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The Mars Consortium Approach

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  • frank_stratford
    I have been researching this topic for some time now and while I could probably write a book on it (and may), I thought it was time to release this idea so
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 21, 2008
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      I have been researching this topic for some time now and while I
      could probably write a book on it (and may), I thought it was time
      to release this idea so that it can get feedback, criticism and
      become more accurate. I have been challenged on several occaisons to
      come up with a "business case" for Mars but this is by no means
      that. It is a rough framework that we can build on, replace (bad
      ideas)where needed and perfect. I know everyone here is interested
      in the technical design but I do respect your professionalism and
      opinions and value what you have to say. In the end, whatever design
      we own up to must find funding otherwise it will remain just another
      idea on paper.

      So detailed below are my intitial thoughts and ideas on how this
      mission might be funded. If you don't understand something, let me
      know. Tell me what I'm lacking in, or what you don't get also.
      Calling it a "private mission" is not really accurate either. The
      consortium approach involves lots of players and lots of funding
      sources so it can't easily be tagged so if you come up with a better
      name, let me know, I'm not sure I'm even happy with this one. Jon
      was correct when he said an all private mission won't happen any
      time soon. This plan is not about that. Read on-

      The Mars Consortium Approach:

      Government funded Mars exploration with a private twist.

      Traditionally governments propose space missions and then seek out
      private aerospace companies to build the hardware to take them into
      space. The Mars Consortium approach from MarsDrive aims to turn this
      model on its head by utilizing a private consortium as the initiator
      of a humans to Mars program leading to permanent settlement of Mars.
      The difference with this method is that the private consortium will
      not just "advocate" or preach to governments the virtues of human
      exploration of Mars, they will in fact force the issue ahead of its
      time by sending their own small scale robotic missions to Mars and
      technology demonstration projects as a foundation for human
      missions. The other advantage of this approach is that the
      consortium will approach not just one government for funding but ALL
      governments. The mission will be designed to appeal to
      government "face saving" priorities by not requiring funds until
      various steps are first taken. In short, as a largely government
      funded exercise it will rest upon a record of in space
      demonstrations and successful missions, not just rhetoric.

      Governments have demonstrated that Mars is a scientific target
      worthy of significant investment but the status of human missions is
      still quite low on their priority scale. The Mars Consortium
      approach is designed to cater for this low level of interest by only
      requiring extreme low levels of investment. For example, if 30
      governments budgeted $100 million per year for 15 years this would
      equal $45 Billion. More than enough for a privately controlled Mars
      program. It will be the aim of this consortium to get humans to Mars
      in as little as 8 years but no more than 15. The scale of government
      investment in this program will be in the 80 to 90% range also, with
      private revenue sources at the smaller end. It won't just involve a
      consortium of companies and individuals but a consortium of funding
      sources and ideas. There is no single method that will achieve
      humans to Mars, it will take a combination approach on all fronts.
      But the good news is that Mars advocates can play a major role in
      this type of program from start to finish. We no longer have to sit
      on the sidelines while we wait for possible government missions of
      the far flung future. With the Mars Consortium approach humans could
      be on Mars by 2020. That part is up to us.

      While we support efforts to get a NASA Mars mission happening in the
      short term and we will keep on holding out hope for a potential
      private billionaire funding source, this program is designed to
      operate without either of these options. Our greatest resource right
      now is ourselves, and it is from these beginnings we will start on
      the road to a human future on Mars. There is no reason for the Mars
      community to wait around any longer. This is something we can do
      now. Many ideas for privately funded Mars missions have been
      proposed before but most of them rely far too much on an "all
      private" approach. Most of them never get taken very seriously as a
      result of relying upon unproven and nebulous "revenues" to pay for
      the mission. The difference with this approach is that it is a
      mostly government funded program but controlled by the private
      sector. Another advantage of this program is that it does not rely
      upon any single government for 100% of the funds, the burden of cost
      is spread around.

      In the past, multiple government involved space missions have been
      complex to pull off and as the ISS has shown many things can and do
      go wrong. So let's clear that problem up from the start. This
      program is NOT a government partnership in the traditional sense.
      Governments will be paying customers for their part of the program
      benefits and nothing more. Competition will still exist but in a
      much more narrow sense. The private consortium will conduct and
      control the program, not governments. That is another difference
      here. Governments will be allowed access and given whatever benefits
      their investment is entitled to, but that is as far as their
      involvement goes.

      The concept of public private partnerships is somewhat related to
      this model but some distinctive departures are to be noted such as
      the low buy in for governments and the private sector doing the
      original proposals. Unlike needed infrastructure or health related
      projects of clear benefit to a state, a human Mars program is of
      limited value, and that is why the private consortium approach works-
      it takes a minimalist approach and expects only small investments
      from multiple governments to match their low level of interest at
      this time. Listed below is the 8 step road to Mars-

      • Wealth Building
      • Self Funding
      • Non Profit Catalyst
      • Private Consortium Initiated
      • Multiple private sources of revenue
      • Multiple governments as customers
      • Mars Missions
      • Human settlements

      Phase 1:

      Wealth Building- The Wealth Creation Network has 2 features- 1. It
      sets up a barter system for members to help each other improve their
      financial status and 2. It gives members access to discounted
      professional financial advice. The philosophy behind it is to
      increase the wealth of our own members so that we can indeed fund
      the early stages of a private humans to Mars program. A third aspect
      of this program is to develop and sell our own brands of goods and
      services in the space and non space sector as an ongoing revenue
      stream.

      Self Funding- Self funding is the only working model of how private
      space companies and programs are starting up right now and into the
      foreseeable future. Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Bigelow and Bezos
      are all examples of this philosophy in action. While we may not have
      such people to call upon, the combined donations or investments of
      members will perform the same function as one wealthy backer. Will
      this pay for an entire mission development? Mostly likely not, but
      it will help to form the Mars Consortium working group made up of
      high level paid engineers, scientists and other experts required to
      design and take charge of various aspects of the program.

      Non profit catalyst- Non profit space groups are filled with
      enthusiasts and experts in a range of fields and are well suited to
      be the driving force behind this program. While political and even
      private programs might get sidetracked, a driving and organizing
      force behind it made up of true Mars enthusiasts is the ideal
      foundation for a Mars program of this type. Volunteer efforts can be
      the missing link in a program of this complexity and we want to give
      it its greatest chance for success and so must use as many resources
      as we can find. This sector will serve to keep the program on track
      and be an independent review body as well.

      Phase 2:

      Private Consortium Initiated: The goal here is to help create a
      consortium of private companies and investors, both profit and non
      profit who together can control all aspects of this program,
      especially the parts that require initial seed investments, and it
      is this consortium that can pitch this program to prospective
      customers in a credible and professional manner. Some of these
      members should include aerospace companies that already have decades
      of experience in building hardware for space missions.

      Multiple private sources of revenue: A private consortium will be
      open to drawing in as many forms of program funding as possible,
      both government and private. Many ideas have been investigated over
      the years from sale of media rights to patent spin offs and it will
      be the job of the private consortium to attract as many of these as
      possible. This is something a government agency is not allowed to do
      and for that reason is a superior model.

      Multiple Governments as customers: One of the weaknesses of previous
      attempts to initiate human missions to Mars (like the Martin
      Marietta attempt with Mars Direct) is that they only appealed to one
      government for funding. There are over 30 nations with some form of
      space program or research going on and it will be from this list
      that a private consortium will pitch its mission plan. This primary
      list of 30 will be supplemented with all other nations as potential
      customers. The benefit to these customers will be related to
      scientific fields with exclusive access to data and samples with
      financial benefits coming from mission development activities in
      their nations where possible. They will not be "working together"
      with other nations in the traditional sense. The only thing that
      they will have in common with other nations is that they will be co-
      funding the program's development. Astronaut places will be sold to
      the highest bidder also. For example, with 6 crew we could raise
      potentially 12 Billion just from this aspect, and spread over ten
      years among several governments buy in cost is low. Funds could be
      held in trust until there is mission success (or other criteria is
      met) so that these governments avoid the problem of funding a failed
      mission.

      Phase 3:

      Mars Missions: The private consortium will launch a series of small
      robotic missions and technology demonstrators to establish
      credibility, test systems and gather valuable data for a human
      program. This is what will set them apart from previous private
      attempts. They won't just be "advocating" or "pitching" a mission
      plan, they will be investing substantial amounts in it to ensure
      that governments can trust them with a complex human program. This
      will include a for profit sample return mission in the early stages.

      Human Settlements: This is the ultimate goal. Self sufficiency will
      be the goal of all early missions to Mars and there will be a build
      up of settlers and materials in this time. A self sufficient Mars is
      the best way to ensure it becomes a viable player in the new space
      economy of coming years.
    • Brian Enke
      Hi Frank - I ll send you some comments about the Mars Consortium Approach off-line. In short, I like your plan... a lot. It s a good, solid framework.
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 31, 2008
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        Hi Frank -

        I'll send you some comments about the "Mars Consortium Approach"
        off-line. In short, I like your plan... a lot. It's a good, solid framework.

