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A few here have mentioned Solar City. I've stated before (elsewhere) that Solar City is a bust, its stock in nearly steady decline for the last two years, it's current price near its initial opening (21.64USD as of today).

Tesla is also a big question mark. It's made a fair comeback since the dive it took in February, but it's still "iffy" in my book. Tesla IS losing money on each car it sells, that's documented quite well and been the talk around many an investment news table... all despite they're paying back the government loan.

Elsewhere in these forums over many months ago, I've commented that Musk is in a bit of trouble, he IS running out of money. At the time I made that initial statement, I also stated his only saving grace at this point was his battery. We're still watching this.

 

As for whomever Musk sends to Mars, I still want to know under what flag he'll fly. Despite the mods here don't want politics in the mix here, there's no denying nor escaping the fact that 'Space' is nothing but politics this day in age. You can't have serious discourse about it (anyone's space endeavor) without it being a part of the discussion. At this point, even a multinational endeavor is bound to run into obstruction by the UN (for one). It's going to be interesting.

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1 hour ago, LordFerret said:

A few here have mentioned Solar City. I've stated before (elsewhere) that Solar City is a bust, its stock in nearly steady decline for the last two years, it's current price near its initial opening (21.64USD as of today).

Tesla is also a big question mark. It's made a fair comeback since the dive it took in February, but it's still "iffy" in my book. Tesla IS losing money on each car it sells, that's documented quite well and been the talk around many an investment news table... all despite they're paying back the government loan.

Elsewhere in these forums over many months ago, I've commented that Musk is in a bit of trouble, he IS running out of money. At the time I made that initial statement, I also stated his only saving grace at this point was his battery. We're still watching this.

 

As for whomever Musk sends to Mars, I still want to know under what flag he'll fly. Despite the mods here don't want politics in the mix here, there's no denying nor escaping the fact that 'Space' is nothing but politics this day in age. You can't have serious discourse about it (anyone's space endeavor) without it being a part of the discussion. At this point, even a multinational endeavor is bound to run into obstruction by the UN (for one). It's going to be interesting.

So has every stock in the energy industry in the last 2 years, thats part of the business cycle, imm investing like crazy in commodites right now. 

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1 hour ago, Nibb31 said:

I doubt that. They don't sell rockets. They sell a launch service for payloads.

I agree with that is what they actually sell. But the cost on the website was what I was talking about and could just be the cost for the rocket. 

1 hour ago, Nibb31 said:

What the cost doesn't cover is the payload, the insurance, and probably a bunch of other costs.

Your right that cost is covered by the person paying for the contract. 

1 hour ago, Nibb31 said:

The NASA COTS contracts are different though. NASA pays a bulk sum for delivery of X tons of cargo or Y crew rotations to the ISS. That also covers development of Dragon and Falcon, so NASA pays well above the $60 million. Estimates are that Dragon 2 flights will be valued at approx $150 million.

Right but that is a fringe case of the contract.  Most contracts that are not with a government will not do things like that. And Falcon was mostly paid for by SpaceX itself.  The Dragon not so much and there could have been some cross over in money of the funds used to develop Dragon v1 and v2 to pay for Falcon.

1 hour ago, Nibb31 said:

Who says they do have enough money? 

Most people who think about the process and the amount of raw capital that they need to have to purchased all the materials and tooling for the rockets and capsules. While they are not swimming in cash they should have a good bit on hand.

1 hour ago, Nibb31 said:

Also, the satellite constellation idea seems to have been dropped after they actually ran the business case numbers.

nope it is still going.  they are actively hiring for them.

 

2 hours ago, LordFerret said:

As for whomever Musk sends to Mars, I still want to know under what flag he'll fly. Despite the mods here don't want politics in the mix here, there's no denying nor escaping the fact that 'Space' is nothing but politics this day in age. You can't have serious discourse about it (anyone's space endeavor) without it being a part of the discussion. At this point, even a multinational endeavor is bound to run into obstruction by the UN (for one). It's going to be interesting.

to some extent it is. but it also isnt.  if spacex launches the mission from their land in Brownsville there is little that the government can do about it without passing obstructionist laws that would not get the support of congress.  Also it would be under the American Flag (kind of) as they are an american comapny.  More realistically they will fly under the flag of SpaceX unless a government pays for more than half the mission. There have been no laws passed by the UN about companies in space and the Outer Space Treaty only binds governments from claiming land (and has been tentatively stretched but not codified to cover companies). There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON for the UN to get involved and they wont. There is no precedent and no real reason (other than politics) but the US and SpaceX would just laugh at any thing that the UN tries to do unless the UN wants to invade the US and take control of the launch site or it is vital to prevent WWIII. 

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11 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

Think about the billions of humans who have lived and died before people have landed on Mars. Why do you think you are are entitled to anything different?  

That made me sadder

Thanks Satan.

