Will we send tourist civilians into space before mounting an expedition to Mars?

Author: fauxlaw ,

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  • fauxlaw
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    While watching the launch of the "Resilience" SpaceX dragon capsule tonight, and a recurring discussion of the possibility of at least billionaire civilian tourist travel into space in the near future, I wondered whether the tourist launch would precede a Mars expedition? Thoughts? Why?
  • SirAnonymous
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    --> @fauxlaw
    If I were a betting man, which I'm not, I'd place really good odds on space tourism preceding a Mars expedition. Congress isn't willing to cough up the money for a Moon shot, let alone a Mars shot. Simply put, the public will to fund something that expensive just isn't there. On the other hand, space tourism has a clear chance to make profit and doesn't require federal funding.
  • fauxlaw
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    --> @SirAnonymous
    Should I charge you rent for space in my head? Kidding. My exact thoughts, as well.
  • SirAnonymous
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    --> @fauxlaw
    I'm Illuminati, and you weren't wearing your tinfoil beanie.

    More seriously, I think what I said was pretty clear to anyone who pays much attention to space exploration. No bucks, no Buck Rogers.
  • oromagi
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    --> @fauxlaw
    We have already made multiple Mars expeditions so I assume you mean a manned, landing on Mars.  The next cheapest/quickest window is 2036-37 which I think is possible but there are multiple tech obstacles to overcome first which means big spending now- not likely.  China may be more likely to make a try than US.

    If space tourism includes short trips in low Earth orbit than we already have that tech and a number of private interests of which SpaceX has demonstrated real capability.

    So, yes.  Almost certainly space tourism first.
  • oromagi
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    Congress isn't willing to cough up the money for a Moon shot, let alone a Mars shot.
    The next US manned orbit around the Moon is Artemis II, scheduled for August 2023.  The next manned lunar landing is Artemis III scheduled for Oct 2024.  It is still quite possible these may still be delayed or cancelled but these have been a major NASA project underway since 2010 and its been a big international effort so cancelling would be a major diplomatic headache.  NASA has 6 additional planned after 2024 but the schedule and funding for these is much much sketchier than Artemis III.  

    But I would say that at least one more moonshot in the near term is pretty likely with a fair amount of cash and effort already invested/
  • fauxlaw
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    --> @SirAnonymous
    absolutely agree