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

Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:51 am

You know, despite my belief in the impracticality of all of this, I will grudgingly admit that Elon Musk, just maybe, isn't trying to scam anybody...although I'm not 100% sure. Still think he has seen too many bad SciFi movies.

Other than the Raptor engine, SpaceX has made the effort to build an actual size, "huuuuge", carbon-fiber test fuel tank for the spaceship, although doing this is no longer difficult -- 787, A350 seem to have nailed down the technology for large load bearing carbon-fiber structures...

http://blog.nss.org/wordpress/wp-conten ... x-tank.jpg

But just look at his video, I encourage watching all 90 min... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9olSzNOh8s

...Seems he is simply hand-waving, passing the buck, downplaying major technology difficulties, and saying this is like the US 19th century transcontinental railroad -- build it and others will figure out how to use it. No! This is so different, Mars and planets are not California, trains only derail -- rockets explode, people need life support in space, planets other than earth are hell-holes...everybody will hate it on Mars, and other planets/moons in the solar system are only worse!

KarelXWB wrote:

Reusable technology is the reason why Virgin Galactic can offer $250,000 tickets, and the price will come further down.

The following article sums it up quite nicely:

Imagine if the way planes worked was that they took off, flew to their destination, but then instead of landing, all the passengers parachuted down to the ground and then the plane landed by smashing into the ocean and blowing up. So every plane flew exactly once, and to have a new flight happen, you’d have to build another plane.

A plane ticket would cost $1.5 million.


Bad analogy, rockets don't scale up easily -- can't grow the Falcon-9 architecture up to this size and re-use everything, it is so different -- 42 engines in the first stage of BFR (Big F**king Rocket) for about 28-million lb thrust...the Russians tried 30 moderate size 1st stage engines for 10-million lb thrust on the N-1 moon rocket and it was nothing but a disaster...vibration, acoustic and thermal issues, magnetic plasma eddy currents...it exploded every time!

Don't think you can easily computer model the stresses on this monstrosity, it is uncharted territory and he wants to launch people in a decade from now...And I don't want to hit below the belt...but two SpaceX Falcon-9 disasters in about a year...I like what SpaceX has done, but lets nail down the easier stuff before sailing off to other planets.

I am still disappointed in the adoring press -- at the end of the video during question time, all the reporters, male and female, were weak in the knees, gushing love for Elon. More skeptics are needed, the articles on technical sites were too optimistic as well. Before he takes investors and/or taxpayers for a ride to nowhere...or death for foolish ticket holders ...people should review the unanswered questions in detail...To me, his presentation this week was a pipe-dream at best, and a joke at worst.

A future post on more detailed technical non-starters for BFR, ITS, etc. -- e.g. refining methane on Mars for fuel, low risk, no worries ;) -- still coming, stay tuned...
Last edited by QuarkFly on Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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iamlucky13
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:39 pm

epten wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
QuarkFly wrote:
Traveling in space and residing on other planets requires significant shielding for nasty solar and cosmic radiation. Will eventually have lots of sick people in space.


Not a problem, this has already been dealt with.


Really? How?


It has been measured, and is now known to be within the range where it is one of the lesser risks of the mission. It is a non-trivial dose of radiation, but it is not even close the level that would cause acute radiation syndrome (aka, radiation sickness), and represents a moderate increase in cancer risk. I'd have to do a bunch of digging through various sources again to be sure, but I think the exposure from a normal Mars transit would actually be lower risk than smoking.

There are additional measures that can reduce the dose via extra shielding in the spacecraft, and a major solar storm might still require limiting oneself to the best protected areas of the the spacecraft for a period of time, but radiation exposure generally well-understood after the last few Mars missions. It was Curiosity, I think, that measured the radiation flux continuously during the cruise phase specifically to verify that previous work on the topic was accurate.
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:29 pm

"The top 7 ways a trip to Mars could kill you, illustrated" -- and this is just for starters...read it and weep...

http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2 ... llustrated
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VSMUT
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:05 am

QuarkFly wrote:
"The top 7 ways a trip to Mars could kill you, illustrated" -- and this is just for starters...read it and weep...


You might also want to read the final part of the article ;)

Early expeditions to Mars could prove as dangerous as any in human history. Anyone who signs up will have to know they’re venturing to another planet with the real expectation that they may never get there, or potentially, never come back.

Still, it’s unlikely this fact will deter every last volunteer. Humans are innately curious and love exploring new worlds; it's one of our greatest qualities. McKay recounts how he used to go down to Antarctica every year with a relatively small team to conduct research. About once a year, someone would die due to an unforeseeable accident — a helicopter crash, or a person falling down a crevasse, or a diver suffering an embolism.

Every death was awful and tragic. But it didn’t put a halt to research in Antarctica. "There was always a long line of scientists who wanted to go," McKay says. "We never, ever took safety casually. I certainly did not want to die. But we were working in an environment that was intrinsically hostile and didn’t have all the safety infrastructure they have back in civilization. So to do the things we wanted to do, we had to take risks."

So it is with Mars.


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

Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:15 am

We can't protect ourselves against everything. At some point we will just have to go and see what happens. People going to Mars will have to accept they may never get 80 years old.
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maxter
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:00 am

13 million-ton thrust??? Really, is that right?
maxter
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:24 pm

maxter wrote:
13 million-ton thrust??? Really, is that right?


Apologies...should be "thousand" tons, not "million" -- I corrected my post and converted to lb thrust, Good catch, Thanks!

VSMUT wrote:
You might also want to read the final part of the article ;)


I did read it originally, and yes, you are right -- it basically says go blaze ahead despite the odds...so space travelers -- at your own risk and no refunds!!
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:05 am

QuarkFly wrote:
can't grow the Falcon-9 architecture up to this size and re-use everything, it is so different -- 42 engines in the first stage of BFR (Big F**king Rocket) for about 28-million lb thrust...


I'm curious, you seem to be making some pretty definitive statements here. Just wondering what your bona fides are?

I was not so long ago that the concept of re-usability was limited to completely refurbishing a quasi space plane (Shuttle) and it's SRB's each time it completed a mission as well as throwing away a very expensive propellant tank all at a massive cost. Now we are on the verge of not only re-using an orbital class booster, but potentially recovering a second stage as well. The cost per kg to LEO has been significantly challenged by new players and the trajectory of costs per lb/kg etc. continues to fall at an increasing rate.

