Author Topic: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars  (Read 6335 times)

Offline Star One

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Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #20 on: 05/02/2017 06:36 PM »
Can I ask overall were people surprised at this kind of response from him, as I've indicated up thread already I know I was?
« Last Edit: 05/02/2017 06:36 PM by Star One »

Online IRobot

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #21 on: 05/02/2017 06:43 PM »
NdGT does not like that private companies have the initiative. He has a career in universities, institutes, government positions and as an entertainer. He has no spirit of private initiative, he has no experience of working on a high tech, fast moving private company.

All his talk in the past +10 years is that NASA's budget should be doubled. Private initiative, in his view, just shame NASA and make his proposal look like government overspending.

Offline Lar

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #22 on: 05/02/2017 06:46 PM »
Can I ask overall were people surprised at this kind of response from him, as I've indicated up thread already I know I was?

Do you want a poll added or did you want people's views in narrative? I can add a poll for you I think (PM me the question and choices), although we normally put polls in the poll section, I'll seek a special dispensation from The Man....

If you just wanted narrative,  here's mine: I think you won't be surprised that I wasn't surprised... my comments above already suggest that this sort of "government is the only way, the dreamers won't amount to much, and there is no way to do this that isn't horrendously expensive" thinking is par for the course from him. I wish he'd stick to promoting STEM and FIRST and warning us about AGCC...
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline pippin

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Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #23 on: 05/03/2017 01:28 AM »
What were the last estimates of what ITS development and initial production costs?

One thing I don't like about the whole "SpaceX is going to privately fund Mars easy-peasy" narrative is that it seems to be based on the assumption that they are going to make huge sums of money with their Sat constellation. Unfortunately that assumption has some big holes in it, particularly that's it's usually not as easy to do rent seeking under competition and there is plenty of competition in the communications market and sat comm isn't a singular solution.

So do the likes of Bezos have enough money left over to fund this? And please don't just use the value of Bezos' Amazon stock, he won't completely sell out for this and if he did Amazon would all of a sudden be worth only a fraction of what it's worth now so the maximum we might talk about is something like 10% his net worth or so.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2017 01:29 AM by pippin »

Offline Lar

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #24 on: 05/03/2017 01:32 AM »
What were the last estimates of what ITS development and initial production costs?

One thing I don't like about the whole "SpaceX is going to privately fund Mars easy-peasy" narrative is that it seems to be based on the assumption that they are going to make huge sums of money with their Sat constellation. Unfortunately that assumption has some big holes in it, particularly that's it's usually not as easy to do rent seeking under competition and there is plenty of competition in the communications market and sat comm isn't a singular solution.

So do the likes of Bezos have enough money left over to fund this? And please don't just use the value of Bezos' Amazon stock, he won't completely sell out for this and if he did Amazon would all of a sudden be worth only a fraction of what it's worth now so the maximum we might talk about is something like 10% his net worth or so.

I think you're missing that Musk is going to lever up. Same as Tyson, you're looking at the expenditure as an all at once thing. We're already starting to see rates and reuses and finesse increasing, and the capabilities of the corporate entity increase in a virtuous cycle. Thinking about it from a conventional project funding perspective might just be the wrong way to look at it.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline pippin

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #25 on: 05/03/2017 02:02 AM »
What were the last estimates of what ITS development and initial production costs?

One thing I don't like about the whole "SpaceX is going to privately fund Mars easy-peasy" narrative is that it seems to be based on the assumption that they are going to make huge sums of money with their Sat constellation. Unfortunately that assumption has some big holes in it, particularly that's it's usually not as easy to do rent seeking under competition and there is plenty of competition in the communications market and sat comm isn't a singular solution.

So do the likes of Bezos have enough money left over to fund this? And please don't just use the value of Bezos' Amazon stock, he won't completely sell out for this and if he did Amazon would all of a sudden be worth only a fraction of what it's worth now so the maximum we might talk about is something like 10% his net worth or so.

I think you're missing that Musk is going to lever up. Same as Tyson, you're looking at the expenditure as an all at once thing. We're already starting to see rates and reuses and finesse increasing, and the capabilities of the corporate entity increase in a virtuous cycle. Thinking about it from a conventional project funding perspective might just be the wrong way to look at it.
No, im not, neither is Tyson.
Actually that's where his other point comes up: if you want to add leverage or any form of capital market investment you need a solid business case.

I don't think there is one, which was Tyson's point, too.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #26 on: 05/03/2017 02:04 AM »
I find it odd he doubts it'll ever happen.
The technology to do crewed mission to Mars has been around since the 1970s but it's finally becoming cheap enough plus there are more large scale space programs going on than ever before.
Even if the US never goes someone else eventually will do it.

The real question is who will send a crew to Mars first will it be the US, Russia,China,India or a private entity?

