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Mars

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by claytorj, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. claytorj

    claytorj Member

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    #1 claytorj, Nov 26, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
  2. palmer_md

    palmer_md Member

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    I saw that a week or so ago. I can see his point of view, but Elon is on a mission, and it'll be hard to stop him from beating anyone else including a government sponsored program (US or otherwise).
     
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  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Two thoughts:

    1. He might not be wrong.

    2. Those who say something isn't possible shouldn't get in the way of people who are actually doing it.
     
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  4. brianstorms

    brianstorms Member

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    Neil seems to equate obsessed billionaires with commercial ventures and that is where he trips up. Elon personally wants to go. Elon will try to find (and fund) a way, regardless of any return on investment. It's not commercial. it's personal. The journey is the reward, etc.
     
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  5. Stoneymonster

    Stoneymonster Active Member

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    NDT is insufferable.
     
  6. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    wow. So what is NASA(Gov't) doing about going to Mars? Nothing. He's a
    Debbie+Downer.png
     
  7. ModelS8794

    ModelS8794 Member

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    Space travel is risky and commercial ventures are nearly impossible to value. OK. But that sounds more to me like an argument why SpaceX is unlikely to go public, rather than an argument why it might not accomplish a Mars mission. It's already had 3 rounds of funding (so someone put a valuation on it), and it appears to have a funding source (internally generated cash flow) other than a public market offering to continue development. And it has a mission-driven management team, rather than a profit-driven management team. these are all conditions that make it more likely to accomplish what NDT says it cannot.
     
  8. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Neil makes good points. Here is the problem with what he said:

    For governments to go to Mars they would need a mandate from the people: "we're going to spend $50 billion to get to Mars." So either the taxpayer wants to already go or the government needs to convince them it's good for them. That's what happened in the last space race. The government said Russia is going into space unless we get there first and got the people behind it. Then, I'm sorry, people got bored with space. It wasn't exciting. Nowadays it's really not exciting. Kids and adults get to go to space every other month when the newest Star Trek/Star Wars/Gravity movie hits the screens. That's far more exciting than what actually happens in real space.

    Space is an intellectual endeavor. Elon recognizes the need for the human race to get off this planet. The general public does not feel that intellectual urgency. They are too worried about whether milk is on sale this week to be wondering if an asteroid might one day plow into the Earth. Elon sees it and wants to do something about it. As a multi-billionaire he might be able to afford to do something about it.

    I can see the government helping to pay for a trip to Mars since Elon and SpaceX is doing all the prep work. I don't see the government funding a trip to Mars from scratch. They won't be able to justify it.
     
  9. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    While I agree the US govt. probably won't fund it, I'm not so sure about China. They missed the space race the first time around, and have the money, the ability, and a desire to gain respect. A manned Mars misson would certainly gain them respect.
     
  10. claytorj

    claytorj Member

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  11. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Nice article. I'm with some of the commenters that a Mars colony isn't as good as a space based colony. However, just getting people off the planet is the important first step. I'll be more than happy if a Mars colony is successful. It's what Elon is focused on so if it motivates him to continue with SpaceX into the future then I'm all for it.
     
  12. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    #12 AnOutsider, Dec 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2013
    I think NDT makes some good points, though he may be discounting the fact that Elon seems to make it a personal mission to go. So now we have a man with money and a goal.
     
  13. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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    From what Elon has said in the past, it is unlikely he can go it alone entirely. I suspect he would need some NASA assistance much like the development work for Falcon 9. That wasn't just Elon's money, it was the COTS contract that helped bring that to fruition in a reasonable amount of time. Maybe a COTS like contract for a super heavy lift (SLS replacement) rocket would boot-strap spacex enough to get to Mars.
     
  14. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    Not sure which thread to put this in, but I thought I would just stick it in here since it's more about living than governing....

    I don't follow all the Mars/Space stuff like I wish I could, don't have the time, but thought this was an interesting idea

    NASA has found a genius design for a base on freezing Mars - Yahoo News

     
  15. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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  16. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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  17. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    The NASA document is a good illustration of why it's not capable of leading any effort to settle Mars, but could be critical to supporting the effort lead by Musk.

    Their roadmap is a long series of separate program efforts that hopefully lead to some sort of Mars landing. Each of these programs is a separate fight for funding. Politics and bureaucracy pretty much doom any effort that long and expensive. The moon was a special Cold War case that's unlikely to be relevant.

    They can't lead, but with Musk (and maybe Bezos and others) developing core capabilities on their own, NASA can do what's obvious at each stage and buy in.

    What NDT gets backwards because of living through Apollo is government being needed to fund expensive long term visions. That's never been something governments were good at.
     
  18. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Agreed. Governments can be good at focusing on a goal and spending a crazy amount of money to get it done. Ongoing programs quickly begin to get filled up with slackers and bureaucratic nonsense that prevent innovation and moving forward. You can see how quickly someone with true vision and a desire to improve technology can get things done. SpaceX will need governmental money to get to Mars. I see no reason that SpaceX can't lead with the government assisting and setting goals with funding money. Very similar to the way they have done ISS Resupply and Commercial Crew Development. When the government does it you get SLS and other jobs programs that achieve little and have little innovation.
     
  19. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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    The one thing I like that NASA is doing is creating this "idea bounty" system where they post some ideas and problems that need to be solved and set up a bounty for people to win when they have winning ideas. They had one last year which I suspect became part of the basis of "the next steps in the journey to Mars."

    The latest one I saw I posted earlier, I do not recall the bounty amount, but they're asking for ideas/help to set up a communication network for Mars prior to manned missions.

    I am guessing that as time goes on and SpaceX proves itself over and over again, then the original actors envisioned by NASA in the blueprint will change (including NASA's role too?).
     
  20. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree. SpaceX is well positioned to generate significant profits over the next decade (Includong profits from NASA contracts, of course). Elon controls SpaceX and can invest those profits into Mars missions. He can also take his future profits from TSLA and put that into SpaceX's Mars efforts. Yes, setting up a colony on Mars will cost many billions. But Elon will have many billions, and I bet he will be able to get whatever additional private investment money is required. He doesn't need US government money.
     

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