Sunday, March 25, 2012

Red Planet, Here We Come!

Sweet!  I could potentially retire on Mars!  I knew about Virgin and the handfull of other companies racing to close the gap to be the pioneers of the first true space tourism market, but I had not heard that plans were in the works by a private company to take people to Mars.  Way to conquer the final frontier, SpaceX! 

They're a company that is currently contracted with NASA for 12 flights to the International Space Station.  I guess after that they'll be gearing up for a Mars trip.  According to an interview with BBC, their plan is to get the cost of a trip to Mars down to $500,000 a person.  While that is definitely more than I could ever afford, it's a while lot better than the nearly $50,000,000 NASA currently pays Russia to take a single American to the ISS aboard one of their rockets.

As a self-pronounced geek, I find this titillating.  Maybe when I'm an octogenarian I'll be able to get a job as a tour guide or something with them and spend some time on another planet!  It amazes me to see how tangible this is.  One hundred years ago flight was still in its infancy, and now inter-planetary travel could be somewhat common for the rich by the end of my life-time.  I wonder if any of my great-grandkids will listen to the call of the unknown and colonize the Red Planet?

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