Musk explains his 'cargo route' to Mars

Elon Musk earlier this year announced on Twitter he was "Planning to send Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018," but there w
Elon Musk earlier this year announced on Twitter he was "Planning to send Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018," but there was little in the way of details at the time

SpaceX chief Elon Musk shed light on his new plan to send an unmanned spaceship to Mars as early as 2018, as part of his quest to some day colonize the Red Planet.

Musk, the Internet entrepreneur who cofounded PayPal and currently also runs Tesla Motors, earlier this year announced on Twitter that he was "Planning to send Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018." But there was little in the way of details at the time.

He appeared to be referring to an upgraded version of the California-based company's Dragon cargo capsule, which is currently used as an to shuttle food and supplies to and from the International Space Station.

In a new exclusive this week with The Washington Post, the entrepeneur drew parallels between crossing the oceans in centuries past to unknown worlds.

The months-long journey is sure to be "hard, risky, dangerous, difficult," Musk told the Post, but he was confident people would sign up to go because "just as with the establishment of the English colonies, there are people who love that. They want to be the pioneers."

Before that can happen, however, unmanned travel and a supply chain must be developed successfully.

"Essentially what we're saying is we're establishing a cargo route to Mars," he said.

Space X's Falcon 9 rocket lifts off carrying the Dragon CRS5 spacecraft on a resupply mission to the International Space Station
Space X's Falcon 9 rocket lifts off carrying the Dragon CRS5 spacecraft on a resupply mission to the International Space Station

"It's a regular cargo route. You can count on it. It's going to happen every 26 months. Like a train leaving the station. And if scientists around the world know that they can count on that, and it's going to be inexpensive, relatively speaking compared to anything in the past, then they will plan accordingly and come up with a lot of great experiments."

The mission is private and not funded by the US government or NASA, which has previously said it would provide "technical support" for the 2018 mission.

NASA also is studying the effects of long-term space flight on the human body and has announced its own separate plans to send people to Mars by the 2030s.

It remains unclear how people would survive the long journey of a year or more, needing adequate food and water and protection from space radiation during the trip.

Musk has previously spoken of his vision of creating a colony of a million earthlings on Mars, in order to make humanity "multi-planetary" and avoid the risk of extinction on Earth.

His most recent feats include managing to return the first stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets to an upright landing on water and on solid ground, as part of his effort to make rockets that are as reusable as airplanes.


Explore further

SpaceX aims to send 'Red Dragon' capsule to Mars in 2018 (Update)

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Jun 12, 2016
Science is Rapidly moving Forward; It is high time that Some/Someone come up/comes up IMMEDIATELY with a REAL Quantum Computer to Solve Problems. 1) Solution to Human Problems/Differences AND 2) Solution to Tearing up between Animals for their Satiation-- They know NO Farming skills like us.
SOLUTION: Photosynthesis by ALL so that there will be NO MORE Killings. I can think of differences due to lack of food; I have no idea on solutions to differences due to Non-Food Types!
P.S: I saw Animal Videos recently where some birds (cranes/swans or some other) continuously/Repeatedly feeding huge Fish flocking around them with grains or whatever from a container above! Funny Social Service, Really. Birds belong to Aves. We to Mammalia.
Fish are way bottom in the Animal Phyla even Below The Frogs! How come they learnt to become children of Birds?

Jun 12, 2016
Great, a parasitic Mars colony full of cargo cult space-poets, at such distance that there will be NO glimmer of any tourism, potential commercial benefit to Earth zero. It's only export will be a reality TV show that will become really depressing after the first season. A bizarre form of smart-stupid has taken hold of US visionaries.

Meanwhile... China and India are headed for the Moon to build colonies whose inhabitants will have more access to Earth, people need not occupy them for life, tourism is feasible, it will serve as a way station to the asteroid belt commercial frontier, helium-3 mining is possible. Silly fools! Someone must have sent them a pile of decades-old National Geographics.

Whenever I point out such bare observations... advocates of the Mars Mission say they don't like my face.

Jun 12, 2016
Musk is really going at it. At one conference he made the analogy between the cargo route and the trans-American railway. Paraphrased: 'No one lived in California at the time, so how stupid a venture wasn't that!?'

@HL: Your opinions, interesting to you but not very useful since this is happening - *that* is an observation - despite your claimed 'observations'. (Personally I would call it an attempt at analysis, but it is so out there it lands in opinions.)

- Mars: I think you are confusing MarsOne with SpaceX here. The article explains the latter's plans.

- Moon: Not relevant here. But "helium-3 mining", a scifi MacGuffin, really!? Seems your opinions are as well founded as your fundamental Mars mistake.

Jun 12, 2016
@be: Irrelevancies.

But I note that you want to replace killing animals with killing plants. How is one better than the other? (Ultimately we should try to eat prokaryotes. nothing analogous to pain reactions as in animals and plants, just escape reflexes, and very efficient, see Venter's plans.)

