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Author Topic: SpaceX and the prospects of Mars colonization.  (Read 30907 times)
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January 06, 2017, 08:07:05 PM
Last edit: March 20, 2018, 06:44:11 PM by Trading
Merited by suchmoon (4)
 #1

SpaceX and the prospects of Mars colonization.


1) Current unfeasibility of Mars massive colonization.

The goal of 1 million inhabitants on Mars in 50 years is unfeasible (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/06/21/elon-musk-create-city-mars-million-inhabitants/)

With the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), at 100 passengers per flight, this would require 10,000 flights only to transport the people.

But the material support is about 10 times more demanding. So, as Elon Musk recognizes, the system would require 110,000 flights (see https://aeon.co/essays/elon-musk-puts-his-case-for-a-multi-planet-civilisation; see his 2017 presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4FY894HyF8).

Even at one flight a day, it would take 301 years. But since this is impossible, because one has to wait for the window every 26 months, when Mars is closer to Earth, transporting all these people would take hundreds of spacecrafts. This is completely beyond the normal resources of any company or country.

To finance the passengers flights, he would need to find 1 million people willing to pay 200,000 USDs to go live permanently on hell.

When he says that the goal is to make the price of the voyage similar to the price of a normal house, he suggest that people would sell their houses to buy the ticket.

I wonder how expensive would be a house in Mars! Is SpaceX going to build and offer a house to every colonist? Because if they are going to spend their savings and the value of their Earth house paying for the voyage, they won't have much left to buy a house there.

What about the standard of life on Mars? Things probably would be very expensive during the first decades, since most of the complex goods will be imported from Earth.

A fantasy company managed to enlist 200,000 people willing to go to Mars. I wonder how many of them had 200,0000 usds and were willing to spend them on the ticket.

So, probably, only the poor would be ready to try their luck, looking for well paid jobs on Mars. But they won't have 200,000 USDs.

Musk might find 1 million people willing to go and work there for very good jobs, but someone else would have to pay for the trip and pay them their wages.

Selling tourism trips won't pay the voyages either. I doubt he will be able to find many groups of 20 people willing to pay 1 million bucks to pay the ticket of the other 80 (he can make first and second class seats) for at least 2 years to go and return from hell, especially after the trip became more common.

It wouldn't be like a month on the Moon or on a tourist space station. With time to wait for the shortest return, it would be about spending more than two years on a living hell.

There isn't many people eager to go live on Antarctica, the most similar place on Earth.

And let's not forget about the complimentary radiation.

On Earth, on average, we get 1 millisievert (mSv) of radiation per year.

On a round trip to Mars, of about 1 year, one will receive 700 mSv!

But one has to add more 200 mSv per year for a person living in Mars.

So, with current technology, a 2 year adventure to Mars would give about 900 mSv to the tourist. Well, 1000 mSv (or 1 sievert) implies a 5% increase in chance to get cancer.

Moreover, radiation has neurological consequences since it attacks the neurons.

For someone living on Mars during several years without proper permanent protection the odds would be nasty.
 
Let's not forget about the damages that the about 1 year round trip to mars would create on health because of the 0 gravity on the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).

According to the plans published, there won't be any artificial gravity on BFR.

1 year of 0 gravity can make someone lose between 12 and 18% of bone mass. And exercise can't avoid this consequence (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaceflight_osteopenia).

Furthermore, "astronauts experience up to a 20 percent loss of muscle mass on spaceflights lasting five to 11 days" (https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/64249main_ffs_factsheets_hbp_atrophy.pdf).  Daily exercise can mitigate some of the consequences on the muscle mass, but not all.

Even Mars gravity of 38% of Earths one will be very damaging to anyone living there for a few years.

Therefore, unless there are on Mars very valuable resources, that would pay for the trips (people and resources going to Mars and resources coming back to Earth), with current technology of space flight, Mars will be dependent on Earth, with a few thousand or, probably, hundreds, of inhabitants.

We'll be a two planets species, but the second planet will end badly if the first planet ends badly too. Only with new technology on flight, Mars will be able to be independent.

The goal of making humankind a dual planet species is very worthy from the perspective of ensuring that we can endure millions of years more.

