Author Topic: Which company will achieve her goals before, SpaceX or Blue Origin?  (Read 32558 times)

Offline Tywin

Will SpaceX make it to Mars before Blue manages to create a CisLunar economy?
« Last Edit: 05/20/2022 08:18 am by Tywin »
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Offline DrHeywoodFloyd

Will SpaceX make it to Mars before Blue manages to create a CisLunar economy?

These images prove nothing, but some one can employ an artist....

Offline meekGee

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Will SpaceX make it to Mars before Blue manages to create a CisLunar economy?
Tywin, it's option#3: SpaceX is already doing more in CisLunar space than anyone else, including BO.

I don't know if you can call it "establishing a CisLunar economy", but:

- Manned flights to LEO (regular basis, for profit)

- Manned flights around the moon (sold, planned, for profit)

- Mega constellation (operating)

- Lunar surface mission (planned, government contract)

- Reusable manned vehicle capable of supporting such activities (being built)

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Offline Tywin

Will SpaceX make it to Mars before Blue manages to create a CisLunar economy?
Tywin, it's option#3: SpaceX is already doing more in CisLunar space than anyone else, including BO.

I don't know if you can call it "establishing a CisLunar economy", but:

- Manned flights to LEO (regular basis, for profit)

- Manned flights around the moon (sold, planned, for profit)

- Mega constellation (operating)

- Lunar surface mission (planned, government contract)

- Reusable manned vehicle capable of supporting such activities (being built)

Hi Meekgee, but SpaceX goal is not CisLunar is Mars...

And Blue has contracted to LEO, a few now, Eutelsat, etc...

They have a government contract for an LEO crew Station.

They are in a fight for Lander's contract for the Moon, now.

They have a contract for sending the Kuiper constellation to LEO.

And reusable vehicles are almost ready and in the future may be 100% reusable.

The goals of Blue are close, I think so.
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Offline Asteroza

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I might argue which might be first;

A SpaceX mars base of substantial population

A BO cislunar space station and/or lunar surface base with a substantial population


I say this because Bezos has an avowed goal for space colony level stations, which is a fairly big goal, and comparable to a mars base.

Offline Tywin

I might argue which might be first;

A SpaceX mars base of substantial population

A BO cislunar space station and/or lunar surface base with a substantial population


I say this because Bezos has an avowed goal for space colony level stations, which is a fairly big goal, and comparable to a mars base.

And which do you think will be the first Asteroza?
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Offline deadman1204

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"company goals" is a constantly moving target.

SpaceX's goal used to be orbit.
Then it was getting to ISS
Then i was falcon heavy
then it was crewed flight


Offline meekGee

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Will SpaceX make it to Mars before Blue manages to create a CisLunar economy?
Tywin, it's option#3: SpaceX is already doing more in CisLunar space than anyone else, including BO.

I don't know if you can call it "establishing a CisLunar economy", but:

- Manned flights to LEO (regular basis, for profit)

- Manned flights around the moon (sold, planned, for profit)

- Mega constellation (operating)

- Lunar surface mission (planned, government contract)

- Reusable manned vehicle capable of supporting such activities (being built)

Hi Meekgee, but SpaceX goal is not CisLunar is Mars...

And Blue has contracted to LEO, a few now, Eutelsat, etc...

They have a government contract for an LEO crew Station.

They are in a fight for Lander's contract for the Moon, now.

They have a contract for sending the Kuiper constellation to LEO.

And reusable vehicles are almost ready and in the future may be 100% reusable.

The goals of Blue are close, I think so.
Well you ask the question, but you clearly have the answer...  If you're looking for affirmation, it's certainly not coming from me.

Just keep in mind - BO still doesn't have a rocket, much less a spacecraft.  They have plans for such, but even those are not reusable.

They're not on track to achieving any goals...  Their biggest challenge is themselves, not SpaceX...
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Online DanClemmensen

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Will SpaceX make it to Mars before Blue manages to create a CisLunar economy?

SpaceX will achieve BO's goal as a side effect of it's own goal.

Offline TrevorMonty

Will SpaceX make it to Mars before Blue manages to create a CisLunar economy?

SpaceX will achieve BO's goal as a side effect of it's own goal.
Most likely outcome. SpaceX will go where money is ie commercial human and cargo transport to moon. Doesn't mean Mars plans are on hold. They could probably do both at same time. 


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« Last Edit: 05/20/2022 07:43 pm by TrevorMonty »

Online darkenfast

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"company goals" is a constantly moving target.

SpaceX's goal used to be orbit.
Then it was getting to ISS
Then i was falcon heavy
then it was crewed flight



SpaceX's goal remains what it has always been: to make humanity multi-planetary.  Everything else is a step along that path, to be be modified, abandoned, or replaced as necessary in furtherance of that goal.
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Offline FishInferno

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No offense, but I don't understand why people keep rehashing the same "SpaceX vs. BO" question.

The fact is that both of these companies were founded around the same time, and they both have extremely wealthy benefactors (yes, I understand they weren't nearly as wealthy when these companies began).

Today, one of them has launched humans into orbit, maintains a fleet of orbital rocket boosters that fly almost weekly, and stands poised to launch the most powerful vehicle in human history which had already booked two lunar flights. The other flies a fleet of crewed suborbital boosters and has test-fired several rocket engines.

Even trying to be unbiased, the answer should be clear to questions like these.
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Offline Hog

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Both companies are just that, companies. 

two definitions-company-noun
#1. a commercial business:
"a space launch company".

As such there is a fiduciary responsibility to each company's shareholders. Blue Origin, LLC (Limited Liability Company) and Space Exploration Technologies Corporation is designed to make money.

#2. -the fact or condition of being with another or others, especially in a way that provides friendship and enjoyment:
"Space launch consumers are enjoying the company of lower priced options of accessing space."   

So far as achieving goals, both "should" make money.  If something doesn't make the company money, it's tough to justify it's existence. Almost polar opposite of the publicly funded human spaceflight model.
Developing, certifying and then finally employing an operational crew rated launcher/vehicle is a huge accomplishment for any private company, be it Space X or Blue Origin and I'm focusing on just launchers/crew vehicles, there's so much more out there as an industry.  These are certainly exciting times in spaceflight for all of us.

I don't prefer the femininization(if that's even the correct terminology??) of corporations in the title, IMO as entities they don't deserve the honour.  Unlike my C7A1 rifle-"Julie" and the various "ships/craft" which sail/dive/drive/ride/orbit the various "seas" of our Universe.  A female fellow recruit named her rifle "Carl".
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Offline chopsticks

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I don't prefer the femininization(if that's even the correct terminology??) of corporations in the title, IMO as entities they don't deserve the honour.

I don't know the native language of the OP but the noun "company" is feminine in some other languages (entreprise, compagnie in French, empresa in Spanish) FWIW.


Offline Asteroza

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I might argue which might be first;

A SpaceX mars base of substantial population

A BO cislunar space station and/or lunar surface base with a substantial population


I say this because Bezos has an avowed goal for space colony level stations, which is a fairly big goal, and comparable to a mars base.

And which do you think will be the first Asteroza?

To be honest, I think Blue Origin might be first (by a slim margin), but not on their own merits alone.

I suspect SpaceX will provide the push to get a cislunar economy going, of which BO will take part. BO benefits from the technology and provider ecosystem, which will be much more mature due to distance from earth. But I think that while BO's contributions will be substantive, most people could point to SpaceX as the leader, if not the pioneer, of that situation. So an incidental win.

But it's rare to have an absolute standalone win in history. You always stand on the backs of giants before you, some just have longer legs.

Offline trimeta

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Perhaps it would be more helpful to actually define these endpoints. Does SpaceX "making it to Mars" just mean "the first crewed mission to Mars (with NASA astronauts riding on Starship)"? Does Blue Origin's "cislunar economy" just mean "Orbital Reef is sufficiently assembled to host crew"? Because that might be a legit race: Orbital Reef is scheduled for 2030, and while the first Mars mission could theoretically happen as early as 2026, I wouldn't be surprised by it being delayed a couple of synods.

Of course, both SpaceX's "making life multiplanetary" and Blue Origin's nebulous "cislunar economy" plans are more advanced than the goals I just outlined. And it must be mentioned that if SpaceX can send a Starship on a multi-month journey to Mars, at least two years prior they could have sent one into LEO and called it a "temporary space station," thus beating Blue Origin to their own goal.

But taking into account that Blue Origin's goal is strictly less ambitious in terms of hardware, the two companies may be more evenly matched (by their own internal metrics) than it appears.

Offline Cheapchips

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SpaceX's goal remains what it has always been: to make humanity multi-planetary.  Everything else is a step along that path, to be be modified, abandoned, or replaced as necessary in furtherance of that goal.

Blue's equivalent goal is 'millions of people living and working in space', not just a cis-lunar economy.  Technically, every person SpaceX sends to Mars counts towards Blue's aspirational mission.  If there's more than 2m people out in the solar system before Mars is self sufficient, Blue wins.

