Later today, millionaire and space tourist Dennis Tito is set to announce that he and a group of other wealthy people are going to build a private spaceship and fly to Mars. Yes, while the rest of us are struggling to pay bills, and preparing to deal with massive budget cuts to domestic government programs that keep our communities from falling apart, the One Percent are taking the extra money they have lying around and using it to have adventures in outer space.
Though the word is not yet official, it appears that Tito plans for his rich people’s Mars trip to include human passengers. One clue is that the press conference scheduled for today at the National Press Club will include Jonathan Clark, a professor of “space medicine”. Robotic missions don’t require medical specialists.
Why go to Mars, anyway? I can’t for the life of me figure out what the point of sending a group of human beings to Mars would be… other than vanity. What are human beings going to do on Mars that robots couldn’t do for us instead… other than have a good time and become famous?
These are the same people that we’re told cannot spare a penny more to pay in taxes.