Nitpick; Phylogenetically we tetrapods (your mammals. birds, frogs) belong in the fish clade. No one is more evolved or ranked as 'below/above'. That is the old rejected Ladder of Descent that the religious loves so, but was found to be unfounded when we observed that evolution is the process of the tree. All extant species have evolved the same time.

I have no idea what your video experience means to you, nor does it seem relevant. To attempt to understand the biology at work, if that is what you are getting at, I would need a link to the video.

Jun 12, 2016
Musk is describing a good pragmatic plan. Musk is a pragmatist, although a bold and visionary pragmatist. He is engaging in ventures that push in directions that ultimately are positive steps toward insuring the longer term survival of humanity. Of course that includes maintaining conditions on this planet conducive to the survival of the current range of life on it.
Tbl, I appreciate your willingness to read and respond appropriately to postings from those who employ delusion rather than logic, intellect, or scientific thought processes to deal with reality. I do not possess your enviable level of patience and tolerance, and so put these types on my ignore list.

Jun 12, 2016
Musk is really going at it. At one conference he made the analogy between the cargo route and the trans-American railway. Paraphrased: 'No one lived in California at the time, so how stupid a venture wasn't that!?'


Musk is a hype machine. He makes these publicity stunts to keep himself a celebrity and a talking point, to keep investments going for his so far unprofitable enterprises that are running mostly on the invested capital.

The difference between the mars mission and railroad pioneers, or new world colonists, is that both of those could come back to return with sugar and tobacco and gold etc. which was the whole point behind the ventures - they weren't just about sending a few people over and playing explorers - there was a profit motive.

The only profit motive in Musks's plan is to milk money out of the people who want to go. Why would they want to go, that's another question because they can't come back, and they can't bring anything back.

Jun 12, 2016
But "helium-3 mining", a scifi MacGuffin, really!?


It's a bit disingenuous to grasp onto that alone. There's plenty of things you can do on the moon that are infeasible on earth, such as huge open-pit strip mining on the scale of countries for minerals and metals that are too costly to obtain on earth due to practical problems. Don't have to worry about ecological issues because nothing lives there.

For example, rare earth metals mining produces nuclear waste, which is a problem on earth. Not so on the moon.

If only there were a way to bring it back to earth. One proposal is to use a large solar powered mass driver to essentially shoot the return capsules at the earth and aim them to fall down somewhere convenient. Can't do that on Mars because there's an atmosphere in your way.

Jun 12, 2016
Musk is describing a good pragmatic plan. Musk is a pragmatist,


Musk is a software developer and a business capitalist. He's not a pragmatist - he's mostly just lucky to be living in a time and a world where his "visions" are practically plausible - at least some of them.

People like that see engineering from the bean counters' point of view: everything is just abstract "widgets" and the only costs are wages, materials and time. They believe all physical engineering problems are surmountable by throwing enough people and money at it.

Such people thrive on other people's inventions and work, and are called visionaries and innovators for being the public face with the money to pay for it and the guts to take credit for it. When people like that succeed you think they're geniuses, and when they fail you'll never even hear of them.

Jun 12, 2016
Tbl, I appreciate your willingness to read and respond appropriately to postings from those who employ delusion rather than logic, intellect, or scientific thought processes to deal with reality. I do not possess your enviable level of patience and tolerance, and so put these types on my ignore list.

I am not sure that replying politely to those who try to stir bad emotions is the proper way to respond.

tbc

Jun 12, 2016
...

Lately, I have tried to exercise a little tolerance and got a lot of trolls of the 'ignore user' function because many comments are addressed to them and it makes it hard to follow the treads. Now I am slowly getting back to where I was; I prefer not seeing 2/3 of the tread and make sensible comments than having negative reaction from users who do not deserve any attention.

Incidentally, I gave a 5 to betterexists when my intention was to give a 1, now he is back on ignore; this is the way he will stay. So I implore sensible users; let's manage this place in a way we can interact and enjoy sensible comments. Stop replying to trolls please.

Jun 12, 2016
Basically, Elon Musk wants to be the shipyard that decked out Christopher Columbus's ship to the new world - that's how he makes money with SpaceX: launching ships for people going to space for some reason. Doesn't matter why or where as long as he's paid.

The ISS won't be there forever and other companies can launch satellites too, especially India whose space program is undercutting his launch costs by a good margin, so he needs a new destination only he can reach.

But imagine if Christopher Columbus had said to the king of Spain - instead of finding a new trade route to the east and bringing in lots of money - simply: "I want to sail to a remote island and stay there. You'll never see me again."

Obviously the king of Spain would have told him to eff off. It's the same problem with trips to Mars. You can establish a one-way regular cargo route there, but why?

Jun 12, 2016
"Don't have to worry about ecological issues because nothing lives there. For example, rare earth metals mining produces nuclear waste, which is a problem on earth. Not so on the moon."
------------------------------------

Oh, yeah, . . we can ruin anything we want!

Thanks for showing us the dangers of all this. Meanwhile, Musk and his ilk will contaminate the planet with Earth microbes, so we will not be able to tell if they existed there, too or not.

