When will SpaceX put a colony on Mars?  

146 members have voted

  1. 1. When will SpaceX begin putting a colony on Mars?

    • 2026
      12
    • 2028
      9
    • 2030
      21
    • 2032
      10
    • 2034
      6
    • 2036
      12
    • Beyond- i.e. 2038-50
      41
    • It won't happen, and Elon will be really sad
      35


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I think it's still way to early to make a guess, especially since we don't even know what their plans are for the MCT. And proper re-usable rockets are still a good five years away at the very least. My gut tells me it won't start until the early 2030s.

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Just now, Mitchz95 said:

I think it's still way to early to make a guess, especially since we don't even know what their plans are for the MCT. And proper re-usable rockets are still a good five years away at the very least. My gut tells me it won't start until the early 2030s.

That's a reasonable guess, will it change when they (Hopefully) reveal the MCT design in March though?

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If I were Elon Musk, I'd hold off on announcing the MCT/BFR until they were regularly re-using Falcon 9 first stages. Without re-usability, the whole thing is impractical.

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10 minutes ago, Mitchz95 said:

If I were Elon Musk, I'd hold off on announcing the MCT/BFR until they were regularly re-using Falcon 9 first stages. Without re-usability, the whole thing is impractical.

If he did reveal it before then (As well as plans for landers and such), wouldn't inspire interest in a future Mars colony? (Maybe MarsOne already did that, but beat it down since they kept missing milestones; but because SpaceX is more trustworthy it would probably stay)

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I think that it's possible, but they'll only be providing launches and/or spacecraft. Even then it'd be like 2040/50/60 or never. SpaceX is a business, and there's not much of anything on Mars to profit from except people willing to pay them for hardware/services.

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Read the article above, You don't really need a profit when the outcome is that we probably won't ever go extinct. And besides, it'd probably pay for itself after the first few manned Earth-Mars transits. :)

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4 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

Read the article above, You don't really need a profit when the outcome is that we probably won't ever go extinct. And besides, it'd probably pay for itself after the first few manned Earth-Mars transits. :)

But Mars isn't the only option. And neither is Venus, there's a third option that's actually profitable, albeit after a decade or more. It can be done in our own back yard. It ensures survival even better than Mars does. It can sit at a point where it takes little energy to get to Earth, and little to get to the moon. Rotating space colonies. And if we're really clever, they can actually provide profit in the obtainment and selling of asteroid resources. And taxing the population.

Btw, profit is a huge motivation. The first colonies in the Americas were focused on profit. Yeah, it's not Mars. But the cost needs to be lowered, and the benefits increased/kept the same, for colonization to make sense.

And a few hundred people who need to have parts imported from Earth, while living in a bad situation, won't save the species.

Edited by Bill Phil

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15 minutes ago, Bill Phil said:

But Mars isn't the only option. And neither is Venus, there's a third option that's actually profitable, albeit after a decade or more. It can be done in our own back yard. It ensures survival even better than Mars does. It can sit at a point where it takes little energy to get to Earth, and little to get to the moon. Rotating space colonies. And if we're really clever, they can actually provide profit in the obtainment and selling of asteroid resources. And taxing the population.

Btw, profit is a huge motivation. The first colonies in the Americas were focused on profit. Yeah, it's not Mars. But the cost needs to be lowered, and the benefits increased/kept the same, for colonization to make sense.

And a few hundred people who need to have parts imported from Earth, while living in a bad situation, won't save the species.

Rotating Space colony's are something we should definitely consider, but they're essentially big habitat modules in space, and putting them on planets is better for 2 reasons:

1: You have the ability to mine for resources (Especially water) i.e. If the Earth popped out of existence your colonists wouldn't have to worry about running out of resources.

And 2: You have access for expansion i.e. you could hold a huge amount of humans, and beyond that, you wouldn't really have to worry about overpopulation because you could just launch them off-planet, and the planetary colony wouldn't die out for not having enough room, water, oxygen, and resources.

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3 hours ago, Spaceception said:

Personally, I think they'll do it around 2028.

I don't think we should be putting exact numbers on anything yet. In 2011 Elon said they'd launch the first manned Mars mission in 2021-2031 (10-20 years).

3 hours ago, Spaceception said:

That's a reasonable guess, will it change when they (Hopefully) reveal the MCT design in March though?

- jumps off chair - WAIT WHAT? When did they say they'd show us in March? As far as I know they only said it would be 'Early 2016', which could mean anything from January to November.

1 hour ago, Bill Phil said:

But Mars isn't the only option. And neither is Venus, there's a third option that's actually profitable, albeit after a decade or more. It can be done in our own back yard. It ensures survival even better than Mars does. It can sit at a point where it takes little energy to get to Earth, and little to get to the moon. Rotating space colonies. And if we're really clever, they can actually provide profit in the obtainment and selling of asteroid resources. And taxing the population.

Oh ---- not this 'space vs surface' argument again!

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32 minutes ago, ChrisSpace said:
32 minutes ago, ChrisSpace said:

I don't think we should be putting exact numbers on anything yet. In 2011 Elon said they'd launch the first manned Mars mission in 2021-2031 (10-20 years).

- jumps off chair - WAIT WHAT? When did they say they'd show us in March? As far as I know they only said it would be 'Early 2016', which could mean anything from January to November.

Oh ---- not this 'space vs surface' argument again!

I don't think we should be putting exact numbers on anything yet. In 2011 Elon said they'd launch the first manned Mars mission in 2021-2031 (10-20 years).

- jumps off chair - WAIT WHAT? When did they say they'd show us in March? As far as I know they only said it would be 'Early 2016', which could mean anything from January to November.

