[FPSPACE] Mars expedition cost estimate

Robert G Kennedy III robot@ultimax.com
Fri, 9 Jan 2004 14:22:43 -0500

from the AP story Peter reposted:

>No firm cost estimates have been developed, but informal discussions
have put 

>the cost of a Mars expedition at nearly $1 trillion, 

Bulls**t. I can hear that axe being ground all the way down here in

"Discussions" with whom? Ms. Applebaum & /Post/ editorial board?

The last time a space exploration initiative was announced by someone
with the surname of Bush, the figure bandied about was $400 billion.
(which is why the proposal died an unlamented death) The consumer price
index since No. 41 is about 1.5. Let me guess - the "discussion"
consisted of punching the old figure into a pocket calculator, then
rounding the result to the nearest single significant figure. ($400B *
1.5 ~ $1T)

>depending on how ambitious the project was.


Well, duh. Perhaps the rounding error above is actually a second line
item for the cost of terraforming for the first couple of decades.


Robert Kennedy, PE