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Company to Settle and Mine Mars

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the places-i-would-like-to-be dept.

Space 526

Rutgersen writes "Wired is reporting that a new startup is planning to colonize and mine Mars by 2025. From the article: 'The new company, 4Frontiers, plans to mine Mars for building materials and energy sources, and export the planet's mineral wealth to forthcoming space stations on the moon and elsewhere.'"

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How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501580)

I didn't read the article. Someone tell me how they are going to achieve this.

Re:How? (2, Insightful)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501630)

if you're interested in knowing maybe you should read the article

Re:How? (1)

m4dm4n (888871) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501826)

I read the article, and I can definitely see them achieving this...

The theme park part that is:
One plan is to build a full-scale version of the planned Mars settlement and charge visitors to tour the "Mars Settlement Research and Outreach Center."

Re:How? (2, Funny)

Transdimentia (840912) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501664)

What did you say? I didn't read your response.

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501822)

lol what?

Re:How? (5, Funny)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501683)

I DID read the article. Someone please tell ME how they are going to achieve this.

Re:How? (2, Funny)

Alystair (617164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501732)

Rumour has it that a little known company, Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC), is also funding the project! Even then Budget was too minimal, so HTSC (harsh terrain survival kits) and duct tape were cut off the budget.

More like it (5, Funny)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501587)

This is the kind of news I expect to read in 2005. Cool.

Re:More like it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501666)

What news? All I can see is "You need Macromedia Flash to view this shite.".

1. Learn what a website is.
2. Colonize whatever
3. ???
4. Taco's a fag!!!

Re:More like it (1)

Metteyya (790458) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501805)

There has been plans (even written down to level of details, like methods of aquiring methane and converting it to water) of colonizing Mars short after landing on Moon. So, this "kind of news" is present in media since early 70-ties.

hmm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501588)

In Soviet Russia Mars mines and colonizes you.

I'm skeptical to say the least.

The company is using futuristing computing also (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501589)

I hear this company is using the following computers:
6.8GHz 1TB RAM and 2TB HDD Laptop

Re:The company is using futuristing computing also (1)

m4dm4n (888871) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501787)

Yup, they develop a time machine 20 years from now from the profits they make on mars and send back the necessary tech to make this happen.

Wow. (0, Flamebait)

CynicalGuy (866115) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501591)

What a retarded idea.

Yes! It's the wrong year! (2, Funny)

Agarax (864558) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501806)

Why are they going to start colonizing other planets the same year I start to hit a midlife crisis? I'll never make it off this rock at this rate!

Numerials! (3, Funny)

Tachikoma (878191) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501592)

Something about companies that have numerals in their names just makes them seem so reputable and trustworthy! I'm gonna sell my house and buy a butt-load of stock in them!!

Re:Numerials! (2, Funny)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501647)

Something about companies that have numerals in their names just makes them seem so reputable and trustworthy! I'm gonna sell my house and buy a butt-load of stock in them!!

It's safer to diversify. May I suggest that you invest half in them and half in our company -- 69ers Incorporated?

(It's a mining company, of course.)

Re:Numerials! (5, Funny)

Proaxiom (544639) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501654)

I myself am a bit wary of investing in a company whose business plan consists of collecting lots of cash and taking off to Mars with it.

Re:Numerials! (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501860)

Within a few years all this Mars stuff will be sold off to a firm in China and 4Frontiers will concentrate its resources on providing "web services".

Re:Numerials! (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501673)

yeah... I was just reading about this fly-by-night operation called "3Com"... hope no one got suckered into them!

Late Breaking News: (5, Funny)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501596)


Today bleak despair swept across our fair world when it was revealed by the Council that the invaders from the evil blue planet have formalized their invasion plans, and may arrive in force in as little as ten years.

K'Breel, Speaker for the Council, stressed that there was no cause for alarm:

"Noble Citizens, I tell you that the disgusting inhabitants of the evil blue planet will not find us easy prey. We will never surrender. We will never give up. We will fight them on the dunes. We will fight them on the plains. We will fight them in the cities. We will fight them in the canals. We will fight them to the edge of the empire, but we will never, never, Never, Never, NEVER SURRENDER!"

