Author Topic: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism  (Read 47811 times)

Offline meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8612
  • N. California
  • Liked: 4777
  • Likes Given: 891
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #260 on: 08/13/2018 12:14 AM »
I for one, do not believe they will carry 100 passengers to Mars initially or within the first 4-6 years.  I believe they will have to land, as Elon said, 10 cargo ships to one passenger ship.  I believe the first people on Mars will be a crew of 10-12 astronauts setting up ISRU equipment, power plants (solar or mini nuke or both), ice mining equipment, greenhouses, habitats, even a boring machine to build underground habitats and greenhouses for future 100 passenger flights.  I think a BFS with say 10-12 astronauts plus 80 tons of cargo is more practical initially.  Permanent colonization will not begin fully until 6-12 years after the first landings.

that is very very very optimistic...its not "wild" just optimistic.  until humans make "money" ie do something that has value above the cost of being in space....probably in low earth orbit...we are going to stay in low earth orbit

we wont have "colonist" on Mars for another oh  50 years in my view

Musk right now is changing the "baseline" but not inventing a new one.

The plan is for Elon to use his approximately $200bn Tesla gains in ten years time to bootstrap the initial Mars colonization process. See link below for details of that:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/21/tesla-shareholders-approve-elon-musks-multibilion-dollar-compensation-plan.html

Additionally, Starlink profits are to pump tens of billions into SpaceX's coffers, to be channeled into Mars architecture development and mission funding. On top of that, the presumably hundreds of thousands of people willing to pay $200k per ticket to move to Mars. And on top of that, any other national, institutional, commercial or private partners that may want to come onboard once the concept proves feasible.

All of the above gets you quite some way to a Mars colony of decent size over the next two to three decades. After that the dynamics become difficult to predict, and hopefully gets a self sustaining momentum of its own.

Anyway, that's the plan. Reality may well take a different course. However, the strategy is not just hoping that Mars has some kind of unobtanium resource that makes it economically lucrative to colonize.

what in your view is "the economic product" that Mars has to turn it into something that makes it economically lucrative to colonize?  I dont see one but curious
You don't need a product to export.  Every economy has a worth (where does Earth export to?) And Mars will go from zero to planet in the decades to come.

Ownership of this economy (by terrestrians of course, initially) will be the source of funding.

People will want to own the Mars Aluminum industry, or glass indistry, etc. It will have stock, they'll buy it, etc.

All you need is a growing colony of people.

Edit:

Part of this is that Mars needs an industrial base since transport is so difficult due to the 2 yr orbital schedule... so Mars is forced into a different economic sphere. 


-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down
« Last Edit: 08/13/2018 12:20 AM by meekGee »
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline intrepidpursuit

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
  • Orlando, FL
  • Liked: 394
  • Likes Given: 238
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #261 on: 08/13/2018 12:22 AM »
I for one, do not believe they will carry 100 passengers to Mars initially or within the first 4-6 years.  I believe they will have to land, as Elon said, 10 cargo ships to one passenger ship.  I believe the first people on Mars will be a crew of 10-12 astronauts setting up ISRU equipment, power plants (solar or mini nuke or both), ice mining equipment, greenhouses, habitats, even a boring machine to build underground habitats and greenhouses for future 100 passenger flights.  I think a BFS with say 10-12 astronauts plus 80 tons of cargo is more practical initially.  Permanent colonization will not begin fully until 6-12 years after the first landings.

that is very very very optimistic...its not "wild" just optimistic.  until humans make "money" ie do something that has value above the cost of being in space....probably in low earth orbit...we are going to stay in low earth orbit

we wont have "colonist" on Mars for another oh  50 years in my view

Musk right now is changing the "baseline" but not inventing a new one.

The plan is for Elon to use his approximately $200bn Tesla gains in ten years time to bootstrap the initial Mars colonization process. See link below for details of that:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/21/tesla-shareholders-approve-elon-musks-multibilion-dollar-compensation-plan.html

Additionally, Starlink profits are to pump tens of billions into SpaceX's coffers, to be channeled into Mars architecture development and mission funding. On top of that, the presumably hundreds of thousands of people willing to pay $200k per ticket to move to Mars. And on top of that, any other national, institutional, commercial or private partners that may want to come onboard once the concept proves feasible.

All of the above gets you quite some way to a Mars colony of decent size over the next two to three decades. After that the dynamics become difficult to predict, and hopefully gets a self sustaining momentum of its own.

