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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:31 pm

Some more insights from Elon Musk have been released about human travel to Mars and to other places in the Solar System. I continue to be skeptical and think that planetary probes, rovers and robotics are the best approach...Sending humans would court disaster if it is feasible at all. But, let's all hear him out -- here is the latest, hot off the press from Elon...

http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplu ... .29009.emu

...And here is a skeptical reply that I mostly agree with...

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense ... _mars.html
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:14 am

More news about crewed Dragon and the Mars spaceship(s). Going to lose the landing legs and do water landings like Apollo instead...

https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/07/19/p ... spaceship/

Key quote about Mars transport on BFR...

A vision for gigantic interplanetary transporters Musk presented last year has been downsized, he said.

“It’s a little smaller, still big, but I think this one’s got a shot at being real on the economic front,” Musk said, adding that he might present more details at this year’s International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.

...So stay tuned.
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treetreeseven
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:54 pm

Today, Elon Musk suggested that SpaceX will abandon its plans to land the company’s Dragon capsule on Mars — a mission the company had been aiming to do as early as 2020.

SpaceX will not fully develop the landing technique it was going to use to land the Dragon on Mars. Known as the Red Dragon mission, the capsule was meant to lower itself to solid ground using engines embedded in its hull, and then touch down gently on landing legs in a method known as propulsive landing. But Musk said the company will come up with another way to land vehicles on the Martian surface.


https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/19/1599 ... rs-mission

tl;dr propulsive landing not for Dragon, probably for something bigger though.
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:46 am

Some news should be coming this week from the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Australia where on Friday, Elon Musk will update his plans for sending people to Mars (and other planets). We know that some scaling down is planned for the Big F**k**g Rocket (BFR)...

"...For this year, we might expect more realism. Already, Musk has suggested the big rocket will be scaled down to a 9-meter diameter, which would fit inside SpaceX's existing rocket factory. By scaling back to 9 meters, Musk likely intends to remove the outer ring of 21 Raptor engines, leaving a vehicle with 21 engines instead of the original 42. While still complicated to manage during launch and flight, 21 engines seems more reasonable. Such a vehicle would also have about 50 percent less mass...."

Realistic or not, SpaceX does some great video, here's the latest: https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/4553439/e ... rs-voyage/

But how is it all going to be paid for $$$ ??? Looking forward to what Elon has to say tomorrow, for now, here's more info...

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/09 ... ch-friday/

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/ ... 707615001/
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parapente
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:47 pm

Really looking forward to what he says.
I think this scaling down sounds eminently sensible.Particulary with its relationship to fitting existing facilities.If he does join forces in any way with NASA then of course he has (albeit expensive) a super heavy lifter just waiting for a job to do!
I also read that the new engines and systems/fuel can be fitted to a Falcon.So that would be a useful upgrade.Also the new 'smaller' rocket will make a great commercial heavylifter.
Personally what I want to hear from Elon is not fantasy colonisation of Mars but how to get 'the professional 'guys there first (and their equipment/life support etc ie. Like the recent film)for proper scientific investigation.
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:25 am

Here it is...The big news is how to fund becoming a multi-planet species. Replace Falcon-9 and Falcon-Heavy with this new Mars capable BFR rocket and spaceship. Launching satellites pays for the development. Then the moon, Mars and more starting in five years -- see Elon's plan for yourself...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5V7R_se1Xc

Maybe this should be in the Civil Aviation Forum too...At the end, Musk shows how the BFR will also become a passenger rocket-liner which will connect most places on earth in less than 30 minutes...no airport needed -- just land the rocket and passengers on barges near cites. Airbus and Boeing are going out of business! Still all surrealistic too me ??
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:58 am

More musings about Mars travel and Elon Musk's presentation. The microbe issue is an interesting one. Could we contaminate Mars -- or Mars contaminate Earth?

https://theconversation.com/dear-elon-m ... dles-84948
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tommy1808
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:16 am

QuarkFly wrote:
The microbe issue is an interesting one. Could we contaminate Mars


If we can, we already did. While we try our best to send our probes clean, they are not free of microbes, not even close.

