Copyright © 2004 by Brian L. Enke. Published by the Mars Society with permission.
MANNED MARS MISSION ECONOMICS:
CONTEXT, PERSPECTIVE, AND PUBLIC PERCEPTION
Southwest Research Institute
Boulder, Colorado, USA
The American public perceives that space exploration is an expensive endeavor. This opinion is constantly reinforced by the news media and is reflected in several recent public opinion surveys. In particular, a manned exploration mission to Mars is deemed to be vastly expensive. After a proper context and perspective are established, however, a different picture emerges.
This paper will baseline a plausible level of investment required to conduct a robust, manned Mars exploration mission. The author will then establish a proper context for this level of investment, focusing on both primary funding-source domains: public (American taxpayer dollars) and private (corporate or individual benefactors). "Take-Home Points" will briefly encapsulate key concepts.