But normal people, who care first about how to pay their bills, just do what is practical to this goal and hope for the best. They won't ruin their life to go to Mars and ensure some of us will survive on the remote case that a catastrophe strikes Earth.

If massive colonization of Mars isn't economically feasible, it won't happen.


2) SpaceX deserves credit about its capacity to go to Mars.

 

Anyway, make no mistake, even if its plans to colonize Mars seem too optimistic, SpaceX already showed that it can make the trip to Mars.

 

Musk seems like an obsessive person. He won’t rest until he takes humans there.

 

They have been paid by NASA to send and return cargo to the International Space Station with excellent results.

 

After some delays, they launched successfully their Falcon Heavy, probably will start sending NASA astronauts to the International Space Station on 2018 (or perhaps 2019) and are promising an unmanned first trip to Mars on 2020 (initially was planned to 2018).

 

Of course, if some of NASA's astronauts ends up killed on a disaster, we can expect another delay of many years.

 

Don't mix Space X with all those dreamers, without a penny, that have big imaginary or fake plans.
 

If Space X is able to send humans to Mars sooner than NASA (Space X is saying 2025, but this recent delay of the first unmanned confirmed that this date is unfeasible), even if with NASA cooperation (if NASA figures out that Musk is really going to make it, they will jump on board), Musk will have his deserved place in History, side by side with Von Braun and Korolev (don’t compare Gagarin or Armstrong with them, beside courage, they had little merit: many people could have been in their place; is like comparing Colombus with one of his sailors).



3) Why go to Mars?

 

It will be fantastic to humankind in terms of pride and self-esteem to go to Mars and build a permanent station there for investigation and some scarce tourism, but we won't have more than that until we find economic reason to do more.

 

Some would say, hell, are we going to spend billions just for pride and self-esteem ("fun"), when we could use this money to eradicate poverty and cure diseases?

 

Well, we spend much more (trillions) just for fun on millions of things.

 

Just think about how much we spend making movies. Many are now costing more than 300 millions. The Martian had a budget of 108 million.

 

Mars Semi-direct, a revised low budget human trip to Mars, would cost 55 billion (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Direct#Mars_Semi-Direct).

 

But Elon Musk says he can build the Mars rocket for 10 billion (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/28/science/elon-musk-spacex-mars-exploration.html?_r=0). But let’s put the price of the trip at 20 billion (probably, it will cost more, but let’s accept this number).

 

That is the price of 66 movies of 300 millions each. Isn’t worthy? I bet we have spent much more than 20 billion making science fiction movies.

 

As we seen, the goal about making us a real multiplanetary species is still science and economical fiction, so we are not going there for this (valuable) reason.

 

We can say that for humans to have a future, it must be in space, because the sun is going to burn almost all life on Earth on 1 or 2 billion years.

 

But that is so far in the future that our chances to go extinct for any other reason are much higher and we have plenty of time to improve our technology.

 

Shore, the trip and the creation of a Mars’ base will improve our technology and might allow some scientific discoveries.

 

But we don’t want to go there because of these reasons.

 

We would press to go even if there weren’t any technological advances.

 

Moreover, the rovers are doing a good job confirming that, probably, there isn’t life there.

 

We do many costly things for non practical reasons.

 

In the end, economics is an instrument for our real goals and these are purely psychological.

 

For instance, we want to earn money not for the money on it self, but also to feel some positive emotions, including security, independence, freedom to do what we want, etc, and not just for the goods we can buy.

 

On the sixties of the last century, the USA and the Soviet Union spent billions on the race to the Moon just trying to show the world what was the best political system.

 

Musk argues with the idea of converting us on a two planets species to rationalize his quest, but he won't see it on his lifetime (unless he starts investing a lot on anti-aging investigation) or there is a major breakthrough on space flight technology.

 

He adds that the real goal is to do inspiring things. He also means historical things. He is chasing his place in History, trying to reach out immortality.

 

And I have nothing to say against that. It is people like him who took us from our stone age caves, since most of us haven't done and won't do anything really important during all our life.

 

We want to go to Mars because it would make us proud to be humans like nothing else. And this is why we are going there sooner than to any asteroid, even if it had valuable minerals.