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22 hours ago, B787_300 said:

4. Rockets fail all the time. another failure will not doom SpaceX just like all the Proton Failures have not doomed that rocket. Also The government will continue to buy launches for them if they think the pricing is right for the risks they are taking. if they want a surefire launch they will go with ULA. If they accept the risks of SpaceX and want to launch on a not quite perfect vehicle at a MUCH lower cost (60 Mil vs 120 Mil for comparable Masses to orbit) 

5. Depending on the mission you can do a LOT with a single launch. My Senior Design project (for an aerospace engineering degree) was a Mars Sample Return Mission (unmanned) we could fit absolutely everything we needed into a single Ariane V launch.  The lander and the orbiter were two totally separate spacecraft all for a low cost of 3.12 Billion dollars. (which over the ~8 year lifespan of the mission (from start of design to landing)  is not a ton) .

4. Most of Protons failures were in the early years of the Proton when launch failures were more common than they are now (though they still have one failure in some form about once a year). There was one launch vehicle proposed, Aquarius, which was expected to fail in 30% of the launches though the cost per kg was expected to be at 1000USD.

5. That was also a 5kg sample. Most humans don't weigh 5kg. I'm a small human and I weigh about 80kg (though I could stand to lose 25kg). Humans also require a lot more support for things like air and water and generally not being dead. In the project we could get away with an Ariane V because there was very little supporting equipment required and the payload mass was extremely small. You could certainly send human ashes to Mars with something like our project but I feel like that somehow wouldnt count. So I don't think that project is actually really very relevant here. 

On 6/3/2016 at 9:49 PM, Bill Phil said:

Columbus was looking for India. That's why it's called the West Indies and why people call the native Americans Indians. He was looking for a new trade route to the East, to skip the Arabians and their control of Eastern goods. Mars isn't providing goods at all right now, and we're not going to land on another planet even route.

Well it is possible we could land on another planet in route but I have a strong feeling someone will be getting fired if that happens.

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20 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

Think about the billions of humans who have lived and died before people have landed on Mars. Why do you think you are are entitled to anything different?

There are about 107 billion dead humans. 7 billion+ are currently living. Only a few billion of that total has ever had access to the Internet.

Think about the billions and billions of humans who lived and died before anyone used the internet. What makes you think you're entitled to use it? Because you can do it. Mars is a ways off, but as a species we can do it. And given time it'll be as easy as driving a car. The amount of energy available to us has increased at a large rate ever since the industrial revolution. It'll continue to do so.

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1 hour ago, Bill Phil said:

There are about 107 billion dead humans. 7 billion+ are currently living. Only a few billion of that total has ever had access to the Internet.

Think about the billions and billions of humans who lived and died before anyone used the internet. What makes you think you're entitled to use it? Because you can do it. Mars is a ways off, but as a species we can do it. And given time it'll be as easy as driving a car. The amount of energy available to us has increased at a large rate ever since the industrial revolution. It'll continue to do so.

I suggest we pick someone from the group to volunteer for the Mars mission.

'Hey Elon, we here from the pristegious kerbal spaceflight and science forum have been following your every move and speculating ad nauseum and completely-needlessly about what your company is doing and going to do in the future. Given our irrational need to armchair quarterback your company we have selected a rather unintelligent and gullible person to be the first person to land on Mars. Note it does not need to be a return mission because our rather fractuous tribe think of this as a sacrifice to the roman god of War, Mars. Please try to drop this person on a spot that we will still not be able to see without our planet hunting low resolution telescopes. Keep up the good work and keep us speculating.'

Edited by PB666

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50 minutes ago, PB666 said:

I suggest we pick someone from the group to volunteer for the Mars mission.

'Hey Elon, we here from the pristegious kerbal spaceflight and science forum have been following your every move and speculating ad nauseum and completely-needlessly about what your company is doing and going to do in the future. Given our irrational need to armchair quarterback your company we have selected a rather unintelligent and gullible person to be the first person to land on Mars. Note it does not need to be a return mission because our rather fractuous tribe think of this as a sacrifice to the roman god of War, Mars. Please try to drop this person on a spot that we will still not be able to see without our planet hunting low resolution telescopes. Keep up the good work and keep us speculating.'

I for one nominate @B787_300 as he fits those qualities and I wouldn't mind if he went away forever even if I would miss him after like 6 months.

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Another thing, if he is really going to try to send a human, one should look for certain things. One of them is looking for a proof of development of Life support systems.

We can try methods used in the industry. This is called industrial espionage "technological surveillance" (yes, is purely an euphemism, because the other is illegal). There are methods that are based in looking the competitors patents, buying their products, reverse engineering, etc , but there also are lots of the methods based in the persons because they are usually the less secure part of any system, and the other methods usually you need to pay to an external company (example: a company that filters and made monthly informs for you about patents of certain subjects).

Looking the linkedin or similar of the workers (or former) of one enterprise you can look for the internal projects of the company in their CV. This needs a worker with puts too much in their cv about something confidential. This is somewhat difficult, very time demanding and you may need a paid account of linkedin to search without limits or being noticed in it. But it usually works, in a conference about technological surveillance they said that you can know even what are the government agencies doing. You can do it for free if you want, I encourage to whoever wants to look, maybe he discover something interesting.