        Cheers,

        - Brian


        frank_stratford wrote:
        >
        > I have been researching this topic for some time now and while I
        > could probably write a book on it (and may), I thought it was time
        > to release this idea so that it can get feedback, criticism and
        > become more accurate. I have been challenged on several occaisons to
        > come up with a "business case" for Mars but this is by no means
        > that. It is a rough framework that we can build on, replace (bad
        > ideas)where needed and perfect. I know everyone here is interested
        > in the technical design but I do respect your professionalism and
        > opinions and value what you have to say. In the end, whatever design
        > we own up to must find funding otherwise it will remain just another
        > idea on paper.
        >
        > So detailed below are my intitial thoughts and ideas on how this
        > mission might be funded. If you don't understand something, let me
        > know. Tell me what I'm lacking in, or what you don't get also.
        > Calling it a "private mission" is not really accurate either. The
        > consortium approach involves lots of players and lots of funding
        > sources so it can't easily be tagged so if you come up with a better
        > name, let me know, I'm not sure I'm even happy with this one. Jon
        > was correct when he said an all private mission won't happen any
        > time soon. This plan is not about that. Read on-
        >
        > The Mars Consortium Approach:
        >
        > Government funded Mars exploration with a private twist.
        >
        > Traditionally governments propose space missions and then seek out
        > private aerospace companies to build the hardware to take them into
        > space. The Mars Consortium approach from MarsDrive aims to turn this
        > model on its head by utilizing a private consortium as the initiator
        > of a humans to Mars program leading to permanent settlement of Mars.
        > The difference with this method is that the private consortium will
        > not just "advocate" or preach to governments the virtues of human
        > exploration of Mars, they will in fact force the issue ahead of its
        > time by sending their own small scale robotic missions to Mars and
        > technology demonstration projects as a foundation for human
        > missions. The other advantage of this approach is that the
        > consortium will approach not just one government for funding but ALL
        > governments. The mission will be designed to appeal to
        > government "face saving" priorities by not requiring funds until
        > various steps are first taken. In short, as a largely government
        > funded exercise it will rest upon a record of in space
        > demonstrations and successful missions, not just rhetoric.
        >
        > Governments have demonstrated that Mars is a scientific target
        > worthy of significant investment but the status of human missions is
        > still quite low on their priority scale. The Mars Consortium
        > approach is designed to cater for this low level of interest by only
        > requiring extreme low levels of investment. For example, if 30
        > governments budgeted $100 million per year for 15 years this would
        > equal $45 Billion. More than enough for a privately controlled Mars
        > program. It will be the aim of this consortium to get humans to Mars
        > in as little as 8 years but no more than 15. The scale of government
        > investment in this program will be in the 80 to 90% range also, with
        > private revenue sources at the smaller end. It won't just involve a
        > consortium of companies and individuals but a consortium of funding
        > sources and ideas. There is no single method that will achieve
        > humans to Mars, it will take a combination approach on all fronts.
        > But the good news is that Mars advocates can play a major role in
        > this type of program from start to finish. We no longer have to sit
        > on the sidelines while we wait for possible government missions of
        > the far flung future. With the Mars Consortium approach humans could
        > be on Mars by 2020. That part is up to us.
        >
        > While we support efforts to get a NASA Mars mission happening in the
        > short term and we will keep on holding out hope for a potential
        > private billionaire funding source, this program is designed to
        > operate without either of these options. Our greatest resource right
        > now is ourselves, and it is from these beginnings we will start on
        > the road to a human future on Mars. There is no reason for the Mars
        > community to wait around any longer. This is something we can do
        > now. Many ideas for privately funded Mars missions have been
        > proposed before but most of them rely far too much on an "all
        > private" approach. Most of them never get taken very seriously as a
        > result of relying upon unproven and nebulous "revenues" to pay for
        > the mission. The difference with this approach is that it is a
        > mostly government funded program but controlled by the private
        > sector. Another advantage of this program is that it does not rely
        > upon any single government for 100% of the funds, the burden of cost
        > is spread around.
        >
        > In the past, multiple government involved space missions have been
        > complex to pull off and as the ISS has shown many things can and do
        > go wrong. So let's clear that problem up from the start. This
        > program is NOT a government partnership in the traditional sense.
        > Governments will be paying customers for their part of the program
        > benefits and nothing more. Competition will still exist but in a
        > much more narrow sense. The private consortium will conduct and
        > control the program, not governments. That is another difference
        > here. Governments will be allowed access and given whatever benefits
        > their investment is entitled to, but that is as far as their
        > involvement goes.
        >
        > The concept of public private partnerships is somewhat related to
        > this model but some distinctive departures are to be noted such as
        > the low buy in for governments and the private sector doing the
        > original proposals. Unlike needed infrastructure or health related
        > projects of clear benefit to a state, a human Mars program is of
        > limited value, and that is why the private consortium approach works-
        > it takes a minimalist approach and expects only small investments
        > from multiple governments to match their low level of interest at
        > this time. Listed below is the 8 step road to Mars-
        >
        > • Wealth Building
        > • Self Funding
        > • Non Profit Catalyst
        > • Private Consortium Initiated
        > • Multiple private sources of revenue
        > • Multiple governments as customers
        > • Mars Missions
        > • Human settlements
        >
        > Phase 1:
        >
        > Wealth Building- The Wealth Creation Network has 2 features- 1. It
        > sets up a barter system for members to help each other improve their
        > financial status and 2. It gives members access to discounted
        > professional financial advice. The philosophy behind it is to
        > increase the wealth of our own members so that we can indeed fund
        > the early stages of a private humans to Mars program. A third aspect
        > of this program is to develop and sell our own brands of goods and
        > services in the space and non space sector as an ongoing revenue
        > stream.
        >
        > Self Funding- Self funding is the only working model of how private
        > space companies and programs are starting up right now and into the
        > foreseeable future. Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Bigelow and Bezos
        > are all examples of this philosophy in action. While we may not have
        > such people to call upon, the combined donations or investments of
        > members will perform the same function as one wealthy backer. Will
        > this pay for an entire mission development? Mostly likely not, but
        > it will help to form the Mars Consortium working group made up of
        > high level paid engineers, scientists and other experts required to
        > design and take charge of various aspects of the program.
        >
        > Non profit catalyst- Non profit space groups are filled with
        > enthusiasts and experts in a range of fields and are well suited to
        > be the driving force behind this program. While political and even
        > private programs might get sidetracked, a driving and organizing
        > force behind it made up of true Mars enthusiasts is the ideal
        > foundation for a Mars program of this type. Volunteer efforts can be
        > the missing link in a program of this complexity and we want to give
        > it its greatest chance for success and so must use as many resources
        > as we can find. This sector will serve to keep the program on track
        > and be an independent review body as well.
        >
        > Phase 2:
        >
        > Private Consortium Initiated: The goal here is to help create a
        > consortium of private companies and investors, both profit and non
        > profit who together can control all aspects of this program,
        > especially the parts that require initial seed investments, and it
        > is this consortium that can pitch this program to prospective
        > customers in a credible and professional manner. Some of these
        > members should include aerospace companies that already have decades
        > of experience in building hardware for space missions.
        >
        > Multiple private sources of revenue: A private consortium will be
        > open to drawing in as many forms of program funding as possible,
        > both government and private. Many ideas have been investigated over
        > the years from sale of media rights to patent spin offs and it will
        > be the job of the private consortium to attract as many of these as
        > possible. This is something a government agency is not allowed to do
        > and for that reason is a superior model.
        >
        > Multiple Governments as customers: One of the weaknesses of previous
        > attempts to initiate human missions to Mars (like the Martin
        > Marietta attempt with Mars Direct) is that they only appealed to one
        > government for funding. There are over 30 nations with some form of
        > space program or research going on and it will be from this list
        > that a private consortium will pitch its mission plan. This primary
        > list of 30 will be supplemented with all other nations as potential
        > customers. The benefit to these customers will be related to
        > scientific fields with exclusive access to data and samples with
        > financial benefits coming from mission development activities in
        > their nations where possible. They will not be "working together"
        > with other nations in the traditional sense. The only thing that
        > they will have in common with other nations is that they will be co-
        > funding the program's development. Astronaut places will be sold to
        > the highest bidder also. For example, with 6 crew we could raise
        > potentially 12 Billion just from this aspect, and spread over ten
        > years among several governments buy in cost is low. Funds could be
        > held in trust until there is mission success (or other criteria is
        > met) so that these governments avoid the problem of funding a failed
        > mission.
        >
        > Phase 3:
        >
        > Mars Missions: The private consortium will launch a series of small
        > robotic missions and technology demonstrators to establish
        > credibility, test systems and gather valuable data for a human
        > program. This is what will set them apart from previous private
        > attempts. They won't just be "advocating" or "pitching" a mission
        > plan, they will be investing substantial amounts in it to ensure
        > that governments can trust them with a complex human program. This
        > will include a for profit sample return mission in the early stages.
        >
        > Human Settlements: This is the ultimate goal. Self sufficiency will
        > be the goal of all early missions to Mars and there will be a build
        > up of settlers and materials in this time. A self sufficient Mars is
        > the best way to ensure it becomes a viable player in the new space
        > economy of coming years.
        >
        >
      • spacenutnewmars
        Hi All I wanted to share some words from [quote= louis ]for business plan items. 1. Philanthropy. Encourage philanthropists to invest. In return they get their
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 11, 2009
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          Hi All I wanted to share some words from [quote="louis"]for business
          plan items.

