Elon Musk Unfolds Plan for SpaceX’s Mars ‘Starship’ Rocket

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. EspHack

    EspHack Ancient Guru

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    what i want to see is bezos dropping off a bigger rocket to crash elon's next party

    back when he threw shade on musk for achieving propulsive landings after him that was real good, competition usually makes things go way faster

    i somehow feel more confident on his insane timetables now that spacex is in what appears to be very solid footing, with a near monopoly on commercial global launches and even starting to pick on that gov-military pie, now if this gargantuan ship goes even half as good as hoped, things will rapidly get out of hand
     
  2. jbscotchman

    jbscotchman Ancient Guru

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    Pretty cool stuff, can't wait to see it launch and hopefully land.
     
  3. slyphnier

    slyphnier Master Guru

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    human keep evolving from mistake
    the choice is keep inventing new things with tons of failures OR get stuck with current situation

    by reading post in here, we can see there is 2 different people, people that looking far into future, open for any possibilities, even with various hold-down on the progress

    and people that always skeptical with advancement and always pointing failure as reason
    so for those people, do u prefer we stuck in our current tech without any advancement ?
     
  4. gUNN1993

    gUNN1993 Master Guru

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    Not like there aren't solutions, look at the ISS or satalites, they are designed to dodge anything big enough to do serious damage and can survive hits from anything too small to detect.

    To quote Douglas Adams "Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is." even if there were a billion billion objects to hit in between here and Mars, the chance of actually hitting one are super low.

    Radiation however is a far bigger issue, as the only way to counteract that is with more mass, which as you say, is a problem.
     

  5. Loobyluggs

    Loobyluggs Ancient Guru

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    Said it before: going to Mars is a waste of time, so was going to the moon. Can't breathe air. Can't grow anything there.

    People who say 'we need to go to spaaaaace!' well, I got news for you: we are already in space, idiot.

    All I am seeing is egotistism at it's best, and the irony is this: no one knows the name of the people who built the rockets that got nasa to the moon and Ego Musk will not be going to Mars personally, and therefore no one will remember him, but they will remember the muppets he sent there to die.

    I know this is a special topic for a lot of people, but it's a total waste of time and fuelled by a big dumb ego.

    Could've cured cancer with that (government) money, but no, he'd rather send people to their death just to try and get his name in a record book...
     
  6. H83

    H83 Ancient Guru

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    Sometimes investors like to keep companies private to increase their value as much as possible and when they reach a certain point they turn the company public so they can make a killing and maximize their profit, that´s probably the case here. Because Musk and the other investors aren´t spending billions for mankind or because of the kindness of their hearts...

    As for the company goals, we all know that sooner or later someone is going to make spaceships good enough to travel through space the question is who´s going to be the first company to do it. Although the idea of colonizing Mars seem kind of silly because there´s nothing there...
     
  7. airbud7

    airbud7 Ancient Guru

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    Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!

    [​IMG]

    I got one for sale!

    [​IMG]

    :D
     
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  8. wavetrex

    wavetrex Maha Guru

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    The first "Warp 5" ship of the Federation, the NX-01 is 225 meters, which is fairly small by TOS and TNG standards.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.waxingmoondesign.com/VesselSpecs.html

    But, if you think about it, it's not that much longer than Elon's Starship + Super Heavy, which add up at 118 m.
    Double the size of Starship in both directions (2nd generation Starship) and we're already reaching Star-Trek Enterprise (ENT) levels of human ship sizes ... at least in length.

    Obviously it won't be warp capable, but it will be seriously BIG, taller than a top-10 skyscraper.

    ---
    How about ~130 years in the future (22th century, during ENT time) ?

    If now in 20 years we might reach rocket sizes that match NX-01 ...
    ... I have a feeling that real Starships (Interstellar craft), even if travelling at sublight speeds... will be not 200 meters, not 2 kms but large metropolis sizes (25 km in length or bigger !).
    And it is necessary to survive hundreds of years in space. They will be flying arcologies, generational ships, self sustaining environments, and will host millions of people set out to colonize other star system. Not puny ships with a crew of 100 ;-)

    I have no doubt that humanity is totally capable of building such monsters, if we set our minds and collective will to do so.


    As it has always happened in the past ... reality tends to beat fiction, sometimes by many orders of magnitude.
     
