Author Topic: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?  (Read 13006 times)

Offline Bynaus

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Hi all,

I have never started a thread before, but I think this might be an important enough topic to break with that habit. Also, if any of the mods think this is the wrong place for discussing this, please move the thread to a better place.

Like probably many of you, I have seen Elon's speech yesterday and was blown away by the audacity of his plan. I think it was brilliant and completely crazy at the same time. One reason why it can be concieved it as crazy today (and perhaps as visionary tomorrow) is the lack of a funding plan. No, stealing underpants will not get us to Mars.

But what will?

If you say "nothing" to this and the title question, so be it. But what if you are wrong?

If we take Elon by his word, and say, 10 billions over 10 years are necessary to make this a reality - can a group of clever people work together and create a value of 10 billions or more over the course of 10 years? Certainly! Think, for example, Snapchat - founded only 5 years ago, it has a value of 19 billions today (I know its not exactly that easy, but you get the general idea). Of course, whatever could finance the Mars mission doesn't have to be a fancy community app. Could it be a trust? A "Mars bank" where people can deposit a part of their savings to be invested for the benefit of the Mars program? (of course, the first trap to avoid would be the one of the dodgy company...)

So I am thinking - is there any way that could get us from here, today, to a world where a group of enthusiastic tech-entrepreneurs donate most of their newly-gained wealth - as they said they would from the beginning - to finance the first manned mission to Mars?

What can WE do? What could YOU do?

Offline Steve D

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #1 on: 09/28/2016 06:06 PM »
Buy a bunch of Teslas.

Offline DanielW

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #2 on: 09/28/2016 06:28 PM »
I think you need to solve two parts. Cash generation and cash dispersal. The first being the hard part of course. But if such cash existed it would be nice to have some guarantees. I think the COTS program would be a good model. But who would administer it?

Offline RoboGoofers

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #3 on: 09/28/2016 06:34 PM »
once they have specs for their cargo units, you can start designing things that can break down to fit inside them. How about a bulldozer/grader that'll fit inside a phone booth and run off LIon?

Another thought is, would they really sell seats to individuals, at first? Or would they rather charter flights to groups? I imagine 'clubs' that recruit members and do all the vetting and training. judging by some of the question askers at the presentation, there's people i wouldn't want to share a ship or colony with, and I'd like to know that before I was stuck with them for maybe the rest of my life. So forming a Colonist club could be fun, for now, and more serious later.

finally, start saving $$$!
« Last Edit: 09/28/2016 06:35 PM by RoboGoofers »

Offline Oli

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #4 on: 09/28/2016 06:35 PM »
Musk said it will be a public-private partnership, so you can try to convince the public.

The downside of having a "billionaire class" investing in rocketry, is that 50% of Americans have not seen a significant wage increase in 40 years. Those Americans are not going to vote for Mars colonies, they're going to vote for fixing potholes.

Offline Noise

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #5 on: 09/28/2016 06:39 PM »
The Mars Society and/or The Planetary Society come to mind as good examples of how space enthusiasts can achieve results. Establishing a consortium of some sort to advocate for the ICT plan might be the way forward.

Offline Ireadtheinstructionslove

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #6 on: 09/28/2016 06:48 PM »
I Bank on Mars. Considering that most of the world's money is stored in computers, and moved around by computers, perhaps  a  computer on 2018 Red Dragon that can use the DSN, to facilitate deposits and withdrawals.

Offline jpo234

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #7 on: 09/28/2016 06:56 PM »
Buy a bunch of Teslas.
Are the current reservation numbers for the Model 3 online? Would be interesting to see whether there is a sudden jump.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline sanman

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #8 on: 09/28/2016 07:08 PM »
- Steal Underpants
- Kickstarter

More seriously, the idea of forming private co-operative groups to commit to booking seats on future flights, and perhaps in training their members in the types of skillsets that would be needed/useful for Mars colonists.

I don't know why Musk blew off that gal who asked about what training would be needed. Fine, even if somehow very little training/skills are required to be a passenger on the BFS, there's still a helluva lot of training/skills that are going to be necessary for actually living on Mars and bootstrapping a colony.
« Last Edit: 09/28/2016 11:47 PM by sanman »

Offline Elvis in Space

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #9 on: 09/28/2016 07:19 PM »
Buy a bunch of Teslas.
Are the current reservation numbers for the Model 3 online? Would be interesting to see whether there is a sudden jump.

Had the same thought. Went ahead and made my Model 3 reservation. I was going to wait but it's going to be a while anyway and a new supercharger opened nearby not long ago.
Cheeseburgers on Mars!

Offline TomH

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #10 on: 09/28/2016 07:20 PM »
I have wondered if it is possible for them to establish a tax exempt endowment. Universities have them, but universities are supposedly "non-profit" (cough-Ahem) organizations. Perhaps if the endowment were limited only to scientific R&D and not directly to commercial for-profit aspects like F9, it could be thus structured. I am attaching the disclaimer that I am no tax attorney and have no idea whatsoever if such a thing is feasible.

My own experience in watching family members inherit money from other family members is that the beneficiary often does not have an appreciation for all the hard work that went into earning the money. Usually I see the inherited money quickly squandered. My wife and I have accumulated a comfortable nest egg, and our daughter, who has done very well in university, is set to garner a higher income than we. I have always believed she would appreciate more things she earned on her own than things gifted easily and freely from us as her parents.

If such an endowment existed at SpaceX, I surely would consider bequeathing a considerable portion of my estate to that fund.

Thoughts? Opinions?