(even if they've not even launched a single thing by 21xx and no longer exist as a company)

Offline Robotbeat

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SpaceX’s goal is sorta kinda ultimately terraforming of Mars. A process that would take hundreds or thousands of years.
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Offline meekGee

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SpaceX’s goal is sorta kinda ultimately terraforming of Mars. A process that would take hundreds or thousands of years.
... and still ahead of transferring Earth industry to orbit with millions of people there...

Looking closer to the present, say a decade out, I'll posit that SpaceX will have a settlement (i.e. a permanent and growing human presence, making heavy and increasing use of ISRU) on Mars before BO (or anyone else) does something similar on the moon, orbit, or asteroids.

There will be tourism to the moon, but that's like taking a cruise ship to some exotic island - it's not exactly "settling" it or transferring industry to it.  This is not BO's goal, and coincidentally I don't think BO will lead there - it'll end up being a side-gig of Starship, simply because it can and it exists.
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Offline deadman1204

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SpaceX’s goal is sorta kinda ultimately terraforming of Mars. A process that would take hundreds or thousands of years.
Your missing a few zeros on your numbers. Planets are WAY WAY bigger than people think they are. If its even possible, think millions.

Offline RDMM2081

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Is there any forum option to mute an entire thread?

Online ZachS09

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Is there any forum option to mute an entire thread?

I wish there was.
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Offline meekGee

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SpaceX’s goal is sorta kinda ultimately terraforming of Mars. A process that would take hundreds or thousands of years.
Your missing a few zeros on your numbers. Planets are WAY WAY bigger than people think they are. If its even possible, think millions.

Took us less than a century of global industrialization to affect Earth climate, and Earth with full atmosphere and biosphere has a lot more inertia.  And that was as a side-effect, not an intentional drive with climate change as its goal.

Planets are indeed large, but biology scales awfully fast. I would say "think hundreds" is about right.
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Offline SpeakertoAnimals

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SpaceX’s goal is sorta kinda ultimately terraforming of Mars. A process that would take hundreds or thousands of years.
Your missing a few zeros on your numbers. Planets are WAY WAY bigger than people think they are. If its even possible, think millions.

Took us less than a century of global industrialization to affect Earth climate, and Earth with full atmosphere and biosphere has a lot more inertia.  And that was as a side-effect, not an intentional drive with climate change as its goal.

Planets are indeed large, but biology scales awfully fast. I would say "think hundreds" is about right.
Step 1: Calculate the mass of the elements of Earth's atmosphere and biosphere. Step 2: Scale down to fit Mars. Step 3: Look at the size of those numbers and say "F!%#, where do we get all that mass, and how do we get it to Mars?"
« Last Edit: 05/23/2022 07:05 pm by SpeakertoAnimals »

Offline Robotbeat

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Chris McKay and Robert Zubrin I’ve written papers on this topic and depending on what kind of terraforming you want, sometime between 50 years and 5000 are about right. If you are actually trying. That implies more than just waiting for biology to do your work for you.
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Offline deadman1204

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Chris McKay and Robert Zubrin I’ve written papers on this topic and depending on what kind of terraforming you want, sometime between 50 years and 5000 are about right. If you are actually trying. That implies more than just waiting for biology to do your work for you.
There isn't the time to get into all the magic handwaving that these estimates have in them.

Offline meekGee

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Chris McKay and Robert Zubrin I’ve written papers on this topic and depending on what kind of terraforming you want, sometime between 50 years and 5000 are about right. If you are actually trying. That implies more than just waiting for biology to do your work for you.

When I mentioned biology I meant "human assisted" biology.  I think that's the only way to scale fast to planetary scale change, and 50-5000 sounds right.
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Offline LouScheffer

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I was wondering why spring seems so green these days, and noticed that we have 33% more CO2 in the air than when I was a kid.  And that's entirely from from combining stuff that's already lying around - no imports or exports.  And with the vegetation (of which there is a lot) countering this effect by sucking up CO2.  Of course this is anti-terraforming (taking an Earth-like planet and making it uninhabitable) but the timelines should be similar.  A few millennia should do.

Offline SpeakertoAnimals

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Chris McKay and Robert Zubrin I’ve written papers on this topic and depending on what kind of terraforming you want, sometime between 50 years and 5000 are about right. If you are actually trying. That implies more than just waiting for biology to do your work for you.

When I mentioned biology I meant "human assisted" biology.  I think that's the only way to scale fast to planetary scale change, and 50-5000 sounds right.
You still have to have the elements for life to work with. Nitrogen is missing, carbon is scant, hydrogen is low, and you have to break loose the oxygen. Not sure where we are on the other vital elements.

Offline meekGee

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Chris McKay and Robert Zubrin I’ve written papers on this topic and depending on what kind of terraforming you want, sometime between 50 years and 5000 are about right. If you are actually trying. That implies more than just waiting for biology to do your work for you.

When I mentioned biology I meant "human assisted" biology.  I think that's the only way to scale fast to planetary scale change, and 50-5000 sounds right.
You still have to have the elements for life to work with. Nitrogen is missing, carbon is scant, hydrogen is low, and you have to break loose the oxygen. Not sure where we are on the other vital elements.
Well you have to break down the CO2 and H2O, there's no argument there.

And this will take a lot of energy, and the only realistic source is solar via photosynthesis.

Low efficiency but self-replicating, so can harvest in principle the entire solar input of the planet. Which is a LOT of energy. Much much more than nuclear power stations.

The problem is bootstrapping it and creating a stable environment.

If you're thinking about hundreds of years, it's not far fetched at all.  Doing it in 50 seems a bit much.
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Offline Robotbeat

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If you don’t care about fully breathable but just increasing the pressure to not require pressure suits, then 50 years is doable with sufficient effort for some parts of the planet.

Almost like I prefaced the 50 years with the phrase “depending on what kind of terraforming you want” or something… ;)

But I’d have to assume people wouldn’t struggle so hard with reading comprehension that we’d have to pull the whole thread off course to clarify this brief and defensible statement.
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Offline JCRM

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I was wondering why spring seems so green these days, and noticed that we have 33% more CO2 in the air than when I was a kid.  And that's entirely from from combining stuff that's already lying around - no imports or exports.  And with the vegetation (of which there is a lot) countering this effect by sucking up CO2.  Of course this is anti-terraforming (taking an Earth-like planet and making it uninhabitable) but the timelines should be similar.  A few millennia should do.

the mild changes seen in climate change are nothing compared to what is needed for terraforming.

However that we still have no method to stabilise the change should give some insight into the reality of our ability to terraform.

Offline Robotbeat

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I was wondering why spring seems so green these days, and noticed that we have 33% more CO2 in the air than when I was a kid.  And that's entirely from from combining stuff that's already lying around - no imports or exports.  And with the vegetation (of which there is a lot) countering this effect by sucking up CO2.  Of course this is anti-terraforming (taking an Earth-like planet and making it uninhabitable) but the timelines should be similar.  A few millennia should do.

the mild changes seen in climate change are nothing compared to what is needed for terraforming.

However that we still have no method to stabilise the change should give some insight into the reality of our ability to terraform.
One method, probably the cheapest but only fixes the temperature and causes other problems:
https://geoengineering.global/stratospheric-aerosol-injection/

Probably the best methods (as they solve both the CO2 concentration issue and the temperature), but also probably the most expensive and time-consuming (therefore not good in an emergency):
https://geoengineering.global/carbon-dioxide-removal/

This method is most applicable to both geoengineering to stabilize the climate of Earth AND to terraforming Mars:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_sunshade
In particular: "By using the solar radiation pressure on the mirrors as solar sails and tilting them in the right direction, the flyer will be capable of altering its speed and direction to keep in position.[6] Such a group of sunshades would need to occupy an area of about 3.8 million square kilometers if placed at the L1 point.[6] The deployment of the flyers is an issue that requires reusable rockets. With a 100t LEO rocket, a single launch per day would allow the release of the required number of sails within 20 years, at a goal of 1% reduction."

Starship is a 100ton reusable launch vehicle with a planned flightrate much higher than once per day. And as solar sails have their own unlimited propulsion, you could as easily fly them to Mars where they could be used to redirect sunlight onto the south pole. (The difference, however, is that you would need them to be flat enough to function as an effective mirror. Doesn't have to be flat enough for optical clarity, of course, but keeping them flat enough is harder than just the sunshade role for Earth geoengineering.)

Zubrin calculates on the order of 200,000 tons of such sails (depending on how thin you can make the sails and the mass performance of any required structure) to largely vaporize the South Pole ice cap, liberating CO2 and water vapor, which are both greenhouse gases. That would only require about 5-6 years of daily Starship launches to achieve. Or on the order of 25 years' worth of Starlink launches (if each Starlink v2.0 weighs 1 ton and the full 40,000 satellite constellation is replaced every 5 years). This wouldn't fully terraform Mars, but the Mars ice caps could potentially release up to 150mbar (probably a lot less, but we don't know to what extent the water ice in the Mars ice caps is in the form of a CO2-H2O clathrate). Only 27mbar additional pressure at the datum is necessary to reach the "Armstrong Limit" at the lowest point on Mars in the Hellas Basin (over 7km below the datum, about a factor of 1.9 greater pressure than the datum... there's also a +/- 14% change in average pressure due to the season, plus ANOTHER +/- 6% of daily pressure variation, so under the best conditions, a factor of 2.3x greater pressure than the annual average pressure at Mars datum "sea level"... so as little as 20mbar additional pressure at the datum might be enough to reach Armstrong Limit at the lowest point on Mars at the best time at the best day of the year). And even just a doubling of the current Mars atmospheric pressure would significantly increase habitability.