The point being that while all acknowledge that space is indeed hard, there are challenges being met and overcome on a regular basis, not only by the established national/governmental monolithic institutions, but also by new space. Your considerable attempts to continually pooh pooh the efforts of Musk, despite his considerable achievements to date smacks of a little envy, nay the whole green eyed monster makes an appearance.

For my own view, I wholeheartedly support his efforts (in spirit) as I unfortunately do not have the financial means to do otherwise. If he succeeds then it will indeed be an achievement worth celebrating. If he fails, the knowledge and experience that is gained in the enterprise will certainly assist the next person/team/company/government to make the attempt. Unfortunately due to my age I fear (and my greatest regret) I will not see the ultimate achievement being realised.
maxter
 
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:26 am

Elon Musk must have read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.

I too think the timeline is impossible. I don't expect the first human on Mars to be a colonizer. I wouldn't be surprised if he would be Chinese. China has a bit more money to burn on this than Musk.

I'm not that pessimistic to put a Mars colony centuries away though, I think it's for this one. The real question is when would it be autonomous, able to built its own spaceships ?
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:24 pm

Aesma wrote:
The real question is when would it be autonomous, able to built its own spaceships ?


Musk believes that will take another 50 to 100 years.
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vrbarreto
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:25 pm

I suggest the following candidates for the first test mission

a) Katie Hopkins
b) Theresa May
c) Liam Fox
d) Jeremy Hunt
e) Boris Johnson
f) Hillary Clinton
g) The Donald
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:13 pm

maxter wrote:
QuarkFly wrote:
can't grow the Falcon-9 architecture up to this size and re-use everything, it is so different -- 42 engines in the first stage of BFR (Big F**king Rocket) for about 28-million lb thrust...

maxter wrote:
I'm curious, you seem to be making some pretty definitive statements here. Just wondering what your bona fides are?.



Definitive -- Yes! Because these details come right from SpaceX... http://spacenews.com/spacex-unveils-mars-mission-plans/
"...The booster uses 42 Raptor engines in its first stage, generating a liftoff thrust of 28.6 million pounds-force, or more than three and a half times that of the Saturn..."

My" bona fides"? -- As mentioned earlier in this topic, I do work in the aerospace industry, not with SpaceX or its competitors...But most important bona-fide -- I try to be a no-nonsense engineer who see BS when it appears... Example, check out Musk's presentation on this topic in YouTube -- in the Q/A session where he suggests "anti-matter" engines for inter-stellar travel -- yes, I'm a skeptic!

maxter wrote:
...Your considerable attempts to continually pooh pooh the efforts of Musk, despite his considerable achievements to date smacks of a little envy, nay the whole green eyed monster makes an appearance...


Well, aren't we all envious of billionaires! -- Here at A.Net, we don't just exchange facts in these topic -- viewpoints are welcome too, yours included.

The reason I started and contribute this topic is that I don't believe, for all his fine accomplishments, that Elon Musk does not have some ulterior motives for this unrealistic plan to send people to other planets, in large numbers, starting in a few years. He wants help, not only from his own $$ and other investors, but taxpayers like me. And even worse -- this "planet colonization" effort distracts from real space science and exploration which is better done by unmanned space probes, like the rovers operating on Mars right now...

Also -- Musk should not be using KSC and Launch pad 39A at KSC for his mega-rocket -- launch it at his own site somewhere else. -- Stop asking for taxpayer assistance developing his Raptor engines for this bad idea (in my view of course :) ) and using Taxpayer assets like NASA Stennis Space Center to test them...Not our job to subsidize a billionaire's ego trip. -- And stop pretending his plans are in any way realistic in the time frame he has suggested...more sober consideration is required before risking lives and other peoples money on suicide missions to uninhabitable planets. This can wait until his anti-matter engines are ready to go!
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vrbarreto
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:33 pm

Aesma wrote:
Elon Musk must have read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.

I too think the timeline is impossible. I don't expect the first human on Mars to be a colonizer. I wouldn't be surprised if he would be Chinese. China has a bit more money to burn on this than Musk.

I'm not that pessimistic to put a Mars colony centuries away though, I think it's for this one. The real question is when would it be autonomous, able to built its own spaceships ?


Or he's read this

http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Golga ... eet_Ship_B
 
VSMUT
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:52 pm

QuarkFly wrote:
Also -- Musk should not be using KSC and Launch pad 39A at KSC for his mega-rocket -- launch it at his own site somewhere else. -- Stop asking for taxpayer assistance developing his Raptor engines for this bad idea (in my view of course :) ) and using Taxpayer assets like NASA Stennis Space Center to test them...Not our job to subsidize a billionaire's ego trip.


Musk is paying the US government a minor fortune to lease pas 39A over the next 20 years, not the other way round. NASA had no further use for the pad, so it would have been sitting unused and have been a costly burden to either maintain or scrap.

Government financing of the Raptor engine isn't something unique to SpaceX. The US government helps develop tons of new technologies, such as aero-engines, radar technology, new airliners and so on. More likely than not, your own job is financed by the US taxpayers as well. The US DoD and NASA would have been throwing away a lot more money on developing new rockets and engines if not SpaceX had taken up the role.

QuarkFly wrote:
-- And stop pretending his plans are in any way realistic in the time frame he has suggested...more sober consideration is required before risking lives and other peoples money on suicide missions to uninhabitable planets. This can wait until his anti-matter engines are ready to go!


Sorry for being a bit morbid, but:

Whether or not people want to risk their lives is none of your business. If you don't like it, don't go. The US lost 32675 lives in meaningless traffic related accidents in 2014, 12500 in gun-related deaths, and nearly 7000 troops in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. If we look on global basis, just in traffic related deaths, 1.25 million people died in traffic accidents in 2013. 19 people died climbing Mt. Everest in 2015, an utterly useless and egoistic thing to do (compared with Mars).

