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originally posted by: Thirty6BelowZero
Why not just make Mars a prison colony. No worries, ever again, about an escapee.
originally posted by: Namdru
a reply to: Emit1
The fastest way to terraform Mars is to nuke the vast resevoirs of water ice hidden underneath its drifting dusts and sands. There's vastly more water than anyone suspected before. Imagine of all of earth's water were buried in the form of layers of dust, sand, and compacted snow. That's the situation on Mars. Nuke that and you've got water, plus a huge amount of atmospheric vapor. It just might make Mars suitable to grow again.
It would be a great loss to astro-archeology but a great gain for lucky humans trying to escape the wreck that Earth will be in a hundred years or less.
Margasahayam points out that, while the space shuttles were more expensive — a whopping $500 million per launch (or possibly $1.5 billion, according to one analysis we've seen) — each mission carried about 50,000 lbs. (plus seven astronauts!). That means each pound of cargo used to cost about $10,000 to ship on a shuttle.
Orbital Science's Cygnus spacecraft costs about $43,180 per pound to send things up, dividing the $1.9 billion contract by the maximum 20 metric tons of cargo the company is supposed to supply.
For SpaceX — the cheapest of NASA's new carriers — dividing the cost of each launch ($133 million) by the cargo weight of its most recent resupply mission (5,000 lbs.) gives you about $27,000 per pound.
But that's a high estimate. SpaceX told Tech Insider that its Dragon cargo spacecraft launched on a Falcon 9 rocket can carry up to 7,300 lbs. — and that you could bring just as much cargo back to Earth, too (something Cygnus can't do). So if a Dragon is full of supplies at launch and on landing, the cost dips to $9,100 per pound.
originally posted by: eriktheawful
a reply to: Emit1
Cost a lot to do it, and no one sees any profit in it. Not yet anyways.
But the start up cost is tremendous.....still pennies compared to trying to terraform and colonize a whole other planet though.