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  9. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    They're not spending billions on anything the general public has been asking for or in need of, either. You don't have to be a multi-billion dollar corporation while seeking to squeeze every last penny out of your sales. I'm sure the profit margins of companies like Tesla, Boring Company, and SpaceX are thin. Almost every single business Musk has been involved in (except eBay) was a major risk, and if those businesses went public, they'd have all failed miserably for a slew of reasons. You don't make a company public when people start questioning if what you're doing is a good idea, let alone feasible, regardless of profitability.
    Musk's companies are consistently taking risks, and very costly ones too. Not only is this not what shareholders like to see, but a public company in general isn't capable of making such risks, since too much power is handed over to the shareholders. So, I don't think we'll ever see many of these companies going public, unless they're about to go bankrupt.
    I am confident interstellar travel with humans is not going to happen in our lifetime. I'm sure interstellar probes will exist in our lifetime (likely via something solar sailing or EM-drive) but everyone alive today will likely be dead before it reaches another solar system.

    I don't see how colonizing Mars is silly because "there's nothing there". What do you make of people who colonized countries like Mauritania, which is so desolate that even the coastline hardly has any life in it? Part of being human is exploring the unexplored. Mars can be made habitable, but we need to start somewhere. Besides, there are practical benefits to colonizing Mars. Being farther from the sun with less gravity and a thinner atmosphere makes it a much better place to launch space probes. We could build a behemoth of a telescope on the summit of Olympus Mons, which would work far better than anything else we have ever done, since that mountain breaches the bulk of Mars' atmosphere. If terraformed, Mars wouldn't be just a barren rock. Having a colony there would allow us to learn so much more about how planets form and what life can endure. At the very least, considering the rate at which we're destroying our own planet, it'd be nice to have a backup plan (especially if all the people in that plan are smarter, healthier, and more skilled than the average person).
     
  10. Kool64

    Kool64 Maha Guru

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    NCC 1701-D or bust.
     
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  11. wavetrex

    wavetrex Maha Guru

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    Sending interstellar probes at chemical rocket speeds does not make any sense whatsoever.
    Travel time is in the tens of thousands of years.
    By the time they reach the destination the tech here in the solar system (Earth, Mars, Belt(ers)) is going to be greater than our current technology vs cavemen.

    What we CAN do in our lifetimes is use these giant rockets to build enormous telescopes in Lagrange points and just watch the nearby stars and their solar systems in much more detail than we can do with current tiny telescopes.

    Light travels faster than any probe, and the moment we see that light here... it has already crossed the entire distance, which is the most possible up-to-date information about those stars and their planets, and we can do that right now, within our lifetimes !

    As for when the tech will permit constructing generational arco-ships that will actually go there... yea, it will probably be long after anyone alive now is dust.
    However, when we DO send one, after finding good candidates using those giant telescopes, it will be filled to the brim with life, not a probe.
     
  12. H83

    H83 Ancient Guru

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    Actually what Musk is doing is perfectly normal of current start ups, trying to create a sucessefull company burning millions on the process and then go public to make the big bucks. That´s how Facebook, Google, Amazon and others all started. First as private companies with huge investments from a couple of big time investors and then when they are big enough, make them public and make an huge profit in the process. Taking big costly risks is what investors want from start ups because that´s the only way of scoring big. And once those start up "mature" then they become like any other big company adverse of taking big risks unless they really need to. And like i said investors are not pouring money because they want to make the world a better place. And it´s easier to take big risks when the money is not yours because Musk´s investment in his companies is minimal.

    As for Mars i can see a point of trying to make an advanced base on it but other than that i really don´t know... And the idea of Mars being a back up plan for Earth´s destruction is just a silly sci-fi idea. If it came to that, then only a million or 2 would be sent to Mars and everyone else would be stuck on earth...
     
  13. The Laughing Ma

    The Laughing Ma Ancient Guru

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    The stuff they were doing back in the 50s and 60s with nuclear rocket engines was far far more interesting, exciting and had a much higher chance of making Mars transit and habitation a reality than anything Space X is doing now a days.

    They can land all the reuseable rocket motors they want to make it 'cheaper' but as long as they stick with chemical energy motors they are going to be forever stuck with the issue of the transit time, which given that the 'Starship' is currently apparently over original specced mass is going to take even longer now.

    Is Musk willing to step up and suggest that people are going to die to bring about this far fetched dream?

    I got one of those, the engine bay is a bit destroyed and it has a little minor planetary entry and a little light impact damage but I bet someone willing to put some work in could get her back up and running in five or six hundred years time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  14. Loobyluggs

    Loobyluggs Ancient Guru

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    The money mostly came from government contracts...so basically american tax payers money. As that money has been molded into the other companies, those companies actually are paid for by tax payers money by proxy.

    So, he's is basically mitigating risk by not actually having any risks himself with his money.

    It's american tax payers money. Keep reading what I wrote until it sinks in before replying.
     
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  15. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    Right, which is why neither of the methods I mentioned use chemical rockets.
    lol at this rate, I wonder if JWST will launch within our lifetimes. But, they seem to be on track anyway so fingers crossed.
    Not necessarily. Life is error-prone and heavy to sustain/maintain. The first thing we deliberately send to interstellar space (Voyager 2 was accidental) is probably not going to have any life on it except maybe some microbes.

