Rocket jesus is slowly spiraling toward disaster. From a recent Time Magazine article:
“Musk admitted to his biographer Ashlee Vance that Hyperloop was all about trying to get legislators to cancel plans for high-speed rail in California—even though he had no plans to build it.”
“In crafting his future visions, Musk draws on the libertarian tendencies of Robert Heinlein and a technocratic longtermism inspired by Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, not to mention the dreams of Nazi-turned-NASA rocket engineer Wernher von Braun. Future visions cribbed from the pages of science fiction—often of the dystopian variety—and reshaped to fit the desires of the richest man in the world don’t serve the broader public.”
“That’s exactly where we find ourselves now: having our future dictated by powerful people who seek to recreate the space colonies or dystopian virtual reality worlds they read about as kids without considering the consequences.”
“Kim Stanley Robinson- has called Musk’s plan “the 1920s science-fiction cliché of the boy who builds a rocket to the moon in his backyard” and one that’s dangerously distracting us from the real problems we face here on Earth.”
“The tech industry enjoys casting itself as our savior, delivering empowerment and convenience, but along with it has come an unprecedented expansion of surveillance, an erosion of workers’ rights, and the empowerment of white nationalist and fascist groups.
For years, Elon Musk sold us fantasies to distract from the reality of the future he’s trying to build, and to get people to accept his growing belligerence.“
-complaining about going to the Moon instead of DOD waste. LOL. Transparent: it is all about supporting the Cult Leader instead of the nation of birth.
And that is what is happening in this country; populism, treason, insurrection. All of it can be traced back to one thing- the rich evading taxes and regulation. Their faux think tanks have pushed free-market ideology decade after decade. Our post-depression mixed economy is now failing because of that. It all goes back to that, which is likely going to end as badly for them as it does for the rest of us.
Through Artemis, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a steppingstone to send astronauts to Mars.
They ALWAYS mention Mars. Pathetic. Mars is a dead end. Ceres is a far better destination for the first human mission Beyond Earth and Lunar Orbit.
Landing on the Moon is a fantasy until they have a lander other than that bizarro version of the shiny, which was absurd. It reminded me of when they killed Sidemount. It was hard to believe they could do something so stupid. If they had built Sidemount we might actually be landing back on the Moon by now, or close.
“Through Artemis”, as in the SLS, is not a fantasy because they have a working Moon rocket. However, the original goal of the boosters/core/engines Shuttle design was a Saturn V class launch vehicle that expends everything except a tank, and expending it all has thrown that baby out with the bathwater. Fortunately, that can also change. Future iterations of the SLS can be made partially reusable. Because of spacex propaganda people will not acknowledge the Shuttle was actually more reusable than the F9 because it did not expend engines.
A “long-term lunar presence” is a fantasy until they have a way to exploit those ice resources at the poles. My best recommendation is large semi-expendable robot landers to process lunar ice onsite and ferry water shielding up to “Fat Workshops” and when a radiation sanctuary is complete, only then send astronauts.
Mars is absolutely a fantasy. Too much gravity and no ocean makes it a dead end. Even when we finally have “true” spaceships with a kiloton range cosmic ray water shield, tether-generated artificial gravity, closed loop life support, and Nuclear Propulsion, Ceres becomes the place to go, and Mars will likely be bypassed.
Nuclear Thermal is another dead end and while Nuclear Pulse is the only viable option right now, technology is emerging that may soon make some form of Nuclear-Electric Propulsion practical.
Starship is in many ways a Shuttle redux. And we know that “airliner” philosophy killed two crews. No escape system is unacceptable.
Jimmy Carter signed the check after being convinced it was a good deal. They went cheap on everything, and it ended up costing as much per launch as the Saturn V but instead of going a quarter million miles up it went a couple hundred.
Reaganomics pushed NASA to make good on their promise to “make space pay for itself.” Instead, Challenger destroyed itself.
There is no cheap.
