Mars: Who’ll Get Us There?

New frontiers. It’s the human way. We love to explore, whether it’s the jungles of Borneo, the depths of the oceans, or the moon, a few brave souls are always ready to be the first humans to venture in. 

Now, the latest place humans are frothing at the mouth to leave our footprints is Mars. But can we get there – manned missions, that is? And if so, who will take us? The first acronym that probably pops to your mind is of course, NASA. But you might be surprised to find that the odds-makers in Las Vegas and sites like Bovada have NASA as the long-shot to be the first to put people on the red planet.

The Most-Likely Pair

Two companies stand out against all the rest to put men and women on Mars. SpaceX and Blue Origin. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos not only have the capital to make it happen, but they can also get spacecraft off the earth’s surface for much less than NASA. Miles of red tape and guaranteed government contracts with prevailing wages put NASA at a clear financial disadvantage. In fact, even Russia is ahead of NASA on the boards. 

Let’s look at all the players in the Mars game:

  • SpaceX -300
  • Blue Origin +400
  • Boeing +500
  • Space Force +2000 – hilarious that an as of yet fictitious organization has better odds than most.
  • Russia +4500
  • NASA +6000
  • China +8500
  • UAE +20000

Since we are dealing with an incredibly complex problem – getting people to Mars– let’s look at some more numbers. What do these odds imply? 

At -300 SpaceX has an implied probability of 75.02% to be the first. That is pretty darn good if you ask me. Elon Musk is apparently just the right amount of crazy to make a successful Mars mission happen.

Blue Origin at +400 is four to one or 20%. Bezos’ outfit comes in as the second most likely to land us on the surface of the red planet – although the odds don’t specifically state a landing or orbit. 

Boeing is just behind with an implied probability of 16.67%. And if any major, long-standing aerospace and defense company could put us there, it would be Boeing. These are the guys that brought us the B-52, F-22 (in conjunction with Lockheed), the F-15, X32B, and already have working spaceplanes such as the X-37 and X-40 as well as satellites.

Donald Trump’s Spaceforce has yet to be created, yet they have a 5% chance of getting us to Mars, which is oddly hilarious that they have a significantly better shot than NASA at just 1.64%. China is just behind the US Government at 1.2% and the United Arab Emirates is a piddly, 0.5%. 

When We Will Cheer for a Mars Landing?

Well, technically we already have with the Rover. But SpaceX has lofty plans of getting humans on their way to Mars by 2024. This is pretty ambitious, but who knows, maybe they’ll have all the kinks worked out in the next five years. 

One thing is certain. We need to figure this Mars thing out soon, as things here on Earth are not looking so good. We need a good colonization back-up plan that we can put into place once we get done – through our world leaders and corporations and greed– destroying our homeworld. Sooner rather than later, we may actually need Mars. So, hurry up Elon; let’s get this party started!