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#1 2017-02-04 00:20:06

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan
nextbigfuture.com
fa25551e22cb6a853a6c78f6114889a3
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, has made trips to Trump Tower. He met with Trump and the Washington Post has ben reliably told, discussed Mars and public-private partnerships. Elon Musk and SpaceX have the bold dream of colonizing Mars, and think they can launch the first human mission to the surface of the Red Planet as soon as 2024 — when Trump, if reelected, would still be in the White House. (We understand that Musk also talked with Trump about other issues, including the need for a smart grid — the kind of infrastructure that would give a boost to the solar energy business, in which Musk is a leader via his investments in the company Solar City.) Elon's Vision of the Mars Colony ...
http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/02/tr … ation.html

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#2 2017-02-04 08:43:07

RobS
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From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
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Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

Thanks for the link to the article at nextbigfuture.com. It has great images, but the article itself irritates me quite a bit. It isn't organized very well. The speculation about the 45th President funding Space X's plans is just that; speculation. It's a natural speculation to make, but it is very easy and not worth serving as an opening paragraph.

Did Zubrin write the article? I hope so, because otherwise there's a huge piece of plagiarism in the article, with Zubrin's complaints being lifted verbatim from another source, complete with retaining the first person singular. Any article really needs to have an author line and I didn't see one here.

And Zubrin's critiques themselves are worthy of critique. This is not the first time I have seen them and I don't think he understands (or takes seriously) some of the key assumptions in the Space X plan. The Interplanetary Transport System, which is 4 times bigger than the Saturn V, is too big? What constitutes "too big"? It certainly strikes me as damn big--BFR applies to it--but I am not sure there is a scientific way to define "too big." And Zubrin wants the second stage and interplanetary transport hab separable, and the latter to stay on the Martian surface. So, Musk wants to spent several hundred million or so to build the interplanetary transport hab for 100 people and Zubrin wants to use it once and leave it on the Martian surface? Musk wants a system that gets cheap. Zubrin's complaint, basically, is that it will take too much propellant to send it back to Earth. But what is "too much" propellant? Musk's assumption in his entire system is that propellant is cheap and equipment must be reused. Ironically, Zubrin can't think out of the technological box of his Mars Direct plan; an idea that itself was developed because he could think outside the box of the exiting architectures! Musk has taken the ideas of the Mars Direct plan to yet a new plateau.

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#3 2017-02-04 08:54:38

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,666

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

I have noticed that there is a lot of resistance to change involved with "Mars Thinking".  It is as if invention and innovation are regarded as the works of Satan, and old ideas are simply circled back to over and over again.  Not that science, more like a religion, sadly.

Otherwise, I am looking in particular at this:
Quote:

Elon's Vision of the Mars Colony

Initially, glass panes with carbon fiber frames to build geodesic domes on the surface, plus a lot of miner/tunneling droids. With the latter, you can build out a huge amount of pressurized space for industrial operations and leave the glass domes for green living space.

Two parts.  The geodesic domes?  Well, love to see them happen.  Has anyone ever built one on Earth and pressurized it to 1.1, 1.3, 2.0 bars long term?  This would give a differential pressure test of 100, 333, 1000 mb. I would think that testing is required before expecting them to work on Mars.  I would love to see them work/endure/be repairable.

The other part I like more, about "a lot of miner/tunneling droids".  Helps explain Elon Musks little game of making a "Boring Company".  (Not a real company).

As for Trump, I am not sure most people understand what he is after.  They are making a lot of assumptions.  I think he will support technological capability where it is in the interests of the USA.  More or less what he has said.  "America First".

Last edited by Void (2017-02-04 08:58:07)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#4 2017-02-04 09:32:01

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

Well it fits with his plan of a trillion dollar infrastructure program using public-private partnerships. SpaceX is a for profit company, that means some of the money for certain space programs can come from private sources, so long as a feasible plan to earn a profit is put forward. What private investors invest, the government doesn't spend. Seems to me a reusable rocket could be profitable, the article also mentions using similar technology for point to point transportation on Earth with a reusable rocket. This will beat air travel, you can travel anywhere on Earth's surface in less than an hour, from New York to New Zealand for instance. Airplanes would become obsolete except for short distances. I wonder what an international spaceport would look like based on SpaceX technology, does it have multiple launch and landing pads? It would seem to require one for each rocket. the rockets would not be able to taxi to the gate, passengers would have to walk up to the launch pad and take an elevator to the passenger cabin, they would then climb up a ladder to their seats, slide on their backs to their acceleration couches, and strap themselves in as they get ready for launch. Then the rocket would blast off making a lot of noise, after a bit the first stage would separate and return to the spaceport, while the second stage continues on a ballitic trajectory above the atmosphere, it would then turn around and retroburn into the atmosphere, then land on a landing pad, the passengers would then disembark down a ladder or stairway.

The Moon would also be easily within reach with ITS technology. A Moon mission starts off like a Mars mission only it would be much shorter The rocket launches goes into orbit, the bottom stage lands, a tanker stage is loaded, then it launches again, meeting the upper stage to refuel, then it goes into translunar injection, lands on the Moon, maybe it can refuel with some lunar oxygen and then blast off for Earth again. Seems it might have to stage and leave parts of itself behind on the Moon until some local refueling sources can be developed. Oxygen is plentiful, carbon and hydrogen for making methane is more scarce. Perhaps fuel can be delivered to lunar orbit.

