From a post on a different site...
January 21, 2017
Dear President Trump:
Congratulations on your Inauguration as President of the United States.
During your speech you mentioned space, and I know from reading the news that
a Mars mission is something your team might be considering. While there are
ample technically capable people at NASA, I thought you might like to hear a
suggestion about what might fire up ordinary people in the US, and I dare say
all over the world, about embarking on such a project.
Instead of being just a US project, make it a competition between the US,
Russian, and any other government that wants to take a go at it. The governments
each build one or more Earth - Mars ferries using technology that has been
relatively well tested, but "forbidden" and mothballed. Included as part of the
government side of the project would be emergency vehicles that can transport
people between the ferries, or keep them alive till they can be picked up.
Private companies (like SpaceX) using well tested technologies can build the
systems that get stuff between the ground and Earth orbit and a ferry, and down
from the ferry to Mars. They can do this for whatever projects they care to take
on, and can take a ride on any government's ferry. The governments get to claim
any territory on Mars first accessed from one of their ferries.
NASA should be able to confirm that this is really possible, almost today!
Just ask them about NERVA - ORION is stupid, but NERVA really makes sense on a
ferry, as opposed to being used as a launch technology. The Russians have
something equivalent; the Chinese probably not, but could quickly catch up.
Others would have a harder time.
War has often been the competitive element that brought new technology out of
the shadows into the real world, instead of being quietly buried in some private
hands. Lets try a different way to introduce the competitive element at the top
of society, and so get the animal spirits going throughout world society that
brings on huge economic growth. Lets find a way to allow technology that exists
to be used!
Good luck and best wishes!