Odds That Are Literally out of This World – Betting on Life on Mars

| June 4, 2019 12:00 am PDT

I had a great discussion the other night with one of my buddies about Mars.

Needless to say, it got me thinking.

While the details of that discussion were hardly going to land either of us a scholarship to NASA any time soon, it was… interesting.

Well, as interesting as any conversation about exploration to the red planet can be when the two guys running it are sports fans on their fifth beer of the evening.

Now, I would love to say that shooting the shizzle about space over a few cold ones is a habit. It’s certainly not. But as the jukebox finished playing the late David Bowie classic “Life on Mars,” I brought up the idea of visiting there one day.

Sounds crazy, right? Imagine a vacation to Mars. Or, get this, a business trip to Mars. How nuts would that be?

Speaking of nuts, you’d need a whole lot of them — including as much complimentary wine on the trip there as possible — given that it takes around seven months to traverse from here to the fourth planet of the sun.

…and you thought your 7-hour trip from New York to Paris was a drag?

So, after a hilariously ridiculous chat with my friend about betting on exploration to Mars, I came home, and guess what I found? Yes, that’s right. I found odds for betting on Mars exploration.


Odds on First Organization to Charter Humans to Mars

Space X-350
Blue Origin+400
Space Force+1400

* Event must occur prior to January 1, 2028, for wagers to have action.

All odds come courtesy of Bovada, which also has some other excellent entertainment markets to bet on.

Like these, erm, far-out odds, there are plenty more where they came from.

Anyway, as you can see from the odds above, Space X — the company run by everyone’s favorite one-time Joe Rogan Experience guest, Elon Musk — is the favorite at -350 to shoot real people to Mars first.

Space X wants to send earthlings to the Red Planet as soon as 2024.

Elsewhere, Amazon whizz Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is +400 to get people there first. Considering I ordered a bathrobe from Amazon on Monday afternoon and had it by noon on Tuesday, that looks a safe bet.

Global aerospace manufacturers Boeing come in at +600, while the aptly named Donald Trump endeavor, Space Force, is the outsider at +1400.

What to Consider When Placing Your Bets

Okay, so betting on the “First Organization to Charter Humans to Mars” has to be considered entertainment, for a start.

Unless you are one of the very few people in the world who are qualified to talk about such things — as myself and my slightly inebriated yet unnamed friend are clearly not — there is no point in treating these kinds of bets like a business endeavor.

Or like spread betting on the NFL.

There is no precedent for this type of bet, so using stats, form, and extrapolation is out of the question.

This is Mars we are talking about, after all. Mars. That red planet that Martians come from. You know, those big-headed aliens that were a source of terror for baby boomers and sci-fi nerds with a habit of drinking coffee after midnight.

Let’s grasp the situation here, guys.

What we are betting on is which company from these four will get there first. There is so much that comes into consideration on that alone. The logistics enough are crazy to think about, never mind the money it will take to get there.

Who Looks More Likely to Get There First?

How much do you know about space exploration? I’d estimate that it is a lot less than Elon Musk and the companies above.

Here is a little basic information I found out the other night.

In order to work out the quickest route to get to Mars from Earth, we have to know the distance between both planets.

Mars is the second-closest planet to Earth after Venus (women come from there, apparently). It is the fourth planet from the sun — but as we learned in high school science class, the distance from both planets changes as each one revolves around the sun.

Earth and Mars would, at least theoretically speaking, be the closest when Mars is at its closest point to the sun and Earth is at the furthest point it can be from the sun. If this were to happen, then there would be just 33.9 million miles between both planets.

Around the same distance from the gate to baggage collection at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport…

So, can SpaceX see out their planned, fully-manned mission in 2024? Given that the Dragon 2 capsule was supposed to see two space tourists circle the moon last year — only for it to be scrapped in favor of a lunar flyby in 2023 — you can be as skeptical as you please.

Will a Human Being Set Foot on Mars by 2025?


What do you make of these odds, then?

