PRIVATE MARS LANDING: FAST RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Outer Space Industrial Resources Investigations Systems
I am a research scientist, and in relation to a private mission to Mars I have already heard wails of horrified anguish from colleagues in the scientific community decrying commercialization of a mission to Mars. They are saying that advertising logos from McDonaldŐs and Taco Johns pasted on the outside of a Mars spacecraft, childrenŐs action figures, television advertising jingles, and the sale of Martian gems and other materials demean this glorious planet, and that only pure science should prevail. They say the same of commerce on the Moon, and in Earth orbit. Space tourism is seen as the last word in insult to the pristine cleanliness of space.
From the start, the Mars mission project must function as a modern commercial entity. It must be streamlined, efficient, and have its actions dictated by the marketplace. It must advertise itself, produce as many viable high-quality commercial products as possible, get them onto the shelves by Christmas (so to speak), and abandon product lines when they are no longer profitable. It must stay constantly aware of the consumersŐ desires and values. This includes not only product cost and quality, but also other concerns such as mission safety, project effects on Earth and Mars environments, and similar issues. At the same time, it must weigh consumer concerns against fiscal reality and investorsŐ desires. Creative partnering and planning can overcome all obstacles. The Mars Society must begin to nail down now every patent and copyright relating to the mission to Mars that it possibly can. These patents and copyrights will become of great financial importance as the Mars Society planning progresses.
Carefully planned, with thorough commercial acumen and sound business practices, the Mars Society can give rise to the most successful business enterprises the world has ever seen. A new world awaits us, an entire planet. It is unmined, untrekked, with vistas never before seen and perhaps snow slopes that have never felt the touch of a downhill ski. We can fix that! Untouched since the beginning of time, humanity will come to explore, research, and live.