- exploring, developing, & settling the red planet -


Just like the international exploration phase on the Moon, one can anticipate that very many nations would like to purchase one or more seats on early Starship missions to Mars. Governments have far deeper pockets than even the wealthiest of their citizens. And so the early, more expensive Starship seats would probably be sold to countries.

The international exploration of Mars would allow countries to have their moment of national pride and to stimulate their young people's interest in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (STEAM).

Because the Starship can deliver as many as 100 passengers at a time, it could be a bit of a challenge to arrange missions of exploration that would allow small teams of astronauts to do something of newsworthy interest one at a time. It seems logical that there would need to be a coordinated approach whereby small national or regional teams would be conducting some noteworthy exploration activity at about once a week. In this way 52 different nations could have their moment in the public eye.

Space advocates who favor Mars could help develop and promote the idea of the IMEP by researching what some of the most interesting sites and activities on Mars might be and then to do write ups for what such scenarios might look like. This has already been done for the Moon but not yet for Mars. As with the Moon, it would seem reasonable to expect a network of roads to be developed on Mars to facilitate the cost-effective transport of passengers and cargo throughout Mars.

A large international exploration phase would fund the transition to private settlement.

Next: Mars Settlement