Anyway, that's the plan. Reality may well take a different course. However, the strategy is not just hoping that Mars has some kind of unobtanium resource that makes it economically lucrative to colonize.

what in your view is "the economic product" that Mars has to turn it into something that makes it economically lucrative to colonize?  I dont see one but curious
You don't need a product to export.  Every economy has a worth (where does Earth export to?) And Mars will go from zero to planet in the decades to come.

Ownership of this economy (by terrestrians of course, initially) will be the source of funding.

People will want to own the Mars Aluminum industry, or glass indistry, etc. It will have stock, they'll buy it, etc.

All you need is a growing colony of people.

-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down

As a starting place, the people going to the colony must have enough money to pay for the means of getting there, and then the colony will have to be self sustaining. If the colony isn't self sustaining then they will need regular cargo trips to avoid death which someone has to pay for. The cycle can be sustained for a while by new colonists coming in, but eventually it reaches a tipping point where they are self sustaining, on welfare, or dead.
« Last Edit: 08/15/2018 04:27 AM by intrepidpursuit »

Offline meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8612
  • N. California
  • Liked: 4777
  • Likes Given: 891
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #262 on: 08/13/2018 12:28 AM »
I for one, do not believe they will carry 100 passengers to Mars initially or within the first 4-6 years.  I believe they will have to land, as Elon said, 10 cargo ships to one passenger ship.  I believe the first people on Mars will be a crew of 10-12 astronauts setting up ISRU equipment, power plants (solar or mini nuke or both), ice mining equipment, greenhouses, habitats, even a boring machine to build underground habitats and greenhouses for future 100 passenger flights.  I think a BFS with say 10-12 astronauts plus 80 tons of cargo is more practical initially.  Permanent colonization will not begin fully until 6-12 years after the first landings.

that is very very very optimistic...its not "wild" just optimistic.  until humans make "money" ie do something that has value above the cost of being in space....probably in low earth orbit...we are going to stay in low earth orbit

we wont have "colonist" on Mars for another oh  50 years in my view

Musk right now is changing the "baseline" but not inventing a new one.

The plan is for Elon to use his approximately $200bn Tesla gains in ten years time to bootstrap the initial Mars colonization process. See link below for details of that:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/21/tesla-shareholders-approve-elon-musks-multibilion-dollar-compensation-plan.html

Additionally, Starlink profits are to pump tens of billions into SpaceX's coffers, to be channeled into Mars architecture development and mission funding. On top of that, the presumably hundreds of thousands of people willing to pay $200k per ticket to move to Mars. And on top of that, any other national, institutional, commercial or private partners that may want to come onboard once the concept proves feasible.

All of the above gets you quite some way to a Mars colony of decent size over the next two to three decades. After that the dynamics become difficult to predict, and hopefully gets a self sustaining momentum of its own.

Anyway, that's the plan. Reality may well take a different course. However, the strategy is not just hoping that Mars has some kind of unobtanium resource that makes it economically lucrative to colonize.

what in your view is "the economic product" that Mars has to turn it into something that makes it economically lucrative to colonize?  I dont see one but curious
You don't need a product to export.  Every economy has a worth (where does Earth export to?) And Mars will go from zero to planet in the decades to come.

Ownership of this economy (by terrestrians of course, initially) will be the source of funding.

People will want to own the Mars Aluminum industry, or glass indistry, etc. It will have stock, they'll buy it, etc.

All you need is a growing colony of people.

-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down

As a starting place, the people going to the colony would have to have enough money to pay for the means of getting there, and the colony will have to be self sustaining. If the colony isn't self sustaining then they will need regular cargo trips to avoid death which someone has to pay for. The cycle can be sustained for a while by new colonists coming in, but eventually it reaching a tipping point where they are self sustaining, on welfare, or dead.
I don't think initially people will pay for tickets to go, not directly. 

I think someone like Alcoa will decide to invest in Mars Aluminum (because the Aluminum war with Rio Grande on Earth just got too old) and will be the one hiring colonists to go as employees.

There's a reason Musk had a lot of industry at that forum in Boulder.  Bechtel, CAT and Schlumberger...  That's who you want to see.

