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      CommentAuthorOsmosis
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2013
     (11000.1)
    Some rich Uncle Scrooge douchebags are building replica Titanics so they can live out their Victorian period drama fantasies of spitting on poor people and groping maids.

    Other rich douchebags are doing what you're supposed to do when your personal net worth outstrips a small country: sending people to motherfucking Mars.

    Dennis Tito, you mad, beautiful, insanely rich douchebag.
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2013
     (11000.2)
    hah! Absolute insanity and a good first step toward potential colonisation. Yes, I said it! I still want us to colonise Mars, even though I'm unlikely to see it happen in my lifetime, despite some people's best efforts.
  1.  (11000.3)
    I suspect that colonising a hostile, far-away environment requires either desperation or insanity. Thank whatever gods are listening that some lunatics are rich!
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      CommentAuthorsneak046
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2013
     (11000.4)
    Nothing is more symbolic of the retreat from proper Space exploration than using private money to slingshot a pair of baby-boomers around Mars.

    .
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2013
     (11000.5)
    Note that:
    a) There are a lot of proposed Mars missions. Most of them go nowhere.
    but
    b) Tito is a bit more credible than some proponents, because he is both a millionaire and a former JPL engineer.
    but
    c) They don't actually have the money. Tito is funding the "Inspiration Mars Foundation"; the Foundation is supposed to fund the mission itself through philanthropic donations.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2013
     (11000.6)
    If they're taking advertising money, Apple could afford this.

    Red Bull might be able to, and if they could, probably would. They're whose doors I'd be knocking on if I were Tito.
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2013
     (11000.7)
    I believe they're looking for $1-2bn from "sponsorship opportunities, media rights, and private donations". (I imagine that's a low, low ball number). The most expensive ad campaign I could find mentioned (from 2 minutes on Google) was a 5 year Citibank campaign, said to cost about $1b - so the scales aren't too dissimilar. (Both the Romney and Obama 2012 election campaigns cost about $0.8-0.9b, for a bit more comparison).

    On the other hand: Imagine being in a pitch meeting. You are the most powerful and brilliant ad exec in the history of selling snow to Eskimos. A pack of nerds have arrived and are trying to tell you that their plan - to send a couple of senior citizens in a can around but not to the surface of Mars - is going to increase the sales of the company you represent by two billion dollars plus profit.

    Yeah.
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      CommentAuthorcurb
    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2013
     (11000.8)
    ... and the mission you're sponsoring might well kill those two seniors, to boot! Ka-ching!
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2013
     (11000.9)
    On the other hand, your brand name goes into history alongside Magellan, Drake, Columbus, Armstrong...

    For any company that's actually got, say, ten or twenty times the cash reserves, it should be a pretty easy decision to make and the only difficulty would be outbidding everyone else who wanted to do it.

    Hell, there are probably around fifty private individuals in the world that are liquid enough to fund this. The problem, really, is demonstrating that it's actually viable with the available technology. If that can be done, I've got no doubt that there are enough companies or people vain enough to dedicated to human advancement enough to buy themselves a place in history.

    Forget cryogenics, this is how to become immortal.
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      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2013
     (11000.10)
    I feel billionaires have a social obligation to at least waste their money on Quixotic ventures rather than buying fur covered pillows.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2013
     (11000.11)
    The thing to remember too, is that the money isn't just being sent on a rocket to Mars, it's paying for a hell of a lot of science to be done.