This proposal seems to be worth the risk.
People go in the thousands every year to climb Mount Everest and about one in 20 die.
This would be the biggest achievement in Manned space since the first moon landing in 1969.
If we are going to make big advances in space and not wait many decades then we need to be willing to take some risks.
NASA is not spending $16-18 billion each year to do anything else nearly as interesting.
The best use of NASA money would be drive down the cost of access to space by ten times or one hundred times or more. However, that has not been done.
Nextbigfuture – Dennis Tito is trying to put together a Mars flyby mission. He would need to launch in late 2017 to take advantage of a rare alignment of the planets that would greatly shorten the trip, or maybe in 2021, the second best option. He has raised $300 million (mostly his own money) and has asked the US congress to provide the heavy launch rocket for about $700 million in cost. NASA has rejected the proposal.
NASA’s response is they will help with some work and knowledge but no hardware.
Nextbigfuture – All of the transportation needs in space –— from orbit raises to station keeping to Lunar landings or even expeditions to the outer planets –— are near infinitely more achievable when access is fueled by the resources present in near-infinite quantities on asteroids. In short, harnessing the resources of space for utilization in space is a far less daunting challenge than we are prone to believe. To help visualize why asteroids play such a vital role and where Planetary Resources comes in, they have produced an educational short for you. Prospecting and staking claim on asteroids will drive economic growth into the Solar System
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.