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2017-02-04 09:45:06)

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#5 2017-02-04 09:56:23

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,666

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

Lets just say that I am open minded to a shift in strategic notions, tactics will morph as time and strategy changes.

The Moon mostly has Oxygen to offer, and science.  It has been pointed out that it also has a gravity well which is not liked for toting materials to orbit.  However, it may be within reach of telepresence, and the gravity environment of the surface may be ideal for all we know.

Things are heavy on Earth, less so on the Moon.  But in microgravity manipulation of objects is complicated and troublesome in other ways.
The Moon offers a generally "Flatish" surface where wheels will work.  The cost of a manufactured item such as Oxygen will not just be the energy of production, or the energy of transport out of a gravity well, but also the success of material manipulations.  How hard is it to actually process the materials.

And then there is the human health issue in microgravity.  Not proven, but it is likely that a humans health will hold up better on the surface of the Moon as far as gravity issues are concerned than in microgravity.

Imagine "Driving" a autonomous derivative of "Handler" on the Moon.

THOU SHALT NOT INNOVATE!

Yes they will.
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=bo … ORM=VRDGAR

Imagine that their are 10,000 handler robots on the Moon for every human.

Imagine how high Handler could jump on the Moon smile Maybe jumping over obstacles?

From Tom, Quote:

Oxygen is plentiful, carbon and hydrogen for making methane is more scarce. Perhaps fuel can be delivered to lunar orbit.

That is why I am interested in Bennu and objects like it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/101955_Bennu

If a rubble pile asteroid, of small size can be located with Carbon and Hydrogen, which Bennu may be, then by robotic transfer, those needed materials may be available.  It is also not entirely out of the question to refuel directly at a object like Bennu.  Somewhat unlikely, but maybe.

And then if you can access Bennu, then you have shielding materials, and possibly valuable metals.  Or if you can send robots to Bennu, then you can likely also send them to rocks with valuable metals.

So, if you could get hydrocarbons from rubble heaps, you could then either process them as necessary in an Earth/Moon orbit.  Most likely just baking out the Hydrocarbons and Sulfur compounds.  And alternative would be to crash tar onto the Moon and retrieve it.

I recall that it is said it should be possible to crash big chunks of ice into the Moons surface and the bigger part will remain to be collected, while a significant amount would vaporize and be lost.  If you crashed a frozen hydrocarbon chunk with Volitile sulfur compounds in it to the Moon, the Sulfur compounds would vaporize (Sulfur Dioxide???), and thus shelter the tar from overheating and vaporizing.

But, then of course, not necessarily the best method to provide fuel to the Moon.  But maybe a good way to supply carbon and hydrogen to the Moon.

I am very in favor of trying to develop a thermally heated metal solid rocket propulsion system, fed with liquid Oxygen, so a hybrid rocket which is also a hybrid of a chemical rocket and a steam rocket.

Someone else's turn.

Last edited by Void (2017-02-04 10:18:05)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#6 2017-02-04 10:21:01

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,954

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

I remain somewhat skeptical of Musk's grandiose plans, especially the 100 passenger space ship. There definitely needs be some intermediate "proof of concept," and "pathfinder" vehicle as an intermediate step. The amount of food needed by 100 colonists is almost unimaginable when one does the calculations. As much as I'm a "fan" of Elon and SpaceX, he needs a hard dose of reality.
An intermediate vehicle capable of carrying 12 humans and a lot of food should be a first step, but the first several flights carrying crews of 7 and needed equipment. Maybe by the mid 2030's we could begin bringing larger numbers, but otherwise, proceed carefully and somewhat cautiously. Criticism of the Zubrin Mars Direct architecture is unfounded. Reusability is definitely a goal to pursue, but probably not in the first 2-3 Hohmann transfer opportunities after the hardware becomes available. A goal of first establishing a VIABLE  human presence needs to be accomplished, followed by colonization. Not trying to be a wet blanket, but a rational and realistic critic. There's nothing wrong with 'Thinking Big," if tempered with a dose of reality.

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#7 2017-02-04 11:37:30

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,666

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

OLDFART1939,

It took me a while to digest what you said.  It took me a while to try to climb up to my higher self as well.  But I am pleased that I think I have.  Yes, of course you are right.  Having a grasp of reality is like having strong bones that will not break.
Quote:

I remain somewhat skeptical of Musk's grandiose plans, especially the 100 passenger space ship. There definitely needs be some intermediate "proof of concept," and "pathfinder" vehicle as an intermediate step. The amount of food needed by 100 colonists is almost unimaginable when one does the calculations. As much as I'm a "fan" of Elon and SpaceX, he needs a hard dose of reality.
An intermediate vehicle capable of carrying 12 humans and a lot of food should be a first step, but the first several flights carrying crews of 7 and needed equipment. Maybe by the mid 2030's we could begin bringing larger numbers, but otherwise, proceed carefully and somewhat cautiously. Criticism of the Zubrin Mars Direct architecture is unfounded. Reusability is definitely a goal to pursue, but probably not in the first 2-3 Hohmann transfer opportunities after the hardware becomes available. A goal of first establishing a VIABLE  human presence needs to be accomplished, followed by colonization. Not trying to be a wet blanket, but a rational and realistic critic. There's nothing wrong with 'Thinking Big," if tempered with a dose of reality.