But we are looking for a new research/development section, no? Then there is an easy and fast method. There should be new job offers for that section, no? Lots of them in fact, because it would need lots of them to rush the project, biologist, medics, something of that, no? The thing is, not even one of this http://www.spacex.com/careers/list looks like anything related to me.

In my work I would make an inform that most probably they aren't working at all in that or in case of they are actually doing it, it would be just a minimal development. If the boss want to look more, the next step would be probably the linkedin one or the patents one

PD: I encourage to everybody in the industry or just a hobbyist, to look for a conference or a little course about technological surveillance, is a very interesting subject.

Edited by kunok
my english is bad and i should feel bad

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48 minutes ago, A Fuzzy Velociraptor said:

I for one nominate @B787_300 as he fits those qualities and I wouldn't mind if he went away forever even if I would miss him after like 6 months.

Where the heck is this thread going?

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18 hours ago, PB666 said:

... investing like crazy in commodites right now.

Many many moons ago I worked in NYC (Wall St) in a house/shop (which shall remain unnamed) which catered to the market; I wrote real-time software for stock and commodity trend analysis services, it is where I got my start. Both markets are places one can easily lose their shirt if they don't pay attention and do their homework and/or know what they're doing. My tip: Never let anyone manage your money for you, ever. I'll leave it to you to do the homework for the conglomerate symbols at play here, they do nothing but continuously yield dividend over time, and will continue to do so until the sun goes cold: water, food, land. Fun stuff.

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19 minutes ago, Nibb31 said:

Where the heck is this thread going?

To Mars, looks like a wicker basket operation, I wonder how lo g a person can stay alive in an EVA suit?

16 minutes ago, LordFerret said:

Many many moons ago I worked in NYC (Wall St) in a house/shop (which shall remain unnamed) which catered to the market; I wrote real-time software for stock and commodity trend analysis services, it is where I got my start. Both markets are places one can easily lose their shirt if they don't pay attention and do their homework and/or know what they're doing. My tip: Never let anyone manage your money for you, ever. I'll leave it to you to do the homework for the conglomerate symbols at play here, they do nothing but continuously yield dividend over time, and will continue to do so until the sun goes cold: water, food, land. Fun stuff.

I make my investment decisions myself. 

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On 6/4/2016 at 11:51 AM, fredinno said:

1980s

i think you mean 1880s.

1 hour ago, A Fuzzy Velociraptor said:

I for one nominate @B787_300 as he fits those qualities and I wouldn't mind if he went away forever even if I would miss him after like 6 months.

thats mean. also, i musk plays ksp

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3 hours ago, PB666 said:

I suggest we pick someone from the group to volunteer for the Mars mission.

'Hey Elon, we here from the pristegious kerbal spaceflight and science forum have been following your every move and speculating ad nauseum and completely-needlessly about what your company is doing and going to do in the future. Given our irrational need to armchair quarterback your company we have selected a rather unintelligent and gullible person to be the first person to land on Mars. Note it does not need to be a return mission because our rather fractuous tribe think of this as a sacrifice to the roman god of War, Mars. Please try to drop this person on a spot that we will still not be able to see without our planet hunting low resolution telescopes. Keep up the good work and keep us speculating.'

Are you trying to be passive aggressive?

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19 hours ago, B787_300 said:

if spacex launches the mission from their land in Brownsville there is little that the government can do about it without passing obstructionist laws that would not get the support of congress.

I very much so disagree. The US government (FAA) could at will turn around and tell SpaceX it does not have permission to use our airspace ... it's that simple. And, the FCC could at will pull their authorization to use the airwaves to communicate. The EPA could demand an accounting study of the emissions and environmental impact and danger to any surrounding areas ... which, if that's already been done, could be called for at any time again at will. And on and on and on ... get the point?

19 hours ago, B787_300 said:

There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON for the UN to get involved ...

They don't need a reason to get involved, they already believe they own control of all that is out there already. I don't believe you understand the power the UN wields. For example (just one example): The recent Climate Change Treaty which we have but did not vote for. Here's another: The UN says there is a nation of Palestine, yet they have no land. The mere fact there is no logical reason for the UN to get involved tells me it will sooner than later. They've taken control of the ocean floors - so why not outer space???

 

2 hours ago, PB666 said:

I make my investment decisions myself.

I'm curious, do you play in commodity futures or ETFs?

Edited by LordFerret
can't spell

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ETFs, commodities are for big investors, you need few hudred thou to cover the market. The sector ETFs are abit of a soft edge. 

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3 hours ago, LordFerret said:

I very much so disagree. The US government (FAA) could at will turn around and tell SpaceX it does not have permission to use our airspace ... it's that simple. And, the FCC could at will pull their authorization to use the airwaves to communicate. The EPA could demand an accounting study of the emissions and environmental impact and danger to any surrounding areas ... which, if that's already been done, could be called for at any time again at will. And on and on and on ... get the point?

I seriously doubt the US government would go to that length to stop a Mars mission. Musk could always build a secret launch complex in Colorado, and then give a big speech... And given that the government has been supportive of SpaceX so far, I don't see why they would suddenly turn on SpaceX.