-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down

ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline TripleSeven

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 682
  • Istanbul turkey
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 1238
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #263 on: 08/13/2018 12:43 AM »
I for one, do not believe they will carry 100 passengers to Mars initially or within the first 4-6 years.  I believe they will have to land, as Elon said, 10 cargo ships to one passenger ship.  I believe the first people on Mars will be a crew of 10-12 astronauts setting up ISRU equipment, power plants (solar or mini nuke or both), ice mining equipment, greenhouses, habitats, even a boring machine to build underground habitats and greenhouses for future 100 passenger flights.  I think a BFS with say 10-12 astronauts plus 80 tons of cargo is more practical initially.  Permanent colonization will not begin fully until 6-12 years after the first landings.

that is very very very optimistic...its not "wild" just optimistic.  until humans make "money" ie do something that has value above the cost of being in space....probably in low earth orbit...we are going to stay in low earth orbit

we wont have "colonist" on Mars for another oh  50 years in my view

Musk right now is changing the "baseline" but not inventing a new one.

The plan is for Elon to use his approximately $200bn Tesla gains in ten years time to bootstrap the initial Mars colonization process. See link below for details of that:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/21/tesla-shareholders-approve-elon-musks-multibilion-dollar-compensation-plan.html

Additionally, Starlink profits are to pump tens of billions into SpaceX's coffers, to be channeled into Mars architecture development and mission funding. On top of that, the presumably hundreds of thousands of people willing to pay $200k per ticket to move to Mars. And on top of that, any other national, institutional, commercial or private partners that may want to come onboard once the concept proves feasible.

All of the above gets you quite some way to a Mars colony of decent size over the next two to three decades. After that the dynamics become difficult to predict, and hopefully gets a self sustaining momentum of its own.

Anyway, that's the plan. Reality may well take a different course. However, the strategy is not just hoping that Mars has some kind of unobtanium resource that makes it economically lucrative to colonize.

what in your view is "the economic product" that Mars has to turn it into something that makes it economically lucrative to colonize?  I dont see one but curious
You don't need a product to export.  Every economy has a worth (where does Earth export to?) And Mars will go from zero to planet in the decades to come.

Ownership of this economy (by terrestrians of course, initially) will be the source of funding.

People will want to own the Mars Aluminum industry, or glass indistry, etc. It will have stock, they'll buy it, etc.

All you need is a growing colony of people.

Edit:

Part of this is that Mars needs an industrial base since transport is so difficult due to the 2 yr orbital schedule... so Mars is forced into a different economic sphere. 


-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down

people on earth export to other places on earth...its called trade

Offline groundbound

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 205
  • Liked: 162
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #264 on: 08/13/2018 02:17 AM »

but how does a "colony" that has nothing that anyone else wants get off the  welfare state? 

what you are saying is that Mars colonies need a source totally unrelated to Mars colonies to survive...how long do you think that last

is there any previous example of this?

The delta-V and transit times from Mars surface to the asteroid belt is far superior to going from earth's surface.

The comparison may not be as great when compared to the moon, but Mars allows aerobraking, has more stable orbits, and probably a better set of raw materials.

Offline Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4214
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 2871
  • Likes Given: 3719
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #265 on: 08/13/2018 04:49 AM »
but how does a "colony" that has nothing that anyone else wants get off the  welfare state?

Do you consider the science settlements at Antarctica to be "welfare states"? Because they don't produce anything sellable  - there is no GDP from Antarctica.

As for Mars, Elon Musk wants to colonize Mars not to enrich himself, but to save humanity. So it's an investment in the future of humanity, not the investment in to a welfare state.

And it's OK for people not to care about making humanity multi-planetary. But you can't say there isn't a level of interest for protecting the future of humanity. I'd donate money to help make it happen, and I'm sure a lot of wealthy people would set up perpetual funds to help make it happen.

Quote
what you are saying is that Mars colonies need a source totally unrelated to Mars colonies to survive...how long do you think that last

My opinion is that it will take centuries before Mars can be truly independent of Earth - at least voluntarily. But as time goes by it will cost less and less to send humans to Mars and keep them there, and there may end up being some form of trade between Mars and Earth that reduces the economic cost of colonization.

Quote
is there any previous example of this?