« Last Edit: 05/03/2017 02:06 AM by Patchouli »

Offline pippin

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #27 on: 05/03/2017 02:05 AM »
Oh, and regarding profits from satcom or launch business: sure, in the very long term you can use that to slowly grow your capabilities but then we're not talking 10 or 15 years, then we are probably talking something like 20-30

Offline pippin

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Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #28 on: 05/03/2017 02:06 AM »
I find it odd he doubts it'll ever happen.
The technology to do crewed mission to Mars has been around since the 1970s but it's finally becoming cheap enough plus there are more players than just the NASA now.

The real question is who will send a crew to Mars first the US,the Russians,the Chinese, or a private entity?
Again: how much does it cost?
Everyone keeps claiming it finally became cheap enough. What's "cheap enough"? Where are the funds and the cost estimates?
« Last Edit: 05/03/2017 02:08 AM by pippin »

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #29 on: 05/03/2017 02:13 AM »
Technically just the money the US government wasted on it's pointless war on drugs and and building more prisons would have been more than enough to fund a robust human exploration program during the 1980s and 1990s.
I can't say what we'd have if the money spent on pointless wars went to exploration but I think we'd already have cities on the moon by now.

As for cost even the EELVs are lower cost per kg than rockets from the 1960s and Falcon 9 is cheaper still.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2017 02:19 AM by Patchouli »

Offline Lar

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #30 on: 05/03/2017 02:29 AM »
I think you're missing that Musk is going to lever up. Same as Tyson, you're looking at the expenditure as an all at once thing. We're already starting to see rates and reuses and finesse increasing, and the capabilities of the corporate entity increase in a virtuous cycle. Thinking about it from a conventional project funding perspective might just be the wrong way to look at it.
No, im not, neither is Tyson.
Actually that's where his other point comes up: if you want to add leverage or any form of capital market investment you need a solid business case.

I don't think there is one, which was Tyson's point, too.
Not that kind of leverage. Capability, not financial. You're thinking conventional project funding. That will come when the likes of Rio Tinto start funding asteroid mining but it will be funding for THEIR projects. SpaceX just rakes in the revenue from their launches. Study how Ford levered up. It wasn't about banks and finances. And study how fast it happened, it took about a decade or so. We're at 1912 or 1914... but the wheels are turning faster already.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2017 02:30 AM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline spacenut

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #31 on: 05/03/2017 02:36 AM »
My BIL and SIL are both professors.  They have never been in private industry and have no clue as to how they work or operate.  They think the government is the one who solves problems and gets things done.  My wife on the other hand ran a computer business for 18 years, and I worked with a utility company as an distribution engineer.  We had to get things done, and had to focus on what we were doing.  My BIL taught and did research as an organic Chemistry professor.  He could take his time. 

The private sector, when they put their minds to it, can move faster than government.  Government requires politics and money and a big bloated bureaucracy to get something implemented. 

I think we can get to Mars if we had the right leadership at NASA, with a public private partnership.  It seems like COTS was very effective, the result was SpaceX.  COTS like moon or Mars projects, I think can get a lot done, faster than the government alone.  The Air Force doesn't design and build their own planes, and the Army doesn't design and build their own tanks, trucks, etc.  The tell private industry what they want, get bids, and buy the equipment. 

NASA has spent years designing and building SLS, and we still do not have a rocket.  SpaceX moved very quickly.  Orbital did to a certain extent.  Now B.O. is getting into the orbital market with a very good rocket design.   I think NASA will eventually abandon SLS and if they started bids on an in space infrastructure and help fund it, but biding out equipment, fuel depots, maybe NautilusX vehicle, or large SEP tugs, all designed to fit existing or NEAR future rockets.  We could get going with real space exploration.   

Offline su27k

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #32 on: 05/03/2017 03:09 AM »
His argument is predicated on the assumption that a manned Mars mission would exceed the current NASA HSF budget by a wide margin,

Where did he say that?

How else do you interpret "The money. To go to Mars because you want to, my reading of history says that doesn't work. We didn't go to the Moon because we wanted to. We may remember it that way, because it serves a certain self-image we're Americans, we're explorers, it's in our DNA, so we went to the Moon. That's just assuming it's a thing you do, without asking what's driving this, what's allocating the money for this?"?

Again: how much does it cost?
Everyone keeps claiming it finally became cheap enough. What's "cheap enough"? Where are the funds and the cost estimates?

Cost: $10B per Musk IAC speech
Funds: 2/3 from NASA budget, using the funding opened up after Commercial Crew is finished. 1/3 from SpaceX, using the engineering resources opened up after F9/FH/Dragon 2 is finished.

Offline pippin

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Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #33 on: 05/03/2017 03:14 AM »
Ah, so primarily government funding again.
And the 10bn are for what? Development? Building the first vehicle? First flight? 100 flights?

Given that Musk said they spent 1bn to go from F9 to FH alone, 10bn for more than a prototype sounds like quite a stretch.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2017 03:16 AM by pippin »

Offline Lar

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #34 on: 05/03/2017 03:30 AM »
Cost: $10B per Musk IAC speech
Funds: 2/3 from NASA budget, using the funding opened up after Commercial Crew is finished. 1/3 from SpaceX, using the engineering resources opened up after F9/FH/Dragon 2 is finished.