3 hours ago, LordFerret said:

They don't need a reason to get involved, they already believe they own control of all that is out there already. I don't believe you understand the power the UN wields. For example (just one example): The recent Climate Change Treaty which we have but did not vote for. Here's another: The UN says there is a nation of Palestine, yet they have no land. The mere fact there is no logical reason for the UN to get involved tells me it will sooner than later. They've taken control of the ocean floors - so why not outer space???

So... The UN can recognize countries and accords/treaties. They have virtually no enforcement power. Also, when was the last time the US citizenry voted on a treaty? The executive branch, which we elect, oversees foreign affairs. IIRC, the UN already has control of space through the outer space treaty and other space related treaties. 

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On 2016-06-04 at 9:21 AM, PB666 said:

Well as long as they keep progressing and keep doing fashy things, human nature will ignore thier failings. 

As per folks going crazy in 18 months, not a problem they are going tomdie an hour after theybreach Mars anyway. All you have to do is have a positive suggestion video, convince them to take thier helmet off before the air runs out, and the disappear into happy happy sleep land. 

 

You could justify it, someome with a disease that would kill them in two or three years  anyway, and create a very orecise GPS coordinate on Mars. You land the ship and the astronaut moves a 50 lb crabon fiber titanium cylinder, to that very precise GPS location he digs a small hole and buries part of it in the martian soil. At the top of the cylinder is a hook. He then goes out and fills the cylinder with rocks collected as many types for 10 hours or so. After the bin is full, he closes it, latches a top. He then walks away and finds a convinent place to not be. 

Another ship en route lands right on top of the cylinder just as the falcons land on the barge, if the naut is still alive he can go climb on top and catch a ride back into mars orbit. The basket is latched and reeled back into the ascent ship, protecting the naut from the ensuing liftoff stresses.  That ship then docks with an unmanned capsule, which the naut can crawl into, a robot inserts the package and the ship returns to earth. 

I don't see survival of one individual as a problem, just provide lots of media and interactions, maybe an anatomically correct android, lol. A wife bot that complains alot about facial hair, lack of table manners, every six months some after fight make up conjugation, that should suffice a reset. lol.

Though, personally i would not return to earth, i think Diemos is a better stopping point until you can find the right launch windows to return. I addition if i were that human, i think inwould ratger spend the remaining time building the foundations of a base, either on mars or a moon. something like a roman era bridge that uses martian stones to create a cosmic sheild the landable units can be inserted into. So if the lander ship left me a couple of months of supplies and maybe an outhouse to replinish my space suit. maybe a machine that can cut the rocks to the proper shape. 

 

Yeah, and someone who is fully crazy could try to kill himself.

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In one study, he found that roughly a third of solitary inmates were “actively psychotic and/or acutely suicidal.” Grassian has since concluded that solitary can cause a specific psychiatric syndrome, characterized by hallucinations; panic attacks; overt paranoia; diminished impulse control; hypersensitivity to external stimuli; and difficulties with thinking, concentration and memory. Some inmates lose the ability to maintain a state of alertness, while others develop crippling obsessions.

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A 1995 study of the federal prison system found that 63 percent of suicides occurred among inmates locked in “special housing status,” such as solitary or in psychiatric seclusion cells.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/what-does-solitary-confinement-do-to-your-mind/

Considering the Psychological effects, expecting the astronaut to plant a flag and survive the entire mission, and be able to be paraded around after the mission (plus the stress of Zero-G), is already a tall order.

Expecting him to also collect samples is not going to work, plain and simple.

There is a reason NASA considers 4 crew the minimum for any Mars mission, and 6 crew the optimal. Fewer, and the human psyche takes serious damage at the duration of a Mars mission.

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I don't see survival of one individual as a problem, just provide lots of media and interactions, maybe an anatomically correct android, lol. A wife bot that complains alot about facial hair, lack of table manners, every six months some after fight make up conjugation, that should suffice a reset. lol.

Also, robots are not humans. We are not yet at the point where robots and humans are indistinguishable.

Honestly, I think Robots will be built slightly "cartoony" or "simplistic" in the future, so that people can tell the two apart (and trying to make a robot look fully like a human is very difficult).

Also, keep in mind people in solitary confinement also actually see other people, in the form of prison guards. The effects may be somewhat mitigated, but any attempts will likely lead to the same problem of eventual insanity by the end of the mission.

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Though, personally i would not return to earth, i think Diemos is a better stopping point until you can find the right launch windows to return. I addition if i were that human, i think inwould ratger spend the remaining time building the foundations of a base, either on mars or a moon. something like a roman era bridge that uses martian stones to create a cosmic sheild the landable units can be inserted into. So if the lander ship left me a couple of months of supplies and maybe an outhouse to replinish my space suit. maybe a machine that can cut the rocks to the proper shape. 

Months of supplies on Mars is actually much shorter than a conventional conjunction-class mars mission.

Also, assuming the money for a base was available, a dead astronaut on Mars would be a serious PR fail, and could lead to your entire program being shut down by Congress, especially on the first missions. Look at the effects of Challenger and Columbia on the Shuttle program.

 

On 2016-06-04 at 10:48 AM, B787_300 said:

Okay a couple of Points that need to be made in this thread.