          1. Philanthropy. Encourage philanthropists to invest. In return they
          get their name on the planet, bases named after them, that sort of
          thing. [b][i]Looking for 100s of millions of dollars from these
          sources[/i][/b]

          2. Payments from other space agencies for taking equipment to Mars or
          putting it into Mars orbit. Also payments for taking personnel.
          [b][i] Again, hundreds of millions of dollars[/i][/b]

          3. Payments from academic institutions for Mars samples. [b][i]
          Certianly this would be in the millions of dollars range. [/i][/b]

          4. Commercial sponsorship. [b][i]$200 million? I'm thinking in
          terms of the Olympics but this sponsorship will benefit companies
          over a much longer time period - maybe 2 years of more. Think Coke,
          Nike, Toyota, Honda...[/i][/b]

          5. A documentary film about the landings and first few months on the
          planet. Cinema release and then sold to TV cos. [b][i]Maybe $100
          million over 5 years. It would have a long lasting appeal and be
          repeated many times. [/i][/b]

          6. Mars TV channel. Two channels. One for academic institutions
          paying a large annual fee - say $20,000 - to get the latest
          information from Mars and to hear debates from Mars and Mars
          Consortium officials about recent discoveries. Will also transmit
          detailed weather data etc. Another channel for mainstream viewers to
          be sold to a satellite company. Will feature surface and habitat
          webcams, high quality footage, interviews with personnel etc. and
          earth based programming with Mars pundits discussing various aspects
          of Mars. [b][i]Maybe $1-5million for the Academic channel...over $1
          million - maybe as much as $10m for the TV channel - as it will have
          international appeal. [/i][/b]

          7. Mars Radio - music from Mars, also to be available on satellite
          programming. Takes requests...romantic dedications. Features sounds
          on Mars. [b][i]Probably not a huge amount. $1million? [/i][/b]

          8. Gold - that has to be the first objective for commodity trading
          (after from rock samples). Mars has had vulcanism plus water which I
          understand are essentials to gold being found. If we can find a very
          rich seam near the surface, then gold mining becomes a practical
          proposition that could be profitable at $30 a gram. [b][i]One tonne
          of gold could fetch $30million. Profit might be $15 million [/i][/b]


          Just some ideas![/quote]


          --- In marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com, "frank_stratford"
          <frank_stratford@...> wrote:
          >
          > I have been researching this topic for some time now and while I
          > could probably write a book on it (and may), I thought it was time
          > to release this idea so that it can get feedback, criticism and
          > become more accurate. I have been challenged on several occaisons
          to
          > come up with a "business case" for Mars but this is by no means
          > that. It is a rough framework that we can build on, replace (bad
          > ideas)where needed and perfect. I know everyone here is interested
          > in the technical design but I do respect your professionalism and
          > opinions and value what you have to say. In the end, whatever
          design
          > we own up to must find funding otherwise it will remain just
          another
          > idea on paper.
          >
          > So detailed below are my intitial thoughts and ideas on how this
          > mission might be funded. If you don't understand something, let me
          > know. Tell me what I'm lacking in, or what you don't get also.
          > Calling it a "private mission" is not really accurate either. The
          > consortium approach involves lots of players and lots of funding
          > sources so it can't easily be tagged so if you come up with a
          better
          > name, let me know, I'm not sure I'm even happy with this one. Jon
          > was correct when he said an all private mission won't happen any
          > time soon. This plan is not about that. Read on-
          >
          > The Mars Consortium Approach:
          >
          > Government funded Mars exploration with a private twist.
          >
          > Traditionally governments propose space missions and then seek out
          > private aerospace companies to build the hardware to take them into
          > space. The Mars Consortium approach from MarsDrive aims to turn
          this
          > model on its head by utilizing a private consortium as the
          initiator
          > of a humans to Mars program leading to permanent settlement of
          Mars.
          > The difference with this method is that the private consortium will
          > not just "advocate" or preach to governments the virtues of human
          > exploration of Mars, they will in fact force the issue ahead of its
          > time by sending their own small scale robotic missions to Mars and
          > technology demonstration projects as a foundation for human
          > missions. The other advantage of this approach is that the
          > consortium will approach not just one government for funding but
          ALL
          > governments. The mission will be designed to appeal to
          > government "face saving" priorities by not requiring funds until
          > various steps are first taken. In short, as a largely government
          > funded exercise it will rest upon a record of in space
          > demonstrations and successful missions, not just rhetoric.
          >
          > Governments have demonstrated that Mars is a scientific target
          > worthy of significant investment but the status of human missions
          is
          > still quite low on their priority scale. The Mars Consortium
          > approach is designed to cater for this low level of interest by
          only
          > requiring extreme low levels of investment. For example, if 30
          > governments budgeted $100 million per year for 15 years this would
          > equal $45 Billion. More than enough for a privately controlled Mars
          > program. It will be the aim of this consortium to get humans to
          Mars
          > in as little as 8 years but no more than 15. The scale of
          government
          > investment in this program will be in the 80 to 90% range also,
          with
          > private revenue sources at the smaller end. It won't just involve a
          > consortium of companies and individuals but a consortium of funding
          > sources and ideas. There is no single method that will achieve
          > humans to Mars, it will take a combination approach on all fronts.
          > But the good news is that Mars advocates can play a major role in
          > this type of program from start to finish. We no longer have to sit
          > on the sidelines while we wait for possible government missions of
          > the far flung future. With the Mars Consortium approach humans
          could
          > be on Mars by 2020. That part is up to us.
          >
          > While we support efforts to get a NASA Mars mission happening in
          the
          > short term and we will keep on holding out hope for a potential
          > private billionaire funding source, this program is designed to
          > operate without either of these options. Our greatest resource
          right
          > now is ourselves, and it is from these beginnings we will start on
          > the road to a human future on Mars. There is no reason for the Mars
          > community to wait around any longer. This is something we can do
          > now. Many ideas for privately funded Mars missions have been
          > proposed before but most of them rely far too much on an "all
          > private" approach. Most of them never get taken very seriously as a
          > result of relying upon unproven and nebulous "revenues" to pay for
          > the mission. The difference with this approach is that it is a
          > mostly government funded program but controlled by the private
          > sector. Another advantage of this program is that it does not rely
          > upon any single government for 100% of the funds, the burden of
          cost
          > is spread around.
          >
          > In the past, multiple government involved space missions have been
          > complex to pull off and as the ISS has shown many things can and do
          > go wrong. So let's clear that problem up from the start. This
          > program is NOT a government partnership in the traditional sense.
          > Governments will be paying customers for their part of the program
          > benefits and nothing more. Competition will still exist but in a
          > much more narrow sense. The private consortium will conduct and
          > control the program, not governments. That is another difference
          > here. Governments will be allowed access and given whatever
          benefits
          > their investment is entitled to, but that is as far as their
          > involvement goes.
          >
          > The concept of public private partnerships is somewhat related to
          > this model but some distinctive departures are to be noted such as
          > the low buy in for governments and the private sector doing the
          > original proposals. Unlike needed infrastructure or health related
          > projects of clear benefit to a state, a human Mars program is of
          > limited value, and that is why the private consortium approach
          works-
          > it takes a minimalist approach and expects only small investments
          > from multiple governments to match their low level of interest at
          > this time. Listed below is the 8 step road to Mars-
          >
          > • Wealth Building
          > • Self Funding
          > • Non Profit Catalyst
          > • Private Consortium Initiated
          > • Multiple private sources of revenue
          > • Multiple governments as customers
          > • Mars Missions
          > • Human settlements
          >
          > Phase 1:
          >
          > Wealth Building- The Wealth Creation Network has 2 features- 1. It
          > sets up a barter system for members to help each other improve
          their
          > financial status and 2. It gives members access to discounted
          > professional financial advice. The philosophy behind it is to
          > increase the wealth of our own members so that we can indeed fund
          > the early stages of a private humans to Mars program. A third
          aspect
          > of this program is to develop and sell our own brands of goods and
          > services in the space and non space sector as an ongoing revenue
          > stream.
          >
          > Self Funding- Self funding is the only working model of how private
          > space companies and programs are starting up right now and into the
          > foreseeable future. Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Bigelow and Bezos
          > are all examples of this philosophy in action. While we may not
          have
          > such people to call upon, the combined donations or investments of
          > members will perform the same function as one wealthy backer. Will
          > this pay for an entire mission development? Mostly likely not, but
          > it will help to form the Mars Consortium working group made up of
          > high level paid engineers, scientists and other experts required to
          > design and take charge of various aspects of the program.
          >
          > Non profit catalyst- Non profit space groups are filled with
          > enthusiasts and experts in a range of fields and are well suited to
          > be the driving force behind this program. While political and even
          > private programs might get sidetracked, a driving and organizing
          > force behind it made up of true Mars enthusiasts is the ideal
          > foundation for a Mars program of this type. Volunteer efforts can
          be
          > the missing link in a program of this complexity and we want to
          give
          > it its greatest chance for success and so must use as many
          resources
          > as we can find. This sector will serve to keep the program on track
          > and be an independent review body as well.
          >
          > Phase 2:
          >
          > Private Consortium Initiated: The goal here is to help create a
          > consortium of private companies and investors, both profit and non
          > profit who together can control all aspects of this program,
          > especially the parts that require initial seed investments, and it
          > is this consortium that can pitch this program to prospective
          > customers in a credible and professional manner. Some of these
          > members should include aerospace companies that already have
          decades
          > of experience in building hardware for space missions.
          >
          > Multiple private sources of revenue: A private consortium will be
          > open to drawing in as many forms of program funding as possible,
          > both government and private. Many ideas have been investigated over
          > the years from sale of media rights to patent spin offs and it will
          > be the job of the private consortium to attract as many of these as
          > possible. This is something a government agency is not allowed to
          do
          > and for that reason is a superior model.
          >
          > Multiple Governments as customers: One of the weaknesses of
          previous
          > attempts to initiate human missions to Mars (like the Martin
          > Marietta attempt with Mars Direct) is that they only appealed to
          one
          > government for funding. There are over 30 nations with some form of
          > space program or research going on and it will be from this list
          > that a private consortium will pitch its mission plan. This primary
          > list of 30 will be supplemented with all other nations as potential
          > customers. The benefit to these customers will be related to
          > scientific fields with exclusive access to data and samples with
          > financial benefits coming from mission development activities in
          > their nations where possible. They will not be "working together"
          > with other nations in the traditional sense. The only thing that
          > they will have in common with other nations is that they will be co-
          > funding the program's development. Astronaut places will be sold to
          > the highest bidder also. For example, with 6 crew we could raise
          > potentially 12 Billion just from this aspect, and spread over ten
          > years among several governments buy in cost is low. Funds could be
          > held in trust until there is mission success (or other criteria is
          > met) so that these governments avoid the problem of funding a
          failed
          > mission.
          >
          > Phase 3:
          >
          > Mars Missions: The private consortium will launch a series of small
          > robotic missions and technology demonstrators to establish
          > credibility, test systems and gather valuable data for a human
          > program. This is what will set them apart from previous private
          > attempts. They won't just be "advocating" or "pitching" a mission
          > plan, they will be investing substantial amounts in it to ensure
          > that governments can trust them with a complex human program. This
          > will include a for profit sample return mission in the early stages.
          >
          > Human Settlements: This is the ultimate goal. Self sufficiency will
          > be the goal of all early missions to Mars and there will be a build
          > up of settlers and materials in this time. A self sufficient Mars
          is
          > the best way to ensure it becomes a viable player in the new space
          > economy of coming years.
          >
        • David Willson
          I like the bit about mining gold. Could start a gold rush! We would need a stick to fight off investors! It is like the chicken and egg- which comes first-
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 11, 2009
          View Source
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            I like the bit about mining gold.