During the hyper-patriotic riot that followed, several Citizens were trampled. In its infinite Wisdom, the Great Council has posthumously decorated them as war heroes.

If it's too good to be true... (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501602)

As the old saying goes, "if it's too good to be true, it probably is."

Still, it's nice to see someone attempting to hold to their dreams. And I'd dearly love to believe that they will carry out such dreams. Unfortunately, I (and many others here) understand what a massive undertaking it is to reach Mars at all, much less place a settlement there. Nearly every company in existance bases itself on existing infrastructures. This company would be able to leverage very little infrastructure, if any at all! (Especially if they chose to use the wealth of undeveloped space technology.)

I'd love to see their breakdown of exactly how they plan to make this mission happen, and on what buget they think they're going to acheive it on. Will they use existing rocketry technology, or will they develop their own? What are the precise economic goals? Will they be relying on any other efforts (e.g. the CEV) to achieve their goals? Just how do they think they're going to get approval for nuclear propulsion? (See the Jobs page under Engineering.) Do they have any experience in these areas, or are they making it up as they go?

No. There are far too many variables to count for me to take this on face value. There simply isn't enough info. Perhaps others could shed some light on their long-term plans?

Update: It looks like the partly plan to make their money by building the technological infrastructure themselves. According to this document [4frontiers.com] , they feel that they could be turning a $29.7 million dollar profit by 2010, 15 years before they establish their settlement! This document [marshome.org] supposedly shows their plan of attack, but it seems so preliminary that it suggests that the company plans to make it up as they go along.

Re:If it's too good to be true... (5, Interesting)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501682)

From their site: Development of intellectual property applied to the four frontiers, R&D programs, educational and demonstration programs for students and the public at large will frame the uniqueness of 4Frontiers.

How exactly is "intellectual property" going to be enforced once you leave the confines of our planet? Assuming they (or someone) can create a viable, long term colony on mars, the moon, a space station, wherever, no laws will apply to them. They could manufacture anything they want. Want a SpaceBose stereo? How about a copy of MicroSpace Windows? Who wants a MoonPorche?

I really hope the US doesn't assume the role of pushing our laws and practices into the 'final frontier.' But the question is, who gets to start the process? Do we leave it up to private companies? Whoever has the strongest military?

Re:If it's too good to be true... (2, Insightful)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501774)

I'd like to see your military make it to Mars. He'll I'd like to see your space program make it to Mars.

Ain't gonna happen.

If Mars is self-sufficient, you might be right (4, Insightful)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501849)

``they (or someone) can create a viable, long term colony on mars, the moon, a space station, wherever, no laws will apply to them''

As long as they need to trade with Earth for at least one essential items, Earth will be able to browbeat them into accepting copyright conventions.

Re:If it's too good to be true... (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501703)

I'd love to see their breakdown of exactly how they plan to make this mission happen, and on what buget they think they're going to acheive it on. Will they use existing rocketry technology, or will they develop their own? What are the precise economic goals? Will they be relying on any other efforts (e.g. the CEV) to achieve their goals? Just how do they think they're going to get approval for nuclear propulsion? (See the Jobs page under Engineering.) Do they have any experience in these areas, or are they making it up as they go?

They are betting on the fact that people don't require any of that to give money away. They are "hiring" people for a company that is full of freedom and is pro-exploration but gives no solid foundation of how they will remain employed.

Making plastics is great and all but how do you expect to get people there and start the colony so that people can actually make these items w/the materials that are so readily available?

Update: It looks like the partly plan to make their money by building the technological infrastructure themselves. According to this document, they feel that they could be turning a $29.7 million dollar profit by 2010, 15 years before they establish their settlement! This document supposedly shows their plan of attack, but it seems so preliminary that it suggests that the company plans to make it up as they go along.

Just as I pointed out before, without actually saying it, this is very similiar to any dotcom startup in the 1990s. No true business model, no real plan, and no real company. Just a bunch of money and the web.

This is nothing more than an advertisement to gain capital.

Re:If it's too good to be true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501739)

Still, it's nice to see someone attempting to hold to their dreams
In all likelihood they're really trying to swindle someone else out of their dreams.

