Friday, October 22

Mars on the Cheap

With the fabulous results of the X-Prize, I now suggest how we can get to Mars cheaply.

What the President, whomever he will be in the next term, should do is announce a series of X-Prize-like contests; graduated hurdles to get private consortia vying for intermediate prizes. This will give us necessary technology to bump us over technical challenges of getting to Mars. And as anadded bonus, the government will not be in charge of space and it will save the tax-payers from footing the entire bill:

For example how about:
  • XP-2 - Orbit once.
  • XP-3 - Spacewalk
  • XP-4 - dock
  • and so on
  • finally XP-N -> walk on Mars.
Let the America seed the prize pool and NASA and some experts come up with a reasonable and useful set of intermediate "Prizes". The let the games begin!

It's not like government challenges/contests haven't worked in the past on other large technical hurdles, see this.