Jun 12, 2016
Obviously the king of Spain would have told him to eff off.

Funny thing, I read your first post and was thinking that if you were the King of Spain, we would never have heard of Columbus. But, it appears you would have fallen for his failed promise.

I want to sail to a remote island and stay there. You'll never see me again

Isn't it exactly that, what the New World was built on?

PS: I'm beginning to believe that I am alone in rejecting any plan to exploit the resources of the moon.

Jun 12, 2016
Oh, yeah, . . we can ruin anything we want!
George if you want to sell yourself as an authority instead of the lying cheating psychopath that you obviously are, then you will have to try to control your compulsion to post long enough to think a little bit.

The moon is continually bathed in hard ionizing radiation. And the regolith is both caustic and toxic. There is nothing up there that we can find or create that will make this significantly worse.

Hey - Why don't you find some way to blame this on humanity?

Jun 12, 2016
PS: I'm beginning to believe that I am alone in rejecting any plan to exploit the resources of the moon.

Indeed, I would not want to see visible exploitation features and break the bucolic sight that this celestial body gave to humanity ever since we raise our eyes to the evening sky. Not to mention the dusty halo that mining would irreparably create in such a low gravitational environment.

I think it would be very appropriate to make an international treaty, similar the Antarctic one, preventing commercial exploitation of the lunar resources and limiting it for scientific purpose.

Jun 12, 2016
Obviously the king of Spain would have told him to eff off. It's the same problem with trips to Mars. You can establish a one-way regular cargo route there, but why?
Because the dire necessity of establishing independent colonies elsewhere in the system is a priority recognized at the highest level.

Musk knows there will be plenty of funding and support for such a system just as Columbus did.

NASA is a military agency. It's missions are all strategic in nature, as were the voyages of Columbus and the other state-funded explorers. They were reconnaissance and were never meant to generate a profit.

What followed Columbus was conquest.

Jun 12, 2016
think it would be very appropriate to make an international treaty, similar the Antarctic one, preventing commercial exploitation of the lunar resources and limiting it for scientific purpose
I remember when guys like you wanted to do this with the internet. And where would that be today without commercialization?

Jun 12, 2016
bucolic sight that this celestial body gave to humanity ever since we raise our eyes to the evening sky. Not to mention the dusty halo that mining would irreparably create in such a low gravitational environment
Compare an open pit mine here on earth with a similar-sized crater on the Moon. These features are not visible from your backyard. You are not appreciating the relative scale.

BTW you ought to look up words like bucolic before you misuse them.

Jun 12, 2016
think it would be very appropriate to make an international treaty, similar the Antarctic one, preventing commercial exploitation of the lunar resources and limiting it for scientific purpose
I remember when guys like you wanted to do this with the internet. And where would that be today without commercialization?

I do not understand the point you are trying to make; it looks like a straw man. On this I will remind you that the www is a global public space thanks to Tim Berners-Lee. Else we would probably be limited to preferred commercial space designed and controled by international service providers.

Jun 12, 2016
Compare an open pit mine here on earth with a similar-sized crater on the Moon. These features are not visible from your backyard. You are not appreciating the relative scale.
On the moon, craters are natural features that I can enjoy. I would not want to live close to a quarry or a mine pit and would not enjoy to witness the appearance of the uglyness of these features there.
BTW you ought to look up words like bucolic before you misuse them.
Bucolic and idyllic are synonyms.

Jun 12, 2016
Bucolic and idyllic are synonyms.


No they aren't. Idyllic in this context means something like "untouched beauty", or "picturesque". Bucolic means something along the lines of "life in the country is better than life in the city", or "rustic beauty", or possibly "backwoodsie, but nice".

Jun 12, 2016
Don't we have to go to the moon first? Or did Nixon fake it?

Jun 12, 2016
@gopher65
Bucolic and idyllic are synonyms.


No they aren't. Idyllic in this context means something like "untouched beauty", or "picturesque". Bucolic means something along the lines of "life in the country is better than life in the city", or "rustic beauty", or possibly "backwoodsie, but nice".

Ok I would say that idyllic would have been a better choice in the context, but bucolic was the word that came to my mind. How's that? But what would be the closest synonym to idyllic according to you? http://www.thesau.../idyllic

Jun 12, 2016
I should add to my last comment that I have a greater tendency to look at the night sky when there is a whiff of cow manure floating in the air. How's that ? ;-)

Jun 12, 2016
Funny thing, I read your first post and was thinking that if you were the King of Spain, we would never have heard of Columbus. But, it appears you would have fallen for his failed promise.


You're applying the historian's fallacy. If I had been king of Spain I would have sent Columbus to claim the Americas for Spain anyways; I would have been stupid not to.

"I want to sail to a remote island and stay there. You'll never see me again"

Isn't it exactly that, what the New World was built on?


The new world was colonized first and foremost for bringing back natural resources to the old world. One of the first things they did was to set up shop in the Caribbeans, enslave a lot of Irish, and start growing sugar cane - but at first the people did genuinely believe they had landed in India or China where they were originally headed, and started looking for gold and spices. Hence why native Americans are still called "indians"

Jun 12, 2016
and would not enjoy to witness the appearance of the uglyness of these features there.


