The Motley Fool, a financial services company that provide investment advice on a number of multimedia platforms, states that Elon Musk’s SpaceX is likely to beat NASA to Mars. The firm points out the various shortcomings of NASA’s Journey to Mars program, not the least of which that it lacks funding and a plan. Besides, the Space agency has become so bureaucratic that the sun will turn into a red giant before it can put astronaut boots on the Martian soil.

SpaceX, on the other hand, is a nimble entrepreneurial company accustomed to outside the box thinking and unencumbered by bureaucratic rules. If Elon Musk decrees that people will go to Mars, given sufficient resources, it will happen.

Musk is planning a super spacecraft called the Mars Colonial Transport that will be capable of sending a hundred people to Mars or 100 tons of supplies. Few details are yet public about the MCT, except it would likely dwarf any rocket hitherto flown or planned, including NASA’s Saturn V and Space Launch System and SpaceX’s own Falcon Heavy.

The cost of a ticket for a future Mars colonist would be $500,000. Whether that just includes the live human being or the future Martian and enough supplies to sustain him or her while starting a new life on the Red Planet is unknown.

Why is the Motley Fool, a group of investment advisors, touting Elon Musk’s private Mars mission, which he suggests will lead to a colony on the Red Planet? The investment advisors suggest that Musk does not have sufficient funds in his private fortune to get his Mars colony off the ground.

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He will have to have outside investors, which likely means taking SpaceX public. Thus, there may be some money to be made out of Musk’s Mars colony.

How money could be made out of Mars is somewhat unclear. Would the investors get a piece of the $500,000 or so that the Mars settlers will pay for the chance of a new life on the Red Planet? Does a product or service exist that can only be produced on Mars that could make a profit?

On the other hand. NASA could decide to drop the idea of doing Mars in house and outsource the project to SpaceX. The Commercial Crew program certainly provides a useful precedence for such a thing happening.