[ExI] Elon's IAC presentation

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Wed Sep 28 20:18:05 UTC 2016





I notice he fails to address what all those people would actually be doing
to make a living on Mars.  Even assuming he could get $1 trillion to fund
this thing - more than enough to take a million people over there and
emplace starting infrastructure, at the costs he's quoting - that's still a
finite amount of money, that will eventually run out.  If they aren't doing
anything that makes it worthwhile, to them, to stick around and raise
families there...well, that's how ghost towns happen.  On smaller scale
space missions, we've been calling that result "flags and footprints".

A self-sustaining colony must be financially self-sustaining as well, and
there will inevitably be ties back to Earth so they will participate in the
(multi-)global economy.  (If there were no such ties then financial
self-sustenance would be trivial: no costs, therefore no income needed.
But this is not the case.)  This has been the case with every long-lived
colony on Earth so far, and there is reason to believe this applies in
space too.
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