I'm sorry, but that's the most selfish asshole attitude imaginable. It's the same sort of attitude clueless people take against wind turbines.

Regardless of what you think about wind turbines on the technical point, or open pit mines on the moon - the potential benefit to all mankind trumps your personal aesthetic considerations. You could pick any other argument except "It would be an eyesore".

You know they had an association against electric grid pylons when the national grid in the UK was built? Exactly on the point that it looks ugly - talk about ludditism.

And there's half the moon that is never visible to the earth anyways because the moon is tidally locked, so you can mine all you want and nobody but the aliens will se it.

Jun 12, 2016
I do not understand the point you are trying to make; it looks like a straw man. On this I will remind you that the www is a global public space thanks to Tim Berners-Lee. Else we would probably be limited to preferred commercial space designed and controled by international service providers.


WWW is not the internet.

Internet started off as a US military project, the technologies developed were adopted by private businesses on one hand, and universities on the other. Meanwhile in the private individual sphere it was all BBS over regular phone lines and things like FidoNet. Then the universities and businesses connected their networks together, the government built a huge new network backbone for it, and the BBS's started offering link-ups to regular people, and the internet was born.

And there were people who went, "Hey, psst... this is a great strategic asset... let's... let's not give it to the Russians"

Jun 12, 2016
Also, AT&T back in the monopoly times did not allow people to connect non-sanctioned devices to their phone lines - such as voice modems - which meant that the first modems people used to connect to the BBSs and other remote computing systems were soundproofed wooden boxes, and you put your telephone's handset in the box and the modem would beep into it.

Oh, yeah, . . we can ruin anything we want!


What do you mean ruin? Ruined for what?

Meanwhile, Musk and his ilk will contaminate the planet with Earth microbes, so we will not be able to tell if they existed there, too or not.


I was talking of the moon, not Mars. You can't get to Mars and back to mine and establish a meaningful colony with anything Elon Musk could build because the distance is simply too great.


Jun 12, 2016
Musk knows there will be plenty of funding and support for such a system just as Columbus did.

NASA is a military agency. It's missions are all strategic in nature, as were the voyages of Columbus and the other state-funded explorers. They were reconnaissance and were never meant to generate a profit.


Actually, the king of Spain was sold the trip on the point that he would get gold and spices from the east on the cheap and fast by not having to go around Africa.

Columbus did believe he was going to India. Thing is, at that point in history, nobody knew how to measure longitude at sea reliably, so they did not know how far they had travelled in the east-west direction when they hit land.

Others had calculated the real distance around the world and concluded that Columbus would die on the voyage, and he knew that, but Columbus believed he could do it anyhow and told a lie to get the king to fund the trip.

Jun 12, 2016
IIRC, C may also have heard from deep-sea fishermen that there *was* land at that distance. Given it could only be the Spice Islands etc etc, he went for it...

Jun 12, 2016
I should add to my last comment that I have a greater tendency to look at the night sky when there is a whiff of cow manure floating in the air. How's that ? ;-)


That's a positively bucolic sentiment;).

As for "what's the best synonym to idyllic", it depends on the context. In the context you were meaning (natural beauty on the moon), I'd say "picturesque" or "unspoiled [beauty]" if we're taking words the from list you posted.

Jun 13, 2016

Whenever I point out such bare observations... advocates of the Mars Mission say they don't like my face.

Human nature - build a nest, eat everything withing a day's walk, spoil the nest, move on. No where else to move to, and, we aren't evolved to live on Mars, no matter what transhumanist nincompoops would like to believe.

vhemt.org our species is no long for this world, nothing we do is sustainable, and the disruptions we've ALREADY put in place will destroy the biosphere's ability to sustain human life.
The new equilibrium is human free.

Jun 13, 2016
The new equilibrium is human free.

So, why don't you do the world a favour and get that equilibrium going.

Jun 13, 2016
@Techno, we could dig a huge round hole fifty miles wide in the middle of the nearside of the Moon and you wouldn't be able to see squat without a telescope.

It's awfully big. And awfully far away. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. It would take us thousands of years to do anything you could see.

@Eikka, entraining supplies and equipment to Mars gets over the resource crunch with minimal cost and minimal lead time. We've shown we can soft-land cargo loads; if we're going there, best not to have to carry all the supplies in a single load, don't you think?

If you've got a better idea let's hear it. From over here it seems like a good idea. I think that as usual you are pooh-poohing good ideas because you have some ideological agenda they don't fit.

Jun 13, 2016
we could dig a huge round hole fifty miles wide in the middle of the nearside of the Moon and you wouldn't be able to see squat without a telescope.

Yes, but will there be only one? Dig enough of them and you'll notice the change in reflected light.