1. Elon says numbers and things that while are not outright lies often take about twice as long as he said to happen. SpaceX will go to mars at some point (I hope that it will be in the 2020s with people) but will most likely be in the 30s

2. During the 60s NASA got about 4.5% MAX of the federal budget (which was lower back then) (and about 2x what they currently get when adjusted to 2014 USD).  SpaceX is not totally relying on governmental money to do this (yes they have contracts with the government and got some money to make the rockets in the first place but not all that much)

3. Please dont bring Politics into this. what the candidates will or wont do is largely irrelevant. NASA has had HUGE effects on technology and science and thus is not likely to be totally dismantled.

4. Rockets fail all the time. another failure will not doom SpaceX just like all the Proton Failures have not doomed that rocket. Also The government will continue to buy launches for them if they think the pricing is right for the risks they are taking. if they want a surefire launch they will go with ULA. If they accept the risks of SpaceX and want to launch on a not quite perfect vehicle at a MUCH lower cost (60 Mil vs 120 Mil for comparable Masses to orbit) 

5. Depending on the mission you can do a LOT with a single launch. My Senior Design project (for an aerospace engineering degree) was a Mars Sample Return Mission (unmanned) we could fit absolutely everything we needed into a single Ariane V launch.  The lander and the orbiter were two totally separate spacecraft all for a low cost of 3.12 Billion dollars. (which over the ~8 year lifespan of the mission (from start of design to landing)  is not a ton) .

6. We dont know what SpaceX's mars plans really are.  We will find out in September when they announce more of the MCT and BFR architecture.

7. SpaceX does the (seemingly) impossible. No one thought that you could land a stage on a barge out in the middle of the Atlantic or bring it back to land with out huge costs.  No one really thought that they could build a rocket that performs as well as the falcon for less that 100 million a launch (and there are still conspiracy theorists that think SpaceX is loosing money on every launch because their rocket really costs over 100 million). 

8. the government can complain all it wants or try to stop them, they wont though because SpaceX is an American company and it would be a lot better for Americans to do it before the Russians or the Chinese (who are planning to get to mars by the 2030s).  

9. the first unmanned missions that SpaceX flies to Mars will be on the F9 and Falcon Heavy. any manned missions will be flown on the MCT/BFR (which has already been confirmed to be larger than the Saturn V).  And there has been a lot of advancement in materials and rocket technology since the 60s. 

10. SpaceX has plenty of money sitting around and more will be forthcoming.  They have a very profitable earth launching business which they are using to subsidize the development of needed technologies. Also SpaceX breaks the current Aerospace methodology by being able to do things at a MUCH lower cost than anyone else in the industry (mainly by being well vertically integrated). 

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1. Elon says numbers and things that while are not outright lies often take about twice as long as he said to happen. SpaceX will go to mars at some point (I hope that it will be in the 2020s with people) but will most likely be in the 30s

Considering Elon stated the F9H would have its first launch in 2012 in 2011, that's 5x longer than originally anticipated. If we go by that, we'll be at Mars by 2056. Elon is really bad at keeping to dates (just like me :( )

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2. During the 60s NASA got about 4.5% MAX of the federal budget (which was lower back then) (and about 2x what they currently get when adjusted to 2014 USD).  SpaceX is not totally relying on governmental money to do this (yes they have contracts with the government and got some money to make the rockets in the first place but not all that much)

Yeah, and a large percentage of their profits much be reinvested to continue making a profit, generally only leaving a small amount of net profit (especially in a highly competitive environment). Getting the money alone is likely going to be the longest part.

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3. Please dont bring Politics into this. what the candidates will or wont do is largely irrelevant. NASA has had HUGE effects on technology and science and thus is not likely to be totally dismantled.

But large budget cuts are not out of the question. Granted, NASA is getting more $$ than ever (inflation adjusted) since the end of Apollo. Something to keep in mind.

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4. Rockets fail all the time. another failure will not doom SpaceX just like all the Proton Failures have not doomed that rocket. Also The government will continue to buy launches for them if they think the pricing is right for the risks they are taking. if they want a surefire launch they will go with ULA. If they accept the risks of SpaceX and want to launch on a not quite perfect vehicle at a MUCH lower cost (60 Mil vs 120 Mil for comparable Masses to orbit) 

Granted, Vulcan would reduce that to 90 Million, and SpaceX reuse to 45-42 Million, respectively.

And SpaceX constantly failing (ie lower than 90% reliability) would make insurance companies and satellite operators alike scream in horror to ArianeSpace, just like they did with Proton.

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5. Depending on the mission you can do a LOT with a single launch. My Senior Design project (for an aerospace engineering degree) was a Mars Sample Return Mission (unmanned) we could fit absolutely everything we needed into a single Ariane V launch.  The lander and the orbiter were two totally separate spacecraft all for a low cost of 3.12 Billion dollars. (which over the ~8 year lifespan of the mission (from start of design to landing)  is not a ton) .

Of course you could. You could fit it all in a Atlas V 551, even. But manned missions need several orders of magnitude more LV power.

