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Made in us
Shas'ui with Bonding Knife





Northern IA

So Elon Musk says he would like to live on Mars.

Do you think it's possible within his/your/our lifetime?

Would you want to be one of the first to colonize the Red Planet, even with all the dangers?

I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.

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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






Elon Musk doesn't strike me as the hardy pioneer type (or the sort of person to play well with other people for years sharing the same tent), but good luck to him.

It might be possible in the first half of this century, but not as a self-sufficient concern; I think such an endeavour will require regular supply from Earth.
   
Made in ca
Battlefortress Driver with Krusha Wheel





I think the sheer logistics is the issue. A small trip is one thing, but to actually live on Mars for an extended period of time would be daunting. I think it's possible if we find a new renewable energy source by the end of the century, but even then I think a proper colony is very far away, just because of the sheer cost.

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Steady Stonecleaver







It won't be possible under capitalism until it's profitable.

Technologically, sure. We can go now.

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






 TheMeanDM wrote:
Do you think it's possible within his/your/our lifetime?


Possible? Yes. We've had the technology to do it for decades. The only obstacle to doing it is someone with sufficient resources deciding to commit.

Probable? No. There's just no point to it. For the same payload capacity of a manned mission you can send a whole swarm of robots capable of doing vastly more scientific work, and outside of exploration Mars has nothing to offer. No useful resources, no unique features, just an obscenely expensive flag-planting expedition. And because it makes no sense to throw such vast piles of money at the project the people with the money to do it aren't going to have any interest, and it will probably never happen. And TBH, if the only way we're getting to Mars is Trump getting into a dick-measuring contest with Putin and starting a new space race, well, I'd rather keep that nationalistic dumpster fire limited to one planet.

Would you want to be one of the first to colonize the Red Planet, even with all the dangers?


Depends on what you mean by "first". Member of a 10-person scientific mission where everyone involved will have their names in history? Hell yes. First of a million-person colony where you get all of the suck but none of the fame? No thanks.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/11/28 11:31:48


There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

I wish Elon Musk would go and live on Mars right now.

And stay there.

"Being it's from Japan, they've sexed up a model of a piece of agricultural equipment with a cute farm girl model you can build with her top off showing her sports bra."

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in us
Shas'ui with Bonding Knife





Northern IA

Curious as to why you feel there are no resources on Mars that could be valuable?

There could be iron, other metals...salt...who knows! There hasn't really been any kind of deep analysis of the Martian planetary makeup, has there?

I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.

Three!! Three successful trades! Ah ah ah!
 
   
Made in us
Willing Inquisitorial Excruciator




Elverson, PA

 Kilkrazy wrote:
I wish Elon Musk would go and live on Mars right now.

And stay there.


To be fair, all the major players in the 'Colonize Mars' game have admitted going there is a one way trip. So we can always hope he goes for it.

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Somewhere in southern England.

 TheMeanDM wrote:
Curious as to why you feel there are no resources on Mars that could be valuable?

There could be iron, other metals...salt...who knows! There hasn't really been any kind of deep analysis of the Martian planetary makeup, has there?


That's what the new lander is starting to do.

Congrats to the NASA team for getting it down intact!

Big ups to the UK science team who designed and built the sensors.

"Being it's from Japan, they've sexed up a model of a piece of agricultural equipment with a cute farm girl model you can build with her top off showing her sports bra."

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in nl
Wrathful Warlord Titan Commander





Somewhere... over the rainbow

I would love to go to Mars. Life on Earth is boring. Life on Mars would also be boring, but at least it would be different.

But I am pretty sure Elon Musk will never go to Mars. Who knows, we might actually see a manned Mars mission, but a colony is still pretty far beyond our means since constant resupply missions as with the ISS are too expensive. A Mars colony would need to be largely self-sufficient from the start.

А сегодня, что для завтра сделал Я?
But today I don't feel like doing anything... 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






 TheMeanDM wrote:
Curious as to why you feel there are no resources on Mars that could be valuable?


Because planetary gravity wells are a near-impossible obstacle. It's highly questionable whether there could be any resource that could be sufficiently valuable per unit of mass to justify extracting it from another planet, and if there is it certainly isn't going to be bulk materials like iron or salt.

There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
   
Made in us
The Conquerer






Waiting for my shill money from Spiral Arm Studios

 Peregrine wrote:
 TheMeanDM wrote:
Curious as to why you feel there are no resources on Mars that could be valuable?


Because planetary gravity wells are a near-impossible obstacle. It's highly questionable whether there could be any resource that could be sufficiently valuable per unit of mass to justify extracting it from another planet, and if there is it certainly isn't going to be bulk materials like iron or salt.


The moon is a much more viable choice for a colony right now. Extracting and shipping stuff mined there would be much easier to send back due to the lower gravity making it easier to leave. Plus you're still relatively close to Earth.

We'd be better off colonizing the Moon first. Mars can wait.

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Cato Sicarius, after force feeding Captain Ventris a copy of the Codex Astartes for having the audacity to play Deathwatch, chokes to death on his own D-baggery after finding Calgar assembling his new Eldar army.

MURICA!!! IN SPESS!!! 
   
Made in gb
Moustache-twirling Princeps




We'll find out soon enough eh.

The slight problem being gravity. We don't know exactly how it would impact people long term, but Mars should be survivable while colonists on Luna would essentially be dealing with the same problems ISS occupants do at the moment. Some people have suggested canted rotating habitats, but then you run into issues with radiation exposure because those can't feasibly be built underground. If we decide to extract resources from the moon, the humans will be in orbital habitats controlling drone workers on the surface, we won't be colonising it.

There's also the issue of short term vs long term thinking. The moon is easier, but there's a hard limit on how far it can be developed, and we can't do anything there habitation wise that can't be done just as well and more easily in constructed orbitals. OTOH while there's not a huge amount of short term or even medium term gain in beginning to colonise Mars, it is at least theoretically possible to make Mars habitable in the long term with technology that either already exists or has been proven to be functionally viable(if not commercially or practically). Whether humanity is capable of taking a long enough view to put such a huge investment into a project that it's possible even this generation's grandchildren might not see the end of I don't know.

All that said, if we decide to allow corporations to go off and stripmine the solar system(and we bloody well shouldn't), the rational place to go isn't Mars, or the moon, it's the asteroid belt. You don't need to dig as hard to get at the good stuff, you don't have to deal with getting the resulting material up out of a gravity well, and there are a few objects large enough to support modest habitats once they've been tunnelled out and spun for pseudogravity. Right now the main challenge is mostly in identifying which objects would actually be valuable enough to go for.

Regardless of how we do it though, we do need to get off the Earth and establish self-sustaining colonies elsewhere ASAP, right now there are just too many things that could wipe us out in a single blow, not least our own stupidity.

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"Your society's broken, so who should we blame? Should we blame the rich, powerful people who caused it? No, lets blame the people with no power and no money and those immigrants who don't even have the vote. Yea, it must be their fething fault." - Iain M Banks
-----
"The language of modern British politics is meant to sound benign. But words do not mean what they seem to mean. 'Reform' actually means 'cut' or 'end'. 'Flexibility' really means 'exploit'. 'Prudence' really means 'don't invest'. And 'efficient'? That means whatever you want it to mean, usually 'cut'. All really mean 'keep wages low for the masses, taxes low for the rich, profits high for the corporations, and accept the decline in public services and amenities this will cause'." - Robin McAlpine from Common Weal 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

I agree. If you want to do mining in space, the asteroids are the place to go. If you can get to Mars you can get to the asteroids. Attach ion motors to a suitable rock and accelerate it slowly back to Earth orbit.

That said, there's actually plenty of easily get-at-able raw materials on Earth, so maybe we don't need to do mining in space, unless we want to manufature specialist materials in space and can't get the raw materials up from Earth easily enough.

"Being it's from Japan, they've sexed up a model of a piece of agricultural equipment with a cute farm girl model you can build with her top off showing her sports bra."

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in nl
Veteran Wolf Guard Squad Leader




Reading this thread, I'm left to wonder, whatever happened to good old "because we can"? It's driven so many leaps in advancement and knowledge, short-term economic losses should be irrelevant.
Personally, I think we've given (or they've slowly accumulated) the beancounters too much power. I'd suggest sending most of *them* to Mars. Do or die, you useless c*nts.
Economy's a means to an end, not an end of itself.
   
Made in gb
Blood-Raging Khorne Berserker




Southampton, UK

 Kilkrazy wrote:
I agree. If you want to do mining in space, the asteroids are the place to go. If you can get to Mars you can get to the asteroids. Attach ion motors to a suitable rock and accelerate it slowly back to Earth orbit.

That said, there's actually plenty of easily get-at-able raw materials on Earth, so maybe we don't need to do mining in space, unless we want to manufature specialist materials in space and can't get the raw materials up from Earth easily enough.


I think that's the only way it would be feasible. Even if you get raw materials back to Earth's orbit, you've still got to bring it down to the ground. Unless you find an asteroid made of tritium or something it's just not going to be economically viable.
   
Made in ca
Trustworthy Shas'vre






Bran Dawri wrote:
Reading this thread, I'm left to wonder, whatever happened to good old "because we can"? It's driven so many leaps in advancement and knowledge, short-term economic losses should be irrelevant.


When was it ever about "because we can?". The space race was a product of the cold war. The Soviets put Sputnik in orbit and scared the piss out of the the US government. Everything that followed was funding military/intelligence capability cloaked under the aegis of scientific research. This situation remains to this day, with token amounts being spent on actual science.

The recent mars probe is an example. Took 10 years of planning and a billion dollars. What's the US military budget for one year these days? 700 billion. 11-12 billion for military space projects. The shuttle program put many classified satellites into orbit and happily got some good science done in addition.

Note that the total costs of the Large Hadron Collider is over $14 billion to date, so the world is willing to throw some money at pure science, but space was never about aspirational goals.


   
Made in us
Rotting Sorcerer of Nurgle






There is a project in the works to set up a colony on mars. Forget the name of it but they are going through applicants and have the basic design laid out. But these people have to plan to be there the rest of their lives; while it's possible they could get a shuttle home at some point in the future there is no guarantee. That said... You get to be the first humans living on another planet, which is a titantic achievement for the species and one that can never be overwritten. And the planet you are leaving isn't THAT great anyways.

I wonder if they would still get to vote?

"Putting a statement in quotations makes it seem more legitimate."
--Bette R. Withname

Imagine three people with the same set of values but radically different emotional states, each of them believes their position is more valid than the other two, they all post using the same account, and your job is to make it coherent. 
   
Made in nl
Wrathful Warlord Titan Commander





Somewhere... over the rainbow

 Grey Templar wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
 TheMeanDM wrote:
Curious as to why you feel there are no resources on Mars that could be valuable?


Because planetary gravity wells are a near-impossible obstacle. It's highly questionable whether there could be any resource that could be sufficiently valuable per unit of mass to justify extracting it from another planet, and if there is it certainly isn't going to be bulk materials like iron or salt.


The moon is a much more viable choice for a colony right now. Extracting and shipping stuff mined there would be much easier to send back due to the lower gravity making it easier to leave. Plus you're still relatively close to Earth.

We'd be better off colonizing the Moon first. Mars can wait.

I actually kinda agree with this. Mars is unique in that it is relatively Earth-like. Ideally we want to wait with colonising it until we have terraformed it to be even more like Earth so that it can sustain plant and Human life without special habitats (such habitats are more effective to build in space rather than on a planet anyways). Terraforming Mars is already mostly possible with current technology. We are just looking for a way to make it feasible.

А сегодня, что для завтра сделал Я?
But today I don't feel like doing anything... 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Bran Dawri wrote:
Reading this thread, I'm left to wonder, whatever happened to good old "because we can"? It's driven so many leaps in advancement and knowledge, short-term economic losses should be irrelevant.
Personally, I think we've given (or they've slowly accumulated) the beancounters too much power. I'd suggest sending most of *them* to Mars. Do or die, you useless c*nts.
Economy's a means to an end, not an end of itself.


What happened is that we realized that nationalistic flag-planting exercises like putting humans on the moon were spectacular wastes of money and accomplished nothing but proving that we had a bigger dick than those evil communists. If you want advancement and knowledge fund a massive swarm of robot probes to Mars. The only reason to send humans is RAR THE US IS BETTER THAN CHINA WERE GOING TO MAKE MARS GREAT AGAIN.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 NinthMusketeer wrote:
There is a project in the works to set up a colony on mars. Forget the name of it but they are going through applicants and have the basic design laid out. But these people have to plan to be there the rest of their lives; while it's possible they could get a shuttle home at some point in the future there is no guarantee. That said... You get to be the first humans living on another planet, which is a titantic achievement for the species and one that can never be overwritten. And the planet you are leaving isn't THAT great anyways.

I wonder if they would still get to vote?


If by "project in the works" you mean "someone made a website as a marketing stunt" then yeah, it's a thing. There is no real project behind any of it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/11/29 21:35:30


There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
   
Made in us
Veteran Knight Baron in a Crusader




Bran Dawri wrote:
Reading this thread, I'm left to wonder, whatever happened to good old "because we can"? It's driven so many leaps in advancement and knowledge, short-term economic losses should be irrelevant.

A) No, it hasn't. 'Because we can make money on it' or 'it will help defeat our enemies' drove exploration and advancement.
'Because we can' is a the cry of rich, useless man with nothing better to offer. Enter Elon Musk.

B) They wouldn't be short-term economic losses. They'd involve long term economic collapses and, if you're involving colonists, a lot of death.
Even on a tiny scale, a research station for people on mars would just involve dumping money and resources over and over and over again.
There are useful things to do in space (see asteroids, certain types of research, manufacturing, etc), but there is very little to be gained dropping actual people down another gravity well, and trying to maintain a marginal existence in a hostile environment where any single act of stupidity, accident or malice can wipe the whole board.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/11/29 22:59:28


Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






To be fair, there was some reason for manned missions in the 1970s, when computer technology was far more primitive. But now? Hell no. If you want to do science you send robots. Humans are just dead weight and nationalistic masturbation.

There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
   
Made in gb
Wicked Warp Spider





but if he goes we'll need some other tech-sort think he's Tony Stark


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Monarchy of TBD

 Kilkrazy wrote:
I agree. If you want to do mining in space, the asteroids are the place to go. If you can get to Mars you can get to the asteroids. Attach ion motors to a suitable rock and accelerate it slowly back to Earth orbit.

That said, there's actually plenty of easily get-at-able raw materials on Earth, so maybe we don't need to do mining in space, unless we want to manufature specialist materials in space and can't get the raw materials up from Earth easily enough.


I think that's definitely the progression, asteroid mining first- but you don't go to the belt for Earth imports. We have tiny spaceships because we have to loft them out of a gravity well- but with a reliable supply of raw materials, not just rare ones, you can use those resources for relatively cheap orbital factories, larger ships, and basically begin driving down the cost of space exploration. Leave the resources in space, and use them there. SpaceX costs 27,000 per pound lifted into space- and it's the cheapest option! So sit up there with a basic iron harvester, or figure out how to turn it into steel. Now sell that steel for 20,000 dollars a pound to whatever space agency wants it.

You can even skip the asteroids, and set up a satellite scavenging service, capturing space debris and stripping it for parts, probably while being subsidized by somebody for making the orbitals safer. The trick is making something that can stay up there, and produce a good or service to be used in space.


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Made in nl
Moustache-twirling Princeps




We'll find out soon enough eh.

 Peregrine wrote:
Bran Dawri wrote:
Reading this thread, I'm left to wonder, whatever happened to good old "because we can"? It's driven so many leaps in advancement and knowledge, short-term economic losses should be irrelevant.
Personally, I think we've given (or they've slowly accumulated) the beancounters too much power. I'd suggest sending most of *them* to Mars. Do or die, you useless c*nts.
Economy's a means to an end, not an end of itself.


What happened is that we realized that nationalistic flag-planting exercises like putting humans on the moon were spectacular wastes of money and accomplished nothing but proving that we had a bigger dick than those evil communists. If you want advancement and knowledge fund a massive swarm of robot probes to Mars. The only reason to send humans is RAR THE US IS BETTER THAN CHINA WERE GOING TO MAKE MARS GREAT AGAIN.


I've got to ask, where is this idea the moon race was a waste of money coming from? IIRC for every dollar of public money the US spent on the Apollo programme the economy grew by 14 dollars, which sounds like a pretty damned effective bit of stimulus spending to me, and certainly more productive than another round of enabling property speculation bubbles or pouring all that cash into the gaping maw of the military. Not to mention all of the technological advances that were made.

And again, the point of putting people on Mars is not vacant nationalism, it's insurance against an ELE wiping out the whole species. Nice though, I think this might be the first time I've seen people advocating scientific adventure and exploration equated with bellowing Trumpists

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/11/30 01:22:56


I need to acquire plastic Skavenslaves, can you help?
I have a blog now, evidently. Featuring the Alternative Mordheim Model Megalist.

"Your society's broken, so who should we blame? Should we blame the rich, powerful people who caused it? No, lets blame the people with no power and no money and those immigrants who don't even have the vote. Yea, it must be their fething fault." - Iain M Banks
-----
"The language of modern British politics is meant to sound benign. But words do not mean what they seem to mean. 'Reform' actually means 'cut' or 'end'. 'Flexibility' really means 'exploit'. 'Prudence' really means 'don't invest'. And 'efficient'? That means whatever you want it to mean, usually 'cut'. All really mean 'keep wages low for the masses, taxes low for the rich, profits high for the corporations, and accept the decline in public services and amenities this will cause'." - Robin McAlpine from Common Weal 
   
Made in us
Legendary Master of the Chapter






 Gitzbitah wrote:
 Kilkrazy wrote:
I agree. If you want to do mining in space, the asteroids are the place to go. If you can get to Mars you can get to the asteroids. Attach ion motors to a suitable rock and accelerate it slowly back to Earth orbit.

That said, there's actually plenty of easily get-at-able raw materials on Earth, so maybe we don't need to do mining in space, unless we want to manufature specialist materials in space and can't get the raw materials up from Earth easily enough.


I think that's definitely the progression, asteroid mining first- but you don't go to the belt for Earth imports. We have tiny spaceships because we have to loft them out of a gravity well- but with a reliable supply of raw materials, not just rare ones, you can use those resources for relatively cheap orbital factories, larger ships, and basically begin driving down the cost of space exploration. Leave the resources in space, and use them there. SpaceX costs 27,000 per pound lifted into space- and it's the cheapest option! So sit up there with a basic iron harvester, or figure out how to turn it into steel. Now sell that steel for 20,000 dollars a pound to whatever space agency wants it.

You can even skip the asteroids, and set up a satellite scavenging service, capturing space debris and stripping it for parts, probably while being subsidized by somebody for making the orbitals safer. The trick is making something that can stay up there, and produce a good or service to be used in space.



Yeah i cant imagine its worth sending down anything from space outside of maybe like the heavy metals or precious metals that are harder to get here for various reasons. some generic info graphic shows something like 20% composition of various platinum metal groups which is cash money.

another big one for space cowboys to make it rich would be comets for that delicious thirst quenching water recourse. though bringing large quantities of materials around in space is probably going to have interesting effects on neighboring bodies.

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
 Scott-S6 wrote:
And yet another thread is hijacked for Unit to ask for the same advice, receive the same answers and make the same excuses.

Oh my god I'm becoming martel.
Send help!

 
   
Made in ca
Trustworthy Shas'vre






 Yodhrin wrote:
[
And again, the point of putting people on Mars is not vacant nationalism, it's insurance against an ELE wiping out the whole species.


Or we could spend that money on asteroid tracking, redirection and keeping Earth's ecology from going to hell in a handbasket.

There is NOWHERE less hostile to human habitation than Earth. If we get a dino-killing asteroid hitting Earth, guess where humanity has the best chance of survival? Still on Earth - we could very easily build large geo-thermally powered super-bunkers that could survive almost anything short of Earth literally being split in two. And getting Earth back to live-able levels will be relatively quick and easy compared to, say, terraforming Mars.

So the argument that we need to colonize Mars for survival is less compelling than the one to build Earth ELE defenses and hidey-holes, neither of which we're actually doing.

Look, I get it, colonizing Mars would be cool as feth. Let's get a space economy going so we can afford it first, okay? Once we've got orbital factories and solar satellite stations and asteroid mining we can start thinking about it.

   
Made in gb
Battlewagon Driver with Charged Engine






The principle regarding colonising Mars isn't just around insurance that we aren't all wiped out by an asteroid/nuclear war/disease on Earth, its the logical next step for our species.

Mankind has looked to the stars literally since we have existed. We have studied them and always had a fascination with them. Don't you think there's a reason for that? Don't you feel the driver for mankind to exist on as many planets in as many galaxies as possible?

Mars in particular has been selected by Musk/SpaceX because it does have some useful raw materials that would allow spacecraft to refuel and return to Earth. This is the primary driver. If we can get craft to and from the planet we stand a much better chance of making the colonisation process an investment opportunity - something it unfortunately has to be given current socioeconomic factors. The intent is to commercialise the offer of colonising Mars so that there is incentive to go there by big business and investors.

From a species perspective, as far as I'm concerned it absolutely needs to happen for a number of reasons, the most obvious being Earth only has so much space and we are rapidly filling it. The next obvious, at least on this group should be how are we going to create the Emperor's Imperium if we don't colonise other planets? Those Orks/Tyranids/Eldar/Necrons are going to come wreck us!

In all seriousness I've looked into this a fair bit as its something that really interests me. To answer the OPs questions - yes I think we will get a station on Mars of some description before I die. I think it will be a pretty grim existence up there for quite some time though so I wouldn't be signing up to go, even if the tickets were free (they won't be). The key to unlocking Mars (or any inhospitable biome really) seems to be sustainable food, energy, oxygen and water production. Something all major space powers are investing a lot of time and money into developing as I write this. They seem to be getting there too, they have already developed solar powered, easy build greenhouses that can grow a variety of vegetation, weigh very little (relatively speaking) and can filter water to make it drinkable. We already have a space craft that can be reused. As long as the infrastructure is put in place I see no reason we won't colonise the red planet in time.

Not sure why there's so much hate on Musk either. He's one of the few revolutionaries of our time.
   
Made in us
Skillful Swordmaster





West Lafayette, IN

 Peregrine wrote:
To be fair, there was some reason for manned missions in the 1970s, when computer technology was far more primitive. But now? Hell no. If you want to do science you send robots. Humans are just dead weight and nationalistic masturbation.


I understand you have a... predilection towards robots bordering on pathological, but if we can't keep them operating correctly long term HERE, what makes you think they'll be able to operate independently out THERE? Especially since there'll be no maintenance assets available. Didn't we have a probe recently that became a multimillion dollar sinkhole because of positioning? I seem to remember there being a story about it...



REGARDLESS, if there is any intellectual value or knowledge to be gained from sending humans out there, then we should do it. Lord knows we have enough to spare, and they are far cheaper to manufacture more of than robots.

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 An Actual Englishman wrote:
Don't you feel the driver for mankind to exist on as many planets in as many galaxies as possible?


Nope. I understand how reality works, and how that "dream" is pure fiction.

The intent is to commercialise the offer of colonising Mars so that there is incentive to go there by big business and investors.


The point is that there can't be incentive. There is nothing that can be done or obtained on Mars that can even conceivably be profitable. Any hypothetical Mars colony would be an obscene money sink, most likely state-funded as a nationalism project, and the absolute best case scenario for it is that after an extended period of being a money sink it finally becomes mostly self-sufficient and can safely be abandoned and forgotten.

the most obvious being Earth only has so much space and we are rapidly filling it.


We aren't even close, and reducing/eliminating population growth is much easier than colonizing Mars. And there is no plausible scenario where we can get a non-trivial number of people off Earth, even the most wildly optimistic predictions for space elevators and such can only handle a negligible percentage of our population. Any expansion on Mars is going to be in addition to whatever space we're filling up here, not instead of it.

Not sure why there's so much hate on Musk either. He's one of the few revolutionaries of our time.


Because he's a narcissist, massive hypocrite, and an unstable walking PR debacle. I'll grant that SpaceX has been a clear success (though Musk's primary role there is business, not technical), but Tesla is mixed results with major scaling issues and a lot of his other ideas are utter ing lunacy. And even his biggest success is far from "revolutionary", SpaceX is much more of an incremental improvement than a revolution. TBH the closest thing to a revolution he's done is Tesla forcing the bigger manufacturers to take electric vehicles seriously instead of continuing to bury the technology.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Just Tony wrote:
I understand you have a... predilection towards robots bordering on pathological, but if we can't keep them operating correctly long term HERE, what makes you think they'll be able to operate independently out THERE? Especially since there'll be no maintenance assets available. Didn't we have a probe recently that became a multimillion dollar sinkhole because of positioning? I seem to remember there being a story about it...


I know they won't be able to operate independently without problems, but that doesn't matter. Launch capacity is expensive, and human cargo requires an obscene amount of it. You need food, water, life support equipment, redundancy and over-engineering in everything, fuel for a return trip, etc. Then add even more payload capacity if you're insisting on hauling maintenance assets with those humans. Then add even more fuel to haul all that stuff, more fuel to haul the additional fuel, more fuel tank mass to hold it, more fuel to cover the extra tank mass, more tanks to hold that fuel, more fuel for those tanks, and on into the death spiral of rocket design.

Or you could send a whole swarm of robots, and who cares if 95% of them fail to get the job done when the surviving 5% will still be able to do more science than the tiny human expedition.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Yodhrin wrote:
I've got to ask, where is this idea the moon race was a waste of money coming from? IIRC for every dollar of public money the US spent on the Apollo programme the economy grew by 14 dollars, which sounds like a pretty damned effective bit of stimulus spending to me, and certainly more productive than another round of enabling property speculation bubbles or pouring all that cash into the gaping maw of the military. Not to mention all of the technological advances that were made.


Yes, the space program produced economic results, but did it really produce better results than investing the money elsewhere? We're not forced into a binary choice between space and the military, that money could go into targeted R&D programs aimed at getting the technology we want. And that's going to be a lot more effective than doing some unrelated thing and hoping that you get results as an accidental side effect.

And again, the point of putting people on Mars is not vacant nationalism, it's insurance against an ELE wiping out the whole species. Nice though, I think this might be the first time I've seen people advocating scientific adventure and exploration equated with bellowing Trumpists


Honestly, who cares if we manage to get a few people to survive that extinction event? The vast majority of people are still going to be dead, so we're spending vast amounts of money on an insurance policy for the vague concept of humanity as a species. And honestly, I don't really see that abstract concept as having much value if we aren't saving the people that make up the species.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2018/11/30 11:13:34


There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
   
 
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