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ORAC
28th Sep 2016, 07:18
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/27/elon-musk-spacex-mars-colony

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has outlined his highly ambitious vision for manned missions to Mars, which he said could begin as soon as 2022 – three years sooner than his previous estimates. However, the question of how such extravagantly expensive missions would be funded remains largely in the dark.

“What I really want to try to achieve here is to make Mars seem possible – like it’s something we can achieve in our lifetimes,” Musk told an audience in his keynote speech at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Tuesday. He said there were “two fundamental paths” facing humanity today. “One is that we stay on Earth forever and then there will be an inevitable extinction event,” he said. “The alternative is to become a spacefaring civilization, and a multi-planetary species.”

In order to achieve this goal, Musk outlined a multi-stage launch and transport system, including a reusable booster – like the Falcon 9, which SpaceX has already successfully tested – only much larger. The booster, and the “interplanetary module” on top of it, would be nearly as long as two Boeing 747 aircraft. It could initially carry up to 100 passengers, he said.

The first ship to go to Mars, Musk said, would be named Heart of Gold as a tribute to the ship powered by an “infinite improbability drive” from Douglas Adams’ science fiction novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy..............

wiggy
28th Sep 2016, 07:39
Unmanned flight in 2022: something small, along the lines of The Mariner probes for a fly by or impact........perhaps, if only for publicity purposes (as in "I told you so").

Manned flight to Mars in 2022: Not a chance...certainly if you compare this with the (nationally funded/resourced) Apollo timescale I think these guys today are at about the equivalent of the point where Apollo was in 1960/1961. The basic spacecraft, the Command and Service Module, was an artist's impression and some vague blueprints, but even the mission mode (i.e. how exactly do we do this) hadn't been decided (the whole concept of the LM came a year or two later, if not more, and after much argument). I know times have changed and unlike Apollo at lot of the problems have been solved (e.g. rendezvous) but OTOH the scale of the journey to Mars is much much larger, leading to other unknowns....I don't buy the timescale at all and I can't believe a grounded/tech savvy individual like Musk really believes it either.

As somebody commented elsewhere : "Musk belongs to the new spirit of American entrepreneurism, where each initiative has to be presented as an 'event' with compulsory whooping and hollering. In this case, it's at the artist's impression stage, 70% bluster, 30% reality, but his audience is already sick with giddiness."

ehwatezedoing
28th Sep 2016, 10:18
Elon Musk is a workaholic "visionary" and I whish they would be more like him on our tiny blue marble we call Earth.

As he said:
The future of humanity is going to bifurcate in two directions: Either it's going to become multiplanetary, or it's going to remain confined to one planet and eventually there's going to be an extinction event.

wiggy
28th Sep 2016, 12:05
I'm sure he's keen and sure he motivates people, but there needs to be a bit of perspective and for a start he's only parroting what many a scientist and science fiction writer has said for years.

No matter how much of a visionary he is he's got almost exactly 6 years to hit the end of the 2022 Mars launch window, with no agreed Mars specific flight hardware in production and AFAIK not even an agreed " mission mode"....

I'll happily give the guy credit for his efforts in the attempt to "privatise" space exploration/explotation, because as it stands we're going nowhere if it's left to the governments, but Musk is a bright guy and he must know a 2022 manned flight to Mars is nonsense, but even so he's made the TV worldwide with his statement ( it even made the lunchtime news in France) ...and maybe that was the point..

meadowrun
28th Sep 2016, 13:32
Very nice dream....but.....
$$$$$$???
He says he can make it affordable $200,000 per pax. 100 pax = $20,000,000
Craft the size of two B747's - how much for that? (B747-8 list price = $378.5mil avg.) - and fuel and supplies and building materials for Mars?


And most importantly - Why? There has to be something there to generate enough money to fund it and following flights and you have to be able to get it back to Terra to sell or it's just pure exploration that only eats $$$s. There are no new elements that I know of on Mars (could be wrong - no one knows).


We took an unprecedented step back in technological achievement with the loss of Concorde and no one is doing anything about that.

dazdaz1
28th Sep 2016, 16:10
Believe it or not, toilet paper x 1 roll per week (although light in weight) x per person (presuming no curry) = 80 rolls per person for the transit to Mars. After landing? Who knows.

KenV
28th Sep 2016, 17:21
Believe it or not, toilet paper x 1 roll per week (although light in weight) x per person (presuming no curry) = 80 rolls per person for the transit to Mars. Is that toilet paper useage based on males or females? The USN has been sending submarines on long underwater cruised for decades. But they've always had all-male crews. Females are just now beginning to join USN submarine crews. The first sub crew that included females nearly ran out of toilet paper mid cruise and USN has had to double the toilet paper stores on their subs even though females make up less than 10% of the crew.

Mostly Harmless
28th Sep 2016, 17:31
Elon is correct. We either leave our world behind and expand or we die.

That said, I will start to believe the Mars rhetoric once I see someone at least orbit a human around the moon once again. When I see that level of commitment, I'll start believing.

Windy Militant
28th Sep 2016, 18:00
The first ship to go to Mars, Musk said, would be named Heart of Gold as a tribute to the ship powered by an “infinite improbability drive” from Douglas Adams’ science fiction novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy..............

Are you sure they're not calling it the "B-Arc" :hmm:

As for toilet paper, fit a bidet you can recycle the water! :uhoh:

G-CPTN
29th Sep 2016, 11:03
Food supplies will inevitably result in 'waste' (unless the diet consists of nutrient pills).
Will the waste be ejected overboard?

I presume that this (and other 'problems') have been solved for the ISS (I believe that regular garbage containers are dispensed to burn-up on re-entry (https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/nasa-finally-reveals-what-happens-to-astronaut-poop/)).

G-CPTN
29th Sep 2016, 11:11
I wonder if they have considered the possibility of one of the passengers dying during the voyage?

wiggy
29th Sep 2016, 11:20
Re:" waste".... Full history here.....

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_toilet

Re: Dying on the "voyage"...I guess you'd have to eject the deceased out of one of the hatches........(bit like a burial at sea).