Re:If it's too good to be true... (2, Interesting)

SirChris (676927) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501799)

They should develop a civilan based military like group of people, since we all know once they get out there there is going to be a big question of who is in charge. No courts? police? virgins? What mayhem could people that far away create with noone but themselves to put them in check

Re:If it's too good to be true... (1)

carn1fex (613593) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501825)

Hm the documents could have used some outside consulting during editing. The crayola drawing of the CEO lighting the "Roket" with a match while firing his blaster at teethy aliens might hinder them convincing venture capitalists they know how to leverage dynamic market synergies.

Ooooh - Aliens! (2, Funny)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501604)

mine Mars for building materials and energy sources

Proof of an extinct alien life form then - fossilized bricks and dynamos.

pesky humans.. (3, Funny)

abes (82351) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501606)

Great, there goes the neighborhood!

NASA (2, Funny)

xlr8ed (726203) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501607)

Someone should inform NASA so that they can remove any of their probes on the Martian surface. They cost a lot of money and I'm sure NASA would want to know if they are in danger.

Right (3, Insightful)

Mukaikubo (724906) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501608)

I know the typical Slashdot geeks will wet their pants over this, but this simply isn't reasonable, guys.

Mine WHAT? The economics and physics of the situation are such that Martian material is valuable for using on Mars or in Mars orbit. That's IT. And even then, what does Mars have? The only really importnant thing is organic chemicals and suchlike, because otherwise it is boring mineral slag.

Re:Right (2, Interesting)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501766)

Good point. Another good point to consider is that when they do go and look around and start mining all this material, who's going to say it's safe for import to Earth? We have no idea if there is life on Mars, but I'd bet my slim fortune that if there is life on Mars, it's microbial and probably not too friendly with our own biological systems. For all we know, it may even be downright dangerous, highly infectious, and could wipe out all life on Earth.

Who's going to be in charge of ensuring the safety of our planet when these yahoos go out and start dragging rocks home? Sure, Moon rocks were brought back to Earth without any grave consequences since the Moon is a sterile cinder floating in vacuum, but we just don't know enough about Martian biology to start considering bringing back *anything*.

Knowing what I know about how private industries operate, I wouldn't trust them to ensure our planetary ecosystem's safety.

Re:Right (1)

Mukaikubo (724906) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501838)

The bigger concern honestly is contaminating Mars and ruining a search for life there. That could be an unprecedented scientific screwup and definitely one I could see a private company doing.

Re:Right (2, Funny)

RevengeOfPoopJuggler (872968) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501804)

They have all that beautiful orange dirt. Our current technology cannot produce orange dirt. There is a huge market here for orange dirt, we just need someone to go to Mars and mine it.

Re:Right (0, Flamebait)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501870)

Nevertheless, you have to admire the intent.

Rather than dealing with democracy and politics and the opinions of "the people" and dealing with environmental regulations and countless other limitations and concerns by other parties, these guys would jump ahead of everyone else by beating people and governments to the punch, essentially owning and controlling whatever they can touch out there. Who's going to stop them?

It's good to know that, in the future, corporations will not be hampered by government regulations or the will of the people. Space needs to be "first come, first served". If Wal-Mart and Exxon read everything in the solar system first, then damn it, they should get to do with it what they wish.

Also, I think it is a brilliant idea to continue burning fuels and manufacturing things that have toxic byproducts on this planet, with resources imported from the rest of the galaxy. That way we don't have to limit ourselves to just poisoning ourselves with the limited local resources, but can import them from off-world and poison ourselves to now end. PERFECT!

This will also be good for the average American. By the time they accomplish this, most American's will be jobless. Remember, Americans are lazy, un-creative and unable to compete with the rest of the world. Once all of our jobs (short of janitorial work) have been exported, ventures such as this will provide us with wonderful opportunities to be employed once again, providing physical labor mining and processing goods on other planets (at least, until they are able to automate it). Corporate extra-terrestrial slavery/employment will be our one way to remain relevant in the world.

Hurrah!

