5 years to Mars?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Tetragrammaton Invictus, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

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    So that wacky genius Elon Musk was in town today....

    He says that he thinks humans will set foot on Mars within 5 years.

    He has very ambitious ideas for a colony there to within the next 20 years.

    Is any of that possible?
     
  2. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Commodore Commodore

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    If all countries with space travel technology pooled their resources and manpower together, we could do amazing things. The single biggest obstacle to humans becoming a spacefaring civilization is the geopolitical divisions and conflicts. We are fighting each other instead of working together towards a common goal.
     
  3. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

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    That is true......

    He is also going to build the worlds biggest lithium ion battery in South Australia, not sure what that is beyond some nice stunt or if it has any actual merit. Just how much power can that put out in a blackout?
     
  4. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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    Not possible to be on Mars in 5 years. It is such a monumental undertaking that it’s budget would spend a while being authorised by the parliaments. Then the planning takes years, the construction - and the flight. Even if the G7 nations agreed on it today, wed not be claiming the Red Planet in 5y.
     
  5. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Commodore Commodore

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    It may not be a realistic goal but sometimes you have to set ambitious goals in order to push people forward.
     
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  6. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

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    Yeah but I think sometimes ambition is just that. I don't know why he picked the figure of 5 years for the first humans to set foot there. Exactly who would foot the bill for that trip?
     
  7. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Commodore Commodore

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    If you set a goal of 10 years, it will happen in 15. If you say 5 years, it will happen in 10. So if you want it to happen in 10, you say 5 years. It's the "reverse Scotty". :D
     
  8. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's doable but not within the stated time frame. From observation, Musk appears to set ambitious goals and takes about twice as long as stated to achieve them - so maybe 10 years and 40 years respectively perhaps. He has yet to build and test the BFR that's required.
     
  9. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell memelord Premium Member

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    The single biggest obstacle is that there's nowhere to go and nothing to do. Why would we spend billions and billions of dollars to put people on another planet without any specific goal in mind?

    Going to the Moon was a deeply political project. Those "geopolitical divisions and conflicts" turn out to be crucial to whether we go to space--or not.
     
  10. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Commodore Commodore

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    Nonsense! There's plenty of worthy goals that we could give ourselves if we went into space. We could build a telescope on the far side of the moon to take advantage of the darkness and lack of atmosphere to see much further in the universe than earth based telescopes are capable of. We could mine asteroids for valuable resources such as gold, nickel, aluminium and titanium. We could colonize Mars to begin spreading our population out to increase our long term survival should something catastrophic happen on Earth. It would just be a matter of countries coming together to agree on a set of goals.
     
  11. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell memelord Premium Member

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    Telescopes in orbit are plenty capable already. Not a reason to go to Mars.

    It's far cheaper to mine them on Earth.

    This is a tremendous, centuries-long undertaking that does us no good if something happens to the sun instead.

    A safer bet is taking care of the planet we're on--something we're doing a poor job of already.

    And committing to spending a large share of their national budgets to achieve those goals, don't forget. That's always the hard part.
     
  12. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Commodore Commodore

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    I said the moon, not Mars. The moon would still be an ideal location for a telescope.

    But resources on Earth are finite. Also, why not expand our mining to new sources? Do we only drill for oil in one location? No, we look for new sources of oil and drill in new places to increase our oil production.

    Did humans stay in only one geographical area on Earth or did we expand and colonize new continents as our population grew? Of course, it takes a long time, but it is necessary to expand.

    One does not negate the other. Of course, we should take care of Earth. And furthermore, a lot of technologies we develop for space can help us take better care of the Earth.

    Yes, that is the hard part. But it is about priorities. What's more important? Building ever bigger bombs or investing in the future of mankind?
     
  13. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

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    Yes we should colonize Mars and spread the human virus into space...
     
  14. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Because ``five years'' is near enough to sound imminent and therefore exciting, while distant enough to sound like it might be plausibly what you'd need to design, test, build, and launch a spacecraft capable of going to Mars and returning if you haven't paid attention to what big aerospace projects demand; and is long enough that people will have forgotten it by the time the 'deadline' year rolls around and no, nothing's close to being ready.
     
  15. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

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    BTW any guesses as the space movie I chose for my avatar?
     
  16. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The first stage of the BFR is supposed to have something like 31 or 42 Raptor engines (depending on which public report you read) and generate about 54 meganewtons of thrust (cf. 33.4 MN for the Saturn V first stage). Good luck with making that work reliably. Remember the N1 (45.4 MN first stage thrust from 30 NK-15 engines) blew up every time it flew.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  17. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Vice Admiral Admiral

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    True - but, we *know* something will eventually happen to the Earth: our star's red giant phase will consume the inner three planets. We don't know that something will happen to the sun except predictable phase changes in the star's life cycle such as that one - so we need to plan to survive those.

    Admittedly, we have a lot of time there. But we always tend to think we have "plenty of time" until deadlines sneak up, and, the Earth is in danger in other ways, too. Best to get started now.
     
  18. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Sun is a flare star so another Carrington event or larger is a possibility. Such an event could be very disruptive for a technology-dependent civilisation and many millions could die due that disruption. Not an ELE though...
     
  19. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

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    But the Sun is a raging nuclear furnace of unpredictability.....

    What do we do if it did start playing up?
     
  20. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm sure a certain someone will tweet decrying its perfidious nature.

    The lazy sun is less energetic than a compost heap

     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017