I really can't see why you find it so critical if 20 (or even 100, or 1000) people willingly want to risk their lives on a "hopeless" mission to Mars. It's a drop in the ocean, all things considered. Lets face it, 40.000 people commit suicide each year in the US (almost 850.000 on a global basis), what's another 20 on top of that?

;)
 
vrbarreto
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:23 pm

Aren't Space-X moaning about the PSLV and it's ownership by the Indian government but at the same time accepting US government funding for their own 'private' venture?
 
maxter
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:59 am

QuarkFly wrote:
My" bona fides"? -- As mentioned earlier in this topic, I do work in the aerospace industry, not with SpaceX or its competitors...But most important bona-fide -- I try to be a no-nonsense engineer who see BS when it appears... Example, check out Musk's presentation on this topic in YouTube -- in the Q/A session where he suggests "anti-matter" engines for inter-stellar travel -- yes, I'm a skeptic!


Aha, a "No nonsense" engineer... as opposed to an aerospace engineer perhaps. Maybe you also believe that NASA through NIAC was deluded and wasteful to spend any money on anti-matter propulsion research in 2006 and continues to discuss in it's publications (as recently as a couple of years ago). Working as an engineer in the aerospace "industry" does not necessarily make you an aerospace engineer.

Your no nonsense engineering research and writing style has let you down on a couple of occasions in this very thread, and while you are absolutely within your rights to make these errors and call BS on what people who are orders of magnitude more accomplished than you, I too respectfully reserve the right to call BS on most what you have pronounced in the thread above.

Do carry on though...
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:44 pm

I grew up watching the Apollo missions as a kid and have since studied everything I could. I love someone having goals and vision. But, as everyone knows, the risks are crazy. I've read the book "Failure is not an Option" and just watched the History Channel show on this (again). What a great reminder, as Gene Krantz said, that "We must be Tough and Competent".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failure_Is_Not_an_Option

Personally, I would love to see a moon base prove space living and technologies. These people would only be 3 1/2 days away from "support". The learning and technology science needed for longterm living would be invaluable and do nothing but help support a Mars effort.
 
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:37 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Whether or not people want to risk their lives is none of your business. If you don't like it, don't go. The US lost 32675 lives in meaningless traffic related accidents in 2014, 12500 in gun-related deaths, and nearly 7000 troops in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. If we look on global basis, just in traffic related deaths, 1.25 million people died in traffic accidents in 2013. 19 people died climbing Mt. Everest in 2015, an utterly useless and egoistic thing to do (compared with Mars).

I really can't see why you find it so critical if 20 (or even 100, or 1000) people willingly want to risk their lives on a "hopeless" mission to Mars. It's a drop in the ocean, all things considered. Lets face it, 40.000 people commit suicide each year in the US (almost 850.000 on a global basis), what's another 20 on top of that? ;)

I did not agree on quite a number of your other posts but this is a wholehearted exception.
Assuming I have the spare money for the ticket which I currently don't, I would sign up in half a heartbeat.
We all have to go sometime so why not take a chance on a worthwhile journey to a brave new world. I am now near the end of my useful life and while I am still in reasonable health and physically able, I would welcome an opportunity of spending my remaining at most the span of a generation being part of something beneficial to mankind, however small,
I view it as leaving this plane of existence, much like most deaths except that I would know in advance the exact (or close) time I will be literally leaving this world and will be able to settle all earthy matters and bade a happy final farewell to all that I have known, animate or otherwise. If I survive and live my final years as a Mars colonist, well and good as I can still keep in touch with Earth (hope there will be internet connections) unlike going to Heaven or Hell. If otoh my life were to end anytime between liftoff and settlement in the Red planet, no problem. As you said, it is none of other people's business if I want to risk my life.
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:52 pm

maxter wrote:
Aha, a "No nonsense" engineer... as opposed to an aerospace engineer perhaps ... Working as an engineer in the aerospace "industry" does not necessarily make you an aerospace engineer.


Correct, I am not an aerospace engineer, I am a Physicist doing software engineering and have worked on satellite and space launch telemetry processing, spacecraft tracking also command-control systems in the aerospace industry.

maxter wrote:
...Maybe you also believe that NASA through NIAC was deluded and wasteful to spend any money on anti-matter propulsion research in 2006 and continues to discuss in it's publications (as recently as a couple of years ago)....


Scientific research is not always deluded or wasteful, and NASA does many studies like this on completely impractical technologies...But yes, I do believe anti-matter spaceflight proposals are delusional -- all the anti-matter produced at the CERN Large-Hadron-Collider which costs tens of billions of dollars to build and operate along with massive power requirements -- produces in one year, less than 2 picograms (2 / 1- trillion) of anti-protons...enough energy to lift 10 kg about 3-meters in one second...and they don't know how to store even that little. So even talking about anti-matter powered spaceflight in the manner Elon Musk did is completely delusional.

maxter wrote:
Your no nonsense engineering research and writing style has let you down on a couple of occasions in this very thread, and while you are absolutely within your rights to make these errors and call BS on what people who are orders of magnitude more accomplished than you, I too respectfully reserve the right to call BS on most what you have pronounced in the thread above.


I provided my thoughts on Elon Musk's accomplishments in the very first sentence of the first post of this thread and elsewhere...and actually, I am sure there are areas where each of us are more accomplished than Elon Musk... the particle physics I discussed just above is a subject that just maybe, I am more familiar with than Elon... and perhaps there are areas where you are more accomplished than Elon or me.

I do want to thank contributors to this topic such as VSMUT, iamlucky13, francoflier, neutrino, bikerthai and others who have posted here, even though they disagree with my posts. I desired this thread to be a place where we could discuss Elon Musk's plans for human Mars space travel and "colonization" in a more technical, and yes, skeptical sense...without the Elon "fanboy" approach taken in much of the aerospace media -- so true...I have suggested some BS from Elon Musk.

You are welcome to continue to post as well and thank- you for correcting any of my mistakes. Regards
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:24 pm

QuarkFly wrote:
without the Elon "fanboy" approach taken in much of the aerospace media -- so true...I have suggested some BS from Elon Musk.


Oh, so true. Space-X and Elon Musk has an Apple style fan-base which I find really cringe-worthy. I like Blue Origin's much more subtle approach a lot more.

