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Free Market Vs Big Government: Who Can Better Invest $10 Million Toward Space Colonization?

An excerpt from page 201 of Glenn Reynolds's An Army of Davids points the path to the stars.

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April 2, 2013 - 9:45 am

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Obviously the prize system is much more efficient. But the gov has an easier time getting the big money. So why not do both, and have the gov establish some prises. How about some prizes for:
1. Getting a man to walk on the moon again and return to earth.
2. Two people living on the moon for more than 30 days, and returning to earth.
3. Similar prizes for Mars.
4. First orbital solar power station that can safely transmit X megawats to a US installation connected to the power grid.
5. First to bring back to earth X tons of valuable minerals from an asteroid.

Advantages of prizes are:
1. We only have to pay for success, no more big bucks for launch systems that never happen. If nobody ever wins the prize we pay nothing.
2. Prizes are objective, less cronyism and giving projects to favored congressional districts and campaign contributors like Solyndra.
3. Companies compete for the prize, so it leverages more capacity and investment than a single gov contract would.
4. Any company winning the prize will probably be able to repeat, providing capacity for commercial and gov use.
5. We are creating productve private capacity, not gov burocracy, which would only need to consist of the prize judges.
6. Private companies can assume personal and financial risks and hazards that the gov cannot.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Iassume most of the readers are familiar with Heinlein's "requiem".But,if not,it's exquisitely aprpos to this
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
fyi - there were also college engineering competitions for development of a small, model elevator to climb a ribbon dropped from a crane in a (very short) given time period using solar power. the prize was substantial (mil $??) and after just a couple of years the teams were all very close to the goal. this was done to help develop a space elevator and some prize $$ was awarded. online videos were available at one time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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