    Perfectly normal? Only eBay, PayPal, and OpenAI were "normal" for startups (and even then, I'm not sure Musk started those himself; at least he didn't do those alone).
    Everything about Tesla was a huge risk - high-performance luxury cars with free charging stations just didn't exist and none of the major auto makers were willing to attempt such a thing.
    SpaceX and Hyperlink were pretty much the first of their kind.
    Nuralink and the Boring Company aren't especially novel but they're both going to have some hefty hurdles to cross.
    These are all companies that would normally require private investors; you don't need to go public to get investments.
    I agree that the investors aren't pouring their money in for the sake of everyone else, but, private investors don't get the same control over the company that a shareholder would. So, what I'm getting at is it doesn't matter what the investors' priorities are; as far as I'm concerned, the investors can't tell the company how to run, so, getting the maximum profit margin isn't the objective in place. All the private investors care about is getting all their money back (when agreed upon) with interest.
    Again, what do you make of everything else humans have explored, both in terms of how they accomplished it and why they did it? What's the point of life if what we've got right now is all we (meaning, all life on Earth, not just humans) will ever get/achieve?
    I didn't say the backup plan was supposed to save everyone... of course everyone would be left behind to rot. Even 1 million sounds way too high. That's why I was saying that only the best people get to start fresh on a new world, and hopefully leave our mistakes behind.
    EDIT:
    So yeah, "saving Earth" is a sci-fi fantasy, but that's not what I was getting at.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019

  16. fry178

    fry178 Ancient Guru

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    Im not saying let's stay where we are tech wise etc, but did/do work at multiple mil installations and talked to ppl working all kinds of jobs incl nasa/jpl and even skunk works.
    Ill take their word how safe/secure something is, anyone disagreeing, please sign up to be the first to go on the trip.
    Im just too old to have my stone read "he wasnt scared/he was the first..)
     
  17. wavetrex

    wavetrex Maha Guru

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    When JWST was designed there was no SpaceX, or Blue Origin, or the current shape of ULA... there was no 21st century "Space Race".

    The entire design was made so it can fit folded inside the somewhat small Arianne fairing available at that time, and it has this extremely complicated multi-module mirror and the other 10000000 moving parts which need to work perfectly.
    Nobody had imagined back then that some dude named Elon will build in 2019-2020 a rocket that can almost fit JWST FULLY UNPACKED...

    That design is a result of the restrictions that existed back then... and tbh we're reaching the point in time when that entire design is obsolete and unnecessary.

    I'm sure somebody has on the back of a napkin somewhere a telescope design that can be launched with Starship for 1/10 of the cost of JWST.

    Life is adaptable. Intelligent life especially.

    A computer doesn't think in the terms: "Shiet, it broke. What do we do now ? ... I dunno... maybe let's try this and see what happens?" Humans do, and they try to fix it by any means necessary ... in order to survive.
    On a mission that will take thousands of years, no computer system can be programmed with all the possible things that could go wrong.... unless we have Human-like AI (and superior), but if we reached that point, it's really not relevant anymore if we, the bags of meat... are alive or not.

    There are enough resources in the solar system to sustain trillions of people. Perhaps even hundreds of trillions.
    Even the Earth itself has untapped underground and underwater resources to host 100+ times more people than there are alive. We just don't know yet how to manage them properly.

    Most don't realize how small we really are compared to cosmic things, and how little do we actually need to stay alive.


    ---------
    TL;DR ... this entire thread:

    Starship+Super Heavy will make all non-reusable rockets before it completely obsolete.

    Just like Cars have made Horse+Carriage completely obsolete* and radically transformed the world, that's what fully reusable rockets will do for space travel.

    * (other than some ... people who's group name begin with A, but let's ignore them)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  18. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    Well, a lot of the delays were due to obstacles and accidents. But yeah I take your point.
    Sad but true. So much time, effort, and money went into it, only for it to be nearly obsolete by the time of its completion. Kinda gets you to wonder if they could just apply the same design but just scale it up 10x. Not gonna happen at this rate, of course.
    A human is also prone to mistakes and putting emotion or personal preferences over what's best for the mission. A machine will act fast and stay objective. A machine doesn't have to worry about bodily functions, and won't panic or respond to unnecessary instincts.
    A computer system was programmed literally by hand (every single bit woven) to handle the first manned mission to the moon with I think 2KB of RAM. Granted, that was only 384,000km but that computer handled a lot of mission-critical functions. I'm quite positive an interstellar mission that is only meant to collect data with no life forms on board could get by on a "dumber" computer. The vast majority of the time, the computer would just be asleep. Meanwhile, when you're traveling at a large percentage of the speed of light (so, basically more than 1%) a human operator would never be able to figure out when to start slowing down so they don't just zoom past their target in the blink of an eye. A machine is required to handle that task.
    EDIT:
    Also worth pointing out that AI has been making great strides lately. By the time we can create a spacecraft capable of interstellar space (within a reasonable amount of time), we'll have had a computer fully capable of handling a complex mission all by itself.
    Sure but aside from all of that only being theoretical, it's not necessarily a life worth living. Such a world would be miserable, or at the very least, unproductive. Like you said, we're struggling how to manage our resources now.
    Potential options are not always ones worth seeking.
    Yes, but at the same time, our planet is minuscule even compared to others in our own solar system. What we need to stay alive is fragile and finite.
     