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

Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:54 pm

One thing I will say though is that "fanboys" and "BS" have driven much technological innovation throughout history. As a simple example all the tech and people that a silly sci-fi show called Star Trek inspired. It was ridiculous and trite and full of tripe! But so many people became geeky, dorky, nerdy fans of it and it inspired them to want to make some of the things they thought were neato into reality. And here we are today.

So while there may be much that is fantastical about what Elon says and wants to do, staking these things helps people actually make them happen. I know that in his day Jules Verne was often considered just writer of fiction or children's books. So dreaming and proposing impossible things with nonsense technology is vital to our future and even to your future "no nonsense engineering" jobs.

Who cares if Elon doesn't go to Mars? Why does that matter? The truth I feel is that someday humans will go to Mars and to other planets and live "off world". But we will never get there unless someone actually steps forward and dares to be stupid enough to do there impossible things.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
iamlucky13
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:31 pm

vrbarreto wrote:
Aren't Space-X moaning about the PSLV and it's ownership by the Indian government but at the same time accepting US government funding for their own 'private' venture?


Those situations aren't as equivalent as you think they are. The Indian government holds all the financial risk for the PSLV, yet competes on the open market. SpaceX receives government money to demonstrate a capability the government wants maintained in the US, but most of the financial risk is on SpaceX. NASA takes some of the risk for NASA specific goals, but even then the risk is shared, and they take none of the risk for commercial launches. So for the CRS-7 failure, for example, my understanding is SpaceX received partial payment, because payment milestones include things such as payload processing and launch readiness review, but not full payment because the cargo was not delivered. They will receive nothing from NASA for Amos-6 failure. Likewise, capabilities that benefit SpaceX aren't funded by NASA. NASA shared costs of developing a resupply capability for the space station, but not for developing the ability to recover the 1st stage.

QuarkFly wrote:
And even worse -- this "planet colonization" effort distracts from real space science and exploration which is better done by unmanned space probes, like the rovers operating on Mars right now...


Mr. Mars Rover himself, Dr. Steven Squyres has opined that humans on Mars would be far, far more effective at science than the rovers are. They use the rovers because they're the tool that is currently available, not because they're better.

QuarkFly wrote:
Also -- Musk should not be using KSC and Launch pad 39A at KSC for his mega-rocket -- launch it at his own site somewhere else. -- Stop asking for taxpayer assistance developing his Raptor engines for this bad idea (in my view of course :) ) and using Taxpayer assets like NASA Stennis Space Center to test them


You clearly haven't been paying enough attention to SpaceX to express as fierce of opinions as you are. NASA had no planned use of LC-39A after the shuttle retirement. The lease brings in money from a facility that otherwise would gradually rust away like half of the old missile pads at CCAFS.

QuarkFly wrote:
And stop pretending his plans are in any way realistic in the time frame he has suggested.


I think they're unrealistic. I'm also not too worried about that, because taxpayer money isn't going to get spent on them unless and until he's demonstrated a significant part of the capability he's claimed. Congress is very risk averse. For all their bluster about saving money, it took years to get them to agree to fund the COTS program to only the level of half the cost of a shuttle launch (or 2-3 EELV launches) in order to share the development cost of not one, but two station resupply systems.

If Musk shows he can get his Raptor engine working and build giant composite rocket bodies, then I think we can start the discussion of whether NASA should get involved to utilize those systems for their own exploration goals.
 
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:29 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
You clearly haven't been paying enough attention to SpaceX to express as fierce of opinions as you are. NASA had no planned use of LC-39A after the shuttle retirement. The lease brings in money from a facility that otherwise would gradually rust away like half of the old missile pads at CCAFS.


I believe the lease for pad 39A and others at KSC is no cost to SpaceX..They maintain the pad and pay for upgrades necessary for Falcon Heavy. Someone correct me if you have more details. That's fine for standard launches for government customers, but commercial customers should be paying rent in my view.

If SpaceX wants to launch this giant BFR from 39A -- then we have a problem. The Falcon-9 explosion in September badly damaged pad 40, so we don't want to repeat that with much larger rockets. Pad 39A is a nationally registered historic site where Saturn Apollo and the first moon landings left from. This 20 million pound BFR rocket exploding there would decimate the site...Then again -- I don't think it will ever launch, but lets not even try it there.
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:52 pm

QuarkFly wrote:
iamlucky13 wrote:
You clearly haven't been paying enough attention to SpaceX to express as fierce of opinions as you are. NASA had no planned use of LC-39A after the shuttle retirement. The lease brings in money from a facility that otherwise would gradually rust away like half of the old missile pads at CCAFS.


I believe the lease for pad 39A and others at KSC is no cost to SpaceX..They maintain the pad and pay for upgrades necessary for Falcon Heavy. Someone correct me if you have more details. That's fine for standard launches for government customers, but commercial customers should be paying rent in my view.

If SpaceX wants to launch this giant BFR from 39A -- then we have a problem. The Falcon-9 explosion in September badly damaged pad 40, so we don't want to repeat that with much larger rockets. Pad 39A is a nationally registered historic site where Saturn Apollo and the first moon landings left from. This 20 million pound BFR rocket exploding there would decimate the site...Then again -- I don't think it will ever launch, but lets not even try it there.


I just can't fault SpaceX for leasing and using pad 39A. And I'm not sure but it appears you are. Correct me if I am wrong.

Essentially SpaceX is paying KSC for use of the pad. Whether it is by paying the costs associated with the pad (noted to be $1.2M per year) or more, the lease is creating value to KSC. With just a quick search I found this:
http://spacenews.com/36408congressmen-r ... f-pad-39a/
http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/sp ... 39a-n81226

So the terms aren't public and there may be no payment now but I do suspect that payment terms are established if certain thresholds are met.

As to damage etc. to a "historic site".... I really don't care. It is essentially what launch pad is supposed to do and endure and SpaceX paid to modify it and spec it to their launch needs. If the BFR does blow up then the damage is for a good reason and worth it and SpaceX will pay and clean it up and the important thing the launch pad is there for will continue. Being a "historic site" is basically meaningless to me if the task it was created for is not getting done, it is historic for what tasks have been able to be performed there.