-- or Mars contaminate Earth?


Maybe Mars already did that too, not likely, but we have found rocks that likely came from Mars.

best regards
Thomas
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Francoflier
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:41 am

QuarkFly wrote:
.At the end, Musk shows how the BFR will also become a passenger rocket-liner which will connect most places on earth in less than 30 minutes...no airport needed -- just land the rocket and passengers on barges near cites. Airbus and Boeing are going out of business! Still all surrealistic too me ??


It's a question of reliability.

If Musk or someone else can demonstrate an appropriate level of reliability and safety, associated with sufficient hardware reusability to drive down costs, then why not?

But safety and reliability in modern commercial aviation is counted in events / millions of cycles... Rockets are faaaaaaaaarr from being able to demonstrate anywhere near these numbers. He has so far been able to reuse a rocket twice... Airliners fly thousands of cycles before any major maintenance.
We're several orders of magnitude away from the safety numbers regulators would probably want to see before allowing mass commercial rocket travel. I'm not saying we won't get there, but it's not going to happen tomorrow.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:57 am

Some negative commentaries about going to Mars...maybe a bit biased or unfair, but the technological issues aside -- not everybody is on board for a trip to Mars yet...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... 4d733e941d

...and this article suggests Musk may be an exploitative sociopath -- his Mars colonist should beware...

https://www.salon.com/2017/10/08/agains ... rrify-you/
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WIederling
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:23 am

QuarkFly wrote:
Some negative commentaries about going to Mars...maybe a bit biased or unfair, but the technological issues aside -- not everybody is on board for a trip to Mars yet...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... 4d733e941d


ROFL.
If they let him the author would still prefer living on trees, scratching his itches and munching a banana.

Nice thing with space exploration and similar things is : nothing says groundhogs are mandated to go to Mars too.
It is not an either or thing.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:36 am

During the Falcon-Heavy news conference, Elon Musk provided some new info about Mars and BFR rocket/interplanetary-spaceship. Apparently, SpaceX will not do any more major upgrades to Falcon-9 or Heavy and will concentrate on BFR, maybe first launch in four years...

Start listening at 1:16:30 for the BFR and Mars info... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KORTP545vAc

BFR will be 9 meters in diameter (30 feet) and 110-120 meters tall (close to 400 feet). In comparison, F9 is 3.7 meters in diameter (12 feet) and 70 meters tall (229 feet) -- See 1:33:00 in video.

Ground hopper tests on BFR lander spaceship next year? See 1:46:50 and 1:48:30
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AvObserver
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:56 am

QuarkFly, I think you'll live to eat your opening words in this post. Musk's admirable persistence is paying off, sometimes slowly and painfully but he's getting there. And while Mars may not happen in the timetable he suggested; SpaceX is on its way to getting there. It won't be easy or cheap but Musk is something far too many of the NASA hierarchy isn't, a true visionary NOT steeped in the bureaucratic mindset. After what I saw last Tuesday, I'd say he's WELL on his way to fulfilling that vision. I'd never, EVER bet against anyone with this monumental level of resolve. Every fiber of Musk's being indicates he's serious about doing all of these things and I think he has the Chutzpah to see it through. They probably said a lot of these things about the Wright brothers too but just where would we be had THEY given up? Think you're greatly underestimating him and indeed, also the cadre of devoted people who work for SpaceX. Their Can Do spirit reminds me of the early days of NASA before the bean-counting bureaucrats in D.C. began siphoning the life out of the agency. I assure you, with Musk at the helm, this will NOT happen to SpaceX.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:58 pm

AvObserver wrote:
Think you're greatly underestimating him and indeed, also the cadre of devoted people who work for SpaceX. Their Can Do spirit reminds me of the early days of NASA before the bean-counting bureaucrats in D.C. began siphoning the life out of the agency. I assure you, with Musk at the helm, this will NOT happen to SpaceX.


As enthusiastic as I am about SpaceX's progress and witnessing how they've grown from 'a bunch of nerds wanting to fly rockets' to an established household name in commercial space launch services with ground breaking technology, they still have ways to go before they even get close to Musk's eventual goal.