To me, they suggest that the chances of a human being stepping foot on Mars by 2025 to be kind of slim. Not beyond all reasonable doubt, but not exactly as likely as the sun coming up in the morning.

You know what’s funny, though? The odds on no human stepping foot on Mars by 2025 are less than many of the boxing events I’ve looked at recently. Some have been title fights, too.

I get the scepticism, though.

Many of us who grew up watching TV have a reasonable gripe when it comes to what we thought 2019 would bring with it. I mean, some of us expected flying cars and personal robots by now.

The fat asses among us wanted those tiny pizzas you could pop into the oven only for a huge one to come out seconds later.

Don’t get that reference? Well, if you haven’t seen Back to the Future Part 2 — and don’t know what I’m on about — refrain from watching it now. You’ll only be disappointed and hungry with a huge hole in your soul that only an Ultimate Pepperoni, or five, can fill.

Who Would Even Go to Mars?

I am constantly worried at just how fast life seems to be moving. As a kid, 2025 seemed a great bet for hoverboards, magic pizza, robots, and talking dogs. Instead, we have Twitter feuds, solipsistic and neurotic Instagram “influencers,” and shrinking candy bars.

With that in mind, the cooler things — like humans stepping foot on Mars in six years — seem unlikely.

With no bars or sports coverage there, that rules me and my buddies out, at least.

Will getting a candidate to go all that way be difficult? Seriously. Who is crazy enough to want to go to a planet with an extremely thin atmosphere and negligible oxygen levels?

Who would be happy to go on a 14-month roundtrip, all expenses paid, and survive with no sign of intelligent life?

Who would be content with focusing on nothing but themselves for all that time, with nothing but constant attention from ground control and all the eyes of the world focusing on their every move?

Who could possibly want the type of recognition that only comes with doing something incredible, despite having no discernible skills or talent?

Instagram “influencers,” that’s who.

Elon, you truly are a genius.

Oh, and if there are a couple of extra seats to spare, I have some people in mind I could do with seeing shot into space for a while…

Betting on Both Markets

Betting on the “First Organization to Charter Humans to Mars” and “Will a Human Being Set Foot on Mars By 2025?” markets provides us with something a little different.

Now, despite a few jokes here and there, I am an optimist by nature. I would love to see human feet touch down on the Red Planet. I would also love to find out who the first company is to take that human to Mars.

Things like this are genuinely exciting and different from the types of bets most of us are accustomed to. For those reasons alone, it is probably worth having a cheeky bet on either of these markets.

If nothing else, it will give some of you guys and girls a cool little icebreaker when meeting someone new. “Hey, you think you’re cool because you know how to speak Klingon? I have a bet on Jeff Bezos sending humans to Mars by 2025. Beat that, Worf.”

Seriously, though, what you do with your money is up to you.

I certainly wouldn’t suggest putting a lot of cash down on any of these markets unless you have a deeper understanding of what is at play here. However, placing a few dollars down will give you a cool little bet to look forward to when 2025 rolls around.

I can just see it now. The year is 2025, and humans have just stepped foot on Mars. My talking dog and I are out for a few beers, discussing when the first human is likely to step foot on Venus.

“I wonder if there are odds for that,” Rover asks…

Final Thoughts

Space may be the final frontier, but there is no question that the bridge between man and the cosmos is getting a little shorter.

Elon Musk’s Space X is certainly working hard to help humans to realize the possibilities of great feats, while the best entertainment betting sites provide us with odds to bet on these seismic events

It truly is a great time to be alive, ladies and gents. Sure, I would have loved a hoverboard by now, but I have beers with a talking Doberman to look forward to in a few years.

Let’s hope Musk, Jeff Bezos, Boeing, and potential Time Person of the Year 2019 winner Donald Trump get things going by then.

Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA and boxing.

A self-confessed sports fanatic, when Adam is not watching and writing about rugby, soccer, Gaelic Games, and F1, he can often be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a big fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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