 

No doubt, if we waited 50 years more, we could go for much less money and lesser risks, but why give the glory to our sons and grandsons?

 

Since our fathers and grandfathers wasted their opportunity, let's take it ourselves.

 

The way I use the word "we" and "us", even if I won't have any role on the voyage, is similar to the way people talk about sport successes: they never say their club or country won, they say "we won".

 

It's this individual/collective appropriation of the successes of other people that give so much psychological importance to events that in reality are practically irrelevant to our life (at least on the short run), like going to Mars.

 

It will be if all of us had a role on this historical success for Humankind.

 

Let’s go to Mars for psychological reasons, because life is all about this.

 

We will have time to go again and make it our second home, for more practical reasons.




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January 06, 2017, 08:13:37 PM
 #2

Space X and the prospects of Mars colonization.

The goal of 1 million inhabitants on Mars is unfeasible. With the Mars Colonial Transporter, at 100 passengers per flight, this would require 10,000 flights only to transport the people.

But the material support is about 10 times more demanding. So, as Elon Musk recognizes, the system would require 110,000 flights (see https://aeon.co/essays/elon-musk-puts-his-case-for-a-multi-planet-civilisation; see his recent presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10gECHeMSds).

Even at one flight a day, it would take 301 years. And to be able to make a flight a day, taking in account that the voyage to go and return would take much more than 1 year (during times when Mars is more far away, it would be much longer), he would need 425 reusable spacecrafts. That is beyond the normal resources of any company or country.

Even at 24 flights a year, 110,000 flights would take 4583 years.

To finance the passengers flights, he would need to find 1 million people willing to pay 200,000 USDs to go live permanently on hell. Only the poor would be ready to try their luck, looking for well paid jobs on hell. But they won't have 200,000 USDs.

Musk might find 1 million people willing to go and work there for very good jobs, but someone else would have to pay for the trip and pay them their wages.

Selling tourism trips won't pay the voyages either. I doubt he will be able to find 20 people willing to pay 1 million bucks to pay the ticket of the other 80 for at least 14 months to go and return from hell, especially after the trip became more common.

It wouldn't be like a month on the Moon or on a tourist space station. With time to wait for the shortest return, it would be about spending more than two years on a living hell.

I don’t see many people eager to go live on Antarctica, the most similar place on Earth.

Therefore, unless there are on Mars very rich minerals, or other very valuable resources, that would pay for the trips (people and resources going to Mars and minerals coming back to Earth), with current technology of space flight, Mars will be dependent on Earth, with a few thousand or, probably, hundreds, of inhabitants.

We'll be a two planets species, but the second planet will end badly if the first planet ends badly too. Only with new technology on flight and energy, Mars will be able to be independent.

The goal of making humankind a dual planet species is very worthy from the perspective of ensuring that we can endure millions of years more.

But normal people, who care first about how to pay their bills, just do what is practical to this goal and hope for the best. They won't ruin their life to go to Mars and ensure some of us will survive on the remote case that a catastrophe strikes Earth.

If massive colonization of Mars isn't economically feasible, it won't happen.

It will be fantastic to humankind in terms of pride and self-esteem to go to Mars and build a permanent station there for investigation and some scarce tourism, but we won't have more than that until we find economic reason to do more.

If Space X is able to send humans to Mars sooner than NASA, even if with NASA cooperation (if NASA figures out that Musk is really going to make it, they will jump on board), Musk will have his deserved place in History, side by side with Von Braun and Korolev (forget about Armstrong, beside courage, he had little merit).
It's a fairy tale. To live there is not possible. First you need to create around the atmosphere of Mars, and it is not possible. Besides the people on Earth live not only because of the atmosphere, but is very greatly influenced by the Moon. Mars has no such satellites.
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January 06, 2017, 09:17:42 PM
 #3

Hello,

Nasa funds spaceX to build its vision.

Well as specie we need to have a vision.

Technological innovation ,this is, what this vision of Mars will bring to our specie.

Mars is nice pipe dream which will push innovation.

Kind Regards,


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January 06, 2017, 11:16:10 PM
 #4

.....
If Space X is able to send humans to Mars sooner than NASA, even if with NASA cooperation (if NASA figures out that Musk is really going to make it, they will jump on board), Musk will have his deserved place in History, side by side with Von Braun and Korolev (forget about Gagarin or Armstrong, beside courage, they had little merit).
Korolev, yeah.

