In Berlin I recently spoke with Bas Lansdorp, initiator of the project Mars One. This private initiative aims to land four astronauts on Mars in April 2023 to live and work there. And two years later another four, etcetera. And the catch is: there's no way back. These space travelers will leave earth for good. Despite this interesting limitation there are already hundreds that are willing to do so. Mars One does not develop anything itself, but relies on a strong network of partners and advisors. Money (in total 6 billion dollar) comes from the media show that will be created, an advice from the makers of Big Brother. Why? Just because it is possible.
I found it quite ludicrous first, but on second thoughts I realised it might be not. Think Big. There is place for so much ideas that can change the world. Cars, planes, television, the first man on the moon and the internet. Inventions that led to thousands of new products, services and business models. What is needed is the fire of the inventors, concentration, contacts and perseverance. Bas & collegues certainly do not lack these. 2023 looks far away but is manageable, and I would not be surprised that they will succeed. If that happens, we will all be there to watch it (virtually).
If needed, you can find the demands for the astronauts here.