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Old 13th October 2017, 03:45 AM   #241
Argumemnon
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Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
I will now nitpick something in your post to be pedantic and outraged about for at least 2 pages.
You're on!
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Old 13th October 2017, 03:51 AM   #242
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The thing is, if it works, it works, however likely or unlikely that may be and if it doesn't, it doesn't.

And he will make money or he will not, depending on the above.


What's pretty certain is that, at the end of all of this, be it that Musk is living in his mansion made of gold and dollar bills or that he is living under a bridge somewhere, the sum total human knowledge of the science, mechanics and engineering of space travel will be greatly enhanced. Far beyond the progress that would have been made without his lofty ambition.

Surely that, and that alone is a good thing?
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Old 13th October 2017, 03:53 AM   #243
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Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
GlennB, you rail about uncritical devotion, yet then demonstrate you do not understand the plan you are critisising.

First of all, refueling in space is a proven technology. You don't think the ISS has some magic thrusters with infinite amounts of prop, do you? And how would we only find out if refueling works after 30 Tanker flights? Surely the first one would tell us?

You then talk about people leaving and having to refuel back in Earth orbit. Again demonstrating you haven't actually bothered to understand the plan.
Eh? I didn't say that refuelling needs to be proved, I was assuming that refuelling was a given and was simply counting the number of launches required to get 6 ships to Mars. What you've typed there bears no relation to anything I wrote.

And those visitors to Mars will need to get back to Earth, whatever ship(s) actually lands them. And if the BF-Ss that brought them back into orbit are not refuelled for soft landing then they appear to have become expendable, adding to the outlay.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:19 AM   #244
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Each of those ships will also have taken 4 refuelling launches, making a total of 30 launches before we even learn whether the refuelling system is going to work.
Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Eh? I didn't say that refuelling needs to be proved, I was assuming that refuelling was a given and was simply counting the number of launches required to get 6 ships to Mars. What you've typed there bears no relation to anything I wrote.

And those visitors to Mars will need to get back to Earth, whatever ship(s) actually lands them. And if the BF-Ss that brought them back into orbit are not refuelled for soft landing then they appear to have become expendable, adding to the outlay.
I must have misunderstood your earlier post then? Could you clarify the highlighted?

Why do you make the assumption that people will be returning? It's true that the system has the capacity to take a few people back, but Musk has been clear about this several time. It's a one-way trip for the humans. And the ship is designed to be able to return 50t to earth surface from Mars surface, so again I'm not sure where you get the refuel in earth orbit bit from.

Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
The thing is, if it works, it works, however likely or unlikely that may be and if it doesn't, it doesn't.

And he will make money or he will not, depending on the above.


What's pretty certain is that, at the end of all of this, be it that Musk is living in his mansion made of gold and dollar bills or that he is living under a bridge somewhere, the sum total human knowledge of the science, mechanics and engineering of space travel will be greatly enhanced. Far beyond the progress that would have been made without his lofty ambition.

Surely that, and that alone is a good thing?
This.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:21 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
And if the BF-Ss that brought them back into orbit are not refuelled for soft landing then they appear to have become expendable, adding to the outlay.
Why wouldn't they be?


@Argumemnon: You're on this forum, in this thread, discussing private spaceflight, and you've never heard of Richard Branson? Really.? That's rather like discussing General Relativity and not knowing Albert Einstein is.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:22 AM   #246
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
The thing is, if it works, it works, however likely or unlikely that may be and if it doesn't, it doesn't.
Yes, just like bigfoot, homeopathy and faith healing. That's what we're discussing here: whether or not some of his claims are true.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:24 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
@Argumemnon: You're on this forum, in this thread, discussing private spaceflight, and you've never heard of Richard Branson? Really.?
We're discussing Elon Musk's specific claims. That's why I 'm here.

Quote:
That's rather like discussing General Relativity and not knowing Albert Einstein is.
No, it's like discussing movies and not knowing who Gregory Peck is. You make it sound as if it's impossible to discuss the topic without knowing a specific person associated with it.

