Tags: America's Forum | Bob Walker | Mars | colonization

Ex-Rep. Bob Walker: Astronomical Costs Could Derail Mars Colony

By    |   Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 12:57 PM

The proposition by a Dutch company to send humans to Mars is a great idea, according to former Congressman Bob Walker, but raising the exorbitant amount of money needed to make it happen is questionable.

"I'm one of the great proponents of the idea of commercializing what we do in space," Walker said Thursday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

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"I will say though that there are a lot of hurdles to get over. I mean building a rocket capable of going to Mars is an extremely expensive enterprise," Walker said.

"The other thing is that the people who are volunteering for this, ultimately to colonize, they're being told it's a one-way trip.

"So that's an issue, and then just going on and raising the kinds of funds that will be necessary for such trip — meaning in addition to sending people there, you've got to send advanced supplies there, which means that you're going to have to have a number of rockets to go out that far into space, and those are going to be an expensive enterprise ... it's going to be a very expensive thing to equip those rockets with the provisions that would be needed on the surface of Mars."

The goal of the nonprofit Mars One Foundation is to secure major sponsorships to fund the voyage but "whether or not you can come up with sponsors capable of putting up what will amount to being hundreds of billions of dollars is an open question," Walker said.

Mars One, created to establish permanent human life on Mars, has announced that it has narrowed its list of applicants to 100, from more than 202,000, for the planned 2024 one-way trip to the Red Planet.

The solar system is clearly the next macrocosm to explore, according to Walker, who noted that he headed a commission to discuss creating a plan to have man explore the entire solar system within this century.

"We need to begin building the technology to do that," he said. "Orion is one step in that technology. I would prefer to see us be developing nuclear engines so that you could power your spacecraft all the way out to Mars and then beyond. That we're not doing at the present time, [but] we should be."

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The proposition by a Dutch company to send humans to Mars is a great idea, according to former Congressman Bob Walker, but raising the exorbitant amount of money needed to make it happen is questionable.
Bob Walker, Mars, colonization
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2015-57-19
Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 12:57 PM
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