Of course there is a butt smile, OLDFART1939, you should know.

And it is a big Butt!

Play is a aspect of the young of higher animals, and in some cases even adults.  It is rehearsal, and practice.  However as you have pointed out, failure is something to avoid.

To my knowledge, there are no dead people or animals resulting yet.

I will go to the gym shortly.  I will do a workout.  I hope that in a bit of time my abbs will be completely fat free, but at my age it is quite a war.

When I do my workouts, my form is sometimes not good.  I try to get it right, but it requires practice, repetition and learning.  My trainer helps me sometimes to see what I do not see.

I can either go to the gym and work out and hope to have my final fraction of fat over my abbs go away, or I can stay home and eat potato chips.

Innovation, and invention require leaps of faith, and the probability of getting it wrong over and over again.  But of course success needs to be measured as well.  And so you have measured and given a non-success grade.  Well, that is to be expected.

Last edited by Void (2017-02-04 11:44:03)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#8 2017-02-04 15:36:05

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,248
Website

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

As I understand it,  Musk is not proposing that he designs,  plants,  and supplies,  the colony on Mars.  He is proposing to develop the equivalent of a big container-ship freighter,  for taking any needed equipment or people to Mars,  in lots up to 100 tons or 100 people,  or anything in between.  In other words,  he's doing only the transportation.  "Somebody else" does the base project that grows into a settlement of some sort.

Like Oldfart1939,  I think developing the big craft in demonstratable steps is the wiser choice,  but it's his money,  not ours.  History says he is on the right track with the big ship concept.  I say that because the New World was not explored and colonized from the Old World using small boats,  it was done with what were the full-sized ships of that time.  There really is a lesson there for today's mission designers eyeing Mars.  It has been ignored far too long.

Unlike most on these forums,  I have utterly zero confidence that any government agency anywhere on this world will ever fund more than one round-trip manned exploration visit to Mars.  Period.

I have rather low confidence that even one such trip will be government-funded at any time during the entire 21st century.  End of issue. 

If I am right,  whatever private- or partnership-funded trip there is,  had better set up a functioning experimental station for later entities to utilize,  or else it might well be over another century before another crew ever sets foot on Mars.  So there.

I say that because both the danger and the expense are very high,  and all governments around the world that might credibly try to do this are (1) strapped for cash,  and (2) very risk-averse.  It's just the nature of these times.  Get used to it,  it ain't gonna change any time soon.  Maybe never. 

But,  our NASA might just possibly partner with Musk to set up that first-trip functioning experimental station on Mars.  It might even possibly partner with him and some other corporate visionaries,  to keep it going and make it grow.  If so (and only if so!!!!),  then there might really be some sort of colony city on mars a hundred years or so from now. 

Think about this:  start with sending Musk's big vehicle with a crew around 4-6 people,  and near 90-something tons of equipment and supplies.  They stay there setting up the experimental station and the propellant-making factory,  until there's enough propellant to come home.  It might take 4 or even 6 years to do this,  instead of 2.  Who knows?

The trip home in that big ship requires something like 1500 tons of methane and oxygen,  at about 1:4 ratio.  Doing this in 1-2 years will be well nigh impossible,  unless the site has a massive buried glacier into which a crew can simply drill and extract water for electrolysis.  Just how lucky in site selection do we assume?  (Getting it wrong dooms the crew,  don't forget.)

A second big ship with a crew of like 2 can bring 95+ tons of supplies during this interval,  maybe even a third.  Or fourth.  But once the propellant-making operation works,  they can all come home in one ship.  Risky,  but I think I see the outline of Musk's plan here. 

Further,  nothing says you cannot send more than one ship during each opposition.  Early on,  tiny crews and close to 100 tons of equipment and supplies make sense.  A hundred years from now,  who knows?  Maybe 100 people at a time makes sense by then. 

And I'd bet there's a lot of big ships by then,  too. Except there won't be,  if nobody ever goes,  and does this right. 

Do it wrong,  and it fizzles into nothing just like Apollo. 

Cassandra has spoken (and no one ever likes what she has to say,  no matter how correct).

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2017-02-04 15:47:48)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#9 2017-02-04 15:43:15

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,969

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

Oldfart1939 wrote:

I remain somewhat skeptical of Musk's grandiose plans, especially the 100 passenger space ship. There definitely needs be some intermediate "proof of concept," and "pathfinder" vehicle as an intermediate step. The amount of food needed by 100 colonists is almost unimaginable when one does the calculations. As much as I'm a "fan" of Elon and SpaceX, he needs a hard dose of reality.
An intermediate vehicle capable of carrying 12 humans and a lot of food should be a first step, but the first several flights carrying crews of 7 and needed equipment. Maybe by the mid 2030's we could begin bringing larger numbers, but otherwise, proceed carefully and somewhat cautiously. Criticism of the Zubrin Mars Direct architecture is unfounded. Reusability is definitely a goal to pursue, but probably not in the first 2-3 Hohmann transfer opportunities after the hardware becomes available. A goal of first establishing a VIABLE  human presence needs to be accomplished, followed by colonization. Not trying to be a wet blanket, but a rational and realistic critic. There's nothing wrong with 'Thinking Big," if tempered with a dose of reality.