We have all kinds of methods of geoengineering the Earth's climate. Yours is a totally ignorant post. Might pass on Twitter, but not here.
« Last Edit: 05/24/2022 04:00 pm by Robotbeat »
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Online DanClemmensen

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I was wondering why spring seems so green these days, and noticed that we have 33% more CO2 in the air than when I was a kid.  And that's entirely from from combining stuff that's already lying around - no imports or exports.  And with the vegetation (of which there is a lot) countering this effect by sucking up CO2.  Of course this is anti-terraforming (taking an Earth-like planet and making it uninhabitable) but the timelines should be similar.  A few millennia should do.

the mild changes seen in climate change are nothing compared to what is needed for terraforming.

However that we still have no method to stabilise the change should give some insight into the reality of our ability to terraform.
We need to reverse it, not stabilize it. We have a direct and immediate way to "stabilize the change" or reverse it. The unintended change is the result of overgrowth of a particular invasive species, so just kill off that species. This specific problem will not occur on Mars in the terraforming timeframe because that species' growth there would correlate with successful terraforming.

No, I do not advocate applying this solution, but it will apply itself via feedback unless we figure out a better way.

Offline meekGee

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I was wondering why spring seems so green these days, and noticed that we have 33% more CO2 in the air than when I was a kid.  And that's entirely from from combining stuff that's already lying around - no imports or exports.  And with the vegetation (of which there is a lot) countering this effect by sucking up CO2.  Of course this is anti-terraforming (taking an Earth-like planet and making it uninhabitable) but the timelines should be similar.  A few millennia should do.

the mild changes seen in climate change are nothing compared to what is needed for terraforming.

However that we still have no method to stabilise the change should give some insight into the reality of our ability to terraform.
First, on Earth climate change is an unintended consequence.  It's not like the entire industrial might of Earth had climate change as a goal.

Also, Earth's atmosphere and oceans have orders of magnitude more inertia.

The point here is that the claim of "planets are huge, it'll take millions of years" is demonstratably false.

As RB pointed out, the #1 priority is to increase pressure with CO2.  It'll solve many habitation structural issues, help w radiation, help w temperature, allow surface water, and enable planet-wide biosphere.

I think this is what the "50 year" estimates allude to.

Then there's oxygen generation, which will allow a full ecosystem.

But, getting the atmosphere to the point that it is "Earth like" will take a lot longer.  What we consider acceptable is a very narrow parameter space that our planet maintains and that we evolved into.

Once step at a time though.
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Offline LouScheffer

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I was wondering why spring seems so green these days, and noticed that we have 33% more CO2 in the air than when I was a kid.  And that's entirely from from combining stuff that's already lying around - no imports or exports.  And with the vegetation (of which there is a lot) countering this effect by sucking up CO2.  Of course this is anti-terraforming (taking an Earth-like planet and making it uninhabitable) but the timelines should be similar.  A few millennia should do.
the mild changes seen in climate change are nothing compared to what is needed for terraforming.
This neglects the magic of compound interest.  33% in 50 years, if continued, is 300x in 1000 years, 90,000x in 2000 years, and 27,000,000x in 3000 years.  So what seems like slow changes to us can lead to huge impacts over historical time scales.

Offline JCRM

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I was wondering why spring seems so green these days, and noticed that we have 33% more CO2 in the air than when I was a kid.  And that's entirely from from combining stuff that's already lying around - no imports or exports.  And with the vegetation (of which there is a lot) countering this effect by sucking up CO2.  Of course this is anti-terraforming (taking an Earth-like planet and making it uninhabitable) but the timelines should be similar.  A few millennia should do.



We have all kinds of methods of geoengineering the Earth's climate. Yours is a totally ignorant post. Might pass on Twitter, but not here.

No, we currently have no ways of doing it. We have some ideas about how we might do it, but more research is needed to determine if they would actually work, and whether they would cause more problems than they would solve.

Offline Robotbeat

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I love the goal post moving.

“We have no method!!!”
*guy shows we have a bunch of methods, many that have already been demonstrated*
“Well we haven’t already deployed the solution at full scale to completely solve the problem! I will never acknowledge the point!”
;)

When one can’t (or refuses to) engage in logical, quantitative, first principles arguments, one demands increasingly high bars to clear in order to even start the discussion.

(Also:!fix your quotes!)
« Last Edit: 05/25/2022 03:01 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline trimeta

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I can't help but wonder if this discussion of the challenges of terraforming Mars is perhaps in the wrong thread (and subforum).

Offline deadman1204

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I can't help but wonder if this discussion of the challenges of terraforming Mars is perhaps in the wrong thread (and subforum).
there isn't even any science in it, just "what looks nice". Wrong forum?

Offline Robotbeat

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I can't help but wonder if this discussion of the challenges of terraforming Mars is perhaps in the wrong thread (and subforum).
there isn't even any science in it, just "what looks nice". Wrong forum?
Baloney. Chris McKay and others have published numerous papers on the topic in scientific journals.
It belongs in the Advanced Concepts section.

The only reason this came up is folks like you ignorantly & unscientifically dismissing it with no logical argument (only slander), even though it is indeed one of SpaceX’s long term goals (not that SpaceX would themselves do it, but it’d be a long term goal of the civilization they hope to help establish on Mars) which is the topic of the thread.

It’s safe to say, IMHO, that Blue’s much less ambitious goals will be accomplished before terraforming of Mars.
« Last Edit: 05/25/2022 06:37 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline deadman1204

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I can't help but wonder if this discussion of the challenges of terraforming Mars is perhaps in the wrong thread (and subforum).
there isn't even any science in it, just "what looks nice". Wrong forum?
Baloney. Chris McKay and others have published numerous papers on the topic in scientific journals.
It belongs in the Advanced Concepts section.

The only reason this came up is folks like you ignorantly & unscientifically dismissing it with no logical argument (only slander), even though it is indeed one of SpaceX’s long term goals (not that SpaceX would themselves do it, but it’d be a long term goal of the civilization they hope to help establish on Mars) which is the topic of the thread.

It’s safe to say, IMHO, that Blue’s much less ambitious goals will be accomplished before terraforming of Mars.
Published doesn't mean correct. It just means whoever reviewed it found it internally consistant without major logic flaws. If your lucky, its possible to get a reviewer who barely even skims the paper before stamping "pass" on it.

Tell me, how much does a mountain weigh? Now imagine how much energy it would take to melt ALL that mass. Where would you get that energy? How do you even handle that much material? This is trivial compared to terraforming, less than a rounding error. Yet this undertaking is literally impossible for us to do with anything resembling present day technology.

Throw a million comets into a planet? Putting aside the utterly ridiculous amount of effort and time it would take to do this, where does all the energy of impact go? Atmospheres don't "magically settle down". Want an ocean? Its gonna take HUGE amounts of time to get enough comets and have an ocean rain out. Want a planet without constant hurricane storms 24/7? Gonna take WAY more time to let the system adjust.

But lets not do magic hand waving at the comets. Where are you gonna get a million comets? Send a ship out there to find one - where do you get the energy to send it INTO the system towards mars? Lets go back to the energy required to melt a mountain. Now wait, you wanna send millions of comets into the inner solar system? Some are gonna miss, but even just 1 could be an extinction level impact on earth. How can you garuntee you don't hit Earth? Each of your magic ships will take 1-2 decades to make it out to the kuiper belt. Probably way longer because its gonna have to slow down (without magic fuel), then it'll spend years and years just matching speed and approaching a target.

Then what? Where is all the fuel to send the comet in? Magic again? The fuel to get there was a rounding error compared to whats gonna be required to send a comet in system. Your magic reactor thats been running for 20+ years now? How many centuries will it take to change the orbit of a single comet enough to send to the inner system? If you do it quickly (again more magic) the forces will disrupt the comet. How will a small ship even change the orbit of a comet? Get out and push? What about threading the gravitational needle of all the giant planets pulling things around? Your ship is probably gonna need to go with the entire time. Now we're easily talking about multiple centuries of fuel (and tech magically lasting that long). Radiation is a thing.


So we're gonna need millions of these magic ships if you want to do this in a few thousand years. This makes even the most ridiculous starship fantasies blush.

Want actual control of the atmospheric makeup? Well now you have to test and discard tons and tons of comets because you don't want too much of one gas. So now we have to seriously ask if the kuiper belt even has enough...