            Could start a gold rush! We would need a stick to fight off investors!

             

            It is like the chicken and egg- which comes first- problem.

            If there was something ‘very desirable’ found on Mars raising money would be no problem.

            The issue is that you need to go there, to find the ‘something desirable’.

             

            People in exploration for oil and minerals deal with this problem. Many millions are spent looking for oil and minerals in Australia and only a very small percentage of potential finds come to something. That does not seem to stop people giving money for exploration. The odds are better than the lottery but not much.

             

            I guess we would need to demonstrate to an investor that there is a reasonable chance that  ‘something desirable’ can be found on Mars.

            Maybe mars exploration rovers need equipment to look for ‘desirables’ as well as gear for scientific research.  

             

            Regards

            David Willson

             

            From: marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com [mailto:marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of spacenutnewmars
            Sent: Monday, 12 January 2009 3:18 PM
            To: marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [marsdrivemission] Re: The Mars Consortium Approach

             

            Hi All I wanted to share some words from [quote="louis"]for business
            plan items.

            1. Philanthropy. Encourage philanthropists to invest. In return they
            get their name on the planet, bases named after them, that sort of
            thing. [b][i]Looking for 100s of millions of dollars from these
            sources[/i][/b]

            2. Payments from other space agencies for taking equipment to Mars or
            putting it into Mars orbit. Also payments for taking personnel.
            [b][i] Again, hundreds of millions of dollars[/i][/b]

            3. Payments from academic institutions for Mars samples. [b][i]
            Certianly this would be in the millions of dollars range. [/i][/b]

            4. Commercial sponsorship. [b][i]$200 million? I'm thinking in
            terms of the Olympics but this sponsorship will benefit companies
            over a much longer time period - maybe 2 years of more. Think Coke,
            Nike, Toyota, Honda...[/i][/b]

            5. A documentary film about the landings and first few months on the
            planet. Cinema release and then sold to TV cos. [b][i]Maybe $100
            million over 5 years. It would have a long lasting appeal and be
            repeated many times. [/i][/b]

            6. Mars TV channel. Two channels. One for academic institutions
            paying a large annual fee - say $20,000 - to get the latest
            information from Mars and to hear debates from Mars and Mars
            Consortium officials about recent discoveries. Will also transmit
            detailed weather data etc. Another channel for mainstream viewers to
            be sold to a satellite company. Will feature surface and habitat
            webcams, high quality footage, interviews with personnel etc. and
            earth based programming with Mars pundits discussing various aspects
            of Mars. [b][i]Maybe $1-5million for the Academic channel...over $1
            million - maybe as much as $10m for the TV channel - as it will have
            international appeal. [/i][/b]

            7. Mars Radio - music from Mars, also to be available on satellite
            programming. Takes requests...romantic dedications. Features sounds
            on Mars. [b][i]Probably not a huge amount. $1million? [/i][/b]

            8. Gold - that has to be the first objective for commodity trading
            (after from rock samples). Mars has had vulcanism plus water which I
            understand are essentials to gold being found. If we can find a very
            rich seam near the surface, then gold mining becomes a practical
            proposition that could be profitable at $30 a gram. [b][i]One tonne
            of gold could fetch $30million. Profit might be $15 million [/i][/b]

            Just some ideas![/quote]

            --- In marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com, "frank_stratford"
            <frank_stratford@...> wrote:

