- July 28, 2022
Space Advocates Think A Movie Will Send Humans to Mars. If Only.
Mars, national infrastructure, and dispelling myths, OP Ed, Chris Carberry and Blake Ortner, The Hill
“In addition to inflated perceptions of cost, some believe that when budgets for space missions are proposed, this constitutes entirely new spending (on top of the current NASA budget projections). In reality, the majority of mission budgets come from funds already projected within the NASA budget – it’s mostly a decision of how we decide to use these NASA funds. This fall presents an ideal opportunity to engage the candidates. Mars exploration will be a hot topic as a result of the upcoming film adaption of Andrew Weir’s novel, The Martian, that will arrive in theaters and generate a lot of discussion on the real prospects of human missions to Mars. Later in October, NASA will be presenting a workshop to select ten potential landing sites for human missions to Mars. The workshop is an important milestone for advocates of human exploration of Mars and will help connect the science fiction film, The Martian, with a very real potential future.”
Keith’s note: Yawn, these space advocates still hope that a Hollywood movie will shift the political calculus when it comes to sending humans to Mars. I most fervently wish them good luck in this regard. I’d love to see it happen. Alas, over the course of the past half century of space exploration and space movies this has yet to happen.
They also repeat the perennial space advocate complaint that “the general public and many policymakers have a vastly inflated perspective of the cost of human space exploration.” OK Chris Carberry and Blake Ortner, can you tell us what your Humans to Mars Mission would cost – total amount and yearly run out? Can you also summarize the processes whereby the taxpaying public can be assured that cost overruns ala SLS, ISS, Shuttle, Mars Curiosity, will not occur? Oh yes – please show me where I can find details of the NASA budget increases that resulted from the blockbusters “Gravity” and “Interstellar”. You can post your details in the comments section. Sometimes the problem with the cost of sending humans to Mars is not a large scary number rather its that no one comes up with the same large scary number – nor the source of the money required for *any* humans to Mars scenario.
Space advocates never explain why the remaining 99.99999% of the people who will pay for the humans to Mars thing should want to do so – especially when there are things that people see as being more relevant/important to themselves and their families. As Alan Ladwig recently noted
NSF NIH gets budget increases – more than NASA – but no one makes movies about them.
– Space Movies Do Not Drive Space Policy, earlier post
– Space Advocacy By Space Advocates Is A Failure, earlier post
– Why Worry About Public Support For NASA If It Really Doesn’t Matter?, earlier post
– Pioneering Space National Summit: So Far, Nothing But Crickets, earlier post
– Hollow Promises From Stealthy Inept Space Advocacy Organizations, earlier post
– Humans to Mars Summit: Wayne Hale Tells it Like it is, earlier post