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Author Topic: The dimensions of SpaceX’s Starship 1 and 2 and Mars colonization  (Read 88 times)
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September 28, 2019, 11:59:25 PM
Merited by suchmoon (4), paxmao (1)
 #1

I already posted why I think that Elon Musk is wrong about the prospects of Mars colonization:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1741917.0

Because of the long travel time, the lack of gravity during the voyage and solar and cosmic radiation are major threats to any crew or passengers health.
Furthermore, Mars 1/3 of gravity, lack of a magnetic field able to protect residents from solar and cosmic radiation, perchlorate on Mars sands, low pressure and lack of oxygen on Mars atmosphere, all combine to make Mars a living hell.

Recently, another study confirmed how damaging radiation can be to the brain:
https://www.space.com/space-radiation-damage-mars-astronauts-brains.html

Unfortunately, SpaceX’s pictures of a future Mars colony, on the surface and without any means to create artificial gravity, seems another dream.

Anyone living there for a few years would get major health problems and probably wouldn’t be able to return to Earth gravity again.

The US Government would pay for the voyages of personal sent there for political reasons. And there would need to be a continuously rotating personal to avoid permanent damages. But the USA probably would veto the transportation of personal from other Governments, except major allies.

On the first times, there would be a few crazy tourists. After all, there are people willing to pay very well to go die on Everest. But that is a crazy month on their life, not about 3 years.

Also, some young scientists would be willing to ruin their health trying to make a name for themselves on Mars. But it would be a few of them.

So, I doubt Musk will be able to sell many tickets of 100,000/200,000 USDs to Mars.

That makes Starship a costly unnecessary big spacecraft. He could make history and send the first humans to Mars easily with a smaller one.

He is trying to create the Transcontinental Railroad on the XVIII century when there was no demand for it.

Check the wise Zubrin comments about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xN1rqhRSTE

Of course, that makes Musk’s projected Starship 2, with a diameter of 18 meters, another dream: https://www.businessinsider.nl/elon-musk-spacex-starship-mars-rocket-spaceship-next-generation-diameter-2019-8

A chemical propelled craft won’t ever have enough passengers on a Mars voyage to justify that dimensions.

We’ll need a new type of propelling system and a Mars base able to create artificial gravity (a moving one, in circle?) and completely protected from cosmic and solar radiation (underground?).
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September 29, 2019, 01:13:12 AM
Merited by suchmoon (4), paxmao (2)
 #2

Lets not forget that you get a single trip through the Van Allen Radiation belt when leaving the earth, and it pretty much guarantees that you will have cancer at some point.

Its really the low tech problems that are the long term problems. Even if we figure out some ultra energy and cost efficient way to shuttle people, you still have to deal with the space debris impacts on the planet. We on earth don't have many craters, take a look at mars. Magnetic fields and friction from the atmosphere are the reason why the earth has palm sized meteors land that tourists can search around for instead of more frequent dinosaur extinction causing high impact masses. Setting up little camps with artificial gravity, extreme air conditioning systems, grow lights, etc would not change the fact that we'd need to change the center of the planet to avoid immediate threats.

Finally, lets not forget the little green men that'd take offense to our colonization. Assuming we are technologically able to win the fight, we'd need to ethically decide whether we should.
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October 10, 2019, 12:28:45 PM
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I believe, there are many decades before a man lands on mars.
In the mean time, technology can make new breakthroughs against radiation.
I strongly believe that after an anthropoid robot, an old man will follow willing to be sacrificed.
There will be many volunteers. Do you remember some years ago how many wanted to be the first to go there?
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October 10, 2019, 07:42:25 PM
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Elon is always in for a bit of hype and free promo.
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October 12, 2019, 01:08:28 PM
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Elon is always in for a bit of hype and free promo.

That goes without say  Grin

"The Boring Company" which might actually be boring work (as in uninteresting) and at the same be a different type of boring work (as in the act or process of making or enlarging a hole) might not get far off the ground to bore under the ground because of the regulation. Time will tell if the hype and the Elon effect works on that one.