            >
            > I have been researching this topic for some time now and while I
            > could probably write a book on it (and may), I thought it was time
            > to release this idea so that it can get feedback, criticism and
            > become more accurate. I have been challenged on several occaisons
            to
            > come up with a "business case" for Mars but this is by no means
            > that. It is a rough framework that we can build on, replace (bad
            > ideas)where needed and perfect. I know everyone here is interested
            > in the technical design but I do respect your professionalism and
            > opinions and value what you have to say. In the end, whatever
            design
            > we own up to must find funding otherwise it will remain just
            another
            > idea on paper.
            >
            > So detailed below are my intitial thoughts and ideas on how this
            > mission might be funded. If you don't understand something, let me
            > know. Tell me what I'm lacking in, or what you don't get also.
            > Calling it a "private mission" is not really accurate either.
            The
            > consortium approach involves lots of players and lots of funding
            > sources so it can't easily be tagged so if you come up with a
            better
            > name, let me know, I'm not sure I'm even happy with this one. Jon
            > was correct when he said an all private mission won't happen any
            > time soon. This plan is not about that. Read on-
            >
            > The Mars Consortium Approach:
            >
            > Government funded Mars exploration with a private twist.
            >
            > Traditionally governments propose space missions and then seek out
            > private aerospace companies to build the hardware to take them into
            > space. The Mars Consortium approach from MarsDrive aims to turn
            this
            > model on its head by utilizing a private consortium as the
            initiator
            > of a humans to Mars program leading to permanent settlement of
            Mars.
            > The difference with this method is that the private consortium will
            > not just "advocate" or preach to governments the virtues of
            human
            > exploration of Mars, they will in fact force the issue ahead of its
            > time by sending their own small scale robotic missions to Mars and
            > technology demonstration projects as a foundation for human
            > missions. The other advantage of this approach is that the
            > consortium will approach not just one government for funding but
            ALL
            > governments. The mission will be designed to appeal to
            > government "face saving" priorities by not requiring funds until
            > various steps are first taken. In short, as a largely government
            > funded exercise it will rest upon a record of in space
            > demonstrations and successful missions, not just rhetoric.
            >
            > Governments have demonstrated that Mars is a scientific target
            > worthy of significant investment but the status of human missions
            is
            > still quite low on their priority scale. The Mars Consortium
            > approach is designed to cater for this low level of interest by
            only
            > requiring extreme low levels of investment. For example, if 30
            > governments budgeted $100 million per year for 15 years this would
            > equal $45 Billion. More than enough for a privately controlled Mars
            > program. It will be the aim of this consortium to get humans to
            Mars
            > in as little as 8 years but no more than 15. The scale of
            government
            > investment in this program will be in the 80 to 90% range also,
            with
            > private revenue sources at the smaller end. It won't just involve a
            > consortium of companies and individuals but a consortium of funding
            > sources and ideas. There is no single method that will achieve
            > humans to Mars, it will take a combination approach on all fronts.
            > But the good news is that Mars advocates can play a major role in
            > this type of program from start to finish. We no longer have to sit
            > on the sidelines while we wait for possible government missions of
            > the far flung future. With the Mars Consortium approach humans
            could
            > be on Mars by 2020. That part is up to us.
            >
            > While we support efforts to get a NASA Mars mission happening in
            the
            > short term and we will keep on holding out hope for a potential
            > private billionaire funding source, this program is designed to
            > operate without either of these options. Our greatest resource
            right
            > now is ourselves, and it is from these beginnings we will start on
            > the road to a human future on Mars. There is no reason for the Mars
            > community to wait around any longer. This is something we can do
            > now. Many ideas for privately funded Mars missions have been
            > proposed before but most of them rely far too much on an "all
            > private" approach. Most of them never get taken very seriously as a
            > result of relying upon unproven and nebulous "revenues" to pay
            for
            > the mission. The difference with this approach is that it is a
            > mostly government funded program but controlled by the private
            > sector. Another advantage of this program is that it does not rely
            > upon any single government for 100% of the funds, the burden of
            cost
            > is spread around.
            >
            > In the past, multiple government involved space missions have been
            > complex to pull off and as the ISS has shown many things can and do
            > go wrong. So let's clear that problem up from the start. This
            > program is NOT a government partnership in the traditional sense.
            > Governments will be paying customers for their part of the program
            > benefits and nothing more. Competition will still exist but in a
            > much more narrow sense. The private consortium will conduct and
            > control the program, not governments. That is another difference
            > here. Governments will be allowed access and given whatever
            benefits
            > their investment is entitled to, but that is as far as their
            > involvement goes.
            >
            > The concept of public private partnerships is somewhat related to
            > this model but some distinctive departures are to be noted such as
            > the low buy in for governments and the private sector doing the
            > original proposals. Unlike needed infrastructure or health related
            > projects of clear benefit to a state, a human Mars program is of
            > limited value, and that is why the private consortium approach
            works-
            > it takes a minimalist approach and expects only small investments
            > from multiple governments to match their low level of interest at
            > this time. Listed below is the 8 step road to Mars-
            >
            > • Wealth Building
            > • Self Funding
            > • Non Profit Catalyst
            > • Private Consortium Initiated
            > • Multiple private sources of revenue
            > • Multiple governments as customers
            > • Mars Missions
            > • Human settlements
            >
            > Phase 1:
            >
            > Wealth Building- The Wealth Creation Network has 2 features- 1. It
            > sets up a barter system for members to help each other improve
            their
            > financial status and 2. It gives members access to discounted
            > professional financial advice. The philosophy behind it is to
            > increase the wealth of our own members so that we can indeed fund
            > the early stages of a private humans to Mars program. A third
            aspect
            > of this program is to develop and sell our own brands of goods and
            > services in the space and non space sector as an ongoing revenue
            > stream.
            >
            > Self Funding- Self funding is the only working model of how private
            > space companies and programs are starting up right now and into the
            > foreseeable future. Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Bigelow and Bezos
            > are all examples of this philosophy in action. While we may not
            have
            > such people to call upon, the combined donations or investments of
            > members will perform the same function as one wealthy backer. Will
            > this pay for an entire mission development? Mostly likely not, but
            > it will help to form the Mars Consortium working group made up of
            > high level paid engineers, scientists and other experts required to
            > design and take charge of various aspects of the program.
            >
            > Non profit catalyst- Non profit space groups are filled with
            > enthusiasts and experts in a range of fields and are well suited to
            > be the driving force behind this program. While political and even
            > private programs might get sidetracked, a driving and organizing
            > force behind it made up of true Mars enthusiasts is the ideal
            > foundation for a Mars program of this type. Volunteer efforts can
            be
            > the missing link in a program of this complexity and we want to
            give
            > it its greatest chance for success and so must use as many
            resources
            > as we can find. This sector will serve to keep the program on track
            > and be an independent review body as well.
            >
            > Phase 2:
            >
            > Private Consortium Initiated: The goal here is to help create a
            > consortium of private companies and investors, both profit and non
            > profit who together can control all aspects of this program,
            > especially the parts that require initial seed investments, and it
            > is this consortium that can pitch this program to prospective
            > customers in a credible and professional manner. Some of these
            > members should include aerospace companies that already have
            decades
            > of experience in building hardware for space missions.
            >
            > Multiple private sources of revenue: A private consortium will be
            > open to drawing in as many forms of program funding as possible,
            > both government and private. Many ideas have been investigated over
            > the years from sale of media rights to patent spin offs and it will
            > be the job of the private consortium to attract as many of these as
            > possible. This is something a government agency is not allowed to
            do
            > and for that reason is a superior model.
            >
            > Multiple Governments as customers: One of the weaknesses of
            previous
            > attempts to initiate human missions to Mars (like the Martin
            > Marietta attempt with Mars Direct) is that they only appealed to
            one
            > government for funding. There are over 30 nations with some form of
            > space program or research going on and it will be from this list
            > that a private consortium will pitch its mission plan. This primary
            > list of 30 will be supplemented with all other nations as potential
            > customers. The benefit to these customers will be related to
            > scientific fields with exclusive access to data and samples with
            > financial benefits coming from mission development activities in
            > their nations where possible. They will not be "working
            together"
            > with other nations in the traditional sense. The only thing that
            > they will have in common with other nations is that they will be co-
            > funding the program's development. Astronaut places will be sold to
            > the highest bidder also. For example, with 6 crew we could raise
            > potentially 12 Billion just from this aspect, and spread over ten
            > years among several governments buy in cost is low. Funds could be
            > held in trust until there is mission success (or other criteria is
            > met) so that these governments avoid the problem of funding a
            failed
            > mission.
            >
            > Phase 3:
            >
            > Mars Missions: The private consortium will launch a series of small
            > robotic missions and technology demonstrators to establish
            > credibility, test systems and gather valuable data for a human
            > program. This is what will set them apart from previous private
            > attempts. They won't just be "advocating" or
            "pitching" a mission
            > plan, they will be investing substantial amounts in it to ensure
            > that governments can trust them with a complex human program. This
            > will include a for profit sample return mission in the early stages.
            >
            > Human Settlements: This is the ultimate goal. Self sufficiency will
            > be the goal of all early missions to Mars and there will be a build
            > up of settlers and materials in this time. A self sufficient Mars
            is
            > the best way to ensure it becomes a viable player in the new space
            > economy of coming years.
            >

          • frank_stratford
            I think sometimes we miss the forest for the trees. The attraction for investors for Mars IS Mars itself, the entire planet. The fact that we have a planet
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 12, 2009
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              I think sometimes we miss the forest for the trees. The attraction
              for investors for Mars IS Mars itself, the entire planet. The fact
              that we have a planet independent of Earth, with its own unique
              geological history, and practically an entire planet yet to be
              explored in real depth and one which we have sent more probes to
              than any other should fill investors with some confidence, but to be
              honest those investors will for the foreseeable future be
              government.

              My idea of a consortium was a privately administered project which
              made money off the contracts, selling samples and crew seats and
              capitalizing on the novelty factor of the first mission. There is
              definite money there, but the trick is to convince governments that
              the private sector CAN pull this off. That will only be done by
              precursor missions and technology development here. Ultimately the
              private sector, especially in aerospace is not going to bite the
              hand that feeds it (govt). But this does not mean they
              cannot "explore" options of their own missions to Mars proposed to
              governments, just as Martin Marietta did with Zubrin back in 1990.
              No one has shown me yet why this strategy, timed right and directed
              at more than one government, built on the credibility that the
              aerospace sector already has in sending hardware to Mars, cannot
              work. If we don't at least try, we will never know.