The history of humanity is littered with examples. Some didn't succeed either, like the Roanoke Colony (aka "Lost Colony"). And sure, they were specifically set up to produce value, but there will be some people going to Mars to experiment with creating local and interplanetary markets.
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 meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8612
  • N. California
  • Liked: 4777
  • Likes Given: 891
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #266 on: 08/13/2018 05:57 AM »
I for one, do not believe they will carry 100 passengers to Mars initially or within the first 4-6 years.  I believe they will have to land, as Elon said, 10 cargo ships to one passenger ship.  I believe the first people on Mars will be a crew of 10-12 astronauts setting up ISRU equipment, power plants (solar or mini nuke or both), ice mining equipment, greenhouses, habitats, even a boring machine to build underground habitats and greenhouses for future 100 passenger flights.  I think a BFS with say 10-12 astronauts plus 80 tons of cargo is more practical initially.  Permanent colonization will not begin fully until 6-12 years after the first landings.

that is very very very optimistic...its not "wild" just optimistic.  until humans make "money" ie do something that has value above the cost of being in space....probably in low earth orbit...we are going to stay in low earth orbit

we wont have "colonist" on Mars for another oh  50 years in my view

Musk right now is changing the "baseline" but not inventing a new one.

The plan is for Elon to use his approximately $200bn Tesla gains in ten years time to bootstrap the initial Mars colonization process. See link below for details of that:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/21/tesla-shareholders-approve-elon-musks-multibilion-dollar-compensation-plan.html

Additionally, Starlink profits are to pump tens of billions into SpaceX's coffers, to be channeled into Mars architecture development and mission funding. On top of that, the presumably hundreds of thousands of people willing to pay $200k per ticket to move to Mars. And on top of that, any other national, institutional, commercial or private partners that may want to come onboard once the concept proves feasible.

All of the above gets you quite some way to a Mars colony of decent size over the next two to three decades. After that the dynamics become difficult to predict, and hopefully gets a self sustaining momentum of its own.

Anyway, that's the plan. Reality may well take a different course. However, the strategy is not just hoping that Mars has some kind of unobtanium resource that makes it economically lucrative to colonize.

what in your view is "the economic product" that Mars has to turn it into something that makes it economically lucrative to colonize?  I dont see one but curious
You don't need a product to export.  Every economy has a worth (where does Earth export to?) And Mars will go from zero to planet in the decades to come.

Ownership of this economy (by terrestrians of course, initially) will be the source of funding.

People will want to own the Mars Aluminum industry, or glass indistry, etc. It will have stock, they'll buy it, etc.

All you need is a growing colony of people.

Edit:

Part of this is that Mars needs an industrial base since transport is so difficult due to the 2 yr orbital schedule... so Mars is forced into a different economic sphere. 


-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down

people on earth export to other places on earth...its called trade

But Earth as a whole doesn't.  Which deflates your argument that Mars economics are nonsensical since "Mars won't export anything".

Mars can be a complete economic sphere without exporting anything to Earth, and the fact that earth sub-economies export to (and import from) to each other exactly underscores this point.

It's the growth of the Martian economy that will be the main source of economical strength.  Earth (as a whole, in vacuum) is growing very slowly.  Mars, OTOH, presents an immense growth potential, and that should alleviate your concern.
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7581
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 1169
  • Likes Given: 7832
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #267 on: 08/13/2018 06:58 AM »

But Earth as a whole doesn't.  Which deflates your argument that Mars economics are nonsensical since "Mars won't export anything".

Mars can be a complete economic sphere without exporting anything to Earth, and the fact that earth sub-economies export to (and import from) to each other exactly underscores this point.
Actually it doesn't.

What you're talking about is the internal economy of Mars.

In construction they talk about a "Proper top," the minimum level of structure you need to put in before you can build out and up.

On Earth the economic equivalent of a proper top was "Find parts of plants you can eat and animals you can use, either for meat or other products"

These do not exist on Mars. Even the raw materials to make them exist in such different forms you need huge processing efforts to get to that stage.

So the problem is (as it's always been) what does Mars produce that can be exported to Earth to pay for the things it needs, because during at least the first century (unless there is a vigorous effort to become self sufficient) the answer is "everything."

However that is not scepticism on wheather BFR is possible, although I'm rather more doubtful when the first one will reach Mars.


« Last Edit: 08/13/2018 07:05 AM by john smith 19 »
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. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8612
  • N. California
  • Liked: 4777
  • Likes Given: 891
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #268 on: 08/13/2018 09:41 AM »

But Earth as a whole doesn't.  Which deflates your argument that Mars economics are nonsensical since "Mars won't export anything".