Food would be about 54 tonnes. But I guess that could be reduced with use of dried foods and water recycling.  100 x 140 lb (smallish) people would come in at 14 tonnes. Not a lot of room to play with if the cargo limit is 100 tonnes.

My concern about Space X's plans is not so much the technical feasibility but the human feasibility.

There really aren't that many people on Earth who tick all the right boxes for early colonists and delivering humans - supppsedly permanent settles -  in large numbers very quickly will create a kind of critical mass of very human problems: peple 

My view is we should be thinking in terms of permanent human settlement (but not with permanent stays by individuals). A target of 100 in 20 years and 1000 in 40 years, 10,000 in 70 years, then 100,000 in 100 years might be realistic.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#10 2017-02-04 15:51:39

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,248
Website

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

Addendum to my post 8 just above:  don't count on Trump to push a trip to Mars.  If he does anything at all in space,  it will be SLS/Orion to the moon.  He's no visionary.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#11 2017-02-04 18:55:44

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,969

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

GW Johnson wrote:

Addendum to my post 8 just above:  don't count on Trump to push a trip to Mars.  If he does anything at all in space,  it will be SLS/Orion to the moon.  He's no visionary.

GW

I would agree he's no visionary but I think he's got some in his administration.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#12 2017-02-04 19:15:00

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,969

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

GW Johnson wrote:

As I understand it,  Musk is not proposing that he designs,  plants,  and supplies,  the colony on Mars.  He is proposing to develop the equivalent of a big container-ship freighter,  for taking any needed equipment or people to Mars,  in lots up to 100 tons or 100 people,  or anything in between.  In other words,  he's doing only the transportation.  "Somebody else" does the base project that grows into a settlement of some sort.

My feeling is that Musk is always ten steps ahead and he does intend to do the "whole thing" technically. He wouldn't abandon 100 people on the surface of Mars and tell them to "get on with it". However, I think he underestimates all the human issues of governance, management and administration.  He's a tech guy basically.


GW Johnson wrote:

Like Oldfart1939,  I think developing the big craft in demonstratable steps is the wiser choice,  but it's his money,  not ours.  History says he is on the right track with the big ship concept.  I say that because the New World was not explored and colonized from the Old World using small boats,  it was done with what were the full-sized ships of that time.  There really is a lesson there for today's mission designers eyeing Mars.  It has been ignored far too long.

I think from previous discussions that it is probably the case he intends to use a (modified?) Red Dragon capsule for initial sorties to the surface.  My guess would be that he would use that technology to establish a permanent presence on Mars analogous to an Antarctic base but then make the leap forward to the MCT - but using it to deliver huge cargoes to Mars before delivering people. That said, I think his concept is still flawed because he isn't really matching the job spec of an early colonist to those who might volunteer.  Most of those who would make good colonists are already going to be leading very fulfilling lives on Earth with their alpha spouses and high-achieving families.  How many of the perhaps 100,000 who meet all the criteria on Earth be prepared to make the sacrifices to move to Mars. Very, very few I would say. 

GW Johnson wrote:

Unlike most on these forums,  I have utterly zero confidence that any government agency anywhere on this world will ever fund more than one round-trip manned exploration visit to Mars.  Period.

I have rather low confidence that even one such trip will be government-funded at any time during the entire 21st century.  End of issue. 

If I am right,  whatever private- or partnership-funded trip there is,  had better set up a functioning experimental station for later entities to utilize,  or else it might well be over another century before another crew ever sets foot on Mars.  So there.

Too pessimistic I think.  Personally I feel the combination of (a) plummeting launch costs (b) huge growth in commercial sponsorhip and TV rights and (c) opportunities for sale of Mars material actually make a Mars mission close to profitable, certainly profitable after the initial outlay. NASA were never a commercially orientated organisation. But there is no reason why Space X or a Mars Consortium shouldn't approach this as a commercial venture.


GW Johnson wrote:

The trip home in that big ship requires something like 1500 tons of methane and oxygen,  at about 1:4 ratio.  Doing this in 1-2 years will be well nigh impossible,  unless the site has a massive buried glacier into which a crew can simply drill and extract water for electrolysis.  Just how lucky in site selection do we assume?  (Getting it wrong dooms the crew,  don't forget.)

You don't have to come home in a big ship. You can come home in a small ship.


GW Johnson wrote:

Further,  nothing says you cannot send more than one ship during each opposition.  Early on,  tiny crews and close to 100 tons of equipment and supplies make sense.  A hundred years from now,  who knows?  Maybe 100 people at a time makes sense by then.