Actual terraforming? You cannot do ANYTHING until all the material is there. With comets raining death every couple years the planet will be untouchable until thats done. You can't "get a head start". You will also have made it impossible for anyone to do ANYTHING with the planet for the magic handwaving "thousands" or years. Will everyone agree to this? No settlements on the planet cause everyone can die each time a comet comes. Underground bunkers don't do much with magnitude 11+ earth quakes (read mega comets wacking the planet).

Will people even want to do this and maintain it? Countries don't even last for 500 years. Thousands? With yearly cost greater than the current global gdp? For a promise untold generations in the future, while at the same time denying all access to the planet for all that time?

So you now have your material (everything above is incredibly simplified and handwavey still).
Oxygen? Just a few magic algae bugs to split co2/h20 that was magically delivered? It took earth like a billion years to oxygenate. You need to saturate ALL the reseviors that can absorb/react oxygen before it can even start building up. Yet mars will go WAY WAY slower because it'll have far less light for your magic algae. Mars will be much colder than earth due to less sunlight to power your algae.  How do you breed enough algae to seed a planet? Lets go back to the energy to move a few mountains again for an easy reference...

Every step is soo full of magic hand waving its just plain silly. On simply the energy front, we're talking millions of times more energy than human kind has harnessed in its entire existence, and thats just the energy not the mass or technology.

Unless you can adequately answer ALL of these points (not just a choice few), then the plan is nothing but a pipe dream.
« Last Edit: 05/25/2022 07:56 pm by deadman1204 »

Offline meekGee

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I can't help but wonder if this discussion of the challenges of terraforming Mars is perhaps in the wrong thread (and subforum).
there isn't even any science in it, just "what looks nice". Wrong forum?
Baloney. Chris McKay and others have published numerous papers on the topic in scientific journals.
It belongs in the Advanced Concepts section.

The only reason this came up is folks like you ignorantly & unscientifically dismissing it with no logical argument (only slander), even though it is indeed one of SpaceX’s long term goals (not that SpaceX would themselves do it, but it’d be a long term goal of the civilization they hope to help establish on Mars) which is the topic of the thread.

It’s safe to say, IMHO, that Blue’s much less ambitious goals will be accomplished before terraforming of Mars.
Published doesn't mean correct. It just means whoever reviewed it found it internally consistant without major logic flaws. If your lucky, its possible to get a reviewer who barely even skims the paper before stamping "pass" on it.

Tell me, how much does a mountain weigh? Now imagine how much energy it would take to melt ALL that mass. Where would you get that energy? How do you even handle that much material? This is trivial compared to terraforming, less than a rounding error. Yet this undertaking is literally impossible for us to do with anything resembling present day technology.

Throw a million comets into a planet? Putting aside the utterly ridiculous amount of effort and time it would take to do this, where does all the energy of impact go? Atmospheres don't "magically settle down". Want an ocean? Its gonna take HUGE amounts of time to get enough comets and have an ocean rain out. Want a planet without constant hurricane storms 24/7? Gonna take WAY more time to let the system adjust.

But lets not do magic hand waving at the comets. Where are you gonna get a million comets? Send a ship out there to find one - where do you get the energy to send it INTO the system towards mars? Lets go back to the energy required to melt a mountain. Now wait, you wanna send millions of comets into the inner solar system? Some are gonna miss, but even just 1 could be an extinction level impact on earth. How can you garuntee you don't hit Earth? Each of your magic ships will take 1-2 decades to make it out to the kuiper belt. Probably way longer because its gonna have to slow down (without magic fuel), then it'll spend years and years just matching speed and approaching a target.

Then what? Where is all the fuel to send the comet in? Magic again? The fuel to get there was a rounding error compared to whats gonna be required to send a comet in system. Your magic reactor thats been running for 20+ years now? How many centuries will it take to change the orbit of a single comet enough to send to the inner system? If you do it quickly (again more magic) the forces will disrupt the comet. How will a small ship even change the orbit of a comet? Get out and push? What about threading the gravitational needle of all the giant planets pulling things around? Your ship is probably gonna need to go with the entire time. Now we're easily talking about multiple centuries of fuel (and tech magically lasting that long). Radiation is a thing.


So we're gonna need millions of these magic ships if you want to do this in a few thousand years. This makes even the most ridiculous starship fantasies blush.

Want actual control of the atmospheric makeup? Well now you have to test and discard tons and tons of comets because you don't want too much of one gas. So now we have to seriously ask if the kuiper belt even has enough...

Actual terraforming? You cannot do ANYTHING until all the material is there. With comets raining death every couple years the planet will be untouchable until thats done. You can't "get a head start". You will also have made it impossible for anyone to do ANYTHING with the planet for the magic handwaving "thousands" or years. Will everyone agree to this? No settlements on the planet cause everyone can die each time a comet comes. Underground bunkers don't do much with magnitude 11+ earth quakes (read mega comets wacking the planet).

Will people even want to do this and maintain it? Countries don't even last for 500 years. Thousands? With yearly cost greater than the current global gdp? For a promise untold generations in the future, while at the same time denying all access to the planet for all that time?

So you now have your material (everything above is incredibly simplified and handwavey still).
Oxygen? Just a few magic algae bugs to split co2/h20 that was magically delivered? It took earth like a billion years to oxygenate. You need to saturate ALL the reseviors that can absorb/react oxygen before it can even start building up. Yet mars will go WAY WAY slower because it'll have far less light for your magic algae. Mars will be much colder than earth due to less sunlight to power your algae.  How do you breed enough algae to seed a planet? Lets go back to the energy to move a few mountains again for an easy reference...

Every step is soo full of magic hand waving its just plain silly. On simply the energy front, we're talking millions of times more energy than human kind has harnessed in its entire existence, and thats just the energy not the mass or technology.

Unless you can adequately answer ALL of these points (not just a choice few), then the plan is nothing but a pipe dream.
The energy required is indeed all-caps HUGE, but so is the total insolation on a planet which is what you have available when talking about biological processes.

It's an underlying assumption that said biology will operate on existing material - CO2, H2O  and rock.

How long it took on Earth is a complete non-sequitur. You can already see how industrialization causes changes many many orders of magnitude faster than natural changes in equilibrium, and that's without really trying.

Talking about "just a few algae" is similar meaningless.  It's an underlying assumption that you can guide a process that's essentially self replicating.

---

The difficult part is how to control such a set of processes with fidelity.  That's why I'm more confident about plans that just increase CO2 base pressure (and therefore temperature) than plans to make a completely habitable atmosphere.
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Offline deadman1204

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I can't help but wonder if this discussion of the challenges of terraforming Mars is perhaps in the wrong thread (and subforum).
there isn't even any science in it, just "what looks nice". Wrong forum?
Baloney. Chris McKay and others have published numerous papers on the topic in scientific journals.
It belongs in the Advanced Concepts section.

The only reason this came up is folks like you ignorantly & unscientifically dismissing it with no logical argument (only slander), even though it is indeed one of SpaceX’s long term goals (not that SpaceX would themselves do it, but it’d be a long term goal of the civilization they hope to help establish on Mars) which is the topic of the thread.

It’s safe to say, IMHO, that Blue’s much less ambitious goals will be accomplished before terraforming of Mars.
Published doesn't mean correct. It just means whoever reviewed it found it internally consistant without major logic flaws. If your lucky, its possible to get a reviewer who barely even skims the paper before stamping "pass" on it.

Tell me, how much does a mountain weigh? Now imagine how much energy it would take to melt ALL that mass. Where would you get that energy? How do you even handle that much material? This is trivial compared to terraforming, less than a rounding error. Yet this undertaking is literally impossible for us to do with anything resembling present day technology.

Throw a million comets into a planet? Putting aside the utterly ridiculous amount of effort and time it would take to do this, where does all the energy of impact go? Atmospheres don't "magically settle down". Want an ocean? Its gonna take HUGE amounts of time to get enough comets and have an ocean rain out. Want a planet without constant hurricane storms 24/7? Gonna take WAY more time to let the system adjust.

But lets not do magic hand waving at the comets. Where are you gonna get a million comets? Send a ship out there to find one - where do you get the energy to send it INTO the system towards mars? Lets go back to the energy required to melt a mountain. Now wait, you wanna send millions of comets into the inner solar system? Some are gonna miss, but even just 1 could be an extinction level impact on earth. How can you garuntee you don't hit Earth? Each of your magic ships will take 1-2 decades to make it out to the kuiper belt. Probably way longer because its gonna have to slow down (without magic fuel), then it'll spend years and years just matching speed and approaching a target.

Then what? Where is all the fuel to send the comet in? Magic again? The fuel to get there was a rounding error compared to whats gonna be required to send a comet in system. Your magic reactor thats been running for 20+ years now? How many centuries will it take to change the orbit of a single comet enough to send to the inner system? If you do it quickly (again more magic) the forces will disrupt the comet. How will a small ship even change the orbit of a comet? Get out and push? What about threading the gravitational needle of all the giant planets pulling things around? Your ship is probably gonna need to go with the entire time. Now we're easily talking about multiple centuries of fuel (and tech magically lasting that long). Radiation is a thing.