Yeah, and I will cure cancer in 2045 (5, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501610)

All of these future claims are just investment ballons floated to fleece the easily duped. There are plenty of technological problems associated with mining Mars including lifting the mined material off the surface. Bob Park wrote in his book "Voodoo Science" that it would cost more than $800USD to put ~$300USD of gold into orbit. His conclusion was that if gold were available in low-Earth orbit, it wouldn't pay to go get it. That is the first thing they teach in an economic geology course.

The materials on Mars are no different than here on Earth, only the abundances are different. So you mine a bunch of aluminosilicates [anl.gov] and then what? Do these people realize how much energy it takes to break those bonds? Where is their proposed power source? The amount of solar energy reaching Mars is less than here on Earth. I hope they weren't counting on that source. Nuclear energy might be useful, but I don't know of anyone who has done a uranium assay of Martian ores. Are we going to ship power to Mars? How is that cost effective?

Unless these people have gone through a complete analysis of what it costs to go to Mars then I can't see how any of them can make any claim of profitability, let alone put a target date on their venture.

Re:Yeah, and I will cure cancer in 2045 (1)

abes (82351) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501717)

Without doubt there are many logistics (and technology) to work out. So while perhaps it is very (if not extremely) forward looking, it might not be without merit either.

For example, with our progression towards automanufacturing, it might possible for self-constructing robotic colonies (in the far future) to not only collect of resources, but creating the necessary products, tools, etc. as well.

Why bother on Mars? Well, assuming that we don't care about possible life forms there that may or may not exist, it saves us from further destroying the Earth. Not just mining, but think about manufacturing processes. Besides which, if we're ever going to get off this planet, and take over the galaxy, we need to start somewhere. It will be a great drive to develop needed technology.

As for energy, there are the obvious sources (like nuclear or solar). Perhaps by then we will have better methods..

Re:Yeah, and I will cure cancer in 2045 (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501812)

Not just mining, but think about manufacturing processes.

Yes, but what will you make and how will you get it to market?

That is the same problem that faces these folks who want to move far away from civilization here on the EARTH. They pick some lonely stretch of highway, put a trailer on the side of the road, and open up a store. The number of potential customers is 5 per month. They wonder silently why they are going broke.

This plot is right out of the Martian Chronicles.

As for energy, there are the obvious sources (like nuclear or solar).

1) No one knows how much uranium exists on Mars, much less where it is.

2) The amount of solar radiation hitting Mars is less than Earth.

Not enough power to make shit for people who aren't around to buy it.

Sorry, but this is just a pure business scam.

Gerald Bull (1)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501802)

Gerald Bull [wikipedia.org] was actually on his way of getting payload into orbit with a gun, as opposed to a rocket. I'm pretty sure he would have succeeded, were he allowed to continue his research.

Finally, what about the space elevator [wikipedia.org] ?

My point is, reaching orbit is going to get cheaper, one way or the other

Re:Gerald Bull (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501869)

My point is, reaching orbit is going to get cheaper, one way or the other

Possibly. But to formulate a business plan on the slimest of possibilities sounds like a scam. We might be able to levitate the stuff into orbit; want to invest?

And Gerald Bull was killed in Belgium because of his obsession with building his space cannon. I don't think I want to end up like ol' Gerald.

Re:Yeah, and I will cure cancer in 2045 (1)

geckofiend (314803) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501843)

Ahhh yes, and computers are so big nobody will ever have on in their home.

Re:Yeah, and I will cure cancer in 2045 (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501876)

So you mine a bunch of aluminosilicates and then what? Do these people realize how much energy it takes to break those bonds?

It really doesn't matter, because they've already developed and implemented a method to make a profit by seperating the bond between a fool and his money. The only resource they're going to tap into are the rich supply of suckers readily available here on Earth.

what day is it?... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501617)

crazy company day. Will these frontiersmen be taking atomic computers with them?

What an awesome idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501618)

What could possibly go wrong [imdb.com] ?

I've heard this before... (1)

underling (302237) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501619)

Will the company be called "Union Aerospace Corporation?"