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6. We dont know what SpaceX's mars plans really are.  We will find out in September when they announce more of the MCT and BFR architecture.

We know for a fact that their plans are going to be $$$$, and other basic things, like the 100T to Mars number, and full reuse. Meaning it would rival Sea Dragon size.

As you said later:

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9. the first unmanned missions that SpaceX flies to Mars will be on the F9 and Falcon Heavy. any manned missions will be flown on the MCT/BFR (which has already been confirmed to be larger than the Saturn V).  And there has been a lot of advancement in materials and rocket technology since the 60s. 

Best wishes to SpaceX to fund that thing.

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7. SpaceX does the (seemingly) impossible. No one thought that you could land a stage on a barge out in the middle of the Atlantic or bring it back to land with out huge costs.  No one really thought that they could build a rocket that performs as well as the falcon for less that 100 million a launch (and there are still conspiracy theorists that think SpaceX is loosing money on every launch because their rocket really costs over 100 million). 

There were people who knew you could do that stuff- it's more that SpaceX did it as soon as tech allowed it to happen, so the analysts were behind on their predictions.

Mars is something that we know costs on the range of several billion ($5-$40 billion) for a minimal mission (Mars Direct). You can only reduce that so much, and profit margins are only so high. From what is known about MCT, it's far from "minimal".

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8. the government can complain all it wants or try to stop them, they wont though because SpaceX is an American company and it would be a lot better for Americans to do it before the Russians or the Chinese (who are planning to get to mars by the 2030s).  

Neither are going anywhere. Chinese and Indian wages are going to have to rise tremendously in the next few decades as their economies grow, meaning doing something costs that much more (wages are the primary cost driver for Space missions). By the time either get the tech to begin serious plans into a Mars mission (and India considers manned spacecraft on a low priority right now anyways- and China wants a Ceres, not a Mars, manned mission- arguably more difficult due to the longer mission duration and the need of a nuclear reactor), a Mars mission will become out of reach, just like it is for everyone else right now, due to costs. Unless we go international.

And Russia's space budget is $500 Million, and want to concentrate on Space Stations and the Moon.

Nobody's going to Mars any time soon. Also, NASA has a huge head start anyways.

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10. SpaceX has plenty of money sitting around and more will be forthcoming.  They have a very profitable earth launching business which they are using to subsidize the development of needed technologies.

[Citation needed]

What is their profit Margins? We think it's lower because SpaceX is already below costs anticipated by analysts, but no one really knows. Let's not talk too much about profit margins.

On 2016-06-04 at 0:33 PM, B787_300 said:

No we dont, but we do know that they have enough capital to buy the machines and land they need to build and fly the rockets.  Also while the published price is 60 Million that could only apply to the actual rocket and not the launch services (tracking, telemetry, integration, etc) . And the fact that SpaceX has enough money to be seriously discussing Mars Missions is also telling because most people wont pay for it. and how the Satellitie constellation is still being pursued (although they did get that huge investment from google IIRC) also implies that they are in the green.

Also while Tesla & Solar City might be slowly losing money that probably isnt actually the case (or i have not seen concrete numbers to the contrary) or is misleading based on how companies account for their money.  All I really know about Tesla & Solar City money situation is that Tesla managed to pay back the loan that they got from the government.

I wouldn't be surprised if the margins for Tesla, Solar City, and SpaceX were all very low. Hell, SpaceX's current price may actually be selling for a bit of a loss under the assumption reuse will have costs in a few months.

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And the fact that SpaceX has enough money to be seriously discussing Mars Missions is also telling because most people wont pay for it.

NASA had been discussing it even when it had no money, nor a rocket, nor a spacecraft, to do so. We're only slightly closer to Mars than we were in the Apollo era.

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and how the Satellitie constellation is still being pursued (although they did get that huge investment from google IIRC) also implies that they are in the green.

Actually, SpaceX put those plans on hold, and as "low priority". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX_satellite_development_facility

On 2016-06-04 at 0:56 PM, PB666 said:

 Some wealthy country like say saudi Arabia (during the next boom) or Singapore, maybe even Vietnam might want to buy them.

SpaceX as far as i can tell, at least until the BC facility opens is not in a situation of having supply outstriping demand. i see other problems, in Europe tech infrastructure is not good, thier current economicals that the guiana facility may be such a loss that its not going to be used in light of stiffer competition. ESA is turning into a payload maker. 

I see SpaceX pulling in businesses and companies that don't have a launch capability, once the BC facility they will have greater autonomy from the govt and more trustable with trade secrets of oversees firms.

Though i still think a launchpad on a volcanoe in ecuador is stilll a better idea. 

BC, boca chica. I know its called Brownsville but for me, it will always be called Boca chica.m

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 Some wealthy country like say saudi Arabia (during the next boom) or Singapore, maybe even Vietnam might want to buy them. 

Elon would never sell his company, especially not to the Saudis.

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i see other problems, in Europe tech infrastructure is not good, thier current economicals that the guiana facility may be such a loss that its not going to be used in light of stiffer competition. ESA is turning into a payload maker. 

Source? They are building a new Ariane 6 pad at Guiana, you know...

