could “create a disputed area,” Williams said.

The values ​​we take with us for space exploration must be front and center, ”he added.

SpaceX did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

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