Musk cannot change basic economics.

The way I'd do Mars (seriously) is lots of robotic explorers.
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January 06, 2017, 11:24:15 PM
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Unless Musk invents spacecrafts which travels at the speed of light its semi improbable that it will work. The fastest spacecraft will take 39 days with its closest approach but 289 days with the farthest approach per flight.
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January 06, 2017, 11:37:30 PM
 #6

By the time a Mars trip is made to be safe, the EMDrive will be perfected, and we won't have to use any rocket propellant to get to Mars. Everything will be a lot lighter, because we will harvest solar, and turn it into electricity to make the EMDrive work.

The EmDrive

A New Concept in Spacecraft Propulsion


Satellite Propulsion Research Ltd (SPR Ltd) a small UK based company, has demonstrated a remarkable new space propulsion technology. The company has successfully tested both an experimental thruster and a demonstrator engine which use patented microwave technology to convert electrical energy directly into thrust. No propellant is used in the conversion process. Thrust is produced by the amplification of the radiation pressure of an electromagnetic wave propagated through a resonant waveguide assembly.

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January 07, 2017, 06:24:31 AM
 #7

I am not a big fan of Space X and Elon Musk. He looks like a fraud to me. He has failed to deliver on his promises, and have used unfair means to scuttle the competition (getting the contracts from NASA, by banning others is an example).


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January 07, 2017, 06:45:52 AM
 #8

until now science
naza, and another sciencetific about planet
another earth never life in there
so about news nothing science only issue

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January 07, 2017, 08:22:49 AM
 #9

Very nice marketing trick.
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January 08, 2017, 01:28:50 AM
 #10

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January 08, 2017, 05:07:58 AM
 #11

After all, Mars is very poor, all living things on the supply, it is impossible to live 1 million people at the same time. We can't figure out how many people need at least to establish a self-sufficient civilization life on Mars, but we can evaluate on earth is: within the next few decades, not many people are really interested and courage to a new planet to establish civilization, there is no money support, poor social productivity and you think you can well survive?
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January 08, 2017, 05:44:24 AM
 #12

Before mars colony will be established space mining will be the first big project. Space miners will mine minerals and metals on asteroids that will be transported back to earth. Such metals will be used in space travel. Mars colonization if become successful will be another big step for mankind to answer the future problems on overpopulation.
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January 08, 2017, 08:41:50 AM
 #13

Personally, this is just a waste of time and money. Although, this type of dream/enterprise has the potential to create new inventions and technology that can help mankind here on Earth, I think that we should instead focus more of our resources in preserving a life-supporting planet -- the only one so far -- in the entire universe and that is the Earth.
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January 08, 2017, 01:05:18 PM
 #14

Before mars colony will be established space mining will be the first big project. Space miners will mine minerals and metals on asteroids that will be transported back to earth. Such metals will be used in space travel. Mars colonization if become successful will be another big step for mankind to answer the future problems on overpopulation.

Space mining is just an urban myth. Who is going to mine minerals from the exoplanets, when the transportation cost is almost one million times greater than the value of the minerals extracted?


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January 08, 2017, 02:39:17 PM
 #15

Before mars colony will be established space mining will be the first big project. Space miners will mine minerals and metals on asteroids that will be transported back to earth. Such metals will be used in space travel. Mars colonization if become successful will be another big step for mankind to answer the future problems on overpopulation.

Space mining is just an urban myth. Who is going to mine minerals from the exoplanets, when the transportation cost is almost one million times greater than the value of the minerals extracted?

You fly to nearby meteorites, which we have plenty of.

First we have to decrease the cost to move out of earths orbit though.
This is just a question of some decades from now.
Additionaly we need that anyway to build a moon station and later to colonize mars.

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January 08, 2017, 03:43:52 PM
 #16

Before mars colony will be established space mining will be the first big project. Space miners will mine minerals and metals on asteroids that will be transported back to earth. Such metals will be used in space travel. Mars colonization if become successful will be another big step for mankind to answer the future problems on overpopulation.

