Richard Branson Wants to Start A Population on Mars
September 21, 2012 12:01 AM
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His spaceflight company, Virgin Galactic, is set to start making commercial flights in a year
Richard Branson is hoping to be one of the first humans to
as space travel enters an era of commercial flight.
Branson, CEO of Virgin Airlines, discussed his future space plans for both his spaceflight company --
-- and his potential settlement on Mars.
Possibly in the next year, Virgin Galactic will lead the shift into commercial spaceflight, taking anyone who can pay $200,000 on a two-hour trip beyond Earth.
"It's going to be absolutely incredible because finally people...ordinary people will be able to have a chance to become astronauts, go into space," said Branson. "There are only 500 people who have ever been into space. They are the privileged astronauts...we just want to enable people to become astronauts and experience it."
He went on to say that "hundreds of thousands" of people will take part in the commercial space program. In fact, Branson and his children will be the first people on a Virgin Galactic flight next year.
Commercial spaceflight comes at a time when U.S. government space agency NASA has retired its space shuttle fleet and temporarily suspended a way for American astronauts to get to the International Space Station (except via Russian Soyuz rockets). This is where the private sector has stepped in, where companies like California-based SpaceX has since shipped its
Dragon capsule to the ISS
for the delivery of supplies. Virgin Galactic is another member of the private space sector, but it is focusing more on commercial flights that anyone can take.
Branson went on to describe the future of American spaceflight, saying that people will eventually settle on Mars -- and he hopes to be one of the first.
"In my lifetime, I'm determined to being apart of starting a population on Mars," said Branson. "I think it is absolutely realistic. It will happen."
Branson isn't alone in dreams of life on Mars. SpaceX is also developing
a reusable orbital launch system
that would make spaceflight affordable and permanent Mars settlement a reality.
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RE: Reality Check
9/21/2012 11:23:24 AM
There is no reason in the world that colonizing Mars should be completely neglected just because we haven't colonized the Moon, or inhabited every last place on Earth.
We have more than enough resources to develop everything you stated
as well as a plan for colonizing Mars
at the same time. We might even develop technologies that may assist in the other endeavours.
Does the government need to be involved? No, but there is no reason that the private sector (like Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic) should be held back.
RE: Reality Check
9/22/2012 9:50:49 AM
"Does the government need to be involved? No, but there is no reason that the private sector (like Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic) should be held back."
What you don't see is that it's the government that pays most of the bill even for private companies.
RE: Reality Check
9/23/2012 6:24:58 AM
Not for mars. But for ISS supply trips.
And if everything play correctly private sector will be able to provide cheaper solutions there.
Gov. on the other hand is not paying for mars trips. Moon maybe is on the road map (but for NASA trips, not turists trips). Mars is not. And if it will be, than it will be for NASA trips (or some interop between japan, eu, usa)
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