Monday, April 15, 2013

M = Manned Mission to Mars.

When I first considered writing a story located on Mars, I did a lot of speculating about who would settle there first. Of course, I had to consider a conflict situation because a story without conflict is pretty boring. This lead to the idea of having a variety of organizations settle on the red planet, rather than NASA. As we know, rival businesses compete with each other and that rivalry can be fierce. On Mars, when it comes to survival, that competition can be deadly.

But what about in real life?

The goal of man reaching Mars has been considered ever since the 1950s.  Although the plans back in those days were looking forward about 10 to 30 years in the future. Several mission proposals have been submitted by many organizations and space agencies over the years, with little result.  It’s estimated that if a mission to Mars was implemented by NASA it would cost from $30 to $50 billion. However, if done privately the cost would be in the $5 billion dollar range. This, of course, suggests that the private companies operate more efficiently.

So I found it plausible that it would be corporations that make the journey to Mars. But who can afford it? Of course, $5 billion is a lot of money, but it might not be out of range for the very rich. According to Forbes’ 2012 list of billionaires, 205 different individuals have $5 billion or more. Also a group of these people could go in on the project together. But why would they want to do this? The only reason would be publicity and having their name associated with being the first to send humans to Mars. Their names would go down in the history books.

In my story, the purpose of these corporations coming to Mars is because they want to turn Mars into a launching point to reach an Earth-like planet called Hinun. However, things go wrong when Earth authorities no longer allow immigration back to the blue planet. Earth people in general, cut them off. The main characters aren’t even fully aware of the real reasons for this until book two. These organizations soon evolve into military factions. The strongest one, Marscorp, is determined to fight their way back to Earth at all costs. 
In “Seer of Mars”, the Marscorp Admiral Beacon is fascinated with psychic ability. He’s experimented with it for years and manages to develop psychic children, not only for winning wars, but for much more.

Of course, the most difficult thing about a Mars mission is how to get the astronauts back home. Perhaps it would be a one way trip. A group of scientists could end up living out their lives on Mars.

Have a great week.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Total Recall showed the colonization of Mars to be all business.
Would be sad to think once you got there you never came back.
You should check out Ayreon's double disc, The Universal Migrator. The first disc is about the last man on Mars after the Earth has died.

DayDreamer said...

That would give a lot to the book if the characters suddenly found they could no longer return if they wanted to. It's always good to feel you are going forward - in this case to another planet - but it feels better if you have the prop of the past to hold onto and these people no longer do.

Michael Offutt, S.F.A. said...

$50 billion really isn't a lot of money. They spent that on Superstorm Sandy relief. The problem I think is corruption. All that money comes flooding around and corrupt people overcharge for stuff and line their pockets with it.

Jai Joshi said...

A one way trip to scary land! What an interesting story idea. Mars has always fascinated human minds, I love stories that deal with the prospect of actually being there.

Gina Gao said...

The concept of going to an unknown land and never coming back is a scary concept! Nice post.

M Pax said...

Your ideas for settling Mars are fascinating. I have to read your book :)

Rinelle Grey said...

Great idea for a story! There are several corporations planning trips to mars in the next decade or so. One plans to send a couple. I reckon there's some room for conflict in that. And yes, most of them are planning a one way trip. So much potential.

Rinelle Grey