Insurance companies and betting agents have a lot in common. Their advice is based on maths. As a business they only survive if they get the odds right. They don’t pretty things up just because it’s politically correct, or aligns to someone’s personal view.

So when a betting house lays odds on who will be first on Mars I think it carries some weight.

Popular Mechanics have asked the question to and we have the results.

Space-X: 5:1 (they have the will and the money)
Mars Direct: 9:1 (they may have the best plan, but who’s paying?)
Mars One: 15:1 (on the off-chance it’s not a scam and they deliver what they say)
Inspiration Mars: The Dennis Tito flyby (I don’t think a mere flyby should qualify…)
Russia: 60:1 (Don’t underestimate Putin)
NASA: 80:1 (Docsports cites budget problems; I say the problem is Bolden)
China: 100:1 (late to the party, but catching up fast)
ESA: 300:1 (As usual Europeans are too busy navel-gazing)

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