I agree with you about using the MCT initially almost entirely as cargo ships.  I am a bit more optimistic about when 100 people per mission becomes possible. I would say that really depends on how quickly we can create substantial Earth analogue environments on Mars - either very large domes or covered gorges or pressurised caves or large underground spaces. Also, you need to know that people can live out their lives successfully on Mars without major medical problems and can start families. Assuming you've ticked those boxes, then mass migration to Mars becomes possible.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#13 2017-02-04 20:30:46

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 21,310

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

From Article section just on Mars response:

Real Mars and Spacex Plans

The current Mars plan is:

1.    Send Dragon scouting missions, initially just to make sure we know how to land without adding a crater and then to figure out the best way to get water for the CH4/O2 Sabatier Reaction.

2.    Heart of Gold spaceship flies to Mars loaded only with equipment to build the propellant plant.

3.    First crewed mission with equipment to build rudimentary base and complete the propellant plant.

4.    Try to double the number of flights with each Earth-Mars orbital rendezvous, which is every 26 months, until the city can grow by itself.

Item 1
Test landing system on Red Dragon Mission, but is it scalable for a human mission when we can not launch it as a whole system from Earths gravity well. That said we will doing subassembly on orbit to go to mars.

Explore for water requires drilling or carving out pieces of mars icefield with procesing of said collected waters depending on content value and contamination level contain complicates a direct means to providing water for electrolysis for the Sabatier reactor to make fuel with.

Create Mars Fuel, relies on finding water that is useable. No useable water means shipping in water or seed hydrogen to start the process for making fuel on mars using the atmosphere. Which brings me to the methods to capture mars atmosphere in great enough quantity to make the desired levels of fuels for ascent back to orbit or all the way directly back depending on what we land and its mars archetecture used.

Item 2
This Heart of Gold spaceship is the Mav ISPP testing phase for mounting a human mission to follow. It is based on item 1 success and scaled up for what we expect to amke fuel for in the later sized mission to follow.

Item 3
This first crew is sized based on out come of not only item 1 but item 2 scaling for this mission archetecture. It does not tell us if its archetecture is battlestar galatica, small chuck assembly in orbit, mars direct, mars semi direct.... its the least informative. It also relies on the duration of the mission as well.

Item 4
Is the flag and foot step defense ti item 3 calling on funding to stay going long after starting mission to mars for the purpose of colonizing and not just for science. This also relies on the MTV or Interstellar Transport developement that he is planning for a using at some point in time for mars missions.

Not listed item goal 1

The Interplanetary Transport system can launch 550 tons to low earth orbit which is nearly four times as much as the Saturn V. It would be over four times as powerful as the SLS in the final version of the SLS.

Have the second stage go only out to the distance of the moon and return to enable 5 payloads to be sent instead of one.

Leave the 100 person capsule on Mars and only have a small cabin return to earth.

This is a ship which has roughly 4 to 5 time the current first stage and a half of the Ares V which nasa is designing to fly soon.

Another not listed goal 2

use the refueling in orbit and other optimizations to enable a Falcon Heavy to deliver 40 tons to Mars instead of 12 for exploration missions in 2018, 2020 etc.

SpaceX ITS would consist of a very large two-stage fully-reusable launch system, powered by methane/oxygen chemical bipropellant.

Since the second-stage-plus-spaceship will have used its fuel in getting to orbit, it would need to refuel in orbit, filling up with about 1,950 tons of propellant (which means that each launch carrying passengers would require four additional launches to deliver the necessary propellant). Once filled up, the spaceship can head to Mars.

Other than Russia transfer of fuels to the ISS from Progress the US has not done so yet let alone methane Lox.

Last item 3 goal

The duration of the journey would of course depend on where Earth and Mars are in their orbits; the shortest one-way trip would be around 80 days, according to Musk’s presentation, and the longest would be around 150 days. (Musk stated that he thinks the architecture could be improved to reduce the trip to 60 or even 30 days.)

How does this happen when a mars orbital alignment cycle is 2 yrs 7 weeks for earth launch to mars....All things equal then 6 - 8 months earth leads mars for launch get there is 6 - 8 months to return as well as mars leads earth upon returning. That leave surface stay time of 1 yr 7 weeks or down to 8 months 7 weeks and anything in between as possible.

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#14 2017-02-04 20:36:41

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

louis wrote:
Oldfart1939 wrote:

I remain somewhat skeptical of Musk's grandiose plans, especially the 100 passenger space ship. There definitely needs be some intermediate "proof of concept," and "pathfinder" vehicle as an intermediate step. The amount of food needed by 100 colonists is almost unimaginable when one does the calculations. As much as I'm a "fan" of Elon and SpaceX, he needs a hard dose of reality.
An intermediate vehicle capable of carrying 12 humans and a lot of food should be a first step, but the first several flights carrying crews of 7 and needed equipment. Maybe by the mid 2030's we could begin bringing larger numbers, but otherwise, proceed carefully and somewhat cautiously. Criticism of the Zubrin Mars Direct architecture is unfounded. Reusability is definitely a goal to pursue, but probably not in the first 2-3 Hohmann transfer opportunities after the hardware becomes available. A goal of first establishing a VIABLE  human presence needs to be accomplished, followed by colonization. Not trying to be a wet blanket, but a rational and realistic critic. There's nothing wrong with 'Thinking Big," if tempered with a dose of reality.

