Author Topic: Jeff Bezos believes in space as an industrial park, but not as a backup  (Read 41681 times)

Online Coastal Ron

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True.

Now that I'm not sure holds true. Depends on how the economics are set up. It's quite possible (likely, IMO) much if not all will be paid for by a "Mars Colony Foundation" nonprofit's investments on Earth. There needn't be actual Mars-side exports.
I'd love to see if this has ever been done for any other settlement efforts and if so how they worked out.

Pretty much every non-profit works this way.  You and I provide money to a non-profit not for the money we get back, but the result we want to support.

And though I never plan to go to Mars, I would be willing to donate to a non-profit whose goal is to make humanity multi-planetary by setting up a human colony on Mars.  And I suspect I'll get the opportunity in the not too distant future.

As to industrializing space, that's a little harder to get emotional over, and I'm not sure who the target market would be.  But luckily Jeff Bezos is the 3rd wealthiest person in the world, so he can afford to do a lot of experimentation, and that will provide the assurance to many others that it's OK to experiment also since Bezos is dedicated to seeing this happen.

What Bezos is proposing complements what Musk is doing, and to some extent probably vice versa, and I fully support both.
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 JH

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Not that idle speculation isn't fun, but work has been done to provide real numbers for the micrometeor threat:

http://data.spaceappschallenge.org/ICES.pdf

This gives an impact probability of 0.7% per year per square meter.

Using a conservative interpretation of values from https://msis.jsc.nasa.gov/sections/section14.htm, you get a 95% spacesuited male as having a cross sectional area of 0.56 square meters inclusive of life support backpack (which might be notably smaller on a suit designed for the Martian surface).

This gives puncture-causing impact probability of 0.4% per year of someone standing outside on the Martian surface.

Online Robotbeat

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Several flaws in that article, starting with the idea you'd ever make a pressure vessel on Mars just 25 microns thick (Mylar balloon-like). Second, things just 16microns wide (supposedly the critical limit of puncture) or even 100 microns present zero risk of puncture except at very high altitudes.  They reach terminal velocity which is far subsonic, not just below 1km/s as is claimed. Some day, I want to write a full paper debunking this kind of worry about micrometeorites on Mars.

In a space suit, you'd be extremely well-protected as your suit and helmet would be far thicker than that proposed paper-thin greenhouse.
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Offline JH

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I was actually trying to make the point that even with extremely conservative assumptions, the risk was quite low.

Online guckyfan

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Several flaws in that article, starting with the idea you'd ever make a pressure vessel on Mars just 25 microns thick (Mylar balloon-like).

I see the possibility that greenhouses would be built that way. The proposal was for greenhouses at low pressure.

Offline john smith 19

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Not that idle speculation isn't fun, but work has been done to provide real numbers for the micrometeor threat:

http://data.spaceappschallenge.org/ICES.pdf

This gives an impact probability of 0.7% per year per square meter.

Using a conservative interpretation of values from https://msis.jsc.nasa.gov/sections/section14.htm, you get a 95% spacesuited male as having a cross sectional area of 0.56 square meters inclusive of life support backpack (which might be notably smaller on a suit designed for the Martian surface).

This gives puncture-causing impact probability of 0.4% per year of someone standing outside on the Martian surface.
Very interesting paper.

With 42.5Kw per person needed to support a person with artificial (LED?) lit greenhouses that certainly makes a strong case for natural lighting. On that basis a 1000 people would need basically all the output for a naval sized nuclear reactor just for greenhouse lighting.

OTOH it does seem that plants are much more radiation resistant than humans, although that still leaves the question of long term mutation if next years crop is derived from seeds from this years.

Likewise while the risk of MMOD looks to be quite low for a person in an EVA suit greenhouses, by their nature, are large area structures. While any individual unit may be puncture free the chances of all of them remaining so are very slim. Especially given a Musk sized settlement. They will need regular patching and/or repair, although remote monitoring should be fairly easy.
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Online LouScheffer

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If what you want is an Earth backup, the two essential requirements are (a) grow your own food, and (b) build your own shelters.  If you can do this, the colony can survive, though not pleasantly.   On Mars, this would seem to require early 20th century technology - you need to mine materials, refine them, and build engines, pumps, chemical processes, and greenhouses.  You don't *really* need computers, radios, modern medicine, etc.  If you can survive, and grow your colony, these can all be reconstructed.  Might be handy to have a set of paper encyclopedias, though.