Mars can be a complete economic sphere without exporting anything to Earth, and the fact that earth sub-economies export to (and import from) to each other exactly underscores this point.
Actually it doesn't.

What you're talking about is the internal economy of Mars.

In construction they talk about a "Proper top," the minimum level of structure you need to put in before you can build out and up.

On Earth the economic equivalent of a proper top was "Find parts of plants you can eat and animals you can use, either for meat or other products"

These do not exist on Mars. Even the raw materials to make them exist in such different forms you need huge processing efforts to get to that stage.

So the problem is (as it's always been) what does Mars produce that can be exported to Earth to pay for the things it needs, because during at least the first century (unless there is a vigorous effort to become self sufficient) the answer is "everything."

However that is not scepticism on wheather BFR is possible, although I'm rather more doubtful when the first one will reach Mars.
You're talking about self sufficiency, but you haven't shown it is a condition for having economic worth.

Mars assets will be owned by terrestrians. As Mars industry grows, there will be more to own, and the value of things will be established by supply and demand. (Mostly on Earth initially)

The terrestrians will pay for shipping things to Mars since the growth of industry is what's making them richer.

The trick is that it's not a steady-state zero-sum economy, but one that's growing in value from zero to an entire planet's worth.

All you need are mechanisms to record and enforce ownership - of land, of property, of stock... 

-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down
« Last Edit: 08/13/2018 10:13 AM by meekGee »
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline TripleSeven

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 682
  • Istanbul turkey
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 1238
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #269 on: 08/13/2018 10:28 AM »
Coastal Ron 

there is no real analogy on earth to mars colonization

I know people use the South pole...but its not relevant.  the South Pole only got "massive" (and still no one lives there perm)human activity when the technology to DO ALL THAT developed outside of any dedicated effort to settle the pole.

Airplanes came of age in WW2, as did ships, well done motor vehicles (there was substantial fighting in cold regions).desalination plants.....and they all existed outside any unique procurement system

in addition the logistics trail to keep a base or bases on the south pole is trivial compared to Mars...

the worst thing for Mars is that there is that EVERYTHING that humans need to stay alive is based on technology.  at the south pole you dont need technology to breath you need protection from the climate, but its all passive...compared to a space suit it is trivial. 

Anywhere in space is a technology tour deforce to stay alive...and someone has to 1) develop the hardware because it has no earth equivalent and 2) has to be shipped there and 3) has to be paid for...

the cost of all that will be enormous...and at some point unless it just constantly remains a charity case on earth...and hence dependent on it, which means that the colony has no chance to survive alone...they have to develop something that they can sale to earth ...and I dont see what it is

I suspect a "inner" mars economy can develop...but the "umbrella" needed to make it work has to come from earth...and thats going to cost a lot of money ...

Offline M.E.T.

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 574
  • Liked: 242
  • Likes Given: 18
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #270 on: 08/13/2018 11:28 AM »
Coastal Ron 

there is no real analogy on earth to mars colonization

I know people use the South pole...but its not relevant.  the South Pole only got "massive" (and still no one lives there perm)human activity when the technology to DO ALL THAT developed outside of any dedicated effort to settle the pole.

Airplanes came of age in WW2, as did ships, well done motor vehicles (there was substantial fighting in cold regions).desalination plants.....and they all existed outside any unique procurement system

in addition the logistics trail to keep a base or bases on the south pole is trivial compared to Mars...

the worst thing for Mars is that there is that EVERYTHING that humans need to stay alive is based on technology.  at the south pole you dont need technology to breath you need protection from the climate, but its all passive...compared to a space suit it is trivial. 

Anywhere in space is a technology tour deforce to stay alive...and someone has to 1) develop the hardware because it has no earth equivalent and 2) has to be shipped there and 3) has to be paid for...

the cost of all that will be enormous...and at some point unless it just constantly remains a charity case on earth...and hence dependent on it, which means that the colony has no chance to survive alone...they have to develop something that they can sale to earth ...and I dont see what it is

I suspect a "inner" mars economy can develop...but the "umbrella" needed to make it work has to come from earth...and thats going to cost a lot of money ...

You're not saying anything revolutionary here. We all know there is a large initial investment required before a Mars colony can become self sustainable. The question is how much money are we talking about? Is it $200bn? $500bn? $1 trillion or $10 trillion?

And how much will rich donors be willing to provide in aid of the cause? If it is Elon alone, he has already stated that he is willing to give all the assets he accumulates over the course of his life.  And he won't be the only one.