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

Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:42 am

Competition for the first Mars voyage -- old school Boeing wants a try,,,

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/10/ ... ur-rocket/

...but using $60 billion at least of NASA money for the SLS which many have called a white elephant.
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Francoflier
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:39 am

QuarkFly wrote:
Competition for the first Mars voyage -- old school Boeing wants a try,,,


Quite the differing approaches there...

You're right in saying Boeing is 'old school'. There's no more 'old school' (and arrogant) behavior for a defense/space contractor than saying: Sure, we'll get you to Mars, just give us $60 Billion dollars (plus the eventual overruns), and that's just for an expandable rocket that uses parts mostly repurposed from the 1970's Space Shuttle program...

That's the approach of a bullish lobby-driven long-time government contractor who's cocky enough to name his own price and bear none of the risk.

I'm not sure this is what the space program needs to be like anymore. NASA is keen to make private contractor take a larger share of the burden, and rightfully so. As much as I love witnessing the advancement of space exploration, dumping billions of tax payer money into a single program of doubtful realistic goal other than bragging rights seems so 1960...

You can say what you want about Musk and his far fetched dreams, but he is smart enough to have realized that massive amounts of government money is not the long term answer to the durable presence of men and women in space. The Space 'business model' needs to evolve past this. I'm not saying that the government and NASA won't play any role in it anymore, quite the contrary, but we need to try something other than the 'Apollo' approach.
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:33 am

A pretty detailed Reddit discussion with Elon Musk about Mars plans and technical issues...

...Talks about geodesic dome habitats and tunneling droids, -- also Mars propellant production, new Raptor engine, Falcon 9 and ITS rocket details -- and back to earth landings not covered in the initial IAC discussion -- plenty more...

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comment ... ecoming_a/
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Aesma
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:44 pm

Riding on a Boeing rocket... So basically the man isn't even aware that the rocket is only to get to space, then you need a spaceship to travel.

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Groover158
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:44 pm

I get that it's not going to be easy to colonise Mars, and that you are skeptical that it can be done. However, after reading through this entire thread, It didn't take me long to get the impression that you seem to have an axe to grind with Elon Musk...

QuarkFly wrote:
...but pretty good deal for Elon Musk, isn't it?...


QuarkFly wrote:
...I think some of this is extreme egotism and desire for grandeur by Elon Musk....


QuarkFly wrote:
...I have learned to sniff out BS in the space industry when I see it...


QuarkFly wrote:
...but pretty good deal for Elon Musk, isn't it?...


QuarkFly wrote:
...It is incredulous, it makes no sense!! ....which is why I ask what's Elon Musk really up to here?...


QuarkFly wrote:
...Or, could it be this is just the way Musk gets others to subsidize his rocket fetish...Hmmm ??...


QuarkFly wrote:
...Megalomania at its finest !!...


However, in fairness, you did say that you were -

QuarkFly wrote:
...impressed with Elon Musk's accomplishments, Tesla cars, Solar City, SpaceX and its booster-stage landings...

- but by and large you seem to be playing the man to bolster your argument.

From my perspective, whether Elon Musk spends the money or raises the money for his attempt to colonise Mars doesn't really matter. The fact is we need the likes of him to push us along or we are destined to remain a stagnant species destined to fail. At the very least, he is having a go; and it's not an uneducated or hap-hazard go, it will be an informed and methodical go. After all, from what I have read about him and from his past form, he doesn't strike me as being an idiot. As for waiting until we have the necessary technology, we can wait forever or we can start somewhere now. He may say that he intends to send man to Mars in just a few short years, but that doesn't mean that it's not going to take longer than that. Sure there will be risks, but I'm pretty confident that he is not going to risk lives just to meet a timeline.
 
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:06 am

Groover158 wrote:
I get that it's not going to be easy to colonise Mars, and that you are skeptical that it can be done. However, after reading through this entire thread, It didn't take me long to get the impression that you seem to have an axe to grind with Elon Musk...

- but by and large you seem to be playing the man to bolster your argument.
...
From my perspective, whether Elon Musk spends the money or raises the money for his attempt to colonise Mars doesn't really matter. The fact is we need the likes of him to push us along or we are destined to remain a stagnant species destined to fail. At the very least, he is having a go; and it's not an uneducated or hap-hazard go, it will be an informed and methodical go. After all, from what I have read about him and from his past form, he doesn't strike me as being an idiot. As for waiting until we have the necessary technology, we can wait forever or we can start somewhere now. He may say that he intends to send man to Mars in just a few short years, but that doesn't mean that it's not going to take longer than that. Sure there will be risks, but I'm pretty confident that he is not going to risk lives just to meet a timeline.


So you read the entire thread, wow !! -- And true, I've been sticking it to the man a bit here, I admit...but I found it frustrating that press reports about Elon Musk and his planetary colonization ideas are never challenging or skeptical when in fact, as you read above, there are many enormous technical, economic and human obstacles to overcome which seem to be met with hand waving.

On top of that -- Mars, the first planet Elon wants his erstwhile space travelers to visit -- is just a lousy place to be and people, if they survive the trip, will want out ASAP. So I hope to be proven wrong and we see people walking on Mars soon -- but in the meantime, this thread is open to planet colony supporters and also skeptics like me...and Elon if you are a A.Netter, set us all straight, right here, if you can :)
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:38 am

...But give them credit for effort, ITS (or BFR) fuel tank tested -- so big, had to tow it out to sea.

https://www.slashgear.com/spacex-mars-i ... -18464668/
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:17 am

Still watching for progress, Elon -- and potential Mars ticket-holders are waiting while life is short !! See you have delayed first Dragon to Mars mission past the 2018 close approach, now 2020...

http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/17/14652 ... ssion-2020

Tunneling under LA for no reason isn't getting us any closer to Mars!!

http://www.laweekly.com/news/elon-musks ... al-7945503
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parapente
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:58 am

Can we?
Will we ?
Should we?

Yes we can - just with the use of chemical rockets.But it is really pushing the envelope of what this power source can do.It is also highly dangerous and unreliable.But yes you can.

Yes we will.Why? For that age old reason.Because it is there.Humans are hard wired to do this (well the male of the species).

Should we?Logically no.The present reasoning-Sorry -excuse that the earth might suddenly die tomorrow so we better have a second house is just (obviously) made up scaremongering hogwash.

But yes we will and this is the guy that's gonna do it - in conjunction with NASA and their new big rocket (that hasn't got a job at the moment).He is right in with Trump - no accident.

Personally I like the red dragon concept.This should be expanded.What we need to do first is.
1.Do good science.This means bringing multiple samples of Mars materials back to earth.This will also provide the learning programme of how to (soft) land and take off safely from this planet (V difficult actually).

Lastly -if they are really serious in making 'going to Mars' a common and safe event then they will need a different and better propulsion system.So let's take the Musk philosophy.One cannot fail to notice his approach (it never varies whatever the project -cars,trains,solar or rockets).He takes what is here and proven now and simply makes it better/cheaper.
Well is so happens that the next gen' technolody has already been developed and successfully tested.It is thermal nuclear rocket engines.Nasa developed these in the 70's for just this purpose (Mars) and they worked just fine.Much more powerful and much safer.

The only concern was 'what if'.What if the chemical rocket taking it into orbit failed?But they even did a 'simulated crash' and the results were perfectly acceptable - and no doubt could be improved.
So why not do 10 years of red dragons.Yup and if you want do a dare devil human mission similar to moon landings.But spend that decade producing the right sort of engine for long term safe transport to Mars (and indeed elsewhere).
 
WIederling
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:03 am

".. he Russians tried 30 moderate size 1st stage engines for 10-million lb thrust on the N-1 moon rocket and it was nothing but a disaster..."

From that position going forward the NK33 and NK43 were designed.
Engines with comparable efficiency but vastly increased reliability.
The major issue in clustered engines is fratricide from single engine failure
avalancheing across the remaining engines and complete launcher.
With modern supervisory electronics ( compare jet engines ) you can
switch off engines under most failure conditions and be save(r).
Murphy is an optimist
 
WIederling
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:08 am

"Well is so happens that the next gen' technolody has already been developed and successfully tested.It is thermal nuclear rocket engines.Nasa developed these in the 70's for just this purpose (Mars) and they worked just fine.Much more powerful and much safer."

beyond NERVA, see:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_lightbulb
Murphy is an optimist
 
parapente
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:49 pm

Thx Wierdling.Most interesting.My only concern is that it is new and untried technology (although no doubt better).The attractive thing about Nerva is it has had 10-15 years of serious development and indeed was ready to go flight stage.Using the Musk model.it exists and works so the uncertainty element is removed,the time factors shortened (he wants to do everything yesterday) and (rough) costs are known and understood.
If they genuinely wanted to have space 'rockets' beating back and fourth from Mars with acceptable safety this would surely be the way.
I would still imagine chemical rockets with a role both at the Earth and Mars elements of the trips.(i.e. The nuclear rocket stays in space orbit whether it be Earth or Mars).

Even with all that said,from what
 
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:54 pm

Earth ( or any planet) to an LO is the biggest delta v / energy expenditure in space travel.
And you need to invest that energy in a short timeframe otherwise gravitiy losses
will make it massively inefficient.

All other orbit changes are relatively low energy.

chemical propulsion gives you an isp of 350..450max
NERVA style drives would provide for ~1000
nuclear lightbulb would be in the 3k..10k domain.
nuclear pulsedrive would top out at an isp of 100k. ( really MY drive )
In between the electric space drives. Actually a good fit.
Once you are in orbit you have no minimum thrust requirements.
Murphy is an optimist
 
aviationaware
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:16 pm

QuarkFly wrote:
...But give them credit for effort, ITS (or BFR) fuel tank tested -- so big, had to tow it out to sea.

https://www.slashgear.com/spacex-mars-i ... -18464668/


It's somewhat entertaining. You say you work in satellites, and SpaceX is the one company that already has reduced launch costs for satellites like no other in the past decades, and they will drop further. Yet you somehow don't seem to be thrilled about that. Are you afraid that the advent of more satellite flying will make your job less special?

Elon Musk's timelines are always way off, but everyone who has ever worked with large aerospace companies knows that the only way they function is through very tight timelines inducing lots of pressure on everyone. That's how Airbus works, that's how Boeing works. I am sure that's how SpaceX works.

Meanwhile, though dates and many specifics are still tbd, they are farther along the track to Mars than anyone before them. You, on the other hand, admitted implicitly a few months ago that you are too chicken to try anything that hasn't been proven to work before you even started trying. That's not how progress is made. You even added insult to injury by claiming the impossibility of things that have been done for years, like farming in space or living isolated as a small group for a long time (Mars 500).

You see only problems were people like Elon Musk see opportunity. If the world was full of people like you, nobody would ever have ventured to find out the world wasn't flat. You may think that's an out of order comparison, but it isn't. It's a matter of mindset, and yours is just sad.
 
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:08 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
QuarkFly wrote:
There is no real advantage to colonizing planets with such hostile environments.


Yes there is. Planet earth will die sooner or later.


Apparently in the next 50 years we'll have run out of resources, so they had better hurry up.
Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (retired).
 
WIederling
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:35 pm

Balerit wrote:
Apparently in the next 50 years we'll have run out of resources, so they had better hurry up.


We'll switch to a cannibal ecology. ( 7.44b lecker humans. Hmmm :-)
Murphy is an optimist
 
georgiabill
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:35 pm

Not to sound like a doubter. But would it not be more prudent to establish a working base on the moon, before even considering a base on mars? Heck we have not even attempted a manned mission to mars yet and not likely for at least another 10 to 20 years, if then. I would be a lot more optimistic should we have to have a luna base operating, functioning, self sufficient while working out the bugs. Before trying to do it on Mars.
 
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:36 pm

georgiabill wrote:
Not to sound like a doubter. But would it not be more prudent to establish a working base on the moon, before even considering a base on mars? Heck we have not even attempted a manned mission to mars yet and not likely for at least another 10 to 20 years, if then. I would be a lot more optimistic should we have to have a luna base operating, functioning, self sufficient while working out the bugs. Before trying to do it on Mars.


I believe the general consensus has changed on using a lunar base as a try-out for self-sufficient human space residence. No great reason to be on the moon unless we try to do something with the very minimal water that may be there. No atmosphere to obtain Oxygen easily or for growing anything. Also the energy required to land on the lunar surface and to escape its gravity makes it more expensive than a simple space station, although Mars is even worse in that respect.

aviationaware wrote:
It's somewhat entertaining. You say you work in satellites, and SpaceX is the one company that already has reduced launch costs for satellites like no other in the past decades, and they will drop further. Yet you somehow don't seem to be thrilled about that. Are you afraid that the advent of more satellite flying will make your job less special?


No...Again, see the first few sentences of the first post of this topic to see what I think about SpaceX, Elon Musk. And more "satellite flying" will make my job even more important.

aviationaware wrote:
...Meanwhile, though dates and many specifics are still tbd, they are farther along the track to Mars than anyone before them. You, on the other hand, admitted implicitly a few months ago that you are too chicken to try anything that hasn't been proven to work before you even started trying. That's not how progress is made. You even added insult to injury by claiming the impossibility of things that have been done for years, like farming in space or living isolated as a small group for a long time (Mars 500). ...


Wrong -- I never in any way implied I was "too chicken" to try things that are not proven. I did suggest that we not try to do implausible or unworkable things like planet colonization until the technology is ready...The same way we have decided not to have human colonies at the bottom of the ocean or agriculture in Antarctica...not because it is impossible, but because it makes no sense.

But yes, I have, like others on this topic, viewed this idea by Elon Musk for human Mars (and other planets) travel/colonies starting in the next decade as a bad idea for the reasons you can see in posts above...and simply because Mars is a dead planet, not worth the effort for humans to live there. Instead I have suggested more non-human planetary exploration, a far more rewarding experience for our efforts and money. That technology is now ready and getting better.
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aviationaware
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:24 am

The technology will never just 'be ready' unless the envelopes are pushed constantly. In the meantime, some people will just have to be willing to take on some risk, and luckily people like Elon Musk and his investors are.
If you have followed SpaceX's beginnings, you will know that Musk basically bet his entire life's savings on the company before some big ticket investors jumped on the winning team. So some of the accusations you have issued in this thread are just out of order.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:34 pm

Even if we send few humans to other planets to colonize, will they be able to reproduce with all the radiation they absorbed during their journey?
 
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:20 pm

The Matt Damon movie The Martian had a vehicle that shuttled astronauts from the Earth to Mars and would loop around both planets. I know it's just a sci-fi movie, but a vehicle like that would drastically reduce the cost of travel. IDK how they got from the surface to that vehicle, but that's not a problem today. We have mastered getting to orbit with rockets; but space elevators on the other hand... that's what Musk should be working on; affordable space travel, one step in the right direction toward Mars.

Hell they could even add some small thrusters to the ISS to carry out a mission like the vehicle in the movie. It's large enough to comfortably support a crew to Mars for a long time and the necessary provisions they would need.
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prebennorholm
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:13 am

Look at it this way: Manned space flight is old-fashioned. There is nothing which we cannot do better with robots.

The Moon landings and anything prior to that were totally politically motivated. The U.S. military saw a potential in the X-20 Dyna Soar program, but it was cancelled over fifty years ago as its purpose was better filled by robots.

Then came the Shuttle era. Without initial military support it had gone nowhere. But long time before the Shuttle could be considered reasonably operational, the military had mostly lost interest. Servicing robotic spacecrafts with new film rolls, developing liquids, fuel etc. had been overtaken by new electronic imaging and other advanced things.

Today we have the ISS. The people up there hopefully have fun doing various science, but it is in reality another politically motivated thing, supported by a modernized version of an almost fifty years old Russian spacecraft. As long as people of all nationalities can cooperate well in space, then we hope that they can one day learn to behave equally well on the surface of planet Earth.

When the ISS is worn out, or funding dries up, then the era of manned space flight is over for good. Maybe the Chinese will continue a few more years to copy the Gagarin era, just to show that they can.

We will of course see even more fantastic robotic missions to the entire solar system including comets, minor planets and asteroids. What has already been done on Mars is breathtaking, and it far outperforms anything a man could have done on Mars.

The Moon landings were a great show and did a lot of good science. But if there should ever be a follow up, then no sane person would today propose to complicate the mission with humans on board.

The bottom of the oceans is comparable to space flight. Fifty or a hundred years ago there was a minor rush to get deep into the oceans with strange manned capsules. During the later decades that has ended. Science is done down there much, much better with robots.
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:04 pm

Depends of course on what your goals are. For exploration, yes. Maybe even mining. But not for establishing another location for humans to live in...
 
mxaxai
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:54 pm

prebennorholm wrote:
Look at it this way: Manned space flight is old-fashioned. There is nothing which we cannot do better with robots.

The Moon landings and anything prior to that were totally politically motivated. The U.S. military saw a potential in the X-20 Dyna Soar program, but it was cancelled over fifty years ago as its purpose was better filled by robots.

Then came the Shuttle era. Without initial military support it had gone nowhere. But long time before the Shuttle could be considered reasonably operational, the military had mostly lost interest. Servicing robotic spacecrafts with new film rolls, developing liquids, fuel etc. had been overtaken by new electronic imaging and other advanced things.

Today we have the ISS. The people up there hopefully have fun doing various science, but it is in reality another politically motivated thing, supported by a modernized version of an almost fifty years old Russian spacecraft. As long as people of all nationalities can cooperate well in space, then we hope that they can one day learn to behave equally well on the surface of planet Earth.

When the ISS is worn out, or funding dries up, then the era of manned space flight is over for good. Maybe the Chinese will continue a few more years to copy the Gagarin era, just to show that they can.

We will of course see even more fantastic robotic missions to the entire solar system including comets, minor planets and asteroids. What has already been done on Mars is breathtaking, and it far outperforms anything a man could have done on Mars.

The Moon landings were a great show and did a lot of good science. But if there should ever be a follow up, then no sane person would today propose to complicate the mission with humans on board.

The bottom of the oceans is comparable to space flight. Fifty or a hundred years ago there was a minor rush to get deep into the oceans with strange manned capsules. During the later decades that has ended. Science is done down there much, much better with robots.


There are two things robots cannot do and will likely never be able to:
  • Repairing and modifying themselves
    As we have seen with the hubble telescope (and various other failed missions), there is much that can go wrong. At some point in time, all components will wear out and fail. If we are to perform more than a few scientific measurements, having skilled engineers alongside is a must-have. Unlike oceans, damaged equipment in space cannot be retrieved within a couple of hours and sent back to work quickly.
  • Colonizing
    Wether humanity should do this is debatable, but living outside of the earth is - by definition - only possible for humans. Contrary to the ocean floor, other plantes CAN support human life themselves. Sure, you need adequate shelter and euqipment to provide water and air conditioning, but once that is provided a large enough group of humans can survive without constant support from earth.

I concur that much of current and past manned spaceflight could have been achieved equally well with robots. However, any mission studying the astronauts themselves and all missions involving assembly or repair in space were only possible by shooting humans into space.
 
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Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:34 pm

mxaxai wrote:
There are two things robots cannot do and will likely never be able to:
  • Repairing and modifying themselves
    As we have seen with the hubble telescope (and various other failed missions), there is much that can go wrong. At some point in time, all components will wear out and fail. If we are to perform more than a few scientific measurements, having skilled engineers alongside is a must-have. Unlike oceans, damaged equipment in space cannot be retrieved within a couple of hours and sent back to work quickly.


Lower launch costs should eliminate the need for humans to service space hardware. Would have been much cheaper to just launch a new space telescope(s) instead of servicing Hubble in space with billion dollar shuttle mission...which were essentially public relations shows for NASA to show off space walking. Also, there are space probes now leaving the solar system, launched in the 1970's that never needed skilled engineers to fix them.

mxaxai wrote:
  • Colonizing
    Wether humanity should do this is debatable, but living outside of the earth is - by definition - only possible for humans. Contrary to the ocean floor, other plantes CAN support human life themselves. Sure, you need adequate shelter and euqipment to provide water and air conditioning, but once that is provided a large enough group of humans can survive without constant support from earth.


  • Actually the ocean floor easily supports humans better than planets -- much simpler to obtain oxygen, fresh water and food in the ocean than on Mars or other planets...But we still don't do it, because it would be foolish and unnecessary!

    The desire to push boundaries and live in space is understandable, but people ignore the day-to-day realities and human nature...Mars would be a lousy place to live and work -- and after the novelty of getting there wears off, people will dislike it and want to leave. Humans first walked on the Moon almost 50 years ago...how many humans live there now? Same for Mars and other planets. They will stay devoid of permanent human settlement, Nobody wants to live, struggling to survive, on a boring dead planet for no good reason...

    ...But the robots and droids will love it there ;)
    Always take the Red Eye if possible
     
    mxaxai
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    Re: Sorry Elon, You're Not Going to Colonize Planets

    Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:29 pm

    QuarkFly wrote:
    mxaxai wrote:
    There are two things robots cannot do and will likely never be able to:
    • Repairing and modifying themselves
      As we have seen with the hubble telescope (and various other failed missions), there is much that can go wrong. At some point in time, all components will wear out and fail. If we are to perform more than a few scientific measurements, having skilled engineers alongside is a must-have. Unlike oceans, damaged equipment in space cannot be retrieved within a couple of hours and sent back to work quickly.


    Lower launch costs should eliminate the need for humans to service space hardware. Would have been much cheaper to just launch a new space telescope(s) instead of servicing Hubble in space with billion dollar shuttle mission...which were essentially public relations shows for NASA to show off space walking. Also, there are space probes now leaving the solar system, launched in the 1970's that never needed skilled engineers to fix them.

    mxaxai wrote:
  • Colonizing
    Wether humanity should do this is debatable, but living outside of the earth is - by definition - only possible for humans. Contrary to the ocean floor, other plantes CAN support human life themselves. Sure, you need adequate shelter and euqipment to provide water and air conditioning, but once that is provided a large enough group of humans can survive without constant support from earth.


  • Actually the ocean floor easily supports humans better than planets -- much simpler to obtain oxygen, fresh water and food in the ocean than on Mars or other planets...But we still don't do it, because it would be foolish and unnecessary!

    The desire to push boundaries and live in space is understandable, but people ignore the day-to-day realities and human nature...Mars would be a lousy place to live and work -- and after the novelty of getting there wears off, people will dislike it and want to leave. Humans first walked on the Moon almost 50 years ago...how many humans live there now? Same for Mars and other planets. They will stay devoid of permanent human settlement, Nobody wants to live, struggling to survive, on a boring dead planet for no good reason...

    ...But the robots and droids will love it there ;)


    People actually live in Australia, you know, a huge, boring, dead area, sent there for no good reason, dealing with high radiation every day. :)

    Yes, the oceans can easily provide water and, to a limited extent, food. What they cannot provide, save for some special areas, is an energy source. Solar power makes it much easier to provide settlers with the neccessary energy to run an airconditioning, melt ice, generate oxygen, etc.
    Obviously, the moon as well as all asteroids, lacking an atmosphere, are a very hostile environment. Venus with its acidic clouds even more so. However, Mars could, in theory at least, support plant growth and a breathable atmosphere.

    The probes currently leaving our solar system are operating with very deprived batteries. Only very basic instruments remain functioning and at some point, sooner or later, the remaining power will not suffice for communcation, which is when they will have lost functionality. Additionally, most probes have been very lightweight, easy pieces of engineering. The farthest distance moved autonomously extraterrestially has been about 43km by Opportunity. That is what a human could walk in 1 to 2 days. Their drills and excavating equipment reach a few centimeters at most. A human with a pickaxe could easily explore deeper layers of the soil and bedrock. Of course, something like a large excavator could be used, especially for eventual proper mining activities. However, any large and heavy duty machine needs regular servicing by humans.


    You mention costs. This is why I consider self-dependancy, or at least an adequate return of investment of future space travellers an absolute must. Once a population can support itself, the operation's running costs approach nil. After all, I do not see anyone complaining about the cost of keeping an independant terrestial nation up and running. "Oh look, 300 mio. people live in the USA. That costs $ 15 trillion in salaries alone." "Oil platforms are inherently unprofitable because you need to send people into a hostile environment far away from the next human population."

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