This type of primitive independence seems much easier to achieve on Mars than in space.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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It is the gravity element.

For Mars it is an adaptation of existing Earth processes for manufacturing, etc.

For space in a microgravity environment new processes are required for manufacturing, etc. The alternate is to provide a large spinning platform to perform adapted existing Earth processes in an environment with gravity. This may end being the easier method for the majority of in-space materials processes. But that is not to say that microgravity new processes are bad. There is evidence that some new processes in microgravity result in higher quality materials.

Offline john smith 19

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But that is not to say that microgravity new processes are bad. There is evidence that some new processes in microgravity result in higher quality materials.
Realistically microgravity and very high levels of vacuum (search wake shield facility) are the reasons to go to LEO for mfg, giving you access to something which is either impossible to get on Earth or very difficult to do on a large scale.

The (very) hard vacuum and high levels of UV also make for a quite effective bio isolation, which would be handy for medical research into highly toxic materials, assuming you car comfortable with the risks of launch and re entry contamination.

I think we should dispose of the idea that moving polluting processes to LEO reduces pollution on Earth.  Unless you're prepared to squirt those pollutants out at escape velocity what you're going to get is a pollutant cloud in the upper atmosphere, not the  lower atmosphere, since any discharge will still be within Earths gravitational field.
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C Apply So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline Lar

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If what you want is an Earth backup, the two essential requirements are (a) grow your own food, and (b) build your own shelters.  If you can do this, the colony can survive, though not pleasantly.   On Mars, this would seem to require early 20th century technology - you need to mine materials, refine them, and build engines, pumps, chemical processes, and greenhouses.  You don't *really* need computers, radios, modern medicine, etc.  If you can survive, and grow your colony, these can all be reconstructed.  Might be handy to have a set of paper encyclopedias, though.

This type of primitive independence seems much easier to achieve on Mars than in space.
"build your own shelters" on Mars means quite a bit more than it does on earth, of course. Same with food. But I could see a very steampunk style tech arising if some cataclysmic cutoff happened...
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline john smith 19

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"build your own shelters" on Mars means quite a bit more than it does on earth, of course. Same with food. But I could see a very steampunk style tech arising if some cataclysmic cutoff happened...
With one problem.

No oil + no coal --> No steam.

There is a project to look at the smallest self range of machines and processes you need to self replicate mentioned on The Register but IIRC that used bootstrapping from more primitive versions IE wood, to get to mfg machines in steel.

On Mars you have 2 options for near term heavy energy use. a)Concentrated solar. Direct to the materials. Not PV arrays. and b)Methane AKA biogas systems.

Think "Mad Max:Beyond Thunderdome" in pressure suits.  :(

Amusing to watch. Not so much fun to live through.
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C Apply So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline Lar

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Steampunk STYLE. With solar arrays and electric motors, but no ICs.

Try to think out of the box and try not to be so negative. When I look at this thread and do a word count, what percentage is you being negative? If you're just repeating the same arguments? Save the electrons.
« Last Edit: 11/14/2016 02:27 PM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline bad_astra

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I think the Musk and Bezos rationales complement each other. Colonies historically have had various uses, political-military buffer zones, trade posts, resource gathering and idealisitic (often religious).

We don't know how long that has gone on. Perhaps the Maori's made it to New Zealand over religious differences or were just looking for a better place to live.

Some of the idealistic ones, like the New England colonies become ideal trading groups themselves.

I like the idea of the pre-IC tech colony approach. LES1, AMSAT-OSCAR 7, IMP-8 (not counting Pioneers, Voyagers) show that robust low-tech electronics can be used meaningfully for decades in extremely harsh environments.
"Contact Light" -Buzz Aldrin

Online LouScheffer

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I like the idea of the pre-IC tech colony approach. LES1, AMSAT-OSCAR 7, IMP-8 (not counting Pioneers, Voyagers) show that robust low-tech electronics can be used meaningfully for decades in extremely harsh environments.
Here's (and pumping them down with a home-made vacuum pump).  You can still have simple electronics without a huge industrial base. 

Offline TrevorMonty

Steampunk STYLE. With solar arrays and electric motors, but no ICs.

Try to think out of the box and try not to be so negative. When I look at this thread and do a word count, what percentage is you being negative? If you're just repeating the same arguments? Save the electrons.
Actual DSI have steam powered thruster, 150isp?.