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #11 on: 09/28/2016 07:24 PM »
Argue for a international race to Mars  ;)

The moment nations view it as some kind of "national security" imperative to win, they'll go nuts! (original space race)

They'll first try to hardball it like Apollo/Saturn did (and barely pulled off!). But the commercial side has a clearer path to success and won't break the bank.

Then they'll try to exploit it through cronyism, and the funds will get stolen and nothing will happen.

They'll fall behind and do deals for small portions. And try to use international deals to drive up costs and slow down the program, attempting to risk its failure due to nonsense.

But because the commercial side has gotten its fangs in, it'll get driven to completion.

Offline Ludus

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #12 on: 09/28/2016 07:25 PM »
Hi all,

I have never started a thread before, but I think this might be an important enough topic to break with that habit. Also, if any of the mods think this is the wrong place for discussing this, please move the thread to a better place.

Like probably many of you, I have seen Elon's speech yesterday and was blown away by the audacity of his plan. I think it was brilliant and completely crazy at the same time. One reason why it can be concieved it as crazy today (and perhaps as visionary tomorrow) is the lack of a funding plan. No, stealing underpants will not get us to Mars.

But what will?

If you say "nothing" to this and the title question, so be it. But what if you are wrong?

If we take Elon by his word, and say, 10 billions over 10 years are necessary to make this a reality - can a group of clever people work together and create a value of 10 billions or more over the course of 10 years? Certainly! Think, for example, Snapchat - founded only 5 years ago, it has a value of 19 billions today (I know its not exactly that easy, but you get the general idea). Of course, whatever could finance the Mars mission doesn't have to be a fancy community app. Could it be a trust? A "Mars bank" where people can deposit a part of their savings to be invested for the benefit of the Mars program? (of course, the first trap to avoid would be the one of the dodgy company...)

So I am thinking - is there any way that could get us from here, today, to a world where a group of enthusiastic tech-entrepreneurs donate most of their newly-gained wealth - as they said they would from the beginning - to finance the first manned mission to Mars?

What can WE do? What could YOU do?

People on NSF are much more knowledgeable about the this sort of proposal and better able to promote and defend it than most people online. One of the most important things that we can can do is keep doing what we do already but venture outside our normal online environment as well. Go on social media or to website comments you normally wouldn't. Engage with people on the issue.

This is a long struggle over public perceptions and attitudes. People who want to do more could start blogs linked to social media and start building contacts. There will have to be new advocacy organizations.

Offline Ludus

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #13 on: 09/28/2016 07:40 PM »
I have wondered if it is possible for them to establish a tax exempt endowment. Universities have them, but universities are supposedly "non-profit" (cough-Ahem) organizations. Perhaps if the endowment were limited only to scientific R&D and not directly to commercial for-profit aspects like F9, it could be thus structured. I am attaching the disclaimer that I am no tax attorney and have no idea whatsoever if such a thing is feasible.

My own experience in watching family members inherit money from other family members is that the beneficiary often does not have an appreciation for all the hard work that went into earning the money. Usually I see the inherited money quickly squandered. My wife and I have accumulated a comfortable nest egg, and our daughter, who has done very well in university, is set to garner a higher income than we. I have always believed she would appreciate more things she earned on her own than things gifted easily and freely from us as her parents.

If such an endowment existed at SpaceX, I surely would consider bequeathing a considerable portion of my estate to that fund.

Thoughts? Opinions?

A tax exempt charitable 501c3 organization could definitely accept tax deductible gifts toward Mars settlement as a cause. A 527 organization could engage in political action but donations would not be tax deductible. SpaceX itself can't control such an organization, it's a for profit corporation.

There are existing Space organizations that are 501c3s but not AFAIK specific to Elon Musks plan.

It's an interesting idea to have a thread about what organizations are out there supporting SpaceX plan and the issue of donating and fund raising for them. You may want to consider participating in founding a new 501c3 if you want to donate a substantial amount. Or you might create a family foundation that doesn't generally accept outside donations but donates to other groups in this area. If you're interested you should talk to a lawyer specializing in this.

You can definitely construct a way to donate your estate to this cause that's tax efficient and satisfies you that your money will go to support what you want.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #14 on: 09/28/2016 09:19 PM »
Buy a bunch of Teslas.

Also in that vain get several Powerwall tm unis for your house along with a SolarRoof tm from Tesla Energy and Solar City.

Offline cebri

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #15 on: 09/28/2016 09:31 PM »
Well, ITS video has already been seen by 2 M people, if all viewers donate about 500$ we got the money.  :P

Kickstarting this thing is not a bad idea, i've recently read that Sony (yeah the huge japanese electronic company) use kickstarter to fund niche products which would not be profitable otherwise.

StarCitizen has got more than 100M this way, SpaceX could beat that, and it could be a kickstarter with a 10yr deadline.


Offline knowles2

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #16 on: 09/29/2016 12:33 AM »
Become a billionaire and then offer to invest in Space X Mars Missions.

Offline philw1776

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #17 on: 09/29/2016 12:35 AM »
Over on FB, a retired engineer has proposed organizing a $1/year internship for retired engineers wanting to help out @ SX.
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #18 on: 09/29/2016 12:41 AM »
Tell him why AMOS-6 mysteriously exploded so he can get back to earning money...
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Offline philw1776

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Re: What can WE do to make Elon's Mars dream a reality?
« Reply #19 on: 09/29/2016 01:03 AM »
Tell him why AMOS-6 mysteriously exploded so he can get back to earning money...

Thread Winner!  :)
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

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