Perhaps we could limit mining to the far side of the moon, you know, out of sight, out of mind. Yes, I'm being sarcastic. What's out there is ours for the taking, but that doesn't mean we must devour all that we can get our hands on. As we venture out, perhaps an "untouched" Moon could serve as a reminder to have some restraint.

Jun 13, 2016
Who cares to go to Mars anyway? I don't!
It is cold, gloomy, rusty, inhospitable.
Find a lustful subtropical green planet, with no organisms feasting on you, and then we can talk about it

Jun 13, 2016
Man... some of you sound so - old.
We do what we do cuz we can.
Where's your sense of adventure - and fun?
Otherwise, we'd be bored shitless...

Jun 13, 2016
Compare an open pit mine here on earth with a similar-sized crater on the Moon. These features are not visible from your backyard. You are not appreciating the relative scale.
On the moon, craters are natural features that I can enjoy. I would not want to live close to a quarry or a mine pit and would not enjoy to witness the appearance of the uglyness of these features there.
Im pointing out that features of that size arent visible when looking at the moon from your backyard. You arent appreciating the relative scale.

And your dust comment is also silly. Theres no atmosphere to suspend dust so it falls like a rock.
Bucolic and idyllic are synonyms.
No theyre not.

Jun 13, 2016
I do not understand the point you are trying to make; it looks like a straw man. On this I will remind you that the www is a global public space thanks to Tim Berners-Lee. Else we would probably be limited to preferred commercial space designed and controled by international service providers
Despite what you may want to believe, the internet was conceived from the start as a digital venue to replace all analog communication. The only way to establish it as such was to commercialize it. This increased the need for volume tremendously and gave reason for it to be in every home and business around the world.

One might even suspect that this was the original goal when the PC was invented. The PC had no real purpose until it could be plugged into the internet. And the internet couldnt have worked without the PC.

The need to establish independent colonies is an even greater necessity and commercializing these efforts is the only way to make it work.

Jun 13, 2016
@Da schneib
Tycho's crater is 50 miles wide and it is easy to spot. I suggest that you open Google Earth and that you take a look at the tar sands exploitations north of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada. This new feature (it was inexistent 25 years ago) is as big as Tycho and it is only a beginning; this huge disaster area will get much bigger. Keep your eyes on this feature and zoom out till you lose it... still see it when looking at the entire North American continent huh? Do you still think that we cannot do the same shameful act on the Moon? What would be the idea to disinherit future generations from this beautiful gem? Here are a couple of articles on which you can reflect. http://www.canadi...ands.asp , http://www.extrem...ion-fuel

Jun 13, 2016
Actually, the king of Spain was sold the trip on the point that he would get gold and spices from the east on the cheap and fast by not having to go around Africa.

Columbus did believe he was going to India
Eikka also believes everything he learned in school. Why did columbus have to go all the way to india when all the gold and spices that ferdinand and isabella would ever need were in the americas?

Further, euro technology had progressed to the point where uncontrolled contact by independent traders with the extremely dangerous american cultures was imminent. Gold and drugs would be traded for euro technology. Incas and aztecs would soon have ships, guns, and horses. And their armies and cities were already much larger than those in eurasia.

I know speculation makes you nervous. But the explanation of a planned invasion makes far more sense than trying to establish an oceanic trade route the wrong way around the world.

History is propaganda.

Jun 13, 2016
@Otto
And your dust comment is also silly. Theres no atmosphere to suspend dust so it falls like a rock.

You are dimissing the effect of the solar wind. https://www.newsc...ght-too/

Jun 13, 2016
"Why did columbus have to go all the way to india when all the gold and spices that ferdinand and isabella would ever need were in the americas?"
---------------------------------

Because they did not know about the Americas until he found them?

My god, were you home-schooled?

Jun 13, 2016
Tycho's crater is 50 miles wide and it is easy to spot
Tycho is easy to spot because of its bright coloration and the system of rays which extend for 1000s of miles in all directions.
Do you still think that we cannot do the same shameful act on the Moon?
Why would you call it shameful? I am thinking you consider cities, highway systems and the electrical grid shameful for the same reasons. How about wind turbines on the horizon?

But mining operations on the moon would not be visible for a long long time. And I suppose eventually some mysanthropic group would demand funds for lunar landscape reclamation, thereby offering gainful employment for obsolete diggerbots and dozerbots.
@Otto
You are dimissing the effect of the solar wind. https://www.newsc...ght-too/
Yah this is also something I cant see from my backyard even though the quantities are magnitudes greater.

Jun 13, 2016
@Otto
You are dismissing the effect of the solar wind. https://www.newsc...ght-too/
Yah this is also something I cant see from my backyard even though the quantities are magnitudes greater.

Now the surface is undisturbed; I wonder how much a never-ending movement of machinery would amplify the process? Bah humbug you say? Well at least, in a few million years the moon should be circled by a beautiful ring and that would be something to see, but meanwhile the gem will have lost its shine.

Of course those who do not care to raise their eyes to a starry rural sky will say... Bah humbug!

Jun 13, 2016
OK, @Techno, I'm guilty of hyperbole. But I'm going to point out here that there's nothing living on the Moon. Like really nothing. Not even bacteria.