And where else would they build it? There is no place in Europe that is conductive to equilateral launches, and Guiana also allows for Polar launches, saving the cost of building and maintaining multiple pads.

And ESA is now a payload maker because their rocket division is now controlled by Airbus Safran- ie. Privatization.

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I see SpaceX pulling in businesses and companies that don't have a launch capability, once the BC facility they will have greater autonomy from the govt and more trustable with trade secrets of oversees firms.

Why would a new facility allow them to be trusted with trade secrets of all things?

Either way, I don't see that happening. F9 is too big, just like Ridley, for nations starting up with launching rockets. You might as well be proposing Proton to be licensed off and launched in other nations. It's about as reasonable as doing that for F9.

F1 or even F5 would have worked much better, but that was canned. The only potential market for F9 to launch via lisence is Brazil, and even then, F9 is way too big- it's a high-end rocket when flown expendable. A smaller F5 would be far easier for a smaller space player to swallow.

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Though i still think a launchpad on a volcanoe in ecuador is stilll a better idea. 

Oh, it's you.

Edited by fredinno

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On 6/4/2016 at 11:10 PM, B787_300 said:

Right but that is a fringe case of the contract.  Most contracts that are not with a government will not do things like that. And Falcon was mostly paid for by SpaceX itself.  The Dragon not so much and there could have been some cross over in money of the funds used to develop Dragon v1 and v2 to pay for Falcon.

Wasn't COTS money used to fund the F9 v1.1?

On 6/4/2016 at 8:23 PM, LordFerret said:

As for whomever Musk sends to Mars, I still want to know under what flag he'll fly. Despite the mods here don't want politics in the mix here, there's no denying nor escaping the fact that 'Space' is nothing but politics this day in age. You can't have serious discourse about it (anyone's space endeavor) without it being a part of the discussion. At this point, even a multinational endeavor is bound to run into obstruction by the UN (for one). It's going to be interesting.

Wait, did the UN get involved with the ISS? If not, they probably won't get involved in a international Mars mission.

On 6/5/2016 at 7:05 PM, LordFerret said:

They don't need a reason to get involved, they already believe they own control of all that is out there already. I don't believe you understand the power the UN wields. For example (just one example): The recent Climate Change Treaty which we have but did not vote for. Here's another: The UN says there is a nation of Palestine, yet they have no land. The mere fact there is no logical reason for the UN to get involved tells me it will sooner than later. They've taken control of the ocean floors - so why not outer space???

Exactly, the UN is full of fat cats who are disconnected from reality, just like Brussels.

https://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2016/03/japan-responds-to-u-n-game-ban-request-fictional-characters-arent-real/

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Back in February of this year, the United Nations put together a committee to discuss a number of topics relating to issues of sexual violence, fair pay and treatment of pregnant women in the workplace. At the very top of their priority the U.N., wanted to cover the possibility of Japan banning their very popular games, manga and anime that contain any kind of sexual violence against women.

Also, the UN already has a Space Agency:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Office_for_Outer_Space_Affairs

It's just not big enough of a deal yet for the UN to bother.

On 6/5/2016 at 10:34 PM, Robotengineer said:

I seriously doubt the US government would go to that length to stop a Mars mission. Musk could always build a secret launch complex in Colorado, and then give a big speech... And given that the government has been supportive of SpaceX so far, I don't see why they would suddenly turn on SpaceX.

If SpaceX did that, they would not be able to get away with it. People follow SpaceX all the time, unless it was built like a ICBM silo (good luck with that with a rocket the size of F9H, let alone BFR, people would probably know even if it was in the middle of nowhere. They aren't the CIA, you know.

On 6/5/2016 at 0:29 PM, A Fuzzy Velociraptor said:

4. Most of Protons failures were in the early years of the Proton when launch failures were more common than they are now (though they still have one failure in some form about once a year). There was one launch vehicle proposed, Aquarius, which was expected to fail in 30% of the launches though the cost per kg was expected to be at 1000USD.

5. That was also a 5kg sample. Most humans don't weigh 5kg. I'm a small human and I weigh about 80kg (though I could stand to lose 25kg). Humans also require a lot more support for things like air and water and generally not being dead. In the project we could get away with an Ariane V because there was very little supporting equipment required and the payload mass was extremely small. You could certainly send human ashes to Mars with something like our project but I feel like that somehow wouldnt count. So I don't think that project is actually really very relevant here. 

Well it is possible we could land on another planet in route but I have a strong feeling someone will be getting fired if that happens.

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4. Most of Protons failures were in the early years of the Proton when launch failures were more common than they are now (though they still have one failure in some form about once a year). There was one launch vehicle proposed, Aquarius, which was expected to fail in 30% of the launches though the cost per kg was expected to be at 1000USD.

A failure once a year is more than enough to make insurance companies scream in horror. Satellites don't grow on trees, you know.

On 6/5/2016 at 5:06 PM, Emperor of the Titan Squid said:

i think you mean 1880s.

No, 1960s to 1980s. That's when Mars plans become possible, and people actually started planning for them outside sci-fi.