The RL10 is about as simple, powerful, efficient, and dependable, as a small rocket engine can get. All the work to make it variable thrust was done long ago and the technology put on the shelf. So I think…..it could be the key to getting a lander built very very quickly. Almost all the work has already been done.
Well, we disagreed/agreed on that before (because of radiation) if you recall.
It is just more of the permanent damage the astronauts suffer on the ISS and is unacceptable in my view. We know all we need to know about that.
The only other possibility I can see is….a lava tube find. That would solve so many problems it would make a Moonbase almost a sure thing. We could actually just move right in with inflatable structures. Getting water would be a problem because there are no geologically likely lava tubes anywhere near the poles but that could be solved in a couple ways.
Just need a lava tube….and a lander.
The new stealth bomber program will cost at least 203 billion.
The Ohio submarine replacement fleet has a life-cycle cost of 347 billion.
The Space Force yearly budget for satellites is now 24.5 billion and that will go up and up.
And every year the ISS is in operation is another 4 billion.
No solid reasons for cold war toys anymore. Not in the age of drones and hypersonic missiles. Bombers are targeted on the ground and they can’t buy enough to keep them in the air 24/7, Submarines are being tracked by sea gliders now and cannot hide….it is all just Military Industrial Complex robbery. And the Trump Force weaponizing Earth orbit? The new money machine. Might as well build spaceships and put the nukes in deep space. Cost about the same. It’s true. .
Boomers used to disappear into the depths but that is not happening. They are constantly tracked due to the oceans of the world being infested with cheap sea glider drones. They can be destroyed at any time now and are no longer a viable deterrent. And with a 347 billion dollar life cycle cost that is as bizarre as it gets.
Space is the answer to most of the world’s problems. Nuclear deterrence, asteroid and comet defense, Climate Change, and we can even create new worlds to live inside of instead of on the surface of. Vast oceans for submarines to explore beneath the surface of a dozen or more icy bodies. It is all out there waiting. The biggest obstacle is NewSpace, which is not about space at all, but only about filthy lucre. They see no money to be made with a Moonbase but gazillions from rural video gamers and megaconstellations of space junk.
Maybe life is just too stupid to survive in this universe.
The answer to the Fermi Paradox. We do not seem to be truly intelligent.
-my definition of “truly” intelligent would not be that (being able to destroy ourselves). Any aliens observing us would probably categorize us as having a kind of faux cleverness, but not really capable of surviving.
There are no “real” plans to go to Mars with chemical propulsion.
It was studied to exhaustion, and nothing came of that except “Battlestar Galacticas” that were completely impractical. Nuclear Thermal, much in the news lately because they are spending money on it again, is a dead end because for fantastic expense it only doubles Isp. Far better than that is required to enable any missions beyond the Moon.
That is not even considering the problem of cosmic radiation, let alone solar events and zero G debilitation, both of which make permanent damage much worse than that from a 1 year ISS tour a certainty. Cosmic rays are the real showstopper and nobody will take a stand about that except the world authority on space radiation, Eugene Parker. And his view generates shock and outrage among NewSpace fans because it makes a mockery of their standard practice of trivializing radiation.
Spacex is scamming, plain and simple, and the Musk worshipers are either gullible fools or simply disingenuous enough to go with it. I had one argue with me back and forth for dozens of comments until it became obvious he was just playing that toxic creep game they love. Disgusting.
The last I read the career lifetime dose was being reduced and that means it is impossible for a Mars mission astronaut to not exceed it, which would indicate nobody is going until that is addressed.
I doubt they would waive it.
These artist renderings of astronauts on the surface are misleading though.
Very little bunny hopping is going to happen. Maybe a few for P.R. but the astronaut corps will be trying everything they can to limit dosing.
It would be far better to robotically roof over a small crater, dozer regolith on top for radiation shielding, and use an inflatable shelter as a place to immediately go after landing. I don’t see any kind of human mission without a radiation sanctuary. Even a relatively short Apollo length stay is not a good idea due to solar storms.