Space mining is just an urban myth. Who is going to mine minerals from the exoplanets, when the transportation cost is almost one million times greater than the value of the minerals extracted?

You fly to nearby meteorites, which we have plenty of.

First we have to decrease the cost to move out of earths orbit though.
This is just a question of some decades from now.
Additionaly we need that anyway to build a moon station and later to colonize mars.

Yes. The expense of something like going to Mars would be phenomenal. Musk and whatever $billions he might have are not near enough. Even with the EMDrive and solar energy, the expense is still way more than anyone can or wants to afford.

All that Musk and others are doing is trying to build advertising like in the '50s and '60s. They are trying to get money flowing to the rich. Then, like the '50s and '60s, there will be no Mars shot, but only some videos which fake the whole thing, just like the videos that faked our moon landing.

The only difference is that the fake videos of today are a lot better than the old ones.

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January 11, 2017, 04:06:35 AM
Last edit: January 11, 2017, 04:24:05 AM by Trading
Merited by bkbirge (2)
 #17

We do many costly things for non economical reasons.

In the end, economics is an instrument to our real goals and these are psychological.

For instance, we want to earn money not for the money on it self, but also to feel some positive emotions, including security, independence, freedom to do what we want, etc, and not just goods.

The USA and the Soviet Union spent billions on the race to the Moon just trying to show the world what was the best political system.

Musk likes to talk about the idea of converting us on a two planets species to rationalize his quest, but he won't see it on his lifetime (unless he starts investing a lot of anti-aging investigation or brain transplant, etc.).

Sometimes, he confesses that the real goal is to do inspiring things. He means historical things. He is chasing his place in History, trying to reach out immortality.

And I have nothing to say against that. It's people like him who took us from our stone age caves, since most of us haven't done and won't do anything really important during all our life.

We want to go to Mars because it would make us proud to be humans like nothing else. And this is why we are going there sooner than to any asteroid, even if it had many valuable minerals.

We would go there even if the voyage didn't bring any real technological innovation.

No doubt, if we waited 50 years more, we could go for much less money and lesser risks, but why give the glory to our sons and grandsons?

Since our fathers and grandfathers left this opportunity, let's take it ourselves.

The way I use the word "we" and "us", even if I won't have any role on the voyage, is similar to the way people talk about football successes: they never say their club or country won, they say "we won".

It's this individual/collective appropriation of the successes of other people that give so much psychological importance to events that in reality are irrelevant to our life, like going to Mars.

It will be if all of us had a role on this historical success to humankind.
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January 11, 2017, 05:22:43 AM
 #18

Before mars colony will be established space mining will be the first big project. Space miners will mine minerals and metals on asteroids that will be transported back to earth. Such metals will be used in space travel. Mars colonization if become successful will be another big step for mankind to answer the future problems on overpopulation.

Space mining is just an urban myth. Who is going to mine minerals from the exoplanets, when the transportation cost is almost one million times greater than the value of the minerals extracted?

That's a big problem.  It takes governments to do something like that.
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January 11, 2017, 06:00:07 AM
 #19

Before mars colony will be established space mining will be the first big project. Space miners will mine minerals and metals on asteroids that will be transported back to earth. Such metals will be used in space travel. Mars colonization if become successful will be another big step for mankind to answer the future problems on overpopulation.

Space mining is just an urban myth. Who is going to mine minerals from the exoplanets, when the transportation cost is almost one million times greater than the value of the minerals extracted?

That's a big problem.  It takes governments to do something like that.

A single manned mission to the Mars will cost trillions of USD. I am not sure whether the American government would sanction that kind of money. If the Space X shareholders are ready to spend that sort of money, then I wish them god luck.


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January 11, 2017, 03:36:11 PM
 #20

i'm intrested about it. there are many peoples who agree or disagree with it.
from the impossible opinion, yeah mars's structure and condition won't match with us as a civillian of perfect planet "earth". the gravity, the storm, the atmosphere .. i just can't get over to think about it when we're living in mars

but it's different when the goal is not about making mars as a second world, but more like evacuation planet. if the earth is no longer produces something good for human, well there is no other choices than live in mars. although the condition won't match with us, but duh .. this one might better than still living in earth, to proof it .. that's why NASA will do this experiment

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