November 29

Inventing the Future

Thursday’s Big Idea

Today's Big Idea: NewSpace

Elon Musk's Mars math (say that 10 times fast) goes like this:

In order for the SpaceX founder's plan to colonize the Red Planet to be economically feasible, the cost of space travel will have to be drastically reduced. So here's what needs to happen. An initial group of 10 colonists will need to pay $500,000 a pop for the one-way trip to Mars. As the colony becomes increasingly self-sustainable -- and fewer resources need to be transported from Earth -- that will free up more space for additional human cargo. Transporting more and more paying customers, and relying on a "rapid and reusable" rocket, is key to Musk's price improvement strategy. 

Of course, there are many unknowns about the human capacity to live, and flourish, in space, so the question of how to create a stable population on Mars is enormously complex. For instance, will fertility and mortality rates be similar to what they are on Earth? 

 

  1. 1 Inside Elon Musk's Mars Math
  2. 2 Jockeying for Number One: Managem...
  3. 3 Funding Manned Space Exploration ...
  4. 4 The Cheapest Way to Terraform Mars
   
  1. Inside Elon Musk's Mars Math

    Inside Elon Musk's Mars Math

    Like any big, bold idea, Elon Musk's plan for colonizing Mars strikes you at first glance as indeed crazy. And yet, the reason for Musk's success in leading four of the most innovative companies in America is that he is analytically minded, first and foremost. 

    Read More…
  2. Jockeying for Number One: Management of the NewSpace LargeCaps

    Jockeying for Number One: Management of the NewSpace LargeCaps

    Who will you put your money on -- Richard Brandson, Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk?

    Read More…
  3. Funding Manned Space Exploration is Not Rocket Science

    Funding Manned Space Exploration is Not Rocket Science

    After the space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center this week, there will ...

    Read More…
  4. The Cheapest Way to Terraform Mars

    The Cheapest Way to Terraform Mars

    Rather than hauling heavy atmospheric pumps from earth, the way to create a habitable atmosphere on Mars is to take advantage of its own topology, geography and nature.

    Read More…