If there's a justification for environmentalism, it's the destruction of habitat. The Moon is not habitat. Being environmentalist about the Moon is not rational.

Jun 13, 2016
OK, @Techno, I'm guilty of hyperbole. But I'm going to point out here that there's nothing living on the Moon. Like really nothing. Not even bacteria.

If there's a justification for environmentalism, it's the destruction of habitat. The Moon is not habitat. Being environmentalist about the Moon is not rational.

You can exploit Mars all you want I don't care; this is where I differ with mister G (sorry George), but not the moon.
Call me a romantic ;-)
Darn, if being human means not to be totally rational, I'll buy that! The beauty of nature, including the evening sky makes me feel intensely good. Allowing anything to break that spell would be a vary bad trade for me and for a good part of the human population. Sadly, there are always those who would rather keep their eyes on the ground too scared to trip on something. Don't whorry, I do not think you are one of them.

Jun 13, 2016
It is high time that Some/Someone come up/comes up IMMEDIATELY with a REAL Quantum Computer to Solve Problems.
Explain what you mean by real? Maybe it'll be a real quantum computer to you when you begin to understand it. I doubt that you ever will. http://blogs.scie...ve-buzz/

Jun 13, 2016
Dispense with the romance of space travel and the colonization of other worlds out there for the time being. That is a dream that only foolish people fantasize. Those efforts are doomed to fail, tragically.

The only valid purpose for developing space travel and space habitation technologies is INDUSTRY. This will be a fact for the next few centuries.

Jun 13, 2016
The beauty of nature, including the evening sky makes me feel intensely good
What would make me feel intensely good is looking at the moon and seeing a network of lights beyond the terminator and knowing that humanity was a little less prone to extinction because we had the balls to establish ourselves elsewhere.

I would find that more inspiring than looking at that cold dark moon and being reminded every night that we didn't care enough to try.

Jun 13, 2016
"But I'm going to point out here that there's nothing living on the Moon. Like really nothing. Not even bacteria."
--------------------------------

I am sure I saw evidence of aliens living there on the "History" Channel.

Probably ancient ones.

Jun 13, 2016
And especially if I could also see a planet-killer asteroid headed right for us.

Jun 13, 2016
The beauty of nature, including the evening sky makes me feel intensely good
What would make me feel intensely good is looking at the moon and seeing a network of lights beyond the terminator and knowing that humanity was a little less prone to extinction because we had the balls to establish ourselves elsewhere.

I would find that more inspiring than looking at that cold dark moon and being reminded every night that we didn't care enough to try.

This article is all about the quest to break our current frontiers. People on Mars would be much less prone to the osteopenia problem that happen in low gravitational environment... if we can get there fast enough, of course.

Jun 13, 2016
If there's a justification for environmentalism, it's the destruction of habitat. The Moon is not habitat. Being environmentalist about the Moon is not rational.

Uh huh. What about its influence on animals.

Jun 13, 2016
If there's a justification for environmentalism, it's the destruction of habitat. The Moon is not habitat. Being environmentalist about the Moon is not rational.

Uh huh. What about its influence on animals.

I'll do my best to preserve your right to howl at the moon ;-)

Hey! Bite me if you did not like this one. The door was wide open and could not contain myself.

Jun 13, 2016
Darn, if being human means not to be totally rational, I'll buy that!
Right on, I can hang with that. I admit to having spent some time with a bino-viewer "surfing the Moon." I particularly like to look at Hadley Rille when the angle of the Sun makes it really jump out.

Jun 13, 2016
Uh huh. What about its influence on animals.
It's not like we're gonna turn it black or break it up for scrap or something, dudebro.

Besides, you're anti-environmentalist; whadda you care?

Jun 13, 2016
It's not like we're gonna turn it black or break it up for scrap or something, dudebro.

If you imagine that mining the Moon would not affect it's albedo, then you're dead wrong.

Besides, you're anti-environmentalist; whadda you care?

I can argue against idiocy, but absolute idiocy, well, that's an exercise in futility.

Jun 13, 2016
"What would make me feel intensely good is looking at the moon and seeing a network of lights beyond the terminator..."

So much this. I cannot imagine anything that I would love to see more. Reckon I've got 30 years, maybe more depending on medical advances, I wanna see lights on the Moon :) Musk and Bigelow, I'm looking at you :P

Jun 14, 2016
People on Mars would be much less prone to the osteopenia problem
@Techno
debatable - there are no tests that indicate this so right now it is entirely based upon the assumption that the slight gravity of Mars would be better than the microgravity of the ISS or space travel

but is it?
i would like to see some kind of spinning station to test these effects on people and animals, and then further development of a Moon station to continue research on this topic

especially, as physical health is what will be the biggest threat to exploration due to the multiple hazards as well as the physical necessity of a gravity well for too many of our biological functions

unless, of course, like Otto has discussed in the past, we end up developing AI to explore and reproduce / fix themselves / evolve during exploration (or by transferring our own consciousness into said AI or robotics)

Jun 14, 2016
@Captain S
The human body is a very complex system and I do not have the knowledge base to debate on this issue; so I will avoid. I also feel that the global understanding of it is still fairly primitive. But here is an interesting article on the subject, sadly it is fairly old (2001) so it does not inform on the state of the art. On the transhumanism, I know that there is a lot of private research on this, but I am not driven by sci-fi speculations. http://science.na...t02aug_1

Jun 14, 2016
I think that as usual you are pooh-poohing good ideas because you have some ideological agenda they don't fit.