For starter, BFR is going to be massively complex. FH was going to be ready in 2 years when Elon first announced it back in 2011... it ended up costing them an awful lot more time and money as the plan to simply strap 3 F9s together and lighting the fuse proved way too optimistic...
And that's just for an incremental design using existing components...
And they almost gave up three times.

BFR is not only a man-rated fully-reusable clean-sheet design, it is the most ambitious spacecraft ever seriously considered. It would surpass the Space Shuttle, the most complex flying object ever created by every metric, and the largest space exploration budget in the World could barely keep up with the costs of flying a handful of them, not to mention their lacking reliability and safety issues.

To say that Musk's schedule for the BFR is ambitious is the understatement of the century.

But if that was the only issue, it wouldn't be that bad. If only one company in the World can do it, it's got to be SpaceX.
The problem going forward, as I see it, is that they are entering a completely unknown, and so far inexistent, business case... FH is already so capable that it seems to be having trouble finding customers, no matter how cheap they claim it to be. BFR will initially have no commercial customers, period. The companies that will develop businesses which use the capacity of such a launcher haven't even been created yet, and it's hard to imagine what their business model would be.
The only other revenue stream would be government-funded space exploration missions, but NASA seems to be tied to the SLS for now.

Sure, full reusability would drive the costs down and change the equation altogether, but not only do we not know the real cost of relaunching a first stage yet (SpaceX is rather quiet on that aspect), SpaceX hasn't even landed a second stage ever. Even recovering FH's center core might seem trickier than expected, let alone a vehicle the size of a 747 going 3 times the speed.

As much as I want SpaceX to take mankind to the Moon and Mars, I have to remain grounded to the reality that none of that will happen without money, and even Musk himself is not rich or influential enough to make it happen on his own.

Then again, he's proven a lot of people wrong before.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:45 pm

Francoflier wrote:
BFR is not only a man-rated fully-reusable clean-sheet design, it is the most ambitious spacecraft ever seriously considered. It would surpass the Space Shuttle, the most complex flying object ever created by every metric, and the largest space exploration budget in the World could barely keep up with the costs of flying a handful of them, not to mention their lacking reliability and safety issues.


however, the BFR is so large that economy of scale should work quite a bit in their favor. It is not big enough to expect any yet unknown effects, but it is large enough that good structural margins should be available for them to work with.

best regards
Thomas
This Singature is a safe space......
 
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CitizenJustin
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:07 pm

A man with a dream who’s acting on that dream seems to be controversial. To the naysayers, step aside and let the dreamers by. We'll leave you on the platform while blasting off into history.
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:18 pm

AvObserver wrote:
"QuarkFly, I think you'll live to eat your opening words in this post. Musk's admirable persistence is paying off, sometimes slowly and painfully but he's getting there. And while Mars may not happen in the timetable he suggested; SpaceX is on its way to getting there...."


Thank you for reading the opening post...it gives a lot of credit to Musk for what SpaceX has done and I loved the Falcon-Heavy - Starman story as much as anybody. But note that Musk said Falcon-heavy cost over $500 million to build and launch...that's right in line with what other large rockets cost to develop. I do think the re-usable cores are a modest breakthrough !!

However, I am sticking with my original argument...Serious human planetary colonization or even a modest presence on Mars is very unlikely on Musk's timetable. Maybe a quick visit to plant the flag on Mars is possible, but Musk's colonization dream is just that. Yes, we can build big rockets, and solve some individual problems standing in the way of human travel to planets. But all the issues combined -- discussed earlier in this thread -- radiation, agriculture on Mars, making rocket fuel on Mars, human issues, lack of funding, etc...along with the fact Mars is just a lousy place where nobody will want to stay -- makes the whole idea a pipe-dream.

Elon Musk has said one-million people living on Mars in forty years...Yes I'm skeptical !! I do wish SpaceX success...but I also wish more skeptical journalists and scientists would call out absurd claims too.
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VSMUT
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:26 pm

QuarkFly wrote:
But note that Musk said Falcon-heavy cost over $500 million to build and launch...that's right in line with what other large rockets cost to develop.