Food would be about 54 tonnes. But I guess that could be reduced with use of dried foods and water recycling.  100 x 140 lb (smallish) people would come in at 14 tonnes. Not a lot of room to play with if the cargo limit is 100 tonnes.

My concern about Space X's plans is not so much the technical feasibility but the human feasibility.

There really aren't that many people on Earth who tick all the right boxes for early colonists and delivering humans - supppsedly permanent settles -  in large numbers very quickly will create a kind of critical mass of very human problems: peple 

My view is we should be thinking in terms of permanent human settlement (but not with permanent stays by individuals). A target of 100 in 20 years and 1000 in 40 years, 10,000 in 70 years, then 100,000 in 100 years might be realistic.

How many people flew in airplanes by the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brother's first flight at Kitty Hawk?

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#15 2017-02-04 21:03:36

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,954

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

I believe that elsewhere I mentioned multiple smaller loads to Mars per Hohmann Transfer Window? Maybe as many as 3 to 5 smaller loads in 2020, 2022, and finally a human manned vessel in 2024 or 2026 with multiple cargo ships at the same time, in addition to a bigger Habitat module. There has to be some long-term commitment of these early crews to staying either 3 or 4.5 years in order to get the civilization started. An upgraded Red Dragon could conceivably carry a crew of up to 7 astronauts. The submarine service concept of "hot bunking" could be used, as not everyone sleeps at the same time. This is where my Triad concept comes into play. Always at least 3 crewmembers awake and "doing stuff," while 4 get the necessary rest.

"Doing stuff" translates to monitoring the spacecraft, cleanup and sanitation, meal preparation, or involved in exercise or recreation. The Red Dragon could simply be scaled up and the cargo trunk of the existing Dragons contains the propellant and engines for a landing in addition to some supplies/equipment. This trunk could be landed separately from the Red Dragon crew module, and would be fueled by CH4 and O2. The Red Dragon itself by MMH and NTO. The trunk/descent stage would be reusable and could be mated with the Dragon capsule for a return flight Earthward. I can see a potential upgrade of the Falcon Heavy using the new Raptor engines as possibly being able to handle this . Maybe one of our engineering buds here can crunch the numbers?  Additional MMH and NTO could be shipped as cargo, but the ISPP would handle the return boost from Mars and Earthward.

With each crew of 7, at least 4 would need to pre-agree to stay on Mars for at least 3 years instead of 18 months, which would subsequently grow the crew to construction of base size in a matter of only a couple missions.

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#16 2017-02-04 22:59:43

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

Is this how the Pilgrims started their colony? My time horizon does not go past 30 years. I kind of view technological progress as a clogged pipe, for the last 30 years things have been clogged, and pressure is building and building and inevitably we're going to have an explosion! Each year where nothing happens makes the next year than much more likely that there is going to be a technological explosion. You view instead is slow and steady for the last 30 years, slow and steady for the next 30 years. Well the previous 30 years before the last 30 years was not slow and steady:
1957-1987, 1987-2017, 2017-2047 So flip a coin, are the next 30 years going to be more like the last 30 years or is it going to be more like the 30 years before that in the rate of technological change?

Lets say you flip a coin and it comes out "tails", that means in the next 30 years, that is on television, we may be seeing 4 astronauts walking on Mars, it might be the first or second mission to Mars, the Astronauts will have a NASA mission patch on their space suits, one of them might be from the ESA, and the fourth may be from Russia or China, and people will stay glued to their television sets as they watch these astronauts set foot on Mars, and when they come back, they are greeted with ticker tape parades and a visit to the White House, girls chase after them when they get back, and they experience marial trouble with their wives because of all that instant celebrity and attention. Mean while in Congress there is debate on the cost of this Massive Mars program, its costing hundreds of billions of dollars, and a famous senator is asking, "do we really need to be spending this much on sending four astronauts to the surface of Mars to collect rocks?" This is Future number 1, it is rather disappointing and unimpressive future if you ask me, and I hope this is not the case.

Now lets say you flip your coin and it comes out heads, this is the scenario that signifies:
Jerry and Martha are packing their clothes into their suitcases, their mother comes into the room and says, "I'm sorry dear, but there is no room for dogs on Mars, we'll have to leave him with Uncle Henry, Maybe in five years we can send for him, it should b 7 months in a spaceship and then we land on Mars! The Von Braun settlement already has 20,000 settlers, they are building a new school and a library as we speak. it really is hard to keep up with the influx of people."

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#17 2017-02-05 04:48:45

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,969

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

I think you're confusing flying and colonising. To get on a Jumbo Jet, is not the same as signing up for a lifelong pressurised habitat environment on a planet 60 million miles away, saying goodbye forever to your extended family. A minority of people will be attracted to that, but they will not likely be the people with the right technical skills and temperament.


