Elon Musk has made no secret for several years that he wants to put people on Mars--a lot of them. He took a concrete first step in his presentation at the 2016 International Astronautical Congress, "Making humanity a multiplanetary species." Musk's plan to build an Interplanetary Transport System generated a great deal of buzz, a fair amount of skepticism, and a lot of excitement in the "space fan" community. But it was his explanation of what SpaceX does not intend to do that's the inspiration for this web site.
Musk outlined that SpaceX intends to build the transport system, including a ship that will travel to Mars and back, a tanker to "refill" the ship in Earth orbit, and a booster to launch both from Earth. But, he also made clear that SpaceX is leaving it to others to build the rest of the infrastructure: the base, the life support systems, the power systems, the manufacturing--the pizza joints. The future people who will do this are going to need a lot of things if they're to become colonists, and not merely visitors. Before long, they'll want a lot of things, too.
The goal of this site is to explore all the technical things that "those future people" will need to figure out. Because, in one stroke, Musk has made "those future people" into us. And that means that the engineers who will need to figure this out won't be born in a hundred years, or even fifty. They're us. And if we don't figure those things out, whether Musk succeeds or not, those Mars transports won't have any place to go.
The whole idea: technical, with just a little bit of program management. (We do need to think about schedule, after all.) With a little luck, others will join the discussion and move it along more quickly. We need to go to the Drawing Board.