Reak site (4, Funny)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501622)


Hmm... their real website seems to be slashdotted:

http://www.ua-corp.com/ [ua-corp.com]

Nope, don't think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501623)

The capital required for such an endeavor may be just out of a startup's ability to procure.

FIRST KATRINA 419 POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501625)

DEAR SIR,

WITH DUE RESPECT AND HUMILITY, I WRITE THIS LETTER THAT I MAY REQUEST YOUR ASSISTANCE IN A DELICATE MATTER OF GREAT IMPORTANCE. I RECEIVED YOUR ADDRESS FROM A CONTACT AT THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA) WHO WAS IN NEW ORLEANS. MY FATHER WAS CAUGHT IN THE TRAGIC AFTERMATH OF THE TERRIBLE STORM HURRICANE KATRINA, AND THOUGH HE FOUGHT VALIANTLY, DROWNED IN HIS HOME. IT WAS TWO DAYS BEFORE THAT HE INFORMED ME OF THE EXISTENCE OF A LOCKED BOX ON UNHARMED LAND IN THE FRENCH QUARTER CONTAINING VALUABLES AND CASH SUM OF $20,350,000 DOLLARS (US).

I HAVE ESCAPED THE STORM IN NEW ORLEANS AND AM CURRENTLY RESIDING IN HOUSTON IN THE ASTRODOME STADIUM. IN ORDER TO AVOID RAISING AN EYEBROW OVER THE HUGH SUM OF MONEY CONTAINED IN THIS LOCKED BOX, I DESPOSITED IT WITH A SECURITY ORGANIZATION FOR SAFEKEEPING PURPOSES. BE INFORMED THAT THE SECURITY ORGANIZATION IS UNAWARE OF THE TRUE CONTENTS OF THIS BOX AND WE DO NOT WANT THEM TO KNOW OF ITS VALUE.

YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO OPEN A NON RESIDENCE BANK ACCOUNT IN ANY BANK OF YOUR CHOICE IN TEXAS AND GET THE MONEY DEPOSITED IN THE ACCOUNT, THERE AFTER YOU ORDER THE BANK MANAGER TO TRANSFER THE MONEY TO YOUR ACCOUNT. YOU SHALL SOURCE FOR GOOD INVESTMENT FOR US SO THAT WE MAY INVEST THE MONEY WISELY.

CONCERING THE MONEY, WE ARE PREPARED TO GIVE YOU A REASONABLE SUM OF 40% OF THE TOTAL MONEY AND 5% MAPPED OUT FOR ANY INCUURED EXPENSES. IF YOU ARE WILLING TO ASSIST US, YOU MAY RESPOND IMMEDIATELY TO PREPARE ARRANGEMENTS. NO OTHER PERSON KNOWS OF THIS MONEY SO DEISCRETION IS A MUST.

GOD BE WITH YOU,

MR. HUGH G RECTION, 419TH ORDER OF THE ROYAL COCKBLOCKERS

Re:FIRST KATRINA 419 POST (-1, Offtopic)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501652)


Just one question: how on earth did you get all those caps past the lameness filter?

Re:FIRST KATRINA 419 POST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501713)

GOD BE WITH YOU MR. TRIPMASTER MONKEY,

WITH RESPECT TO THE PASSING OF THE CAPITAL LETTERS PAST THE LAMENESS FILTER, I KNOW NOT ITS WORKINGS.IT CAN ONLY BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE GRACE OF GOD.

PLEASE DO CONTACT ME AND WE CAN ARRANGE THE USE OF AN ADVANCE FEE SO AS TO TRANSPORT THE MONEY IN A SUITABLE MANNER.

SINCERELY,

MR. HUGH G RECTION

Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING
Reason: Don't use soYour comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted. many caps. It's like YELLING
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING
ReasoRn: Don't uYour comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.se so many caps. It's like YELLING
Reason: Don't use so many Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.caps. It's like YELLING
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING
Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING
Reason: DonYour comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.'t use so many caps. It's like YELLING
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING
Reason: Don't use so many caps.Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted. It's like YELLING
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING

Re:Not a Troll (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501857)

He does have a valid point. You shouldn't be able to make a post with all caps. Try it. It won't let you.