If 2/3 from NASA budget means NASA buying a bunch of launches,  or payloads delivered to Mars, sure[1]. But if you mean NASA put up the development money? That much?  No. That's not the plan. Maybe 1B of the 10, if that. Musk is building a robust industrial empire that will do most all of it internally. Not just the vehicle but the initial tech for most of the colony. Power, storage, transport, manufacturing.

Tesla is levering up right now. So is SpaceX. If you don't see it? Fine. Just stay out of the way. Tyson's remarks are not helpful, they're distractive.

1 - the money to fund FH, to fund reuse? ... it "came from NASA" in part because NASA buys transport service. But a lot of other customers do too. Ford didn't go to the capital markets much either.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2017 03:37 AM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline su27k

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #35 on: 05/03/2017 03:53 AM »
Ah, so primarily government funding again.

I don't see what's wrong with using government funding?

Quote
And the 10bn are for what? Development? Building the first vehicle? First flight? 100 flights?

I think it's for development + first manned mission

Quote
Given that Musk said they spent 1bn to go from F9 to FH alone, 10bn for more than a prototype sounds like quite a stretch.

Depends on what you mean by prototype, the architecture has huge margins, they can underperform by 100% and still be able to carry out an exploration mission.

Offline su27k

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #36 on: 05/03/2017 03:59 AM »
Cost: $10B per Musk IAC speech
Funds: 2/3 from NASA budget, using the funding opened up after Commercial Crew is finished. 1/3 from SpaceX, using the engineering resources opened up after F9/FH/Dragon 2 is finished.

If 2/3 from NASA budget means NASA buying a bunch of launches,  or payloads delivered to Mars, sure[1]. But if you mean NASA put up the development money? That much?  No. That's not the plan.

There can be multiple plans, I think what I have here is the best case scenario in Musk's mind, of course he can try to fund it privately but that would take more effort and incur more risk.

To quote his IAC speech
Quote
So, funding. We've thought about funding sources.

And so it's steal underpants, launch satellites, send cargo to space station, Kickstarter of course followed by profit. So obviously it's going to be a challenge to fund this whole endeavor.

We do expect to generate pretty decent net cash flow from launching lots of satellites and servicing the space station for NASA, transferring cargo to and from the space station, and then I know that there's a lot of people in the private sector who are interested in helping fund a base on Mars. And then perhaps they'll be interest on the government sector side to also do that.

Ultimately this is going to be a huge public-private partnership, and I think that's how the United States established, and many other countries around the world is a public-private partnership. So I think that's probably what occurs, and right now we're just trying to make as much progress as we can with the resources that we have available, and just sort of keep moving both forward, and hopefully I think, as we show that this is possible, that this dream is real, not just a dream it's something that can be made real I think the support will snowball over time.

And I should say also that the main reason I'm personally accumulating assets is in order to fund this. So I really don't have any other motivation for personally accumulating assets, except to be able to make the biggest contribution I can to making life multiplanetary.


Offline Lar

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #37 on: 05/03/2017 04:09 AM »
Musk:
Quote
And I should say also that the main reason I'm personally accumulating assets is in order to fund this.

"this" is colonization. The whole shebang. Not the initial transport. That's just a small part of the puzzle. I'm in the camp that believes as SpaceX ratchets up, as each flight grows their capability and fixed plant/assets and people, and bank account, that they'll do ITS itself almost wholly internally. The upper stage raptor money might possibly be the only government money invested. At all. And that is at 2:1, SpaceX puts up twice as much.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2017 04:14 AM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #38 on: 05/03/2017 05:10 AM »
Musk:
Quote
And I should say also that the main reason I'm personally accumulating assets is in order to fund this.

"this" is colonization. The whole shebang. Not the initial transport. That's just a small part of the puzzle. I'm in the camp that believes as SpaceX ratchets up, as each flight grows their capability and fixed plant/assets and people, and bank account, that they'll do ITS itself almost wholly internally. The upper stage raptor money might possibly be the only government money invested. At all. And that is at 2:1, SpaceX puts up twice as much.

I don't think there is the slightest evidence that SpaceX will be able to do this internally.  It's just wishful thinking.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline pippin

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Re: Neil deGrasse Tyson doubts humans will ever walk on Mars
« Reply #39 on: 05/03/2017 05:39 AM »
Musk:
Quote
And I should say also that the main reason I'm personally accumulating assets is in order to fund this.

"this" is colonization. The whole shebang. Not the initial transport. That's just a small part of the puzzle. I'm in the camp that believes as SpaceX ratchets up, as each flight grows their capability and fixed plant/assets and people, and bank account, that they'll do ITS itself almost wholly internally. The upper stage raptor money might possibly be the only government money invested. At all. And that is at 2:1, SpaceX puts up twice as much.

I don't think there is the slightest evidence that SpaceX will be able to do this internally.  It's just wishful thinking.
Plus, as seen above, it's obviously not what Musk says himself.

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