I think we can't establish an independent self-sustaining colony on Mars with technology at hand - considering that we haven't got any such technology available. Nobody has even tried, and sending people to Mars for the first prototype attempt is just a suicide mission and an endless resource sink. As soon as the cargo ships stop coming for any reason, the "colony" and the people will die.

We have to do it on the moon first - it's closer to home and we can iterate with different options faster because you can commute between earth and moon, and it has commercial prospects that will pay for it.

Mars is exponentially more difficult to pull off this early in the game. It's like building a fleet of dinghies and attempting to sail right across the atlantic - nevermind stopping at the Azores on the way to pick up food and water!

Jun 14, 2016
Eikka also believes everything he learned in school. Why did columbus have to go all the way to india when all the gold and spices that ferdinand and isabella would ever need were in the americas?


Because he didn't know it was there.

History is propaganda


If you believe in conspiracy theories.

Despite what you may want to believe, the internet was conceived from the start as a digital venue to replace all analog communication. The only way to establish it as such was to commercialize it


Another "conspiracy theory". The internet wasn't designed by or for anyone - it grew out of the technologies developed for the US military to keep a self-redundant communications network to manage nuclear weapons.

There's plenty of design flaws in the core technologies that point out it wasn't designed as a universal network to begin with, such as the exponentially growing global routing table that will eventually overwhelm the processing power of backbone routers.

Jun 14, 2016
Re. the internet routing problem, see:

https://en.wikipe...ree_zone

the default-free zone (DFZ) refers to the collection of all Internet autonomous systems (AS) that do not require a default route to route a packet to any destination. Conceptually, DFZ routers have a "complete" BGP table, sometimes referred to as the Internet routing table, global routing table or global BGP table


https://en.wikipe...e_growth
Until late 2001, the global routing table was growing exponentially, threatening an eventual widespread breakdown of connectivity. In an attempt to prevent this, ISPs cooperated in keeping the global routing table as small as possible, by using Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) and route aggregation. While this slowed the growth of the routing table to a linear process for several years, with the expanded demand for multihoming by end user networks the growth was once again superlinear

Jun 14, 2016
If the global routing table grows to the point where some older, less capable, routers cannot cope with the memory requirements or the CPU load of maintaining the table, these routers will cease to be effective gateways between the parts of the Internet they connect. In addition, and perhaps even more importantly, larger routing tables take longer to stabilize (see above) after a major connectivity change, leaving network service unreliable, or even unavailable, in the interim


Point being that the complexity of the internet is growing faster than the computing power to deal with it, which will eventually lead to the breakdown of the "centralized" IP routing scheme currently in use and developed way back when the internet didn't yet exist.

Meanwhile the old analog system - the phone network - got around the problem by not having a routing table. A phone number is itself a route description through the network, so the network doesn't have to know where you're going.

Jun 14, 2016
Because he didn't know it was there
Evidence says lots of people 'knew it was there'. Evidence says that the world prepared for centuries to invade and conquer the western hemisphere before 'it' got the chance to do the same.

Motive. Means. Opportunity. And overwhelming evidence of Planning at the very highest Levels.

Why are we so eager to assume that chaos governs the world? There would be no world worth living on if that were the case.

History is propaganda


If you believe in conspiracy theories
That label is a little overused dont you think?

Jun 14, 2016
People on Mars would be much less prone to the osteopenia problem

Not really. Osteopenia/osteporosis is not a linear function of gravity.

To understand this you have to look at how bone remodelling works. There are two types of cells involved osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Osteoclasts eat away at the bone while osteoblasts build up bone mass. The combined effect of these two is to remodel the bone according to changing stress/strain situations. (You can artificially inhibit osteoclasts - but this will only increase bone bulk - not bone stability which is more in the architectural structure than in the sheer mass)

And therein lies the real problem: This only works if there is a certain minimum stress put on the bone. Low gravity conditions aren't enough to trigger this. There are certain excercise regimes you can do (e.g. vibrating platforms) that can trigger this, but these aren't feasible for e.g. babies/children.

Jun 14, 2016
Another "conspiracy theory". The internet wasn't designed by or for anyone - it grew out of the technologies developed for the US military
Im sorry. A technological construct of such monumental significance cannot be the incidental result of something else.

And its not the only example. The airline industry funded the development of an essential military capability. The so-called 'cold war' enabled the production of fissionables. The world wars destroyed the religionist cultures which would have prevented the first successful 'peaceful' programs at limiting population growth, ie the advent of worldwide family planning and prenatal termination of over ONE BILLION pregnancies.

