Let's do it. Let's go to Mars. Together. Come on; we almost have to.
Statton, who represents Silicon Valley behemoths Amazon.com and Google, launched a Kickstarter campaign Tuesday, entitled "Creating a Private Mars Colony: The Time Is Now!" The longtime, space-travel enthusiast hopes to raise $186,000 to fund a two-day, colony-planning session in November, with the launch an ebook series called Colony Plan Alpha following in Feb. 2013. Eventually, he hopes to put living, breathing humans on a planet that is not Earth.
Statton claims this is practically his calling:
"Because humans have always been explorers and settlers and this effort ranks among the greatest adventures in history," he wrote in the campaign's FAQ. "Because human life is too important to risk it all on one planet, because of the technological and educational spin-offs, because we are founding a new civilization of a new world."
Though the final objective of Statton's ambitious mission is to eventually oversee the birth of Mars's first native human, the attorney readily admits that there's no plan in place yet for colonizing the planet. Rather, Statton simply wants to gather some of the brightest minds in extreme engineering, business development, and private space exploration to "assess the mission and business structure needed to achieve a first landing and Colony creation. (Why that needs $186,000 and not just a premium version of TinyChat is beyond us.)
Once that goes down, Statton hopes to set up a nonprofit corporation and invest earnings into colony development.
"We will start small (perhaps four [people]) and build over time," he wrote. "As reference points, NASA has been engaging in Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRM) expedition planning efforts since the 1990’s aimed at sustaining a six-person expedition for about 500 days. We’ve seen serious permanent Colony plans for approximately 30-40. Ultimately we seek a permanent, close to self-sufficient, growing presence."
Statton envisions the total price tag amounting to something closer to $20 billion, roughly $14 billion more than Dutch company Mars One budgeted just last week. That should cover the initial landing of the first four colonists and two years of life support in the way of food, clothing, and presumably oxygen. (By the way, with only 17 left to go, Statton's campaign is stuck at $205.)
"This is the single biggest adventure in history and the opportunities for media rights sales, licensing and sponsorship have been estimated to be valued up to $150 billion. … Crudely put, we are going to sell Mars in order to colonize Mars."
Fine, OK Statton, but can someone check to see if the martians are cool with this?
Photo via YouTube