So we're gonna need millions of these magic ships if you want to do this in a few thousand years. This makes even the most ridiculous starship fantasies blush.

Want actual control of the atmospheric makeup? Well now you have to test and discard tons and tons of comets because you don't want too much of one gas. So now we have to seriously ask if the kuiper belt even has enough...

Actual terraforming? You cannot do ANYTHING until all the material is there. With comets raining death every couple years the planet will be untouchable until thats done. You can't "get a head start". You will also have made it impossible for anyone to do ANYTHING with the planet for the magic handwaving "thousands" or years. Will everyone agree to this? No settlements on the planet cause everyone can die each time a comet comes. Underground bunkers don't do much with magnitude 11+ earth quakes (read mega comets wacking the planet).

Will people even want to do this and maintain it? Countries don't even last for 500 years. Thousands? With yearly cost greater than the current global gdp? For a promise untold generations in the future, while at the same time denying all access to the planet for all that time?

So you now have your material (everything above is incredibly simplified and handwavey still).
Oxygen? Just a few magic algae bugs to split co2/h20 that was magically delivered? It took earth like a billion years to oxygenate. You need to saturate ALL the reseviors that can absorb/react oxygen before it can even start building up. Yet mars will go WAY WAY slower because it'll have far less light for your magic algae. Mars will be much colder than earth due to less sunlight to power your algae.  How do you breed enough algae to seed a planet? Lets go back to the energy to move a few mountains again for an easy reference...

Every step is soo full of magic hand waving its just plain silly. On simply the energy front, we're talking millions of times more energy than human kind has harnessed in its entire existence, and thats just the energy not the mass or technology.

Unless you can adequately answer ALL of these points (not just a choice few), then the plan is nothing but a pipe dream.
The energy required is indeed all-caps HUGE, but so is the total insolation on a planet which is what you have available when talking about biological processes.

It's an underlying assumption that said biology will operate on existing material - CO2, H2O  and rock.

How long it took on Earth is a complete non-sequitur. You can already see how industrialization causes changes many many orders of magnitude faster than natural changes in equilibrium, and that's without really trying.

Talking about "just a few algae" is similar meaningless.  It's an underlying assumption that you can guide a process that's essentially self replicating.

---

The difficult part is how to control such a set of processes with fidelity.  That's why I'm more confident about plans that just increase CO2 base pressure (and therefore temperature) than plans to make a completely habitable atmosphere.

Please answer any of my questions. Just the simple mountain example. Explain to me how we can generate the energy and manage the materials to melt a few mountains. This bar is trivially low compared to ANY form a terraforming.

Where do you get the materials for "just a few bar of CO2"? Stripmine the top meter of regolith from the entire planet and melt it? Please explain of it without just handwaving.
« Last Edit: 05/25/2022 08:09 pm by deadman1204 »

Offline meekGee

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I can't help but wonder if this discussion of the challenges of terraforming Mars is perhaps in the wrong thread (and subforum).
there isn't even any science in it, just "what looks nice". Wrong forum?
Baloney. Chris McKay and others have published numerous papers on the topic in scientific journals.
It belongs in the Advanced Concepts section.

The only reason this came up is folks like you ignorantly & unscientifically dismissing it with no logical argument (only slander), even though it is indeed one of SpaceX’s long term goals (not that SpaceX would themselves do it, but it’d be a long term goal of the civilization they hope to help establish on Mars) which is the topic of the thread.

It’s safe to say, IMHO, that Blue’s much less ambitious goals will be accomplished before terraforming of Mars.
Published doesn't mean correct. It just means whoever reviewed it found it internally consistant without major logic flaws. If your lucky, its possible to get a reviewer who barely even skims the paper before stamping "pass" on it.

Tell me, how much does a mountain weigh? Now imagine how much energy it would take to melt ALL that mass. Where would you get that energy? How do you even handle that much material? This is trivial compared to terraforming, less than a rounding error. Yet this undertaking is literally impossible for us to do with anything resembling present day technology.

Throw a million comets into a planet? Putting aside the utterly ridiculous amount of effort and time it would take to do this, where does all the energy of impact go? Atmospheres don't "magically settle down". Want an ocean? Its gonna take HUGE amounts of time to get enough comets and have an ocean rain out. Want a planet without constant hurricane storms 24/7? Gonna take WAY more time to let the system adjust.

But lets not do magic hand waving at the comets. Where are you gonna get a million comets? Send a ship out there to find one - where do you get the energy to send it INTO the system towards mars? Lets go back to the energy required to melt a mountain. Now wait, you wanna send millions of comets into the inner solar system? Some are gonna miss, but even just 1 could be an extinction level impact on earth. How can you garuntee you don't hit Earth? Each of your magic ships will take 1-2 decades to make it out to the kuiper belt. Probably way longer because its gonna have to slow down (without magic fuel), then it'll spend years and years just matching speed and approaching a target.

Then what? Where is all the fuel to send the comet in? Magic again? The fuel to get there was a rounding error compared to whats gonna be required to send a comet in system. Your magic reactor thats been running for 20+ years now? How many centuries will it take to change the orbit of a single comet enough to send to the inner system? If you do it quickly (again more magic) the forces will disrupt the comet. How will a small ship even change the orbit of a comet? Get out and push? What about threading the gravitational needle of all the giant planets pulling things around? Your ship is probably gonna need to go with the entire time. Now we're easily talking about multiple centuries of fuel (and tech magically lasting that long). Radiation is a thing.


So we're gonna need millions of these magic ships if you want to do this in a few thousand years. This makes even the most ridiculous starship fantasies blush.

Want actual control of the atmospheric makeup? Well now you have to test and discard tons and tons of comets because you don't want too much of one gas. So now we have to seriously ask if the kuiper belt even has enough...

Actual terraforming? You cannot do ANYTHING until all the material is there. With comets raining death every couple years the planet will be untouchable until thats done. You can't "get a head start". You will also have made it impossible for anyone to do ANYTHING with the planet for the magic handwaving "thousands" or years. Will everyone agree to this? No settlements on the planet cause everyone can die each time a comet comes. Underground bunkers don't do much with magnitude 11+ earth quakes (read mega comets wacking the planet).

Will people even want to do this and maintain it? Countries don't even last for 500 years. Thousands? With yearly cost greater than the current global gdp? For a promise untold generations in the future, while at the same time denying all access to the planet for all that time?

So you now have your material (everything above is incredibly simplified and handwavey still).
Oxygen? Just a few magic algae bugs to split co2/h20 that was magically delivered? It took earth like a billion years to oxygenate. You need to saturate ALL the reseviors that can absorb/react oxygen before it can even start building up. Yet mars will go WAY WAY slower because it'll have far less light for your magic algae. Mars will be much colder than earth due to less sunlight to power your algae.  How do you breed enough algae to seed a planet? Lets go back to the energy to move a few mountains again for an easy reference...

Every step is soo full of magic hand waving its just plain silly. On simply the energy front, we're talking millions of times more energy than human kind has harnessed in its entire existence, and thats just the energy not the mass or technology.

Unless you can adequately answer ALL of these points (not just a choice few), then the plan is nothing but a pipe dream.
The energy required is indeed all-caps HUGE, but so is the total insolation on a planet which is what you have available when talking about biological processes.

It's an underlying assumption that said biology will operate on existing material - CO2, H2O  and rock.

How long it took on Earth is a complete non-sequitur. You can already see how industrialization causes changes many many orders of magnitude faster than natural changes in equilibrium, and that's without really trying.

Talking about "just a few algae" is similar meaningless.  It's an underlying assumption that you can guide a process that's essentially self replicating.

---

The difficult part is how to control such a set of processes with fidelity.  That's why I'm more confident about plans that just increase CO2 base pressure (and therefore temperature) than plans to make a completely habitable atmosphere.

Please answer any of my questions. Just the simple mountain example. Explain to me how we can generate the energy and manage the materials to melt a few mountains. This bar is trivially low compared to ANY form a terraforming.
You keep saying "generate".  I was talking about insolation driving planet-wide biological processes.

Total Earth insolation is 170,000 TWatt.
Mars should be about 10% of that.

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Offline Robotbeat

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This is off-topic. Zubrin and McKay looks quantitatively at precisely these kinds of questions in their papers, which is is why the slander of the idea (of SpaceX’s goal of terraforming) being unscientific is false.

Talk in the Advanced Concepts section. I can look for the latest terraforming thread in there.

I can answer some of the questions there.
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Offline meekGee

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Heh this thread (like a bunch of others by the same progenitor) are started specifically to generate adversarial content...

So a reasoned discussion about the specifics of each company's goal is clearly off-topic.  Instead we should discuss them only in the context of each other...

Well, I rebel!  Sue me. :)
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Offline JCRM

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How long it took on Earth is a complete non-sequitur. You can already see how industrialization causes changes many many orders of magnitude faster than natural changes in equilibrium, and that's without really trying.



Again, human made climate change isn't terraforming, even though it may lead to the end of civilization.