OMFG LOL!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501626)

Yea right! Man hasn't set foot on the moon for 30 years! The International Space Station is a leaking creaking pile of garbage (Literally). The space shuttle fleet is grounded again with no replacement in sight, unless you are one of the "space elevator" nut jobs. And these guys are not only going to land on Mars, they're going to mine it?!?!?! Will they use a carbon nanotube pulley system to bring the ore back to earth???

LOL. Where can I get some of this shit your smoking??

Looks good. (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501627)

This is one of the better ideas for a startup company I've heard, but then again I've spent the past 15 years or so on the Internet.

Cool! Where do I sign up? (1)

zarmanto (884704) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501635)

So lets see... by that time, I'll be about fifty years old -- and if my wife has her way, I'll have about twenty kids or so, not including grandchildren. Do you think they'll take me??

Wow.. (5, Funny)

angst7 (62954) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501641)

Welcome to BS day on Slashdot. Although by 2025 they may well have a 6 gHz laptop with 2TB of disk space to take along.

IRON! (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501643)

Iron as far as the eye can see! I'm tellin' ya, it's the motherlode!

Too bad its not called the Gold Planet, or this might actually turn a profit.

Re:IRON! (1)

Mukaikubo (724906) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501781)

Even mining solid gold would not turn a profit. It's just too expensive (A few thousand dollars per pound to get into EARTH ORBIT, let alone TO MARS AND BACK) for any known material to really be an economic Winner Mars-mining wise.

Umm - ahem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501644)

And they plan to get there how ????

You see the secret guys is to first build your rocket and then go to the big red planet. Just FYI.

Might want to change the business plan to include one rocket. Maybe two just in case the first one goes boom.

And then all hell breaks lose! (1)

Prophetic_Truth (822032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501646)

well, at least in doom3 it does.

New Startup (1)

carterhawk001 (681941) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501651)

to Start Mining Operations of Uranus. Expecting first scouting missions to Urectum by 2015, establish base in Colonus by 2025. Don't know what the big stink is about.

Re:New Startup (1)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501747)

"to Start Mining Operations of Uranus"

Where do you think they got their business plan?

In CORPORATIONS we trust (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501655)

I swear, if I read another /. article talking about another Corporation doing this or that, I'm going to vomit.

Once this money-grubbing organization begins colonizing and exporting Mars' precious resources, who will be there to prevent them from fouling the delicate environment/ecosystem on Mars? Here we have GreenPeace and others, but nothing equivalent on Mars. They will be doing whatever the hell they want up there with no consequences. Bet you a $100M that Shrub and his repug cronies are in on this scheme. Where else are they going to get the money to go to Mars? Oil money from Iraq of course.

Yeah 2025 might seem like a long time away (it isn't) but a movement needs to be started now to prevent this Corporation from ever getting off the ground (literally).

Re:In CORPORATIONS we trust (2, Funny)

dragonp12 (798787) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501811)

I hear RedPeace are going to be heading out to Mars with them.

Notice the images are of Canadians (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501656)

my guess is they figure a joint Canada-EU trip will get there first, or possibly a joint Canada-China trip - if the latter, the first colony will most likely be named Mars Base Bethune. ..

I for one welcome our new Canadian space overlords and hope they have a fun trip to Mars.

We should look at the asteroid belt first (1)

Krystlih (543841) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501658)

In my opinion we should look at mining the astroid belt in our solar system before attempting mars. There are going to be plenty of resources there, which will be much easier to send back given we dont have to contend a huge gravitational force like a planet. Not to mention we know so little about mars we dont know what kind of natural things we might be interrupting by mining it.

Re:We should look at the asteroid belt first (1)

brainstyle (752879) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501777)

You might be interested in Spacedev [spacedev.com] , then. I'm pretty sure that's what they're talking about with the "space resource extraction" bit in their roadmap. [spacedev.com]

Considering the cost of putting stuff in space, asteroids have the big advantage of not requiring expensive rocket launches to get anything in orbit. If you're patient, you can move your ore back to Earth (or wherever in the solar system) a lot more cheaply than you would if you first had to get out of a planet's gravity well.