In 2016, ULA said the typical cost was 2 billion USD, and that their own Vulcan was a bargain at just 1 billion USD. And thats a non-reusable rocket.

Just saying...

;)




500 million USD is about what you would pay for 2x 77Ws these days (And only slightly more than a single A380 at list prices). That's nothing for an entire reusable rocket design.
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:45 pm

VSMUT wrote:
In 2016, ULA said the typical cost was 2 billion USD, and that their own Vulcan was a bargain at just 1 billion USD. And thats a non-reusable rocket.

Just saying...

;)

500 million USD is about what you would pay for 2x 77Ws...


True, but Falcon-Heavy is a derivative of Falcon-9,...Yes, significant modifications were necessary as Musk said -- but it is basically Falcon-9 cores and second stage. Vulcan may be less than $1-billion if you don't include the engine development costs by Jeff Bezos and Amazon money.

SpaceX BFR is a clean sheet with a new engine type and new fuel...will be the biggest rocket ever by far...plus a reusable Spaceship for planetary travel...will be tens of $ billions at least...if it ever gets built? -- I expect serious downsizing.
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Nomadd
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:36 am

QuarkFly wrote:
.along with the fact Mars is just a lousy place where nobody will want to stay -- makes the whole idea a pipe-dream.


That one line is pretty much conclusive proof that you have absolutely no idea what drives Musk or anyone else who shares his dreams.
 
parapente
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:30 am

Well we do know what happens when you gear a project simply to plant a flag.You waste all the massive investment.It is a totally pointless exercise other than the flag.Indeed it could be said that such an exercise put us back decades in human space exploration.

That's not to say his timescales are outlandish.They most probably are.But if it's a job worth doing - this can be argued - then it's a job worth doing well.
So at least he is thinking in the right direction considering his multi planetary beliefs.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:30 pm

QuarkFly wrote:
True, but Falcon-Heavy is a derivative of Falcon-9,...Yes, significant modifications were necessary as Musk said -- but it is basically Falcon-9 cores and second stage.


So? He got the job done. We all know what Boeing and Lockheed Martin would have done. Developed an entirely new design, and charged it all to the taxpayers. Those guys already charge 400 million USD for the launch of a Delta IV heavy. The SpaceX team spent just 100 million more to develop the rocket and launch it. They even recovered two 50 million USD boosters, so theoretically they have already managed to bring the total program cost down to the same level as a single Delta IV heavy launch.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:20 pm

QuarkFly wrote:
But note that Musk said Falcon-heavy cost over $500 million to build and launch...that's right in line with what other large rockets cost to develop. I do think the re-usable cores are a modest breakthrough !!

If you look at the entire "musk Empire" picture I would argue that the cost was actually free.... effectively. The whole "Tesla in space" aspect is beyond the greatest advertising ever. And I would argue the freshness and awesomeness of seeing the Roadster and Starman in space with earth in the background saved the Tesla stock at least half a billion in overall value when they reported their relatively dismal results.

Just something I just thought of.

Tugg
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:00 am

Yeah. GM for instance spent 3.7 billion USD in advertising:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/261 ... in-the-us/

And I don't even remember what cars that company makes. I do remember what Musk makes, and I'd love to buy their products...
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:20 pm

Nomadd wrote:
That one line is pretty much conclusive proof that you have absolutely no idea what drives Musk or anyone else who shares his dreams.

OK, perhaps you are right...but the whole point of this discussion here, has been if these dreams are in any way realistic.

parapente wrote:
Well we do know what happens when you gear a project simply to plant a flag.You waste all the massive investment.It is a totally pointless exercise other than the flag.Indeed it could be said that such an exercise put us back decades in human space exploration

I don't know...I think a lot of things came out of the Apollo moon program, even though it was primarily a flag planting race with the USSR. We developed things that were built upon later...Large rockets and rocket engine technology, in space docking, the beginnings of space avionics...lots more. Too bad we went off on the space shuttle dead-end after that.
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GDB
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:08 pm

QuarkFly wrote:
Nomadd wrote:
That one line is pretty much conclusive proof that you have absolutely no idea what drives Musk or anyone else who shares his dreams.