              --- In marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com, "David Willson"
              <david.willson@...> wrote:
              >
              > I like the bit about mining gold.
              >
              > Could start a gold rush! We would need a stick to fight off
              investors!
              >
              >
              >
              > It is like the chicken and egg- which comes first- problem.
              >
              > If there was something 'very desirable' found on Mars raising money
              > would be no problem.
              >
              > The issue is that you need to go there, to find the 'something
              > desirable'.
              >
              >
              >
              > People in exploration for oil and minerals deal with this problem.
              Many
              > millions are spent looking for oil and minerals in Australia and
              only a
              > very small percentage of potential finds come to something. That
              does
              > not seem to stop people giving money for exploration. The odds are
              > better than the lottery but not much.
              >
              >
              >
              > I guess we would need to demonstrate to an investor that there is a
              > reasonable chance that 'something desirable' can be found on
              Mars.
              >
              > Maybe mars exploration rovers need equipment to look
              for 'desirables' as
              > well as gear for scientific research.
              >
              >
              >
              > Regards
              >
              > David Willson
              >
              >
              >
              > From: marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com
              > [mailto:marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
              spacenutnewmars
              > Sent: Monday, 12 January 2009 3:18 PM
              > To: marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [marsdrivemission] Re: The Mars Consortium Approach
              >
              >
              >
              > Hi All I wanted to share some words from [quote="louis"]for
              business
              > plan items.
              >
              > 1. Philanthropy. Encourage philanthropists to invest. In return
              they
              > get their name on the planet, bases named after them, that sort of
              > thing. [b][i]Looking for 100s of millions of dollars from these
              > sources[/i][/b]
              >
              > 2. Payments from other space agencies for taking equipment to Mars
              or
              > putting it into Mars orbit. Also payments for taking personnel.
              > [b][i] Again, hundreds of millions of dollars[/i][/b]
              >
              > 3. Payments from academic institutions for Mars samples. [b][i]
              > Certianly this would be in the millions of dollars range. [/i][/b]
              >
              > 4. Commercial sponsorship. [b][i]$200 million? I'm thinking in
              > terms of the Olympics but this sponsorship will benefit companies
              > over a much longer time period - maybe 2 years of more. Think
              Coke,
              > Nike, Toyota, Honda...[/i][/b]
              >
              > 5. A documentary film about the landings and first few months on
              the
              > planet. Cinema release and then sold to TV cos. [b][i]Maybe $100
              > million over 5 years. It would have a long lasting appeal and be
              > repeated many times. [/i][/b]
              >
              > 6. Mars TV channel. Two channels. One for academic institutions
              > paying a large annual fee - say $20,000 - to get the latest
              > information from Mars and to hear debates from Mars and Mars
              > Consortium officials about recent discoveries. Will also transmit
              > detailed weather data etc. Another channel for mainstream viewers
              to
              > be sold to a satellite company. Will feature surface and habitat
              > webcams, high quality footage, interviews with personnel etc. and
              > earth based programming with Mars pundits discussing various
              aspects
              > of Mars. [b][i]Maybe $1-5million for the Academic channel...over
              $1
              > million - maybe as much as $10m for the TV channel - as it will
              have
              > international appeal. [/i][/b]
              >
              > 7. Mars Radio - music from Mars, also to be available on satellite
              > programming. Takes requests...romantic dedications. Features
              sounds
              > on Mars. [b][i]Probably not a huge amount. $1million? [/i][/b]
              >
              > 8. Gold - that has to be the first objective for commodity trading
              > (after from rock samples). Mars has had vulcanism plus water which
              I
              > understand are essentials to gold being found. If we can find a
              very
              > rich seam near the surface, then gold mining becomes a practical
              > proposition that could be profitable at $30 a gram. [b][i]One
              tonne
              > of gold could fetch $30million. Profit might be $15 million [/i]
              [/b]
              >
              > Just some ideas![/quote]
              >
              > --- In marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com
              > <mailto:marsdrivemission%40yahoogroups.com> , "frank_stratford"
              > <frank_stratford@> wrote:
              > >
              > > I have been researching this topic for some time now and while I
              > > could probably write a book on it (and may), I thought it was
              time
              > > to release this idea so that it can get feedback, criticism and
              > > become more accurate. I have been challenged on several
              occaisons
              > to
              > > come up with a "business case" for Mars but this is by no means
              > > that. It is a rough framework that we can build on, replace (bad
              > > ideas)where needed and perfect. I know everyone here is
              interested
              > > in the technical design but I do respect your professionalism
              and
              > > opinions and value what you have to say. In the end, whatever
              > design
              > > we own up to must find funding otherwise it will remain just
              > another
              > > idea on paper.
              > >
              > > So detailed below are my intitial thoughts and ideas on how this
              > > mission might be funded. If you don't understand something, let
              me
              > > know. Tell me what I'm lacking in, or what you don't get also.
              > > Calling it a "private mission" is not really accurate either.
              The
              > > consortium approach involves lots of players and lots of funding
              > > sources so it can't easily be tagged so if you come up with a
              > better
              > > name, let me know, I'm not sure I'm even happy with this one.
              Jon
              > > was correct when he said an all private mission won't happen any
              > > time soon. This plan is not about that. Read on-
              > >
              > > The Mars Consortium Approach:
              > >
              > > Government funded Mars exploration with a private twist.
              > >
              > > Traditionally governments propose space missions and then seek
              out
              > > private aerospace companies to build the hardware to take them
              into
              > > space. The Mars Consortium approach from MarsDrive aims to turn
              > this
              > > model on its head by utilizing a private consortium as the
              > initiator
              > > of a humans to Mars program leading to permanent settlement of
              > Mars.
              > > The difference with this method is that the private consortium
              will
              > > not just "advocate" or preach to governments the virtues of
              human
              > > exploration of Mars, they will in fact force the issue ahead of
              its
              > > time by sending their own small scale robotic missions to Mars
              and
              > > technology demonstration projects as a foundation for human
              > > missions. The other advantage of this approach is that the
              > > consortium will approach not just one government for funding but
              > ALL
              > > governments. The mission will be designed to appeal to
              > > government "face saving" priorities by not requiring funds until
              > > various steps are first taken. In short, as a largely government
              > > funded exercise it will rest upon a record of in space
              > > demonstrations and successful missions, not just rhetoric.
              > >
              > > Governments have demonstrated that Mars is a scientific target
              > > worthy of significant investment but the status of human
              missions
              > is
              > > still quite low on their priority scale. The Mars Consortium
              > > approach is designed to cater for this low level of interest by
              > only
              > > requiring extreme low levels of investment. For example, if 30
              > > governments budgeted $100 million per year for 15 years this
              would
              > > equal $45 Billion. More than enough for a privately controlled
              Mars
              > > program. It will be the aim of this consortium to get humans to
              > Mars
              > > in as little as 8 years but no more than 15. The scale of
              > government
              > > investment in this program will be in the 80 to 90% range also,
              > with
              > > private revenue sources at the smaller end. It won't just
              involve a
              > > consortium of companies and individuals but a consortium of
              funding
              > > sources and ideas. There is no single method that will achieve
              > > humans to Mars, it will take a combination approach on all
              fronts.
              > > But the good news is that Mars advocates can play a major role
              in
              > > this type of program from start to finish. We no longer have to
              sit
              > > on the sidelines while we wait for possible government missions
              of
              > > the far flung future. With the Mars Consortium approach humans
              > could
              > > be on Mars by 2020. That part is up to us.
              > >
              > > While we support efforts to get a NASA Mars mission happening in
              > the
              > > short term and we will keep on holding out hope for a potential
              > > private billionaire funding source, this program is designed to
              > > operate without either of these options. Our greatest resource
              > right
              > > now is ourselves, and it is from these beginnings we will start
              on
              > > the road to a human future on Mars. There is no reason for the
              Mars
              > > community to wait around any longer. This is something we can do
              > > now. Many ideas for privately funded Mars missions have been
              > > proposed before but most of them rely far too much on an "all
              > > private" approach. Most of them never get taken very seriously
              as a
              > > result of relying upon unproven and nebulous "revenues" to pay
              for
              > > the mission. The difference with this approach is that it is a
              > > mostly government funded program but controlled by the private
              > > sector. Another advantage of this program is that it does not
              rely
              > > upon any single government for 100% of the funds, the burden of
              > cost
              > > is spread around.
              > >
              > > In the past, multiple government involved space missions have
              been
              > > complex to pull off and as the ISS has shown many things can and
              do
              > > go wrong. So let's clear that problem up from the start. This
              > > program is NOT a government partnership in the traditional
              sense.
              > > Governments will be paying customers for their part of the
              program
              > > benefits and nothing more. Competition will still exist but in a
              > > much more narrow sense. The private consortium will conduct and
              > > control the program, not governments. That is another difference
              > > here. Governments will be allowed access and given whatever
              > benefits
              > > their investment is entitled to, but that is as far as their
              > > involvement goes.
              > >
              > > The concept of public private partnerships is somewhat related
              to
              > > this model but some distinctive departures are to be noted such
              as
              > > the low buy in for governments and the private sector doing the
              > > original proposals. Unlike needed infrastructure or health
              related
              > > projects of clear benefit to a state, a human Mars program is of
              > > limited value, and that is why the private consortium approach
              > works-
              > > it takes a minimalist approach and expects only small
              investments
              > > from multiple governments to match their low level of interest
              at
              > > this time. Listed below is the 8 step road to Mars-
              > >
              > > * Wealth Building
              > > * Self Funding
              > > * Non Profit Catalyst
              > > * Private Consortium Initiated
              > > * Multiple private sources of revenue
              > > * Multiple governments as customers
              > > * Mars Missions
              > > * Human settlements
              > >
              > > Phase 1:
              > >
              > > Wealth Building- The Wealth Creation Network has 2 features- 1.
              It
              > > sets up a barter system for members to help each other improve
              > their
              > > financial status and 2. It gives members access to discounted
              > > professional financial advice. The philosophy behind it is to
              > > increase the wealth of our own members so that we can indeed
              fund
              > > the early stages of a private humans to Mars program. A third
              > aspect
              > > of this program is to develop and sell our own brands of goods
              and
              > > services in the space and non space sector as an ongoing revenue
              > > stream.
              > >
              > > Self Funding- Self funding is the only working model of how
              private
              > > space companies and programs are starting up right now and into
              the
              > > foreseeable future. Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Bigelow and
              Bezos
              > > are all examples of this philosophy in action. While we may not
              > have
              > > such people to call upon, the combined donations or investments
              of
              > > members will perform the same function as one wealthy backer.
              Will
              > > this pay for an entire mission development? Mostly likely not,
              but
              > > it will help to form the Mars Consortium working group made up
              of
              > > high level paid engineers, scientists and other experts required
              to
              > > design and take charge of various aspects of the program.
              > >
              > > Non profit catalyst- Non profit space groups are filled with
              > > enthusiasts and experts in a range of fields and are well suited
              to
              > > be the driving force behind this program. While political and
              even
              > > private programs might get sidetracked, a driving and organizing
              > > force behind it made up of true Mars enthusiasts is the ideal
              > > foundation for a Mars program of this type. Volunteer efforts
              can
              > be
              > > the missing link in a program of this complexity and we want to
              > give
              > > it its greatest chance for success and so must use as many
              > resources
              > > as we can find. This sector will serve to keep the program on
              track
              > > and be an independent review body as well.
              > >
              > > Phase 2:
              > >
              > > Private Consortium Initiated: The goal here is to help create a
              > > consortium of private companies and investors, both profit and
              non
              > > profit who together can control all aspects of this program,
              > > especially the parts that require initial seed investments, and
              it
              > > is this consortium that can pitch this program to prospective
              > > customers in a credible and professional manner. Some of these
              > > members should include aerospace companies that already have
              > decades
              > > of experience in building hardware for space missions.
              > >
              > > Multiple private sources of revenue: A private consortium will
              be
              > > open to drawing in as many forms of program funding as possible,
              > > both government and private. Many ideas have been investigated
              over
              > > the years from sale of media rights to patent spin offs and it
              will
              > > be the job of the private consortium to attract as many of these
              as
              > > possible. This is something a government agency is not allowed
              to
              > do
              > > and for that reason is a superior model.
              > >
              > > Multiple Governments as customers: One of the weaknesses of
              > previous
              > > attempts to initiate human missions to Mars (like the Martin
              > > Marietta attempt with Mars Direct) is that they only appealed to
              > one
              > > government for funding. There are over 30 nations with some form
              of
              > > space program or research going on and it will be from this list
              > > that a private consortium will pitch its mission plan. This
              primary
              > > list of 30 will be supplemented with all other nations as
              potential
              > > customers. The benefit to these customers will be related to
              > > scientific fields with exclusive access to data and samples with
              > > financial benefits coming from mission development activities in
              > > their nations where possible. They will not be "working
              together"
              > > with other nations in the traditional sense. The only thing that
              > > they will have in common with other nations is that they will be
              co-
              > > funding the program's development. Astronaut places will be sold
              to
              > > the highest bidder also. For example, with 6 crew we could raise
              > > potentially 12 Billion just from this aspect, and spread over
              ten
              > > years among several governments buy in cost is low. Funds could
              be
              > > held in trust until there is mission success (or other criteria
              is
              > > met) so that these governments avoid the problem of funding a
              > failed
              > > mission.
              > >
              > > Phase 3:
              > >
              > > Mars Missions: The private consortium will launch a series of
              small
              > > robotic missions and technology demonstrators to establish
              > > credibility, test systems and gather valuable data for a human
              > > program. This is what will set them apart from previous private
              > > attempts. They won't just be "advocating" or "pitching" a
              mission
              > > plan, they will be investing substantial amounts in it to ensure
              > > that governments can trust them with a complex human program.
              This
              > > will include a for profit sample return mission in the early
              stages.
              > >
              > > Human Settlements: This is the ultimate goal. Self sufficiency
              will
              > > be the goal of all early missions to Mars and there will be a
              build
              > > up of settlers and materials in this time. A self sufficient
              Mars
              > is
              > > the best way to ensure it becomes a viable player in the new
              space
              > > economy of coming years.
              > >
              >
            • Jon Clarke
              Comment interspersed _____ From: marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com [mailto:marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Willson Sent: Monday, 12 January
              Message 6 of 7 , Jan 25, 2009
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                Comment interspersed