How about you actually respond to what I said?
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:32 AM   #248
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Yes, just like bigfoot, homeopathy and faith healing. That's what we're discussing here: whether or not some of his claims are true.

I'm not sure what you mean by this.

I too, for the record, am fairly amazed you do not know who Branson is. I'm not judging, I'm just suprised.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:36 AM   #249
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by this.
I meant that your post was a tautology that didn't actually say anything. The question is "are Musk's claims on this issue nonsense or not?" Of course if it works it works. Just like when you ask "is bigfoot real?" one could say "if it is, it is" but it doesn't really advance the discussion.

Quote:
I too, for the record, am fairly amazed you do not know who Branson is.
Yeah, I'm surprised too. He's irrelevant to the discussion.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:36 AM   #250
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Yes, just like bigfoot, homeopathy and faith healing. That's what we're discussing here: whether or not some of his claims are true.
Well from purely a first principles engineering approach, his claims are true. Nothing he proposed is physically impossible. Technical hurdles and financial constraints that may mean the business case doesn't close, but I don't think you can claim that his ideas are false on their face.

I'm willing to bet that he will eventually succeed in his endeavor to put the first people on Mars. It won't happen in his time frame, but it will happen.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:37 AM   #251
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
The thing is, if it works, it works, however likely or unlikely that may be and if it doesn't, it doesn't.

And he will make money or he will not, depending on the above.


What's pretty certain is that, at the end of all of this, be it that Musk is living in his mansion made of gold and dollar bills or that he is living under a bridge somewhere, the sum total human knowledge of the science, mechanics and engineering of space travel will be greatly enhanced. Far beyond the progress that would have been made without his lofty ambition.

Surely that, and that alone is a good thing?
THIS 100%

There are people who are visionary, and have the ability to see some of their visions through to reality. Then there is The Great Knocking Machine...the adherents of the Tall Poppy Syndrome; people who sit back, twiddle their thumbs, shake their heads and wag their fingers and offer NOTHING.

I chose to put my faith in the former. While not all their ideas are brilliant or will work, if even a small proportion of them are, and can come to pass, then the world will be a better place...

No risk, no reward!
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:38 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
Well from purely a first principles engineering approach, his claims are true. Nothing he proposed is physically impossible. Technical hurdles and financial constraints that may mean the business case doesn't close, but I don't think you can claim that his ideas are false on their face.
Well no, I'm not. Just like if I claimed to be able to perform intergalactic travel and launch the first vessel within 2020. It's not impossible. But I'd like to see the odds the bookies would place on it.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:40 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
I meant that your post was a tautology that didn't actually say anything. The question is "are Musk's claims on this issue nonsense or not?" Of course if it works it works. Just like when you ask "is bigfoot real?" one could say "if it is, it is" but it doesn't really advance the discussion.

The bit you quoted was more a preamble to my main point. I'll reiterate the salient bit:

At the end of all of this, due to what Musk is doing, the sum total of the knowledge of spaceflight will be increased.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:41 AM   #254
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
THIS 100%

There are people who are visionary, and have the ability to see some of their visions through to reality. Then there is The Great Knocking Machine...the adherents of the Tall Poppy Syndrome; people who sit back, twiddle their thumbs, shake their heads and wag their fingers and offer NOTHING.

I chose to put my faith in the former. While not all their ideas are brilliant or will work, if even a small proportion of them are, and can come to pass, then the world will be a better place...

No risk, no reward!
You're arguing against a phantom. No one said that pushing the boundaries is not a good idea. No one said we don't need people who do that. No one said that doing nothing is better. All that people have said is that they doubt Musk's ability to deliver on this claim. If you take that doubt about one set of claims as an attack on the person and his accomplishments as a whole, then you are not thinking about this issue rationally.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:43 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
The bit you quoted was more a preamble to my main point.
Yes, but my response was still a good point: your preamble didn't really say anything.