As for Space X and the Mars project, it will be quite difficult to achieve though not impossible. While competitors such as Virgin and Blue Origin continue to make their own strides in to space the pressure will be on them to expand further than our own orbit. Maybe if they start announcing their own plans or prospectuses for Mars then things might very interesting as different type of space race might begin.
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October 15, 2019, 11:46:00 AM
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"The Boring Company" which might actually be boring work (as in uninteresting) and at the same be a different type of boring work (as in the act or process of making or enlarging a hole) might not get far off the ground to bore under the ground because of the regulation.

Elon plans ahead. I believe he is planning to bore tunnels to Mars and Moon too.
Tunnels would make great safe and shielded living spaces.

That is one reason he converted the boring machines to run on electricity.
And one reason why BFR is so big.
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October 22, 2019, 01:48:31 PM
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That is one reason he converted the boring machines to run on electricity.


Please, just don't play shitstory. TBMs are running with electricity wayyy before Elon could walk.

It is estimated that Elon would need to reduce tunneling costs by a factor of more than 10. Drilling cost as today cannot be reduced by addressing a single factor, since there are around 10 main sources of costs and these include things such as permits, indirect costs, energy costs and many others that are not a problem of "Engineering"... As it is today, the Boring Company is a just a kids tale.

Having said that, reducing the diameter obviously reduces costs, yet there are safety factors to consider when doing so.
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Today at 04:00:10 AM
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Another study just confirmed how damaging is the lack of gravity for astronauts. It can disrupt the flow of blood in dangerous ways:
"Assessment of Jugular Venous Blood Flow Stasis and Thrombosis During Spaceflight"
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2755307

I think that SpaceX (with NASA jumping on board as soon as it realizes that Musk is really going to be able to send the first humans to Mars) will indeed send the first humans to Mars, not on 2024-2025, as Musk is aspirationally wanting, but possible before 2030.

But they will reach Mars on a debilitated health condition, with their immune system and vision affected and probably also with some small mental problems because of radiation exposure during the voyage.

After 6 months on gravity 0, they will also have muscular and bone problems, but, actually, Mars will help them on this.

When returning Earth, after 6 months on International Space Station, astronauts normally can't even stand up, much less walk on their own.

But humans on Mars will have to deal with only a third of the normal gravity, thanks to the low gravity of Mars. So, probably, even if with some problems, they will be able to walk and work in Mars about one year until the next window of Mars-Earth proximity in order to return to Earth.

However, even if, on a technological level, everything works according to plans, they will arrive Earth with very serious health problems. Wouldn't be surprised that some of them would die or would have permanent health conditions because of the voyage, beside the very increased risk of cancer.

But I agree that Musk won't have a lack of voluntaries to go. He can pay with glory and money all their health problems.

And Musk already left clear that the health of the first humans on Mars won't be a major concern.
"Elon Musk: First humans who journey to Mars must 'be prepared to die"
https://www.theverge.com/2016/9/27/13080836/elon-musk-spacex-mars-mission-death-risk

And taking in account that we are talking about the most remarkable achieve on humankind history I have to agree with him. Their life must be a major concern, their health, not really.

By the way, for the reasons I wrote here https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1538764.msg29108349#msg29108349, I have serious doubts that there are any technological developed alien civilizations on our Galaxy. Science fiction assumed we were common beings, but it seems we are probably not only the most extraordinary being on the all of the galaxy, but the only real extraordinary being.

So, no problems from this perspective. No alien first contacts, except with unicellular beings and the occasional planet with complex basic animals. The Milky Way will be our backyard for us to take.

If that wasn't the case, we would see traces of any alien civilization all over the galaxy.

And Starship will cross the Van Allen Belt very fast. This isn't the problem, as long as there is no solar storm, but the other 6 months of exposure during the voyage:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Allen_radiation_belt#Implications_for_space_travel
https://www.space.com/33948-van-allen-radiation-belts.html
"The astronauts on the ISS do not regularly spend time inside the belts, but from time to time solar storms expand the belts to the orbit of the space station. In the 1960s, several Apollo crews went through the Van Allen belts on their way to and from the moon. Their time in that radiation-intensive region, however, was very short, in part because the trajectory was designed to pass through the thinnest known parts. With more study, astronauts can be better protected for long-term stays in Earth orbit."

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