                 


                From: marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com [mailto: marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of David Willson
                Sent: Monday, 12 January 2009 5:03 PM
                To: marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [marsdrivemission] Re: The Mars Consortium Approach

                 

                I like the bit about mining gold.

                Could start a gold rush! We would need a stick to fight off investors!

                 

                It is like the chicken and egg- which comes first- problem.

                If there was something ‘very desirable’ found on Mars raising money would be no problem.

                The issue is that you need to go there, to find the ‘something desirable’.

                 

                People in exploration for oil and minerals deal with this problem. Many millions are spent looking for oil and minerals in Australia and only a very small percentage of potential finds come to something. That does not seem to stop people giving money for exploration. The odds are better than the lottery but not much.

                Actually the odds are much better than the Lottery!  The dollars spent per tonnes of ore found across most commodities is well understood, even though only one in perhaps a thousand targets leads to a mine.  I spent 12 years in the exploration game and I can say I played a lead role in bringing one ore body on line, a supporting role in another three, and a bit part in a fourth. My career was not than unusual, after all, I was involved in a lead or supporting role with at least 20 prospects that have not lead to anything.   So money spent on exploration is rarely a gamble in the long run.

                I guess we would need to demonstrate to an investor that there is a reasonable chance that  ‘something desirable’ can be found on Mars.

                Aye, there is the rub.  Nothing material exists at present that would be worth the expense.  That leaves intangibles.

                Maybe mars exploration rovers need equipment to look for ‘desirables’ as well as gear for scientific research.  

                 

                Regards

                David Willson

                 

                From: marsdrivemission@ yahoogroups. com [mailto: marsdrivemi ssion@yahoogroup s.com ] On Behalf Of spacenutnewmars
                Sent: Monday, 12 January 2009 3:18 PM
                To: marsdrivemission@ yahoogroups. com
                Subject: [marsdrivemission] Re: The Mars Consortium Approach

                 

                Hi All I wanted to share some words from [quote="louis"]for business
                plan items.

                1. Philanthropy. Encourage philanthropists to invest. In return they
                get their name on the planet, bases named after them, that sort of
                thing. [b][i]Looking for 100s of millions of dollars from these
                sources[/i][ /b]

                2. Payments from other space agencies for taking equipment to Mars or
                putting it into Mars orbit. Also payments for taking personnel.
                [b][i] Again, hundreds of millions of dollars[/i][ /b]

                3. Payments from academic institutions for Mars samples. [b][i]
                Certianly this would be in the millions of dollars range. [/i][/b]

                4. Commercial sponsorship. [b][i]$200 million? I'm thinking in
                terms of the Olympics but this sponsorship will benefit companies
                over a much longer time period - maybe 2 years of more. Think Coke,
                Nike, Toyota , Honda...[/i] [/b]

                5. A documentary film about the landings and first few months on the
                planet. Cinema release and then sold to TV cos. [b][i]Maybe $100
                million over 5 years. It would have a long lasting appeal and be
                repeated many times. [/i][/b]

                6. Mars TV channel. Two channels. One for academic institutions
                paying a large annual fee - say $20,000 - to get the latest
                information from Mars and to hear debates from Mars and Mars
                Consortium officials about recent discoveries. Will also transmit
                detailed weather data etc. Another channel for mainstream viewers to
                be sold to a satellite company. Will feature surface and habitat
                webcams, high quality footage, interviews with personnel etc. and
                earth based programming with Mars pundits discussing various aspects
                of Mars. [b][i]Maybe $1-5million for the Academic channel...over $1
                million - maybe as much as $10m for the TV channel - as it will have
                international appeal. [/i][/b]

                7. Mars Radio - music from Mars, also to be available on satellite
                programming. Takes requests...romantic dedications. Features sounds
                on Mars. [b][i]Probably not a huge amount. $1million? [/i][/b]

                8. Gold - that has to be the first objective for commodity trading
                (after from rock samples). Mars has had vulcanism plus water which I
                understand are essentials to gold being found. If we can find a very
                rich seam near the surface, then gold mining becomes a practical
                proposition that could be profitable at $30 a gram. [b][i]One tonne
                of gold could fetch $30million. Profit might be $15 million [/i][/b]

                Just some ideas![/quote]

                --- In marsdrivemission@ yahoogroups. com, "frank_stratford"
                <frank_stratford@ ...> wrote:

                >
                > I have been researching this topic for some time now and while I
                > could probably write a book on it (and may), I thought it was time
                > to release this idea so that it can get feedback, criticism and
                > become more accurate. I have been challenged on several occaisons
                to
                > come up with a "business case" for Mars but this is by no means
                > that. It is a rough framework that we can build on, replace (bad
                > ideas)where needed and perfect. I know everyone here is interested
                > in the technical design but I do respect your professionalism and
                > opinions and value what you have to say. In the end, whatever
                design
                > we own up to must find funding otherwise it will remain just
                another
                > idea on paper.
                >
                > So detailed below are my intitial thoughts and ideas on how this
                > mission might be funded. If you don't understand something, let me
                > know. Tell me what I'm lacking in, or what you don't get also.
                > Calling it a "private mission" is not really accurate either.
                The
                > consortium approach involves lots of players and lots of funding
                > sources so it can't easily be tagged so if you come up with a
                better
                > name, let me know, I'm not sure I'm even happy with this one. Jon
                > was correct when he said an all private mission won't happen any
                > time soon. This plan is not about that. Read on-
                >
                > The Mars Consortium Approach:
                >
                > Government funded Mars exploration with a private twist.
                >
                > Traditionally governments propose space missions and then seek out
                > private aerospace companies to build the hardware to take them into
                > space. The Mars Consortium approach from MarsDrive aims to turn
                this
                > model on its head by utilizing a private consortium as the
                initiator
                > of a humans to Mars program leading to permanent settlement of
                Mars.
                > The difference with this method is that the private consortium will
                > not just "advocate" or preach to governments the virtues of
                human
                > exploration of Mars, they will in fact force the issue ahead of its
                > time by sending their own small scale robotic missions to Mars and
                > technology demonstration projects as a foundation for human
                > missions. The other advantage of this approach is that the
                > consortium will approach not just one government for funding but
                ALL
                > governments. The mission will be designed to appeal to
                > government "face saving" priorities by not requiring funds until
                > various steps are first taken. In short, as a largely government
                > funded exercise it will rest upon a record of in space
                > demonstrations and successful missions, not just rhetoric.
                >
                > Governments have demonstrated that Mars is a scientific target
                > worthy of significant investment but the status of human missions
                is
                > still quite low on their priority scale. The Mars Consortium
                > approach is designed to cater for this low level of interest by
                only
                > requiring extreme low levels of investment. For example, if 30
                > governments budgeted $100 million per year for 15 years this would
                > equal $45 Billion. More than enough for a privately controlled Mars
                > program. It will be the aim of this consortium to get humans to
                Mars
                > in as little as 8 years but no more than 15. The scale of
                government
                > investment in this program will be in the 80 to 90% range also,
                with
                > private revenue sources at the smaller end. It won't just involve a
                > consortium of companies and individuals but a consortium of funding
                > sources and ideas. There is no single method that will achieve
                > humans to Mars, it will take a combination approach on all fronts.
                > But the good news is that Mars advocates can play a major role in
                > this type of program from start to finish. We no longer have to sit
                > on the sidelines while we wait for possible government missions of
                > the far flung future. With the Mars Consortium approach humans
                could
                > be on Mars by 2020. That part is up to us.
                >
                > While we support efforts to get a NASA Mars mission happening in
                the
                > short term and we will keep on holding out hope for a potential
                > private billionaire funding source, this program is designed to
                > operate without either of these options. Our greatest resource
                right
                > now is ourselves, and it is from these beginnings we will start on
                > the road to a human future on Mars. There is no reason for the Mars
                > community to wait around any longer. This is something we can do
                > now. Many ideas for privately funded Mars missions have been
                > proposed before but most of them rely far too much on an "all
                > private" approach. Most of them never get taken very seriously as a
                > result of relying upon unproven and nebulous "revenues" to pay
                for
                > the mission. The difference with this approach is that it is a
                > mostly government funded program but controlled by the private
                > sector. Another advantage of this program is that it does not rely
                > upon any single government for 100% of the funds, the burden of
                cost
                > is spread around.
                >
                > In the past, multiple government involved space missions have been
                > complex to pull off and as the ISS has shown many things can and do
                > go wrong. So let's clear that problem up from the start. This
                > program is NOT a government partnership in the traditional sense.
                > Governments will be paying customers for their part of the program
                > benefits and nothing more. Competition will still exist but in a
                > much more narrow sense. The private consortium will conduct and
                > control the program, not governments. That is another difference
                > here. Governments will be allowed access and given whatever
                benefits
                > their investment is entitled to, but that is as far as their
                > involvement goes.
                >
                > The concept of public private partnerships is somewhat related to
                > this model but some distinctive departures are to be noted such as
                > the low buy in for governments and the private sector doing the
                > original proposals. Unlike needed infrastructure or health related
                > projects of clear benefit to a state, a human Mars program is of
                > limited value, and that is why the private consortium approach
                works-
                > it takes a minimalist approach and expects only small investments
                > from multiple governments to match their low level of interest at
                > this time. Listed below is the 8 step road to Mars-
                >
                > • Wealth
                Building
                > • Self Funding
                > • Non Profit Catalyst
                > • Private Consortium Initiated
                > • Multiple private sources of revenue
                > • Multiple governments as customers
                > • Mars Missions
                > • Human settlements
                >
                > Phase 1:
                >
                > Wealth Building- The Wealth Creation Network has 2 features- 1. It
                > sets up a barter system for members to help each other improve
                their
                > financial status and 2. It gives members access to discounted
                > professional financial advice. The philosophy behind it is to
                > increase the wealth of our own members so that we can indeed fund
                > the early stages of a private humans to Mars program. A third
                aspect
                > of this program is to develop and sell our own brands of goods and
                > services in the space and non space sector as an ongoing revenue
                > stream.
                >
                > Self Funding- Self funding is the only working model of how private
                > space companies and programs are starting up right now and into the
                > foreseeable future. Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Bigelow and Bezos
                > are all examples of this philosophy in action. While we may not
                have
                > such people to call upon, the combined donations or investments of
                > members will perform the same function as one wealthy backer. Will
                > this pay for an entire mission development? Mostly likely not, but
                > it will help to form the Mars Consortium working group made up of
                > high level paid engineers, scientists and other experts required to
                > design and take charge of various aspects of the program.
                >
                > Non profit catalyst- Non profit space groups are filled with
                > enthusiasts and experts in a range of fields and are well suited to
                > be the driving force behind this program. While political and even
                > private programs might get sidetracked, a driving and organizing
                > force behind it made up of true Mars enthusiasts is the ideal
                > foundation for a Mars program of this type. Volunteer efforts can
                be
                > the missing link in a program of this complexity and we want to
                give
                > it its greatest chance for success and so must use as many
                resources
                > as we can find. This sector will serve to keep the program on track
                > and be an independent review body as well.
                >
                > Phase 2:
                >
                > Private Consortium Initiated: The goal here is to help create a
                > consortium of private companies and investors, both profit and non
                > profit who together can control all aspects of this program,
                > especially the parts that require initial seed investments, and it
                > is this consortium that can pitch this program to prospective
                > customers in a credible and professional manner. Some of these
                > members should include aerospace companies that already have
                decades
                > of experience in building hardware for space missions.
                >
                > Multiple private sources of revenue: A private consortium will be
                > open to drawing in as many forms of program funding as possible,
                > both government and private. Many ideas have been investigated over
                > the years from sale of media rights to patent spin offs and it will
                > be the job of the private consortium to attract as many of these as
                > possible. This is something a government agency is not allowed to
                do
                > and for that reason is a superior model.
                >
                > Multiple Governments as customers: One of the weaknesses of
                previous
                > attempts to initiate human missions to Mars (like the Martin
                > Marietta
                attempt with Mars Direct) is that they only appealed to
                one
                > government for funding. There are over 30 nations with some form of
                > space program or research going on and it will be from this list
                > that a private consortium will pitch its mission plan. This primary
                > list of 30 will be supplemented with all other nations as potential
                > customers. The benefit to these customers will be related to
                > scientific fields with exclusive access to data and samples with
                > financial benefits coming from mission development activities in
                > their nations where possible. They will not be "working
                together"
                > with other nations in the traditional sense. The only thing that
                > they will have in common with other nations is that they will be co-
                > funding the program's development. Astronaut places will be sold to
                > the highest bidder also. For example, with 6 crew we could raise
                > potentially 12 Billion just from this aspect, and spread over ten
                > years among several governments buy in cost is low. Funds could be
                > held in trust until there is mission success (or other criteria is
                > met) so that these governments avoid the problem of funding a
                failed
                > mission.
                >
                > Phase 3:
                >
                > Mars Missions: The private consortium will launch a series of small
                > robotic missions and technology demonstrators to establish
                > credibility, test systems and gather valuable data for a human
                > program. This is what will set them apart from previous private
                > attempts. They won't just be "advocating" or
                "pitching" a mission
                > plan, they will be investing substantial amounts in it to ensure
                > that governments can trust them with a complex human program. This
                > will include a for profit sample return mission in the early stages.
                >
                > Human Settlements: This is the ultimate goal. Self sufficiency will
                > be the goal of all early missions to Mars and there will be a build
                > up of settlers and materials in this time. A self sufficient Mars
                is
                > the best way to ensure it becomes a viable player in the new space
                > economy of coming years.
                >

              • spacenutnewmars
                While I could not tell what was Jon s comments from David s I did want to reply to the last received message. Sure a gold mine no problem but unless it is
                Message 7 of 7 , Jan 25, 2009
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                  While I could not tell what was Jon's comments from David's I did
                  want to reply to the last received message.

                  Sure a gold mine no problem but unless it is refined to a very high
                  quality than the plain ore found, even if it is of high level of
                  content is not all that valuable from an investors stand point.

                  We all understand that it is hard to come up with enough money to
                  fund a mission of this sort and that short term investment is not
                  going to get much in direct returns.

                  Mars is long-term investments not only from the fact that it takes
                  along time to go from here to there and back but also due to we are
                  starting from scratch on every level.

                  While we can desire a sample and return we do not as of yet have one
                  in the planning from those that can do it so how can we expect
                  something costing even more to be started.

                  We collectively have done the research into what it will take and the
                  one stumbling block is landing the mass we need in large chunks to
                  the surface.

                  So from an investment point of view would you belly up the money
                  before a mission can occur to a group that has no money to begin
                  with?

                  Sure the items in Louis's comments would go along way to paying for a
                  mission but it is hard to sell something that you have not done
                  before.

                  The case for a consortium which handles the control of funds and
                  generating funds from rights is as sound as any direction to go but
                  unless the partners are willing to give hard cash to the dream for a
                  start then it will be on a slow track.

                  MarsDrive's current efforts to give what little it can to projects in
                  need of funds is a start once these are on there way as it will
                  generate news of the contribution. This may help MarsDrive if
                  successful for its future if the right spin is put on it.

                  We all know the status of MarsDrive's membership, its ability to
                  generate a revenue stream and how it needs to generate somehow
                  critical mass to get the ball really moving.

                  Currently with the site down it is hard to get new membership let
                  alone say we have something of interest for then once they did visit
                  the working pages.

                  MarsDrive is a small organization but one that can be used to
                  leverage communication to all of MS to get the much large numbers to
                  work together under the single name that they share.

                  Sure it may seem like the MS for USA is outsourcing what it would
                  want done but then again it comes down to buying power and cost for
                  what needs to happen. This is no different than the Mars Consortium
                  approach that the group would like to venture to mars with in this
                  aspect.

                  Seeking out universities that could build what we would like is
                  another means to the end for these same projects. Yes I am talking
                  about low cost design, construction and testing but not of quality.

                  In one way MarsDrive has already succeeded in communications outreach
                  as it has members from several forums, organizations and people on
                  several continents being there eyes, ears and mouth for what
                  MarsDrive is trying to communicate. We just need more of us to keep
                  working things.
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