Online Robotbeat

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You can even make simple ICs without a huge industrial base. People have done DIY semiconductor device fabrication on the cheap. Universities have the right equipment. If you're willing to compromise on 5-nm-scale feature sizes and live with 5-microns, then you can definitely do it. Instead of crazy multi core Multiteraflops CPU/GPU chips, you'd have an Arduino-like microcontroller for the same die size, but so what? There's a heck of a lot you can do with an Arduino, even a slow one.
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Offline kch

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No oil + no coal --> No steam.

Hydrogen + oxygen --> Steam!  :)

Offline john smith 19

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Steampunk STYLE. With solar arrays and electric motors, but no ICs.
Actually concentrated solar and biogas are thinking outside the box compared to Earth systems, since neither is used for large scale smelting on Earth. There is a world of difference between the efficiencies of PV cells and motors you can make with primitive tech and what comes off the production lines of current generation mfg plants.
Quote
If you're just repeating the same arguments? Save the electrons.
As I said at that start of both of the "Martian Homesteading" threads I want the human race to expand into space. By the yardsticks of many people that alone makes me a reckless optimist.  :)

What I don't believe is that by someone saying "what we need is.." for example to make humanity multi planetary, that someone else will solve their problem for them.

I think that both LEO and Mars are very hostile environments not because I am "negative" but because they are. I think we can overcome those factors. In the case of LEO mfg to make things that cannot be made on Earth due to gravity or the difficulties of making large scale UHV systems. But that's a reason for setting up a factory, not a settlement.

Mars OTOH is a place you could see people setting up a settlement, but they have the opposite problem. What do they do on Mars that can't be done on Earth? The argument "We'll set up a charity to pay people to live there" sounds very unconvincing.

AFAIK the only time people have set up charities to settle places is for religious reasons. The rest went because someone was going to make profit in the process, either within the settlement (that I can see happening quite easily) or to make money from their home country.

That latter one is the problem I have and that's important because until Mars goes fully self sufficient it will always need supplies from Earth. All the raw materials US settlers got rich off shipping back to their home countries don't apply to Mars. Not my view. Elon Musk's view.

If you can't solve that problem the Mars settlement is like a Mid Western small farmer. It won't survive if anything happens to Earth, which I thought was sort of the point of being there in the first place.  :(

Either you take Musk at his word or you think he's joking. If people think he's joking why would they pay any attention to his plans at all? If people think he's serious then they should think about the problems they are going to have to face.

I want this to work. However wanting something to work does not switch off my faculties for critical thinking.  I'm with Dr Logan on that one.

BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C Apply So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline john smith 19

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You can even make simple ICs without a huge industrial base. People have done DIY semiconductor device fabrication on the cheap. Universities have the right equipment.
Provided you source the wafers. They need a very substantial industrial base as well as a very large amount of energy to produce.

The alternative is to revisit thin film transistors, essentially the tech used for active LCD's
Quote
If you're willing to compromise on 5-nm-scale feature sizes and live with 5-microns, then you can definitely do it.
If you can do 5nm you're ahead of Intel. They've been struggling with 14.

Instead of crazy multi core Multiteraflops CPU/GPU chips, you'd have an Arduino-like microcontroller for the same die size, but so what? There's a heck of a lot you can do with an Arduino, even a slow one.
The problem with all semiconductor systems, which is not shared by say biological systems is the hardware to make them is orders of magnitude bigger than the end product and uses a completely different skillset to make to make it.

You cannot make a chip making machine out of a collection of chips, then use them to make a set of chips to make smaller chips.

Now if you could.....
« Last Edit: 11/14/2016 07:21 PM by Lar »
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C Apply So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline Lar

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If you're willing to compromise on 5-nm-scale feature sizes and live with 5-microns, then you can definitely do it.
If you can do 5nm you're ahead of Intel. They've been struggling with 14.

5 micron feature size. Not 5 nm...   5 microns is 5000 nm.   YCLIU.

As robotbeat said, that's quite a few generations back now and probably wouldn't still require billion dollar[1] fab lines

Also, fix yer quotes. It's not that hard. But it makes quoting YOU more work than it should be. I fixed yours this time.

1 - before shipping costs...
« Last Edit: 11/14/2016 07:24 PM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

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