On 6/4/2016 at 11:10 PM, B787_300 said:

Most people who think about the process and the amount of raw capital that they need to have to purchased all the materials and tooling for the rockets and capsules. While they are not swimming in cash they should have a good bit on hand.

Define "good amount".

On 6/4/2016 at 11:10 PM, B787_300 said:
On 6/4/2016 at 8:23 PM, LordFerret said:

 

to some extent it is. but it also isnt.  if spacex launches the mission from their land in Brownsville there is little that the government can do about it without passing obstructionist laws that would not get the support of congress.  Also it would be under the American Flag (kind of) as they are an american comapny.  More realistically they will fly under the flag of SpaceX unless a government pays for more than half the mission. There have been no laws passed by the UN about companies in space and the Outer Space Treaty only binds governments from claiming land (and has been tentatively stretched but not codified to cover companies). There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON for the UN to get involved and they wont. There is no precedent and no real reason (other than politics) but the US and SpaceX would just laugh at any thing that the UN tries to do unless the UN wants to invade the US and take control of the launch site or it is vital to prevent WWIII. 

Except you know, pass heavy regulations ("You can't build the BFR pad until you comply with these overly restrictive marshland development regulations!").

Or just order their agencies to stop giving contracts to SpaceX behind the scenes. No Commercial launch company has survived very long without at least a few government contracts. SpaceX will suffer tremendously.

And the Outer Space Treaty needs serious reform- it's from another era of Space.

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The UN is pretty much controlled by the Security Council members, namely the US, the UK, France, China and Russia. Nothing that comes out of the UN isn't approved by a large majority of these countries. If you have a beef with the UN, then take it up with its member states. The UN is just a tool.

Edited by Nibb31

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5 minutes ago, Nibb31 said:

The UN is pretty much controlled by the Security Council members, namely the US, the UK, France, China and Russia. Nothing that comes out of the UN isn't approved by a large majority of these countries. If you have a beef with the UN, then take it up with its member states. The UN is just a tool.

I know that. The UN has no power outside of what it is given- but it doesn't change the fact that it's a bad institution that was a decent concept, but is needing serious reform.

Ok, let's get back out of politics.

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6 hours ago, fredinno said:

I know that. The UN has no power outside of what it is given- but it doesn't change the fact that it's a bad institution that was a decent concept, but is needing serious reform.

Ok, let's get back out of politics.

You like after you stuck your fat political foot right in the middle of it. 

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The likelihood of the UN getting involved?... agreed, nil at this point, especially if Musk's endeavor is to be multinational. Still, I myself don't put them past anything.

6 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

Nothing that comes out of the UN isn't approved by a large majority of these countries.

That's a misconception. Not much that has come from the UN has ever been put to a vote by the people, not in this 'member state' anyway, not ever, and I can't think of any member state's populace anywhere any time in its history ever voting on any of its issues and decrees.

 

I have very little confidence or faith in Musk's ability to pull off a Mars mission, even less a simple mass transit tube system. He has big enough problems with his cars, selling at a loss, and at that is going to be facing some very stiff competition soon enough from 3 other electric car makers. He still has battery issues. He still has money issues.

All that being said, I would like to see a serious, successful, Mars mission. I watched men land on the moon. It would be nice to see men land on Mars. I don't think I'll live much longer than being able to witness that.

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7 minutes ago, LordFerret said:

The likelihood of the UN getting involved?... agreed, nil at this point, especially if Musk's endeavor is to be multinational. Still, I myself don't put them past anything.

That's a misconception. Not much that has come from the UN has ever been put to a vote by the people, not in this 'member state' anyway, not ever, and I can't think of any member state's populace anywhere any time in its history ever voting on any of its issues and decrees.

 

I have very little confidence or faith in Musk's ability to pull off a Mars mission, even less a simple mass transit tube system. He has big enough problems with his cars, selling at a loss, and at that is going to be facing some very stiff competition soon enough from 3 other electric car makers. He still has battery issues. He still has money issues.

All that being said, I would like to see a serious, successful, Mars mission. I watched men land on the moon. It would be nice to see men land on Mars. I don't think I'll live much longer than being able to witness that.

Lets stop badmouthing the UN, ok, my little report post finger is getting twitchy, and it has next to nothing to do with ELon Musk going to Mars. Elon could do whatever he likes and Noone can say anything until after the fact. Or would you have international bodies beurocratizing what you put on your hobby rocket or KSP forum cubesat?

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1 hour ago, LordFerret said:

The likelihood of the UN getting involved?... agreed, nil at this point, especially if Musk's endeavor is to be multinational. Still, I myself don't put them past anything.

That's a misconception. Not much that has come from the UN has ever been put to a vote by the people, not in this 'member state' anyway, not ever, and I can't think of any member state's populace anywhere any time in its history ever voting on any of its issues and decrees.

It's called representative democracy. You can say the same for pretty much every executive decree or legislative act in most democratic countries. You elect your representatives to act on your behalf. You don't get a say in every decision they make in whatever institutions they sit in. All you can do is vote to replace them when the time comes.

You don't like the decisions that are made at the UN? Then vote to change the folks who represent your country at the UN.

 

Edited by Nibb31

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