Similarly, some Arab states have proclaimed similar intentions to build cities on Mars.

And then we have the chance that national governments will get involved in a colonization race similar to the land grabs of the New World, in which case trillions in investment will easily be sourced for the effort.


Offline TripleSeven

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 682
  • Istanbul turkey
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 1238
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #271 on: 08/13/2018 11:42 AM »
Coastal Ron 

there is no real analogy on earth to mars colonization

I know people use the South pole...but its not relevant.  the South Pole only got "massive" (and still no one lives there perm)human activity when the technology to DO ALL THAT developed outside of any dedicated effort to settle the pole.

Airplanes came of age in WW2, as did ships, well done motor vehicles (there was substantial fighting in cold regions).desalination plants.....and they all existed outside any unique procurement system

in addition the logistics trail to keep a base or bases on the south pole is trivial compared to Mars...

the worst thing for Mars is that there is that EVERYTHING that humans need to stay alive is based on technology.  at the south pole you dont need technology to breath you need protection from the climate, but its all passive...compared to a space suit it is trivial. 

Anywhere in space is a technology tour deforce to stay alive...and someone has to 1) develop the hardware because it has no earth equivalent and 2) has to be shipped there and 3) has to be paid for...

the cost of all that will be enormous...and at some point unless it just constantly remains a charity case on earth...and hence dependent on it, which means that the colony has no chance to survive alone...they have to develop something that they can sale to earth ...and I dont see what it is

I suspect a "inner" mars economy can develop...but the "umbrella" needed to make it work has to come from earth...and thats going to cost a lot of money ...

You're not saying anything revolutionary here. We all know there is a large initial investment required before a Mars colony can become self sustainable. The question is how much money are we talking about? Is it $200bn? $500bn? $1 trillion or $10 trillion?

And how much will rich donors be willing to provide in aid of the cause? If it is Elon alone, he has already stated that he is willing to give all the assets he accumulates over the course of his life.  And he won't be the only one.

Similarly, some Arab states have proclaimed similar intentions to build cities on Mars.

And then we have the chance that national governments will get involved in a colonization race similar to the land grabs of the New World, in which case trillions in investment will easily be sourced for the effort.

that the cost to "get there" is so "open" is a big part of the problem.

"
And how much will rich donors be willing to provide in aid of the cause? If it is Elon alone, he has already stated that he is willing to give all the assets he accumulates over the course of his life.  And he won't be the only one.

Similarly, some Arab states have proclaimed similar intentions to build cities on Mars."

Musk will be alone...and getting the Arab states involved is in my view...well entertaining
« Last Edit: 08/13/2018 11:44 AM by TripleSeven »

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4624
  • Liked: 2550
  • Likes Given: 1395
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #272 on: 08/13/2018 01:13 PM »
So the problem is (as it's always been) what does Mars produce that can be exported to Earth to pay for the things it needs, because during at least the first century (unless there is a vigorous effort to become self sufficient) the answer is "everything."

Not "everything". If you need to import literally everything, there's no point in going. Mars has plenty of resources (e.g. gravity, energy sources, heat sinks, atmosphere, metals, minerals, water, land). All you need to import is the technology to utilize them - which was also true everywhere else that has ever been colonized. After a while, and given the effort required for importing, probably not that long a while, much of the technology needed to utilize local resources will also be produced locally. This also happened in many other places that have been colonized.

Offline TripleSeven

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 682
  • Istanbul turkey
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 1238
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #273 on: 08/13/2018 01:26 PM »
So the problem is (as it's always been) what does Mars produce that can be exported to Earth to pay for the things it needs, because during at least the first century (unless there is a vigorous effort to become self sufficient) the answer is "everything."