Tom Kalbfus wrote:
louis wrote:
Oldfart1939 wrote:

I remain somewhat skeptical of Musk's grandiose plans, especially the 100 passenger space ship. There definitely needs be some intermediate "proof of concept," and "pathfinder" vehicle as an intermediate step. The amount of food needed by 100 colonists is almost unimaginable when one does the calculations. As much as I'm a "fan" of Elon and SpaceX, he needs a hard dose of reality.
An intermediate vehicle capable of carrying 12 humans and a lot of food should be a first step, but the first several flights carrying crews of 7 and needed equipment. Maybe by the mid 2030's we could begin bringing larger numbers, but otherwise, proceed carefully and somewhat cautiously. Criticism of the Zubrin Mars Direct architecture is unfounded. Reusability is definitely a goal to pursue, but probably not in the first 2-3 Hohmann transfer opportunities after the hardware becomes available. A goal of first establishing a VIABLE  human presence needs to be accomplished, followed by colonization. Not trying to be a wet blanket, but a rational and realistic critic. There's nothing wrong with 'Thinking Big," if tempered with a dose of reality.

Food would be about 54 tonnes. But I guess that could be reduced with use of dried foods and water recycling.  100 x 140 lb (smallish) people would come in at 14 tonnes. Not a lot of room to play with if the cargo limit is 100 tonnes.

My concern about Space X's plans is not so much the technical feasibility but the human feasibility.

There really aren't that many people on Earth who tick all the right boxes for early colonists and delivering humans - supppsedly permanent settles -  in large numbers very quickly will create a kind of critical mass of very human problems: peple 

My view is we should be thinking in terms of permanent human settlement (but not with permanent stays by individuals). A target of 100 in 20 years and 1000 in 40 years, 10,000 in 70 years, then 100,000 in 100 years might be realistic.

How many people flew in airplanes by the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brother's first flight at Kitty Hawk?


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#18 2017-02-05 06:53:21

Terraformer
Member
From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,344
Website

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

Eh. I know Musk is set on Mars, but I think building up infrastructure in LEO, Luna, and cis-Lunar space is the first thing to do. When we have propellent depots and dry docks, and more experience at doing stuff in space (inb4 someone mentions the ISS, which has given us no experience with centrifuges, in-space manufacturing, propellent transfer, or even washing clothing), it will be much easier and cheaper to launch a Mars mission.

Or you could try hauling everything from Terra. Use your super-conestoga  wagon, as the settlers did when moving west, hauling everything they needed including fodder for the horses.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#19 2017-02-05 08:24:13

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

louis wrote:

I think you're confusing flying and colonising. To get on a Jumbo Jet, is not the same as signing up for a lifelong pressurised habitat environment on a planet 60 million miles away, saying goodbye forever to your extended family. A minority of people will be attracted to that, but they will not likely be the people with the right technical skills and temperament.

The same was true of the Pilgrims as well, they left their extended family behind in your country, England! Being in a pressurized habitat is simply a detail. Anyway the inhabitants of Mars will have much better communication with their Mother planet than the Pilgrims did with England! For Martian colonists, communication is limited to the speed of light, for the Pilgrims it was the speed of the fastest wooden sailing ship!

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#20 2017-02-05 08:31:49

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,666

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

In my own opinion, that is the greatest value of Mars.  A potential world with it's own "Time Realm Bubble".

I suspect that it will work as a deterrent to totalizing totalitarian domination of the whole human race.

From Terraformer:
Quote:

Eh. I know Musk is set on Mars, but I think building up infrastructure in LEO, Luna, and cis-Lunar space is the first thing to do. When we have propellent depots and dry docks, and more experience at doing stuff in space (inb4 someone mentions the ISS, which has given us no experience with centrifuges, in-space manufacturing, propellent transfer, or even washing clothing), it will be much easier and cheaper to launch a Mars mission.
Or you could try hauling everything from Terra. Use your super-conestoga  wagon, as the settlers did when moving west, hauling everything they needed including fodder for the horses.

I am sure glad you are here.

All you have to do is query for things like "Jeff Bezos", "Asteroid Mining", Moon Mining.  Then you can see that there is indeed space thinking of things beyond the "Mars Red Brick Rainbow Infatuation".

It is interesting, Jeff Bezos, is looking into space tourism, which I have my doubts about (But you know I don't know how to make bucks like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk do).  Hope Jeff Bezos is right (Along with the other space tourist people).

But reading indicates that Jeff Bezos regards Mars as worse than Antarctica.  And of course he is right.  To start off, it likely is.  It has less exposed ice, and more exposed soil, but in virtually every way it is a horrible choice compared to Antarctica.  But of course the ultimate potential of Mars could be very good, perhaps even an Earth like planet.  But that ultimate potential is at least centuries away.

NEO:  Contrary to information previously placed on this web site my reading indicates that many of the NEO objects are in fact have useful water and Carbon content, along with valuable metals.  There are those who are interested.  All you have to do is query for asteroid mining to read various notions.

Elon Musk is reportedly skeptical of asteroid mining.  However that does not matter much.  If asteroid miners want to pay for a ride on one of the SpaceX ships, I am sure SpaceX/Elon Musk will be happy to take the business.

Query for Moon mining and some mostly positive notions show up.  I think the positives and the $$$ makers will win the day.

And then Robotics.  For now, until robots become totally autonomous, the leverage of robots will be better for local objects than for remote objects such as Mars.

I make note of Louis's idea of shortage of humans to go to Mars.  He may be right, especially if one can have a prosperous and adventuring life elsewhere in the solar system.