Oh ---- not this 'space vs surface' argument again!

It's just a guess.

I don't remember where I saw it, but if I'm right, follow me. :) (jk)

No comment.

Off-topic for a sec, how's your "Alternate solar system" thing going?

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Just going by how Musk's off-the-cuff predictions usually turn out, I'd say late 2030s rather than right around 2030 as he says.  He is a really smart guy and a great problem solver, but he seems to make best-possible-scenario estimates that assume perfectly smooth sailing in the future and that usually isn't the case, especially when the time frame in question is well over a decade.

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3 hours ago, Mitchz95 said:

If I were Elon Musk, I'd hold off on announcing the MCT/BFR until they were regularly re-using Falcon 9 first stages. Without re-usability, the whole thing is impractical.

There's likely not enough launches to support reusability being economical anyways.

1 hour ago, ChrisSpace said:

- jumps off chair - WAIT WHAT? When did they say they'd show us in March? As far as I know they only said it would be 'Early 2016', which could mean anything from January to November.

Oh ---- not this 'space vs surface' argument again!

I think Early 2016 implies January 2016- May 2016, right?

Oh yeah. You just have to love the destination wars, huh?

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36 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

It's just a guess.

I don't remember where I saw it, but if I'm right, follow me. :) (jk)

No comment.

Off-topic for a sec, how's your "Alternate solar system" thing going?

The Alt Solar System is going smooth. It's currently on hiatus, but I have time today and it will be back up as healthy as it was before.

You know, you can join if you want... some people seem to think it's just supposed to be me and ChrisSpace. It's actually kind of lonely that way..

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It will be a flop, there's just no business case for it.

Yes I know, all eggs in one basket etc etc and I agree, having human presence all over the solar system is great insurance against being wiped out by another dinosaur killer rock. But still, money talks and b......t walks. If there's no economy reason to go to Mars then the money will not be forth coming and nothing will get done.

I've yet to see one decent economic reason why we should go to Mars. All that "let's mine precious metals and trade with Earth" type talk are rubbish when you consider the vast cost of sending up spacecrafts to do the mining and then return your produce to Earth. It would be cheaper to just mine ore on earth, even at lower concentrations.

On that note He3 mining on the Moon is a rubbish proposal too. Never mind the huge infrastructure you need in place to process vast amount of regolith needed to collect the He3, the fact that we can't even get D-T fusion to work means we're very far away from needing He3 for fusion power plants.

The only plausible commercial exploration of space that I've seen is something like this:
mosquitoup.jpg

It's a robotic craft that goes to a NEO with ice. Grapple it, drill down into it, pipe some hot steam into it to melt the ice, suck up the resulting water and bring it back to propellant depot to be cracked into hydrogen and oxygen. We all know how useful a propellant depot is, and given the cost of lifting propellant out of Earth's gravity well this source of water could be very competitive against tanker rockets from earth.

Unfortunately it doesn't help Mars. Although we now know there's lots of water on mars, some of it even liquid it's sitting at the bottom of a planet sized gravity well and is unlikely to be economical against NEOs and even water from moon's poles. That said a propellant depot filled by cheap source of water would make missions to Mars cheaper, even if you're going there "just because".

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I have to say no, at least until we have any clue what the BFR and SpaceX Mars Plans look like.

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21 minutes ago, fredinno said:

The Alt Solar System is going smooth. It's currently on hiatus, but I have time today and it will be back up as healthy as it was before.

You know, you can join if you want... some people seem to think it's just supposed to be me and ChrisSpace. It's actually kind of lonely that way..

What about the person who was making that really cool art?

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Just now, Spaceception said:

What about the person who was making that really cool art?

SIlverSilver? No idea. He was back from a haitus, then left about as swiftly as he came. :(

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Just now, fredinno said:

SIlverSilver? No idea. He was back from a haitus, then left about as swiftly as he came. :(

Oh.

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1 hour ago, Spaceception said:

Off-topic for a sec, how's your "Alternate solar system" thing going?

Discussion on that can be kept to that thread. Please don't go off-topic.

40 minutes ago, fredinno said:

I think Early 2016 implies January 2016- May 2016, right?

Well, that's what its supposed to mean.

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Back to Mars! Who are the people who voted (It won't happen, and Elon will be really sad)? I don't have anything against them, but did at least one of them vote that because they thought it was funny? Just wondering.

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49 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

Back to Mars! Who are the people who voted (It won't happen, and Elon will be really sad)? I don't have anything against them, but did at least one of them vote that because they thought it was funny? Just wondering.

I was actually seriously considering that option myself.

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2 hours ago, Spaceception said:

Back to Mars! Who are the people who voted (It won't happen, and Elon will be really sad)? I don't have anything against them, but did at least one of them vote that because they thought it was funny? Just wondering.

Not gonna happen. There are simply no reasons for society to spend billions on a Mars colony. The MCT is a bridge to nowhere. I think the business case won't close and Elon will be sad.

Edited by Nibb31

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I also doubt it'll happen in the near future. A Mars colony in a century? Sure, I can believe that. But within the next 35 years? No way. There are too many things working against it. A lack of economic incentives, robotics becoming better and better at science, the lack of experience on space colonization and the perceived pointlessness of it all.

Maybe a small research outpost towards the 2050's, but even that is dubious. Nothing like the thousands of people Elon envisions. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I have yet to see a convincing argument.

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I just can't picture it happening. I believe that they really want it to happen and will try but I just can't see where the money will come from.

I am very excited for the Mars plans reveal though.

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