That merely shows how fragile civilisation and highly adapted lifeforms are. The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs and allowed mammals their chance to shine wasn't terraforming.

I'm just parroting a European astrobiologist, I can't even get my lawn to grow properly.

(while interesting, discussions about SpaceX's terraforming dreams are off-topic here)

Could I request that all SpaceX vs xxx discussions be moved to the SpaceX sub-forum, because they can spout as many alternative facts as they like there without disturbing those who are interested in what other companies are actually doing (or not)
« Last Edit: 05/26/2022 08:28 am by JCRM »

Offline deadman1204

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This is off-topic. Zubrin and McKay looks quantitatively at precisely these kinds of questions in their papers, which is is why the slander of the idea (of SpaceX’s goal of terraforming) being unscientific is false.

Talk in the Advanced Concepts section. I can look for the latest terraforming thread in there.

I can answer some of the questions there.
Wow, if you think disagreeing with someone is slander, you really need to consider your biases.

Offline gaballard

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SpaceX’s goal is sorta kinda ultimately terraforming of Mars. A process that would take hundreds or thousands of years.
Your missing a few zeros on your numbers. Planets are WAY WAY bigger than people think they are. If its even possible, think millions.

You could say something similar about deforesting the Amazon, but here we are.

We’ve terraformed Earth so much we’ve altered the entire climate in just a century and a half or so.

Planets are big, but humans have a way of having an outsized impact on their environments.
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Offline meekGee

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How long it took on Earth is a complete non-sequitur. You can already see how industrialization causes changes many many orders of magnitude faster than natural changes in equilibrium, and that's without really trying.



Again, human made climate change isn't terraforming, even though it may lead to the end of civilization.

That merely shows how fragile civilisation and highly adapted lifeforms are. The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs and allowed mammals their chance to shine wasn't terraforming.

I'm just parroting a European astrobiologist, I can't even get my lawn to grow properly.

(while interesting, discussions about SpaceX's terraforming dreams are off-topic here)

Could I request that all SpaceX vs xxx discussions be moved to the SpaceX sub-forum, because they can spout as many alternative facts as they like there without disturbing those who are interested in what other companies are actually doing (or not)

Again, the point is that the "millions of years" opinion is bunk.  Of course Terraforming Mars is not like Screwing Up Earth.

But the idea that planets are huge and impervious to our efforts is bunk.  We screwed up Earth even without trying. Imagine if the entire industrial might of Earth was used to intentionally ruin the atmosphere.  We'd be done by Thursday.

We have enough energy and enough rough resources, to change the atmosphere of Mars in a reasonably short time.  Not sure how much control we'll have over the end result, but it'll be less hostile than it is now.
« Last Edit: 05/26/2022 04:07 pm by meekGee »
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Offline VoodooForce

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Mars doesn't have an atmosphere yet and somehow a few vegan colonists in some tunnels are going to "terraform" it. Ok.

Offline deadman1204

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Mars doesn't have an atmosphere yet and somehow a few vegan colonists in some tunnels are going to "terraform" it. Ok.
Name checks out heh.  Cause the terraforming plans are all voodoo, pixie dust, and unicorn farts

Offline JCRM

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But the idea that planets are huge and impervious to our efforts is bunk.  We screwed up Earth even without trying. Imagine if the entire industrial might of Earth was used to intentionally ruin the atmosphere.  We'd be done by Thursday.

while we might have screwed up Earth, that's only a tiny change. The change made is less than any of  the variation caused by seasons, the variation due to altitude, the variation due to latitude.

Trying to equate Human related climate change to terraforming is nonsense.

Offline deadman1204

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Total Earth insolation is 170,000 TWatt.
Mars should be about 10% of that.
Please explain how sunlight will do this on its own. Grow trillions of gallons of vats of algae and release the gasses? Leaving the whole mega structures thing aside, whats to stop that gas from freezing out like that night? Don't forget that like half the polar ice cap melts each spring and then goes and freezes out back on the other pole.
Even just the algae, whats to stop the entire thing from dying every few years? Regional dust storm means you lose most your sunlight, and those happen far more often than the decadal global dust storms (Which will also starve your farms to death). You can't power them with solar power, cause there won't be any sun...

Regardless of your method to put gas in the air, how do you solve the chicken and the egg problem? Until there is enough pressure to retain enough heat, any CO2 you put out is gonna freeze out in whichever hemisphere has winter at that time.

Offline spacenut

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Terra forming Mars if it is ever done, is going to take years, probably centruies.  People will have to live underground an/or in domed cities.  This is not impossible.  It just has to have redundancy, like growing twice as much food as expected to need in case there is a problem, or building twice the industrial capabilities like power sources, metals manufacturing, etc as needed for redundancy. 

Offline Robotbeat

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Total Earth insolation is 170,000 TWatt.
Mars should be about 10% of that.
Please explain how sunlight will do this on its own. Grow trillions of gallons of vats of algae and release the gasses? Leaving the whole mega structures thing aside, whats to stop that gas from freezing out like that night? Don't forget that like half the polar ice cap melts each spring and then goes and freezes out back on the other pole.
Even just the algae, whats to stop the entire thing from dying every few years? Regional dust storm means you lose most your sunlight, and those happen far more often than the decadal global dust storms (Which will also starve your farms to death). You can't power them with solar power, cause there won't be any sun...

Regardless of your method to put gas in the air, how do you solve the chicken and the egg problem? Until there is enough pressure to retain enough heat, any CO2 you put out is gonna freeze out in whichever hemisphere has winter at that time.
Talk about it in the terraforming thread, bro: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31113.0
And another thread: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=49313.0

And please don’t just invent strawmen to attack.  The solutions to these problems have been addressed in several papers on the topic. Discuss in the above links.

Your point about dust storms is kinda silly, and I’ll respond here because it pertains less to terraforming and more to settling Mars in general. It’s not like we don’t have extended cloudy periods on Earth, too. On average, Earth is shrouded by water clouds WAY more often than Mars is shrouded by dust. Being overcast (sunlight down to 1%) for weeks is super common on Earth but only occurs rarely on Mars. Turns out your crops don’t die because of a cloudy week.

They CAN and DO die due to hail, straight line winds, tornadoes, drought, frost (probably the closest analogue, but solvable with insulation), and too much rain. But these will be more controllable inside a Mars greenhouse (which can be insulated) than on Earth.
« Last Edit: 05/27/2022 02:31 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline meekGee

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Total Earth insolation is 170,000 TWatt.
Mars should be about 10% of that.
Please explain how sunlight will do this on its own. Grow trillions of gallons of vats of algae and release the gasses? Leaving the whole mega structures thing aside, whats to stop that gas from freezing out like that night? Don't forget that like half the polar ice cap melts each spring and then goes and freezes out back on the other pole.
Even just the algae, whats to stop the entire thing from dying every few years? Regional dust storm means you lose most your sunlight, and those happen far more often than the decadal global dust storms (Which will also starve your farms to death). You can't power them with solar power, cause there won't be any sun...

Regardless of your method to put gas in the air, how do you solve the chicken and the egg problem? Until there is enough pressure to retain enough heat, any CO2 you put out is gonna freeze out in whichever hemisphere has winter at that time.
Talk about it in the terraforming thread, bro.

Your point about dust storms is kinda silly, and I’ll respond here because it pertains less to terraforming and more to settling Mars in general. It’s not like we don’t have extended cloudy periods on Earth, too. On average, Earth is shrouded by water clouds WAY more often than Mars is shrouded by dust. Being overcast (sunlight down to 1%) for weeks is super common on Earth but only occurs rarely on Mars.
Yeah, off topic, and it had also devolved as always into a circular shifting goal posts argument.

The original thread premise was to generate argument, so little wonder that it did.

Shrug.
« Last Edit: 05/27/2022 02:31 pm by meekGee »
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Offline Robotbeat

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This is off-topic. Zubrin and McKay looks quantitatively at precisely these kinds of questions in their papers, which is is why the slander of the idea (of SpaceX’s goal of terraforming) being unscientific is false.

Talk in the Advanced Concepts section. I can look for the latest terraforming thread in there.

I can answer some of the questions there.
Wow, if you think disagreeing with someone is slander, you really need to consider your biases.
This you?
Chris McKay and Robert Zubrin I’ve written papers on this topic and depending on what kind of terraforming you want, sometime between 50 years and 5000 are about right. If you are actually trying. That implies more than just waiting for biology to do your work for you.
There isn't the time to get into all the magic handwaving that these estimates have in them.
Mars doesn't have an atmosphere yet and somehow a few vegan colonists in some tunnels are going to "terraform" it. Ok.
Name checks out heh.  Cause the terraforming plans are all voodoo, pixie dust, and unicorn farts
« Last Edit: 05/27/2022 02:46 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline randomly

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To terraform Mars you have to start by appeasing the local gods by tossing terraforming skeptics into Olympus Mons. It might help that they're probably mostly virgins too...

Offline TrevorMonty

For the Elon fans that think colonizing Mars is good idea because earth is dying should watch latest "Love Death & Robots" series Exit Stragetic episode on Netflix.

