The Corner

Mars — Another Way

I am very, very gung ho about going to Mars, space, etc. But I really do think we need to pay off some credit card debt first, put Osama’s head on a pike, etc first. But maybe we can get this done in a more fiscally responsible way. Remember An Salvage 1? That was the show where Andy Griffith built a rocket ship from scrap metal and garbage. Maybe — and I am kind of serious — we could create, say, a $10 billion lottery for anyone in the private sector who comes up with a way to get there for less than, I dunno, $75 billion. Explorers have often been rewarded and encouraged by such prizes. In fact, maybe could come up with a series of lesser prizes. Fix the osteoporosis problem: $1 billion. Fix the cosmic rays problem: $2 billion. Whatever. Obviously this idea needs some work. But pouring tons of shmundo on NASA right now doesn’t seem to be the answer.