Really big diamonds (1)

Bob3141592 (225638) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501661)

I hope they find some really big frickin' diamonds on Mars, because otherwise all they're likely to find is dirt, and the trucking costs getting it back here are gonna kill 'em.

Maybe not diamonds, but ice crystals (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501701)

I hope they find some really big frickin' diamonds on Mars, because otherwise all they're likely to find is dirt, and the trucking costs getting it back here are gonna kill 'em.

It's likely they'll find water, so if they mix it with the dirt, they can make mud pies and perhaps export Authentic Martian Pottery to wealthy collectors.

Then you too can own some Martian Pot.

Re:Really big diamonds (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501762)

Diamonds are nothing but carbon. The only reason diamonds are worth money is because De Beers tells us you can't get laid without them.

Sounds like publicity... (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501667)

I'll bet their entire company plan was to make the funny news. Where do I sign up to invest?

Can anyone say: (1)

Rac3r5 (804639) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501668)

RED FACTION

Do it, then I'll care (1)

bradbeattie (908320) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501675)

A company plans to do something, huh? Big surprise. Wake me up when they're actually on Mars. No point in getting ourselves all worked up whenever someone plans something.

why not alaska (1)

brainchill (611679) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501676)

why not just mine alaska ... it's just as big a wasteland and it's closer to home

Re:why not alaska (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501769)

Would love to mine Alaska. I hear they have oil up there!

Re:why not alaska (1)

RatBastard (949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501789)

They already do. The problem is that mining shits pollutants all over the environment. And my fair state is one of the few parts of the USA that hasn't been completely paved over.

I don't think they are going to make a dime trying to mine Mars as the shipping costs are going to be insane. But I'd rather people mine dead rocks than polute thriving ecosystems.

A copy of their Business Plan (1)

saddino (183491) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501684)

Can be found here [sfy.ru] .

Calendar Check (2, Funny)

yimitz (469911) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501685)

Anyone got a Martian calendar? I bet it says "April 1st."

Commercialization of Space (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501699)

Is a very good thing. That ultimately is what will drive manned space exploration.

yeah... (1)

skeletor935 (790212) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501704)

and Grizzly Adams had a beard.

I'm not even going to RTFA

First Person To Mars... OWNS IT. (4, Interesting)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501708)

Until we see a declaration like the following from a country that pays at least lip service to property rights (and that has sufficient weapons to back up said property rights on behalf of shareholders) any attempt to privately colonize Mars and sell its resources for profit, is doomed.
The first person to land on Mars, and to live there some specified minimum duration (such as a year), and to return alive owns the entire Red Planet.

Who Should Own Mars? [capmag.com]

Think of it as the ultimate X-Prize. An entire planet for the taking.

The day anyone comes up with a viable business plan (which the guys in the Wired article, unfortunately, haven't done yet - and probably can't do so long as there are no private property rights in space), put me on the first colony ship of homesteaders.

Re:First Person To Mars... OWNS IT. (1)

blckmage (912843) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501865)

This will just mean that Mars will go to the first rich guy with nothing better to do with his money.. Planet Microsoft, anyone?

Re:First Person To Mars... OWNS IT. (1)

MaceyHW (832021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501866)

I'd settle for just the Western Hemisphere (that's the good hemisphere)...

fantasy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501721)

Does anyone remember in Back to the Future Part 3 where in the year 2015 we all drive flying cars and electronic self-lacing shoes and stuff. This is the same thing. We are definitely not going to be colonizing Mars in 20 years any more than people will be driving flying cars in 10 years. What a load of crap. This is all talk and will never happen. There are far too many energy problems in the world right now to expect that in 10 years they will all be solved and suddenly we have enough resources to make hundreds of trips to mars and back every year.

There is absolutely no way that anything like this could possibly be profitable.

I've got an even better idea! (1, Funny)

Nevtje(hr (869571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501726)

if they actually make it there, they should skip mining. instead, spray-paint Mars grey! ...so that by the time space-tourism really catches on, the first tourism site will be.... dum dum dum

the death star!