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Offline chopsticks

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For the Elon fans that think colonizing Mars is good idea because earth is dying should watch latest "Love Death & Robots" series Exit Stragetic episode on Netflix.

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I understand that the idea is not to colonize Mars "because earth is dying" but to give people another option. I don't think that Mars is necessarily the end goal anyways, he just mentioned eventually going interstellar as well in the EA video.

Offline Coastal Ron

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For the Elon fans that think colonizing Mars is good idea because earth is dying should watch latest "Love Death & Robots" series Exit Stragetic episode on Netflix.

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I understand that the idea is not to colonize Mars "because earth is dying" but to give people another option.

No, that is not right either.

Elon Musk wants to colonize Mars so that humanity is multi-planetary. In doing so if something happens to Earth, humanity could still survive.

Quote
I don't think that Mars is necessarily the end goal anyways, he just mentioned eventually going interstellar as well in the EA video.

From the beginning Elon Musk has said that he wants to help humanity become multi-planetary, STARTING with colonizing Mars. And that is because Mars appears to be the location in our solar system that would be the least difficult to colonize.

I think it is important to point out, at least for this thread, that colonization does not imply complete independence from Earth. Independence from Earth is a goal that Elon Musk has, but no one knows how that can be achieved, so the near-term goal is just colonization.

As to what Blue Origin is planning, their current tagline is "We're committed to building a road to space so our children can build the future", which is kind of nebulous since one could say we already have a "road to space", but it's not a cheap road to use.

Bottom line, both companies have goals that don't have defined completion points, which means there is no way to gauge who is achieving their goals first - or at all.  ;)
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline chopsticks

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For the Elon fans that think colonizing Mars is good idea because earth is dying should watch latest "Love Death & Robots" series Exit Stragetic episode on Netflix.

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I understand that the idea is not to colonize Mars "because earth is dying" but to give people another option.

No, that is not right either.

Elon Musk wants to colonize Mars so that humanity is multi-planetary. In doing so if something happens to Earth, humanity could still survive.

Uh, that's pretty much what I said, right? Maybe I should have said *more options instead. Anyways, what you said is basically what I was trying to say as well. I'm just not as articulate

With Blue, it certainly seems more nebulous than what SpaceX or Elon Musk puts out there. Perhaps it could partly be due to the culture of secrecy that Blue Origin seems to employ.

One thing that caught my attention in the last Tim Dodd walk around at Starbase is that Elon Musk stated the end goal (becoming multiplanetary), BUT put milestones down in order to get there. The big one (at least to Mr. Musk) is fully and rapidly reusable rockets, an absolute must to him. Have we seen similar goals put forth by Blue Origin or Jeff Bezos in the way of their goal of "a road to space"?

Offline LouScheffer

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Asking people to just go read other papers isn't really conversation, its trying to shut things down.
But asking people to read other papers is the heart of scientific conversation, and I think should be respected here.  You have a hypothesis, that Mars cannot be terraformed in any reasonable amount of time, and have presented your arguments.  Other people have thought about this problem in detail, come to a different conclusion, and written their arguments down, in detail.  At this point you are welcome to refute their arguments (such as "In stage 4, they assume X, but this cannot be because....").   This is how science progresses - you are welcome to come to a different conclusion, but you need to read, and reference, and reply to existing arguments before your arguments can be taken seriously.

Of course that is science, and this is a mere forum.  But you want us here to read your arguments and reply to them.  But in turn, you should be willing to read the arguments of others, and reply to them.   Asking others to do the work, read the papers, and summarize them here, seems unfair.   You should be willing to read the papers that deal with the exact topic you are talking about.

Offline edzieba

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Uh, that's pretty much what I said, right?
No, it's the difference between 'lets create an off-site backup' and 'my house just burnt down, how do I backup the data I just lost?'. One is preventative maintenance, the other is (terminally late) crisis response.

Offline su27k

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For the Elon fans that think colonizing Mars is good idea because earth is dying should watch latest "Love Death & Robots" series Exit Stragetic episode on Netflix.

Earth is not dying, even the worst case scenario in IPCC report has precedence in Earth's long history, the ecosystem can adapt.

Human civilization will be fine too, if we're allowed to adapt, to build at very large scale and to use every technology at our disposal. There're plenty of energy and material on Earth for everyone, if we're freed from the legal and NIMBY constraints so that they can be utilized to the fullest. And that doesn't even include the resource and energy from space, which is basically unlimited and can be tapped as a side benefit of the technology developed to colonize Mars.

So this stupid episode should have no place in any of the discussion on this forum.

Offline hkultala

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Will SpaceX make it to Mars before Blue manages to create a CisLunar economy?

The goal of SpaceX is not to "make it to mars". It is to create a self-sustaining Mars colony.

Which I think they will fail at trying to do. I just don't see why anybody would really want to live at Mars, tight caves with very little living space, bad food, and internet connection with minutes of lag.

Many people will initially want to go to mars, but most of those people will want to come back on the next synod, when life gets boring and miserable.

So I think spaceX will fail in it's grand goal, not because of technical reasons, but because of social/psychological reasons.
« Last Edit: 05/28/2022 03:43 pm by hkultala »

Offline Zed_Noir

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Will SpaceX make it to Mars before Blue manages to create a CisLunar economy?

The goal of SpaceX is not to "make it to mars". It is to create a self-sustaining Mars colony.

Which I think they will fail at trying to do. I just don't see why anybody would really want to live at Mars, tight caves with very little living space, bad food, and internet connection with minutes of lag.
<snip>
Sounds like the life of folks wearing Dolphins badges. Just with better food and no internet connection. :P

Offline grondilu

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Many people will initially want to go to mars, but most of those people will want to come back on the next synod, when life gets boring and miserable.

To be fair, this would not necessarily stop the whole project.  A rotating crew might be sustained until comfort levels become adequate for permanent residency.

I, for one, think it is technically doable.  It's just that it would require such a tremendous effort that it's essentially a political issue, as many people will not agree to contribute, so they would have to be forced to, at least financially.
« Last Edit: 05/30/2022 11:59 am by grondilu »

Offline spacenut

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I believe it will take years of crew rotations to get a viable Mars colony going.  Fuel, food, power, and eventually mining and manufacturing will have to get started.  Fuel first for return trips to earth.  Food next because if people stay at least one synod, fresh food would be comforting while building the colony.  Lots of power will be needed for fuel and food processing as well as eventual mining and manufacturing.  Fertilizers will have to be made using limited nitrogen.  Mining will have to eventually get started to manufacture metals for construction of more habitats, as well as water mining. 

However, getting to and returning from Mars will have to be done in the least expensive way possible.  Musk thinks it will be Starship/Superheavy that can achieve this. 

Offline gaballard

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This is why I don’t go here anymore. You guys are so totally clueless as to anything outside this infinitely narrow subject. With exceptions of course! But it’s not a place that’s compassionate, aware, or empathetic.
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Offline meekGee

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This is all gonna be DOA if no one wants to live in a Musk-run colony. He’s hell bent on destroying his brand at the moment.

...If you want a Tesla, you have to wait about 2 years.  That is a huge demand.  ...

Back in the Warsaw Pact days, my cousin back in Hungary had to wait 5 years between buying a Lada and taking delivery. Does that make Ladas better than Teslas?


Communism produced what the bureaucrats thought people needed, not reality.  There were shortages of everything under communism.  Too much government control.  Tesla has high demand.  There are plenty of other cars out there to buy in a capitalist society.  Plenty of choices.  A lot of people want Teslas because of their range and quaility above other electric cars. 

Seems to me that the wait is a result of Tesla's inability to scale up their manufacturing and sales processes to the level of established manufacturers. For example, Ford's truck sales alone were as much as Tesla's worldwide sales for 2021. For total sales,  Ford alone sold some 60% more vehicles in Q4 2021 than Tesla. They started Q1 2022 with as many vehicles on dealers' lots as Tesla sold in the previous quarter, allowing customers to walk in, test drive and drive home with a vehicle instead of waiting 2 years. At the same time, Ford's December 2021 retail EV sales are up almost 140% over the previous year putting them in the #2 EV spot after Tesla. Then there's all the other vehicle manufacturers, domestic and international.

The 2-year wait for a Tesla which costs more than the US median income is as unsustainable as the 10-year wait for the tens-of-billions of dollars SLS. The vast bulk of customers will go to the companies that can actually deliver a product today, rather than after their newborn learns to walk and talk. It's ironic that Old Cars is getting set to do to Tesla what SpaceX did to Old Space with the F9. I think that it may be for a similar reason - Musk has gotten used to dealing with a captive customer base in a subsidized market with little or no competition and now the competition is arriving as Old Car finishes its design and tooling up process for EV. They have the manufacturing and sales capacity in place and a reputation as providers of family cars for over a century in some cases. All they needed was the EV. Tesla has the EV design and engineering. They need everything else and are still struggling.