Not "everything". If you need to import literally everything, there's no point in going. Mars has plenty of resources (e.g. gravity, energy sources, heat sinks, atmosphere, metals, minerals, water, land). All you need to import is the technology to utilize them - which was also true everywhere else that has ever been colonized. After a while, and given the effort required for importing, probably not that long a while, much of the technology needed to utilize local resources will also be produced locally. This also happened in many other places that have been colonized.

it is essentially everything.  Mars may have resources but you cannot get to them with the technology that "an ordinary" citizen could sale all their belongings get on the Mayflower and have a reasonable chance at survival

and if you run out of any of them, you are toast...ok your rifle breaks and you cannot get a part until the next boat comes, you could fish, or eat the plants you have planted ...but if the framastam on your spacesuit breaks when you run out of spares, you are well out of luck.  and the people who can afford to "self equip" are not the ones who are going to go


The Martian cured this problem because duct tape could fix anything as could this magic transparent material that somehow can handle a lot of PSID

and if you want to transport the stuff to make that framastam there...then well its more money and more energy and you cannot recreate the industrial base of the United States one BFR at a time

I was on a CVN for a bit...when the AO's came well it was a time of rejoicing because if we didnt get an AO we couldnt fly the planes, her support ships could not steam (they use kerosene ) and we ran out of food.  the ship had amazing repair shops but in the end they could not replicate the stuff at Pearl...(or Norfolk) and...thats the big difference here

I am not saying it cannot be done...but like keeping the fleet at sea..someone is going to have to be induced to pay for it...unless the Martian colony figures out something that Earth has to have from them...that balances out the price

without having first demonstrated that in LEO or on the Moon...color me skeptical  :)
« Last Edit: 08/13/2018 01:26 PM by TripleSeven »

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4624
  • Liked: 2550
  • Likes Given: 1395
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #274 on: 08/13/2018 01:54 PM »
So the problem is (as it's always been) what does Mars produce that can be exported to Earth to pay for the things it needs, because during at least the first century (unless there is a vigorous effort to become self sufficient) the answer is "everything."

Not "everything". If you need to import literally everything, there's no point in going. Mars has plenty of resources (e.g. gravity, energy sources, heat sinks, atmosphere, metals, minerals, water, land). All you need to import is the technology to utilize them - which was also true everywhere else that has ever been colonized. After a while, and given the effort required for importing, probably not that long a while, much of the technology needed to utilize local resources will also be produced locally. This also happened in many other places that have been colonized.

it is essentially everything.  Mars may have resources but you cannot get to them with the technology that "an ordinary" citizen could sale all their belongings get on the Mayflower and have a reasonable chance at survival

and if you run out of any of them, you are toast...ok your rifle breaks and you cannot get a part until the next boat comes, you could fish, or eat the plants you have planted ...but if the framastam on your spacesuit breaks when you run out of spares, you are well out of luck.  and the people who can afford to "self equip" are not the ones who are going to go


The Martian cured this problem because duct tape could fix anything as could this magic transparent material that somehow can handle a lot of PSID

and if you want to transport the stuff to make that framastam there...then well its more money and more energy and you cannot recreate the industrial base of the United States one BFR at a time

I was on a CVN for a bit...when the AO's came well it was a time of rejoicing because if we didnt get an AO we couldnt fly the planes, her support ships could not steam (they use kerosene ) and we ran out of food.  the ship had amazing repair shops but in the end they could not replicate the stuff at Pearl...(or Norfolk) and...thats the big difference here

I am not saying it cannot be done...but like keeping the fleet at sea..someone is going to have to be induced to pay for it...unless the Martian colony figures out something that Earth has to have from them...that balances out the price

without having first demonstrated that in LEO or on the Moon...color me skeptical  :)

LEO and the Moon don't have most of those resources, they require substantially more imports than Mars. They aren't any better a place to demonstrate colonization.

The reason an ordinary citizen can't self-equip for Mars now is that most of the technology isn't ready in a form that can be bought off the shelf, and even if it were, a ticket to Mars would cost $10 billion. SpaceX and others are working on resolving those two issues.

And half the people on the Mayflower died within 2-3 months...

Offline spacenut

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2403
  • East Alabama
  • Liked: 405
  • Likes Given: 236
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #275 on: 08/13/2018 02:09 PM »
Antarctica by law is off limits for colonization or exploitation of natural resources, otherwise humans would be doing that.  So they only have science outposts.  So not a good comparison with Mars. 

Mars, by utilizing its available resources for building, construction, etc, will make it habitable.  Once habitable, and once massive food production is up and running, Mars can be self sufficient.   As far as exports, who knows what minerals and wealth can be traded for manufactured goods. 

Things learned for self sufficiency at Mars colonies can be used in arid and cold places on earth for people to live, even in underwater habitats. 

BFR will only be a vehicle to use for getting to Mars, the moon, or deep space like the asteroid belt.  Once built many things are possible.

