It's long been said that space tourism will be big business. Whole spaceports have sprung up (and basically died) in belief of that economic promise. The problem is that shooting people past our bubble of atmosphere, safely and reliably, is still tricky. Not to mention you need to be rich as hell to even consider it. So, in the meantime, why not bring space to Earth; or more specifically, Las Vegas? That's the goal of "Mars World", an idea for a Mars-themed adult playground right in the middle of Sin City. The project itself has been around in some form or another for six years, most recently popping up today in an article on Space.com, where the truly bonkers vision of this strange place was laid out with, what I can only assume, complete sincerity.
To start things off, the project's chief design John Spencer, president of the Space Tourism Society and lover of space yachts, says he hopes the attraction will have a similar feel to Burning Man. OK. The article also says that the park will treat visitors to "the music, costumes, and culture of a Mars colony". I can only guess that means a lot of disco and a Matt Damon wax statue.
But amid what sound like a curiously strange plan, that is currently underfunded and at least two years behind schedule, the concept art for the park is spectacular. It's a weird mash-up of Total Recall's pod city with Elysium's upper crust spitshine. And I'd totally go if it was a real thing.
"Mars World" would have free admission, though I can only imagine the sickening amount of merchandising and overpriced Mars-hatten cocktails. It would also have rides, like the "Marswalk", where visitors could experience Mars-like gravity. That's super neat, though I cannot fathom how that would be possible.
I assume slot machines will also be present.
But most likely it will never be built. It reportedly will cost $US2 billion when it's all said and done and the company has only raised $US500,000. Las Vegas also has a history of ambitious sci-fi plans that never amount to anything.
But at least we'll always have these concept images as proof when humans thought about building a Mars on Earth.