Tesla is in danger of becoming Blackberry as the world moves toward iPhones and Androids and that is what is going to damage Musk's brand, regardless of his politics. Instead of Tony Stark he'd be Giovanni Agnelli with a rocket hobby. While Starlink will help with the perception problem, it too is very susceptible to targeting by consumer-savvy competitors (such as a certain guy who is pretty slow as a rocketeer but has shown that he can quickly fulfill customers' needs for physical objects and data).

I think that it's a real possibility that neither company will achieve its lofty goals That SpaceX will turn into an Old Space company selling launch services except with re-usable rockets, Blue Origin will add the space-based internet to the AWS portfolio and Mars settlements and O'Neill cylinders will dry up and blow away as the world becomes pre-occupied with other more immediate issues. Not what I hope for, but a real possibility.

That last paragraph...  It's not what you hope for, but you're somehow able to ignore every development of the last few years to come up with it.  (And of course Tywin likes it...) - people see what they want to see.

SpaceX is doing everything exactly contrary to turning into an old-Space service provider, throwing everything behind Starship and Starlink, no holds barred.
BO is falling further behind with Kuiper and by the time they get a constellation up there it'll be battling Starlink v3 (or a very mature Starlink v2), which will be using Starship to launch - so will be hugely disadvantaged. Whether AWS will be willing to take one for the team and avoid using Starlink at that point is TBD.

But you're also looking at Tesla and seeing failure, so what can I say...
« Last Edit: 06/07/2022 04:56 pm by meekGee »
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Online laszlo

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I think that it's a real possibility that neither company will achieve its lofty goals That SpaceX will turn into an Old Space company selling launch services except with re-usable rockets, Blue Origin will add the space-based internet to the AWS portfolio and Mars settlements and O'Neill cylinders will dry up and blow away as the world becomes pre-occupied with other more immediate issues. Not what I hope for, but a real possibility.

That last paragraph...  It's not what you hope for, but you're somehow able to ignore every development of the last few years to come up with it.  (And of course Tywin likes it...) - people see what they want to see.

SpaceX is doing everything exactly contrary to turning into an old-Space service provider, throwing everything behind Starship and Starlink, no holds barred.
BO is falling further behind with Kuiper and by the time they get a constellation up there it'll be battling Starlink v3 (or a very mature Starlink v2), which will be using Starship to launch - so will be hugely disadvantaged. Whether AWS will be willing to take one for the team and avoid using Starlink at that point is TBD.

But you're also looking at Tesla and seeing failure, so what can I say...

First, a consumer product company has one job - to sell as much of its product to as many customers as quickly as possible. A 2-year wait for delivery is a failure in that case, whether it's EVs, ice cream or pet food. A customer who needs something right now will go elsewhere if there is an alternative, even if it's not as good as the delayed product. That's the failure I'm seeing with Tesla. If they don't get it fixed before the competition finishes bringing their resources online, Tesla will become a historical footnote.

Second, my last paragraph is not a prediction of what will actually happen, it's a discussion of a possibility. You're right, people see what they want to see and the many of the people here don't want to see that there is a chance, however small, of things failing. I'm only bringing up that possibility as part of the answer to the original question in this thread.

So yes, having either SpaceX or Blue Origin or both completely fail to achieve their goals is unlikely. But it is one of the possibilities.

Offline high road

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Will SpaceX make it to Mars before Blue manages to create a CisLunar economy?
Tywin, it's option#3: SpaceX is already doing more in CisLunar space than anyone else, including BO.

I don't know if you can call it "establishing a CisLunar economy", but:

- Manned flights to LEO (regular basis, for profit)

- Manned flights around the moon (sold, planned, for profit)

- Mega constellation (operating)

- Lunar surface mission (planned, government contract)

- Reusable manned vehicle capable of supporting such activities (being built)

Hi Meekgee, but SpaceX goal is not CisLunar is Mars...

And Blue has contracted to LEO, a few now, Eutelsat, etc...

They have a government contract for an LEO crew Station.

They are in a fight for Lander's contract for the Moon, now.

They have a contract for sending the Kuiper constellation to LEO.

And reusable vehicles are almost ready and in the future may be 100% reusable.

The goals of Blue are close, I think so.

So Blue gets to have the goals achieved sign if it does what others (will) have done bdfore, but SpaceX needs to land on Mars?

Blue has a contract to design a space station, not for building it yet. Remember what happened when they got funded to design a lunar lander?

And their rocket will be 'almost ready', let alone reusable, for quite some time yet.

Offline meekGee

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[deleted]

Goals.

There are two types of goals.
- Eventual goals, such as "Make humanity multi planetary" and "Move Earth's industry to space".
- Mid-term goals, such as "Make Mars self-sustainable" and "establish a self-sufficient colony in space"
- Near-term goals, such as "Establish a colony on Mars" and "???"

And this is BO's biggest problem.  The missing link.

SpaceX can aim to have a settlement on Mars that has a growing population, and a declining dependence on Earth import - and that's a viable path from here to there. It starts by landing crews that are entirely dependent on Earth supplies, and then gradually weaning them off by creating ISRU power, ISRU Water, ISRU Methane/Oxygen, some food, some raw materials, etc.  It's not simple but it's a path. There's plenty of motivation (because of the transfer time) and plenty of accessible resources.

BO has a real problem with any of that. First of all, they don't even have a vehicle in the right class. NG certainly ain't it.
Second, even when one day they have a NA or equivalent, what next? The "Weaning" path is a lot more difficult, and the motivation for it is lower.  It's hard to justify ISRU when starships (or an eventual BO equivalent) are hopping in and out on a regular basis for a pretty reasonable cost.

And if you can't get past the first stage, your long term plans just can't get started.

[zubenelgenubi: Off-topic referenced posts deleted.]
« Last Edit: 06/12/2022 01:23 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Moderator:
Electric vehicle manufacture and sales metrics are interesting and on-topic for an automotive enthusiasts' forum. 🛺 🚗

Not here.

22 posts trimmed, including the one claiming that educating oneself about the (on-topic) topic being debated by reading 📚 pertinent publications stifles informed, productive debate.  I've read the same here from this member before. ::) :o 😱
« Last Edit: 06/09/2022 08:46 pm by zubenelgenubi »
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.) My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!" Yes, there are God-given rights. Do you wish to gainsay the Declaration of Independence?

Offline Vahe231991

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[deleted]

Goals.

There are two types of goals.
- Eventual goals, such as "Make humanity multi planetary" and "Move Earth's industry to space".
- Mid-term goals, such as "Make Mars self-sustainable" and "establish a self-sufficient colony in space"
- Near-term goals, such as "Establish a colony on Mars" and "???"

And this is BO's biggest problem.  The missing link.

SpaceX can aim to have a settlement on Mars that has a growing population, and a declining dependence on Earth import - and that's a viable path from here to there. It starts by landing crews that are entirely dependent on Earth supplies, and then gradually weaning them off by creating ISRU power, ISRU Water, ISRU Methane/Oxygen, some food, some raw materials, etc.  It's not simple but it's a path. There's plenty of motivation (because of the transfer time) and plenty of accessible resources.
The UN could determine that SpaceX is falling afoul of UN laws forbidding sovereignty by countries over any extraterrestrial bodies by contemplating human colonies on Mars, in which case the US would have jurisdiction over Mars colonies set up by SpaceX.

Offline Robotbeat

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Doubt it. In fact, by definition it’s the opposite. US control would imply colonization and signatory control over celestial bodies, which is forbidden. Some theoretical independent Mars is, by definition, not colonization and not control by a signatory country.
« Last Edit: 07/06/2022 03:09 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Vahe231991

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Doubt it. In fact, by definition it’s the opposite. US control would imply colonization and signatory control over celestial bodies, which is forbidden. Some theoretical independent Mars is, by definition, not colonization and not control by a signatory country.
US control over Mars if colonies on the planet were built could theoretically become the first successful instance of any country achieving world domination.

Offline trimeta

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The whole point of the Artemis Accords (written and signed by the United States) is that landing on an extraterrestrial body and setting up a base doesn't give you control over that whole body. Just the immediate environs around your base, and any resources you've mined from the surface (or atmosphere, on Mars).

And the "claiming land" part is written to carefully sidestep the UN outer space treaty, basically saying "you don't 'own' the land, you just set up a safety cordon." It's clearly a legal fig leaf, at some point the UN treaty will be replaced, but the Artemis Accords are an attempt to guide what comes next, so they're a statement of intent from the US saying "even if we build a Mars base, we're not claiming the whole planet."

Offline Vahe231991

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There are two types of goals.
- Eventual goals, such as "Make humanity multi planetary" and "Move Earth's industry to space".
- Mid-term goals, such as "Make Mars self-sustainable" and "establish a self-sufficient colony in space"
- Near-term goals, such as "Establish a colony on Mars" and "???"
The only planetary or lunar bodies besides the Moon and Mars on which that SpaceX would contemplate setting colonies would be Europa and Titan. The Artemis Project set up in the 1990s floated the idea of setting up a human colony on the Europa moon, but this remained conceptual only.

Link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonization_of_the_Solar_System

 

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