Offline Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4214
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 2871
  • Likes Given: 3719
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #276 on: 08/14/2018 02:32 AM »
Not "everything". If you need to import literally everything, there's no point in going. Mars has plenty of resources (e.g. gravity, energy sources, heat sinks, atmosphere, metals, minerals, water, land). All you need to import is the technology to utilize them - which was also true everywhere else that has ever been colonized. After a while, and given the effort required for importing, probably not that long a while, much of the technology needed to utilize local resources will also be produced locally. This also happened in many other places that have been colonized.

it is essentially everything.  Mars may have resources but you cannot get to them with the technology that "an ordinary" citizen could sale all their belongings get on the Mayflower and have a reasonable chance at survival

Look, we're not an agrarian society anymore, we're well into the Industrial Age, so technology is something we're used to traveling with. Whether it's war fighting with a Marine expeditionary brigade (MEB) or me and my family heading out for a self-contained weekend in nature, humans are used to going to places that are inhospitable.

Quote
and if you run out of any of them, you are toast...ok your rifle breaks and you cannot get a part until the next boat comes, you could fish, or eat the plants you have planted ...but if the framastam on your spacesuit breaks when you run out of spares, you are well out of luck.  and the people who can afford to "self equip" are not the ones who are going to go

Everyone knows people will die on Mars, and mostly before they really want to. And those going to Mars will know they will need a constant supply of lots of stuff in order to stay on Mars. This is known by EVERYONE.

Quote
and if you want to transport the stuff to make that framastam there...then well its more money and more energy and you cannot recreate the industrial base of the United States one BFR at a time

By the time the first wave of colonists is going to Mars (which may not be the first ship that carries humans to Mars) EVERYONE will be doing what they can to make sure they have enough "stuff" more than long enough until the next supply run.

And I would imagine if it looks unlikely that a follow-up ship will be leaving on the next synodic period, then they won't launch.

Quote
I was on a CVN for a bit...when the AO's came well it was a time of rejoicing because if we didnt get an AO we couldnt fly the planes, her support ships could not steam (they use kerosene ) and we ran out of food.

If you listen to Elon Musk, his plan is to send increasing numbers of ships to Mars every synodic period. Will that happen? We won't know until we get closer to colonists leaving.

I will say though, that with the modern fundraising systems we have today, that raising money for Mars colonization won't be too hard if done properly. People are used to giving for all different reasons, and if people do believe that Musk is trying to save humanity in case of a future calamity on Earth, then money will pour in.

Quote
without having first demonstrated that in LEO or on the Moon...color me skeptical  :)

Humans are programmed to respond to open skies, and though you can't breath without assistance on the surface of Mars, it's a lot more hospitable than LEO or our Moon.
« Last Edit: 08/14/2018 04:31 AM by Coastal Ron »
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 Jimmy Murdok

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 156
  • Tokyo - Barcelona
  • Liked: 92
  • Likes Given: 85
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #277 on: 08/14/2018 03:34 AM »
You need to sell future, potential... same as when Tesla raised funds over Honda value after selling few model S. If future is a planet with cities, industry, gate to asteroid belt, knowledge, products required for a working economy... then there will be investment.
I cannot buy a house in Antartica, settle, invest and provide hamburgers and fresh fruit to the stablished bases in a standard market model. Will I be able to do so in Mars? How is the land gonna be claimed? If this is solved, there will be speculation and some cash flow, the more realistic a future of settlers is, the more cashflow there will be.

Edit:phone keyboard corrections
« Last Edit: 08/14/2018 03:43 AM by Jimmy Murdok »

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4989
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 2107
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #278 on: 08/14/2018 03:38 AM »
>
and if you run out of any of them, you are toast...ok your rifle breaks and you cannot get a part until the next boat comes, you could fish, or eat the plants you have planted ...but if the framastam on your spacesuit breaks when you run out of spares, you are well out of luck. 
>

Unless you do the bleeping obvious and send up, early, additive manufacturing (polymer and metal) and CNC gear, the equipment for making polymers from crops and chemical production hardware (long discussions in the Mars section) and other basic self-sufficiency needs. Half a dozen or more BFS's is a lot of cargo.
DM

Offline speedevil

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2853
  • Fife
  • Liked: 1403
  • Likes Given: 1633
Re: BFR and a bit of (hopefully) helpful scepticism
« Reply #279 on: 08/14/2018 09:56 AM »
Mars colonisation infrastructure is probably better in another thread.

Tags: