Above is a textured mockup of an ARKYD partially funded by sponsors with demonstrated interest in space exploration. The base model itself was rendered and provided by Planetary Resources (see references and files below). This concept is not officially sanctioned by Planetary Resources. Sponsors for the most part would not be visible in selfies or of course during flight – but, could profit from worldwide exposure through pre-launch publicity.
The former JPL engineer and investment fund manager Dennis Tito has proposed private enterprise send a married couple on a 501 day flight around Mars in 2018. This mission, called Inspiration Mars, is similar to the Apollo 8 lunar fly-by and an important critical step in making humanity a spacefaring multi-planet species. Without debating the merits of space exploration in this thread (please assume it is a worthwhile endeavor), what are your thoughts on Amazon partnering with Tito to ensure the success of Inspiration Mars?
The mission will be televised. Tito views this as a principle source of revenue. Over a billion dollars will be required to purchase hardware. Hundreds of millions of tech savvy, science literate, potentially life-long ideal Amazon customers will watch it repeatedly…for over a year and a half. Jeff Bezos founded a space exploration company called Blue Origin in the year 2000 to advance “space access for everyone”. It would seem there are natural synergies between Blue, Inspiration Mars, and Amazon’s online broadcast infrastructure and ambitions.
Amazon Studios has stated they are uninterested in reality television. But someone will do this. It will make money. The exact same infrastructure used to broadcast narrative programming developed by Amazon Studios could be improved through revenues generated by “Amazon Studios: Inspiration Mars”. Someone will do this…Youtube & Google…Disney & The Science Channel…Netflix & National Geographic…NBC & Facebook…why not Amazon Studios in concert with National Geographic, the Science Channel, NBC, Facebook, Disney, et al?
Amazon Studios could lead this effort – effectively partnering with Tito. Blue Origin would have a direction, a guiding purpose, a long-term first step to Mars…Amazon Studios would foster profitable high-level relationships with Facebook and secondary media markets (for rebroadcast of key events such as launch, landing, and the 100 mile altitude Mars fly-by)…Amazon Studios would also receive incredible worldwide exposure for their other projects, and, investments in its infrastructure across the board…Amazon Prime would attract _millions_ of new subscribers…Inspiration Mars would receive deep-pocketed space-literate funding to ensure adequate radiation shielding and robust redundant life support…Amazon would profit from network rebroadcasts (think Olympics only Amazon owns the original footage)…Warner Bros and Amazon Studios would acquire unique proprietary footage of: the launch, the couple (“actors”) in zero g, the craft in orbit, and of course Mars imagery…humanity would be a step closer to establishing a research settlement on Mars in our lifetimes. This is doable.
Someone will do this. Inspiration Mars is searching for partners. The synergies are greatest with Amazon. Google could do this, but Amazon, Blue, and Bezos can do it better.
Thoughts? (feedback via @oceanbluesky)
“The first year I made nothing, the second year I made nothing, the third year I made 10 dollars, the fourth year I made 40 dollars. I remember these. I got these indelibly stamped in there. The fifth year I made 80. The sixth year I made 200. The seventh year I made 800. Eighth year, 1,200. Ninth year, 2,000. Tenth year, 4,000. Eleventh year, 8,000 … Just get a part-time job! Anything that’s half way decent! An usher in a theater … unless you’re a mad man, you can’t make do in the art fields! You’ve gotta be inspired and mad and excited and love it more than anything else in the world! It has to be this kind of, ‘By God, I’ve gotta do it! I’ve simply gotta do it!’ If you’re not this excited, you can’t win!
I’m a storyteller — that’s all I’ve never tried to be. I guess in ancient times, I would’ve been somewhere in the marketplace, alongside the magician, delighting the people. I’d rather delight and entertain than anything else.”