There are many such examples. And only Planning and Forethought can explain why the actual result turned out to be critical to the the survival of the human race.

The internet was essential. PCs were essential to the internet. And so they were developed by forcing us to buy them.

Jun 14, 2016
I remember when CADD first became possible but the systems were very expensive and cumbersome, and there was no really good, cost-effective reason for using the tech.

But then the big corporations and the govt began demanding their documents in CADD form and were willing to pay for it. So then the software had to be created and refined, people had to be trained, and systems had to be purchased.

But the documents still took far longer to produce and did not add value to the process for a very long time. It is an example of where an intended result was not apparent until decades later, and it would never have happened in a competitive environment.

Whats the real purpose of solar power? Is it more useful here on earth or in orbit or on the moon? Is it an essential technology for living off-planet? And could the tech have been matured only by creating a need for it here on earth, and then refining the tech over many gens of manufacturing and use?

What is cause and effect?

Jun 14, 2016
the complexity of the internet is growing faster... IP routing scheme currently in use and developed way back when the internet didn't yet exist
I think youre getting lost in the details. These problems only become apparent by forcing development. And commercialization is what forced the internet to grow to where it is today.

Its like with shipping containers. It took the vietnam war to force the development of this tech. The conversion would never have happened by itself because it was simply too expensive, and the necessary changes too extensive, for it to have happened in a competitive environment.

Ships need to be built. Offloading and transport systems had to be created. Containers had to be designed and used through several cycles. Docks had to be reconfigured.

The benefits of such a system are apparent now, but they certainly could have been anticipated. And it would have been obvious that decades of development would be necessary for implementation.

Jun 14, 2016
Will Jesus stop by Mars too? What about the Moon? Surely he would as it's not too far out of the way. He could just pick them up on the way back from throwing all the sinners into the sun.

I believe Musk sending a bunch of idiots to Mars would be great for the country's morale. Think of all the new conspiracies we would have to play with about whether any of it was real.

Also with the Moon, I believe it's a horrible idea to let anyone go up there and fuck around. Pretty sure the moon plays a big part in us being able to live here and I think we should just leave it be.

Jun 14, 2016
I'll do my best to preserve your right to howl at the moon ;-)

@Techno
Actually you got it the wrong way around. I'm rather peaceful in my moments of appreciation for the moon. If they proceed to fuck it up, it's then I'll be howling and it won't be at the moon.

Jun 15, 2016
I'll do my best to preserve your right to howl at the moon ;-)

@Techno
Actually you got it the wrong way around. I'm rather peaceful in my moments of appreciation for the moon. If they proceed to fuck it up, it's then I'll be howling and it won't be at the moon.
How do you fuck up the moon? Hit it with a big asteroid?

Perhaps youd feel better if local ordinances were passed which required all open pit mines to be dug in hexagonal form to resemble natural craters?

But even then you wouldnt be able to see them from your backyard.

Jun 16, 2016
think it would be very appropriate to make an international treaty, similar the Antarctic one, preventing commercial exploitation of the lunar resources and limiting it for scientific purpose
I remember when guys like you wanted to do this with the internet. And where would that be today without commercialization?
You mean this idiotic cesspit fueled by malware-infested ads? Yeah, isn't it awesome.

Jun 16, 2016
think it would be very appropriate to make an international treaty, similar the Antarctic one, preventing commercial exploitation of the lunar resources and limiting it for scientific purpose
I remember when guys like you wanted to do this with the internet. And where would that be today without commercialization?
You mean this idiotic cesspit fueled by malware-infested ads? Yeah, isn't it awesome.
And the alternative? A much much smaller and useless venue without the massive revenues with which to find effective ways of combating malware.

That is unless you think the govt should be paying for that sort of thing?

What particular failed socialist country you come from again barakn?

Jun 16, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Jun 16, 2016
Awwww... you are breaking my heart, AGreatWanker. Well, that's not entirely true.

Jun 16, 2016
As to mining or development on the moon -
Just remember what happened in the Guy Pierce version of "The Time Machine"...

Jun 16, 2016
Oh, bah, next you'll be referring to "Space: 1999." Which had the dubious distinction of being the worst science fiction TV show (both with regard to the acting and the science) since "Lost in Space." :P

Jun 16, 2016
Oh, bah, next you'll be referring to "Space: 1999." Which had the dubious distinction of being the worst science fiction TV show (both with regard to the acting and the science) since "Lost in Space." :P

Not sure I even watched that one. If I did, it obviously wasn't very memorable...:-)
But - "Lost in Space" - as a worst TV show?!?!?
Faugh!! A curse upon you...:-) (to paraphrase Dr. Smith)
As a boy (wrapped in the fog of hormonal imbalance), I had huge lust for Penny...
and her bigger sister...;-)

Jun 17, 2016
worst ...since "Lost in Space'
Evidently, you've missed the 'Collision of Planets' episode. Space Biker Hippies!

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