OK, perhaps you are right...but the whole point of this discussion here, has been if these dreams are in any way realistic.

parapente wrote:
Well we do know what happens when you gear a project simply to plant a flag.You waste all the massive investment.It is a totally pointless exercise other than the flag.Indeed it could be said that such an exercise put us back decades in human space exploration

I don't know...I think a lot of things came out of the Apollo moon program, even though it was primarily a flag planting race with the USSR. We developed things that were built upon later...Large rockets and rocket engine technology, in space docking, the beginnings of space avionics...lots more. Too bad we went off on the space shuttle dead-end after that.


I agree, it's also unfair to just write the missions off as just 'flag planting' too.
That was the driving force sure, however the later missions, in particular the J ones, were proper scientific missions, the results of which, samples etc, are still being studied today.
The only wrong note was not flying Apollo's 18 and 19 even after the hardware had been brought and paid for, however NASA management had cause to fear not even getting the Shuttle approved, When they did it was even then a much compromised system.

That massive spending for Apollo was for a few years in the mid 60's, aside from all the knowledge gained, many of the facilities it built are still in use today, the latest user being Space X.

Whether Musk succeeds in getting to Mars - and I don't think he will in the current timeline but I also would not bet against him getting there eventually - if he gets not so much NASA's but those who control the purse strings attention, so that rocket, that spacecraft, that tax $ have been developing, get a mission, a timeline, the funding and to do so at a rather faster rate then has been the case.
That in itself will be a great contribution from Musk.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:32 pm

The future has always been upon failure in the past. The same for success, built on failure. What is important is to try, if enough try the clues and tools to do, to succeed are developed.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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LockheedBBD
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:47 am

Why are all these billionaires obsessed with mars? Even Jeff Bezos has been getting in on the action: https://www.wired.com/2016/09/blue-orgi ... nn-rocket/

"Jeff Bezo’s new rocket could send the first people to mars"
 
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CesnaPhotograph
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:33 am

Well I'll keep my response short. All I'll say is that watching the launch last week, watching that huge highly complicated set of rockets launch space bound, made me incredibly excited to be here, right now. Personally I was inspired!
 
parapente
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:27 am

By the time the last man stood on the Moon proper science was being done.3 days on the surface with people trained in geology.The cancelled trips would have achieved more in understanding our Moon that all the others put together.But they were cancelled,why.Because the flag had been planted and the electorate got bored and that means no votes.
The same would be true of any government sponsored trip to Mars sadly.Frankly wanting to have an ( American) base on the Moon sounds somewhat political to me. No?
So the guys that convince the US government that they can plant a flag on Mars will get the money - one day.Hey this one will 'really' flap in the wind!
Of course I hope Elon will do it.But the enormity, scale and therefore cost of his project is mind boggling.I just can see how it's remotely affordable from a man whose companies - cars - solar panels-home batteries make a continued and increasing crashing losses.Does Spacex turn a profit even.Frankly nobody has a clue.All we know about refurbishing used rockets is what we learned from the Shuttle programme.....

Now Amazon on the other hand ....And lest we forget ,the engines being used by Boeing/Lockheed are made by? Oh yes Mr Bezos - again...
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:05 pm

Some more Mars / Interplanetary Spaceship info -- also BFR and Raptor engine. Spaceship "up-and-down" short-hop test flights next year maybe ...

https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/03/13/m ... next-year/

Quotes:
He [Musk] said in September that initial BFR flights to Mars could happen by 2022, with human voyages possible by 2024. Those target dates were “aspirational,” he said at the time.

Known for his bullish schedule pronouncements, Musk said Sunday: “I’m feeling pretty optimistic about the timeline, although I can be … People have told me that my timelines historically have been optimistic, so I’m trying to recalibrate to some degree.”
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:32 am

Always take the Red Eye if possible
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:09 pm

Mars landing conferences organized by SpaceX, but a bit Hush-Hush apparently...

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/08 ... gs-on-mars

A lot of cold water being thrown on Mars colonizing and terraforming -- Elon Musk's idea that we "eventually walk around outside [Mars] without anything on"...

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/el ... 79156.html
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