Quote:
At the end of all of this, due to what Musk is doing, the sum total of the knowledge of spaceflight will be increased.
Most assuredly, which is why I didn't have anything to add to it.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:45 AM   #256
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Yes, but my response was still a good point: your preamble didn't really say anything.
That's in the nature of a preamble. That bit really didn't demand a response, stating, as it did, the absolutely unassailable fact that he will either fail or succeed. I'm not sure why you decided it was worthy of comment when, as you say below, the thrust of my post wasn't.


Quote:
Most assuredly, which is why I didn't have anything to add to it.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:46 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Yes, but
If you agree there should be no but. If you disagree you shouldn't say yes.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:51 AM   #258
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
If you agree there should be no but. If you disagree you shouldn't say yes.
That makes no sense. I agree that it's a preamble and I disagree that that fact exempts it from criticism.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:52 AM   #259
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
That's in the nature of a preamble.
We're going to have to agree to disagree. If you really think the above, then why make preambles at all if they say nothing but truisms? In my opinion preambles should say something.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:53 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
That makes no sense. I agree that it's a preamble and I disagree that that fact exempts it from criticism.
I see you decided to go the nitpicking, 2-page argument route without me?
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:54 AM   #261
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I'm just following Roboramma's example.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:56 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
That makes no sense. I agree that it's a preamble and I disagree that that fact exempts it from criticism.
Yes, but my response was still a good point: your "yes, but" preamble was in itself oxymoronic.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:57 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
I'm just following Roboramma's example.
I was mostly just making a meta-joke.

Probably wasn't all that funny. It's even worse now that I've explained it.
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Old 13th October 2017, 04:59 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Yes, but my response was still a good point: your "yes, but" preamble was in itself oxymoronic.
Not really. The "yes" was in response to what I quoted. The "but" introduced a caveat: that it was a preamble doesn't make it immune to criticism.

Seriously, we're going to argue this?

Quote:
I was mostly just making a meta-joke.
I didn't laugh. Sorry.
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Old 13th October 2017, 05:08 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Seriously, we're going to argue this?
I certainly hope not. As I said it was a joke.

Anyway, whatever seriousness was present was simply an objection to your taking a sentence of his post out of the context of the rest of the of his post and objecting to it when within that context it is used as a literary device to put greater emphasis on his final point. I think that as a literary device it was very effective and as such objecting on the grounds that that particular sentence was tautological is completely missing the point.

But I didn't really think the point was important enough to argue about so I just made what I thought was an obvious joke making that point.



Quote:
I didn't laugh. Sorry.
No worries, as I said in hindsight it probably wasn't funny.
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Old 13th October 2017, 05:09 AM   #266
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Back on topic, Gwynne Shotwell confirmed their Boca Chica launch complex will be designed for BFR. This clears LC-39A and SLC-40 exclusively for F9 and FH and means they won't need to interrupt their commercial operations to start testing the BFR.
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Old 13th October 2017, 05:10 AM   #267
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
No worries, as I said in hindsight it probably wasn't funny.
Well, make it funny. Now!
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Old 13th October 2017, 05:11 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
Back on topic, Gwynne Shotwell confirmed their Boca Chica launch complex will be designed for BFR. This clears LC-39A and SLC-40 exclusively for F9 and FH and means they won't need to interrupt their commercial operations to start testing the BFR.
In the same speech she confirmed that they will be constructing a new facility with water access near the port of LA for easier transport of the boosters to Boca Chica. This would imply a trip through the Panama canal for each booster. Not cheap.
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Old 13th October 2017, 05:17 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I think that as a literary device it was very effective
Fanx. I'm now going to use this in all my PR material
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Old 13th October 2017, 05:53 AM   #270
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Why wouldn't they be?
They would be [refuelled in orbit upon their return from Mars], afaics, and added those final return-to-Earth tanker launches into the grand total. Octavo replied saying that this just demonstrated my lack of understanding of the project :

Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
You then talk about people leaving and having to refuel back in Earth orbit. Again demonstrating you haven't actually bothered to understand the plan.
6 ships leaving, one (arbitrary minimum) returning. Makes (6*5)+4 booster launches all told, assuming 100% reliability. If you want more of those 6 ships back then add 4 more tanker launches per ship. Now, the project might well generate more trade for SpaceX at existing levels, or boost the market for space launches and drive up the amount of business in total, but the project is going to be fantastically expensive to reach that point. And that isn't me saying that, it's SpaceX. And that's without looking into technical issues on Mars itself. We were talking about water up there ...
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Old 13th October 2017, 06:06 AM   #271
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
They would be [refuelled in orbit upon their return from Mars], afaics, and added those final return-to-Earth tanker launches into the grand total. Octavo replied saying that this just demonstrated my lack of understanding of the project :
And it does. The plan is to do a direct return from Mars surface to Earth surface - no refueling in between.

Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
6 ships leaving, one (arbitrary minimum) returning. Makes (6*5)+4 booster launches all told, assuming 100% reliability. If you want more of those 6 ships back then add 4 more tanker launches per ship. Now, the project might well generate more trade for SpaceX at existing levels, or boost the market for space launches and drive up the amount of business in total, but the project is going to be fantastically expensive to reach that point. And that isn't me saying that, it's SpaceX. And that's without looking into technical issues on Mars itself. We were talking about water up there ...
Yes, it will indeed be fantastically expensive to develop, which is why it took them a while to figure out how to pay for it. Elon believes they've managed to close the business case. Time will tell if he got it right or not.

If he gets it right, it will also be fantastically cheap to operate (relative to other launch providers). When you can refly the same vehicle 100 times, the major cost driver becomes propellant. It's no coincidence that C4H and O2 are the cheapest cost propellant.
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Old 13th October 2017, 07:01 AM   #272
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
You're arguing against a phantom. No one said that pushing the boundaries is not a good idea. No one said we don't need people who do that. No one said that doing nothing is better. All that people have said is that they doubt Musk's ability to deliver on this claim. If you take that doubt about one set of claims as an attack on the person and his accomplishments as a whole, then you are not thinking about this issue rationally.
No one's saying those things because then they'd have to defend them. Instead they're nitpicking the specifics of any given plan without offering alternatives of their own.

It's a technique called concern trolling. "I'm not saying this isn't a great idea and it's definitely a goal worth pursuing, but I'm deeply concerned that this specific plan has a specific insolvable problem and so we should really just forget about it altogether."

You see it a lot in US political discussions, especially about healthcare. No one ever argues against universal healthcare, they just find incurable flaws in every step towards it.
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Old 13th October 2017, 07:49 AM   #273
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Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
I must have misunderstood your earlier post then? Could you clarify the highlighted?
Yes, that was extremely unclear on my part. I was referring to the refuelling system on Mars. The plan makes no mention (afaics) for trialling the fuel generation systems on Mars prior to the arrival of people, and at that point it's a little late to save them if it's flakey, except -

Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
Why do you make the assumption that people will be returning? It's true that the system has the capacity to take a few people back, but Musk has been clear about this several time. It's a one-way trip for the humans.
Damned if I've seen this mentioned. I have noted that he accepts that the risk of accidental death is high, but not that those going are expected to stay. In fact that would change an awful lot, and not for the better. They'd need food production facilities from the outset, for a start, plus permanent habs and a load more infrastructure.

Earlier we were discussing radiation exposure, and the fact that an 18-month visit is not so severe. Staying for a lifetime is a different matter entirely.
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Old 13th October 2017, 08:31 AM   #274
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Yes, that was extremely unclear on my part. I was referring to the refuelling system on Mars. The plan makes no mention (afaics) for trialling the fuel generation systems on Mars prior to the arrival of people, and at that point it's a little late to save them if it's flakey, except -
Ah, ok yes, you are right. He does seem to dismiss ISRU almost as if it's a foregone conclusion. I mean we know how to do it, but not on Mars at anything like the scale required. I think we can agree that his plans beyond building the actual transportation link are notional.


Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Damned if I've seen this mentioned. I have noted that he accepts that the risk of accidental death is high, but not that those going are expected to stay. In fact that would change an awful lot, and not for the better. They'd need food production facilities from the outset, for a start, plus permanent habs and a load more infrastructure.

Earlier we were discussing radiation exposure, and the fact that an 18-month visit is not so severe. Staying for a lifetime is a different matter entirely.
I should clarify. According to Musk, this is a colonization effort, not flags and footprints. While you can return it you like, for most people, it's one way.

I think we both agree that in reality, that's unlikely to be how the first missions go. The first missions will be small groups of 7 - 12, who do return, to prove it all works.
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Old 13th October 2017, 08:37 AM   #275
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Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
I should clarify. According to Musk, this is a colonization effort, not flags and footprints. While you can return it you like, for most people, it's one way.

I think we both agree that in reality, that's unlikely to be how the first missions go. The first missions will be small groups of 7 - 12, who do return, to prove it all works.
Well, in that case we do have to consider the issue of getting those people back to earth.

On the other hand, if we want to ignore that issue then we do have to consider the other issues related to colonization. We can't have it both ways.
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Old 13th October 2017, 08:50 AM   #276
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Well, in that case we do have to consider the issue of getting those people back to earth.

On the other hand, if we want to ignore that issue then we do have to consider the other issues related to colonization. We can't have it both ways.
Sure, but nothing is contradictory about this. As I said earlier: with full tanks, the ship should be capable of returning 50t from Mars surface back to Earth surface.

Now whether you can fit ECLSS for 12 people for 4 months in 50t is perhaps the more relevant question.
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Old 13th October 2017, 09:00 AM   #277
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Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
I think we both agree that in reality, that's unlikely to be how the first missions go. The first missions will be small groups of 7 - 12, who do return, to prove it all works.
I'm not even sure that enough people would ever be interested in living on Mars anyway. The difference between them and colonists on Earth is that the latter find trees and edible stuff and breathable air when they get to a new territory. It's not very appealing save for a select few.
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Old 13th October 2017, 09:01 AM   #278
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This is probably stuff that most people here already know, but it's an ace little lecture on why Mars is hard by Stan Love.

It seemed vaguely relevant.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fturU0u5KJo
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Old 13th October 2017, 09:11 AM   #279
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It's expensive and risky to human life. Adding mitigations to that risk makes it even more expensive.

Sure, a human can do more science than a robot. Assuming you can encapsulate him in an environment that doesn't too much encumber his competitive edge over the robots. Which is... Expensive. And still risky.

A robot can do a little bit of science, at a large cost, and zero risk to human life. A human can do a lot of science, at ludicrous cost, and always a substantial risk to human life.

I think that robots will always be the more cost-effective solution. I think the direction of progress is to keep improving the robots.

For doing science, that is. For other things? For adventure and romance and thrill seeking and because it's there? Humans can and should do whatever they want. They should reach for the stars and grasp whatever falls within their reach. Musk's proposal is exactly what I've been predicting: The next phase of human space travel will be undertaken by wealthy hobbyists and enthusiasts. Not by governments trying to responsibly get the most value out of their science budget.

And, as always, the best fallback planet for humanity is Earth. This will continue to be true until humanity transcends the need for planets as habitats. Until that day, investing in infrastructure for Mars as a lifeboat is a fool's errand. It's a waste of resources and Stephen Hawking is a fool for promoting it. And come that day, the entire solar system will be our playground After that, humanity's survival is all but assured, for as long as humanity cares to survive.


But nothing Musk is doing will much hasten that evolution. It's fun and exciting and much good will come of it. Just, please, be clear about what it is. Don't try to sell it for the science, or the lifeboat.

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Old 13th October 2017, 09:19 AM   #280
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
And, as always, the best fallback planet for humanity is Earth. This will continue to be true until humanity transcends the need for planets as habitats.
Or until big rocks fall from the sky, we knacker the ecosystem or Donald gets bored and presses the button.
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