Tom,  I note that the Pilgrims/Puritans only went to North America, because the English and Dutch were about to impose their religious hierarchy's upon them, and especially because the Spanish were feared to be about to invade, and the Spanish would have burned them all alive.  They knew that a lot of them would die in North America, but they felt they at least had a chance if they left.

Last edited by Void (2017-02-05 08:50:18)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#21 2017-02-05 08:37:43

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

Terraformer wrote:

Eh. I know Musk is set on Mars, but I think building up infrastructure in LEO, Luna, and cis-Lunar space is the first thing to do. When we have propellent depots and dry docks, and more experience at doing stuff in space (inb4 someone mentions the ISS, which has given us no experience with centrifuges, in-space manufacturing, propellent transfer, or even washing clothing), it will be much easier and cheaper to launch a Mars mission.

Or you could try hauling everything from Terra. Use your super-conestoga  wagon, as the settlers did when moving west, hauling everything they needed including fodder for the horses.

That is want Musk want to do. The Moon is just another destination for him.
dc89609fff403c83ba246ea20ef853dd.jpg
remember this map? 13,670 m/sec for Mars. 15,070 m/sec for the Moon, if you add the numbers on the subway map. The thing is Mars has an atmosphere to conduct braking maneuver, the Moon does not. To get to the Moon, you have to do everything with rockets while Mars gives you a freebee for slowing down. Thus you need to expend more propellant to send a given tonnage to the Moon, than to Mars. Sending something to the Moon to build infrastructure to get to Mars just doesn't make sense. Mars has more of everything than the Moon does. The thing about the Moon that is important to us is its proximity, if you are living on the Moon, you have almost real time communication to Earth, so close in fact that you can have a real time phone conversation between the Moon and Earth as President Nixon did one time with astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during the Apollo 11 mission

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2017-02-05 08:47:07)

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#22 2017-02-05 08:58:44

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,666

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

Your points seem valid Tom.

However, it depends on what you are going to do on the Moon.  If all you are going to do is send Robots and a few test humans (Robot Repair Crew / Scientists), and if that effort yields materials useful on the Moon, and off of the Moon, justification exists.

I am interested in "Going with the flow".  The management on this web site and some of the members, are simply locked into a fossilized notion, which emerged from a previously existing reality.  They refuse to adapt, and they actually attempt to stifle any non-Mars discussions.
Particularly if I participate.

http://www.military-technologies.net/20 … leaders-2/

Quote:

“With Elon Musk calling for the colonization of Mars, and Jeff Bezos looking forward to millions of people living and working in space, space settlement is an idea whose time has come,” said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice President.

Jeff Bezos is more towards space habitats with synthetic gravity.

And then there those interested in NEO mining.  Jeff Bezos may be somewhat in association with that, not sure.

So at some point you have to place a bet.

I bet that Mars will get explored / inhabited / terraformed much quicker, if humans do the Moon/Asteroid thing first.  I will make an exclusion for exploratory missions to Mars by humans or maybe even better much more sophisticated robots.

And unlike this web site's ability to stifle talk about Moon and Asteroids, reality does what it wants, so why not hitch a ride on what might happen?

Last edited by Void (2017-02-05 09:03:43)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#23 2017-02-05 09:21:03

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 21,310

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

Not so fossilized only arriving at 59 soon enough but yet as I keep say we need more destination to make space affordable.... The ISS may soon not be the only orbital platform as the Chinese are going to build there's since they are not being allowed into the ISS but then again depending on the funding for ISS there could be due to this renewal of use by partners around202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO and to end that topic I just posted about the Axiom International Commercial Space Station aim to enlarge the landscape of low-Earth orbit, to create what they view as a “historic shift” in human spaceflight. I do agree that we need to build in steps outward with depot's and space ports of destination as well as bases on the surface of anything that we can reach or we will stay stagnant.

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#24 2017-02-05 09:36:16

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,666

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

Then it/you is much better than I thought.

I guess I just would like to see greater adaptability, the acceptance of changed realities.  If Moon mining fails then fine.  If asteroid mining fails then fine.  But if either succeeds, then the who projection/fantasy of this web site in general becomes a falsehood.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#25 2017-02-05 10:25:12

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,954

Re: Trump may fund the Spacex Mars Colonization plan

In reality, the Moon is simply  a distraction due to proximity. As a destination, it's far more hostile than Mars when one considers the diurnal cycle of a 14 day "day," followed by a 14 day "night." The temperatures are more extreme, and other than He-3, not much of economic value to mine. We've had a bunch of "moon rocks" for 50 years, and the few footprints are still there. I view the 1970's Moon voyages as the first exploratory steps off-planet, and ones which after Mars, can be repeated "at leisure."

I'm happy that Elon Musk has "bought in" to Dr. Zubrin's Mars  Semi Direct model, but the way forward will not be as easy as he indicated this past September. Some of the earlier SpaceX  proposals are looking good to me, especially the Falcon XX and Falcon XX Heavy. Those would seem to offer a possibility of fulfilling my "proof of concept" models incorporating the new Raptor engines. They would also be compatible with a 12 passenger spacecraft.

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