Even if the built the "Biosphere 2"... (1)

RUFFyamahaRYDER (887557) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501743)

Even if they built their Biosphere who would want to live there? Sure, it would be fun to vacation on Mars just to see what it was like, and a ton of people with a lot of money would do that.. But to live there? Noway... You can't even go outside!

We take that for granted right now since most of us stay inside all day working, but to never be able to run around freely outside is terrible. Plus you'd have to stare at a red surface all day, everyday... No oceans, no greenery, just red rocks. Yuck!

Never going to happen -- ever (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501744)

Mark my words, the minute anyone gets anywhere close to something like this happening, the governments of the world will shut it down. Mars is a completely unique environment, and the environmentalists will make sure Mars gets put off limits "temporarily" to colonization while they do "further studying before human contamination."

Of course, the temporary ban will eventually become permanent.

Can't happen? It already has -- See Antarctica. No one owns it. Most of the countries of the world have a treaty not to exploit it.

Think they'll just say, "Let them try and stop us? We're there, they aren't. We have guns." Please. Get over your frontier fantasies. That was possible when you had frontiers with fairly hospitable terrain (even if harsh). With Mars, there's no way you can set up a self-sufficient colony right away. They'll HAVE to have support from Earth. If Earth wants to shut them down, they'll just stop the supply rockets from going.

Planetary colonization will NEVER happen in this solar system. Look to asteroids and colonies in space for your space travel future.

Already saw their movie (1)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501746)

Here is how things turn out [imdb.com] . So don't come crying to use when your astro robot dog goes psycho and destroys all your hard work and plans.

obligatory total recall post (1)

ghukov (854181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501756)

as soon as they finds that alien generator and activates it, the planet will be ready for all to inhabit, what with the free air

Planning office (2, Funny)

OzPhIsH (560038) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501757)

C'mon guys, this news is WAY old. All of the plans have been on display for fifty years at the local planning office on Alpha Centauri.

What a coincidence... (2, Funny)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501770)

I had planned to lead a Miners Revolution on Mars in 2026. That and deformable terrain ;)

I don't have a whole lot of faith.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501773)

In their ability to get to mars when they aren't going to properly check their site before they put it up.

"Desired Skill Sets - For Future Positions
Engineering

        * Nuclear - power generation, propulsion blah
"

I doubt these guys really want to get to Mars (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501783)

Keep in mind that the driver behind this project is one of the drivers behind Biosphere II [wikipedia.org] . The real business plan (per TFA):
is to build a full-scale version of the planned Mars settlement and charge visitors to tour the "Mars Settlement Research and Outreach Center." 4Frontiers hopes to have a site selected for the center by the end of this year, said company co-founder and CEO Mark Homnick
I doubt it will raise enough cash to get to Mars. OTOH, I don't doubt that it will raise enough cash to line the pockets of the folks bootstrapping the company.

BR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501796)

"A new life awaits you in the offworld colonies. A chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure."

Profit? (0, Redundant)

mrshoe (697123) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501801)

1. Fly to Mars
2. Collect some rocks
3. ??
4. Profit

Fool proof.

funding... (2, Funny)

number6x (626555) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501803)

For funding we will leverage our current investnments in the golden gate and brooklyn bridges, which we just bought off some guy.

do they plan on making money (1)

skeletor935 (790212) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501833)

because we can barely ship oil across an ocean for a decent price, somehow I don't see how flying a big ass rocket back and forth between here and Mars full of heavy rocks is going to be cheap.

It takes us tons of fuel already to send a tiny robot to Mars. Just imagine how much fuel it would take to send a rocket there full of enough excess fuel for a return trip loaded with rocks. That's some high shipping costs!

4Frontiers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13501855)

They should have named the company "Wayland Yutani."

Capitalism at it's best (1)

Blitzenn (554788) | more than 8 years ago | (#13501856)

I am so glad to see capitalism working the way it was intended. To him who gets there first is rewarded with the spoils. Yea! Lets rob another planet of it's resources and destroy it in our wake! I am sure it looks great to the corporate pillagers who take glee in the fact there are no current residents to sue them for the environmental damage they intend (sorry, inadvertently intend) to cause. Won't we ever learn from our past mistakes?
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