  19. H83

    H83 Ancient Guru

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    That money are from contracts earned by SpaceX because the government requires their services or similar services from other companies. So it´s different from money gathered from investors. Of course we can always discuss that this is an indirect way of subsidizing/investing on a private company or that this is some sort of proctecionism by the U.S. or that this money should go directly to NASA but these are different matters.


    I´m sorry schmidtbag but Tesla and SpaceX are following the same business model has many other start ups. Just because they are dealing with physical objects doesn´t mean the business model is different from the ones that exist only on a digital world. Tesla is a perfectly example of this, they are investing/burning billions trying to make the company succeed just like Amazon for example because they know otherwise Tesla would disappear instantly. Investors are taking that huge risk because if they succeed the payoff is huge, much bigger than buying a stake on a normal company. They are hoping that Tesla becomes the Apple of cars... As for normal car makers they had little reason to create electrical cars because selling ICE cars serves the same purpose.
    Also SpaceX only appeared because the U.S. cut off funding from Nasa and demanded that some stuff should be outsourced to private companies, this decision lead to the creation of SpaceX and others! It may seem that SpaceX is the only company doing this work but it´s not there are other companies getting contracts from NASA, one of them is Boieng. Amazon and Origin Space are also trying to create spaceships for different purposes/reasons. And investors are hoping that SpaceX can create a monopoly on space travels so they can make huge sums of money...
    Boring company for now it´s just a stupid idea with little purpose and Hyperlink could be something great or something useless, don´t know.

    As for investors having no control over the companies they invest i´m sorry but things don´t work that way. When investors put some money on a company they normally do it by buying a stake/percentage of the same and that stake corresponds to the part of the company they own and are in charge. For example if you invest a million dollars on a company for a 50% stake that means you own half the company and are in charge of half the company! Very few investors trust a guy blindly to simply give him their money and wait for the corresponding profits. Investors put their money on private companies because they want to make more money and to ensure this they demand some control over the same companies. And there are a lot of times were investors are the ones running the companies and the founders are just there to pretend the company is still a small start up that doesn´t care about money...
    For example lots of people joke that the reason SpaceX is so succeffull is because Musk´s interference is minimal besides the marketing stunts like going to Mars and colonizing it...

    As for going to a new world to start fresh and leave our mistakes behing i think that´s wishful thinking but that´s another story.

    This is my opinion of course.
     
  20. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    Physical objects has nothing to do with my point. My point is they're both businesses that are the first of their kind, and an absurd idea to some. So, I take your point that they're burning a whole lot of money and collecting a lot of debt in order to have a massive gain in the future, but that's about where the similarities end. A site like Amazon was not a novel idea, and it started off simple (it was just an online book store). It had real potential to grow, which the investors saw. Amazon could have been made public from the very beginning and I'm sure it'd have yielded the same amount of success in the same time frame, possibly even sooner.
    SpaceX dove straight into the deep end. They didn't start off making hobbyist engines and scale up, they just went straight to going big and innovative. For a company with no history, that's terrifying to investors. It's a company literally revolving around rocket science. Rockets are not only absurdly complex, but astronomically (pun intended) expensive. Everything I said there is quite possibly the worst combination you could ever ask for an investor to pitch into.
    Tesla, meanwhile, took a market that has failed miserably on multiple occasions, and decided to revolve an entire business around it, while cranking things up a notch by adding luxury and sportiness into the mix (which only makes the cost-of-entry higher). Why would anyone want to invest in something nobody was asking for and is so failure prone?
    All of this is why you can't compare these companies. It doesn't matter what their product is, the problem is they're extremely ambitious, even ignoring all of the odds against them. It actually boggles my mind how Elon managed to get as far as he did.
    SpaceX was founded long before that happened.
    I don't really see the problem with SpaceX forming a monopoly on space travel. It's not going to be a commodity in our lifetime so I don't really care if this is something only rich people get to do.
    The Boring Company, to my understanding, is nothing more than a milestone to achieve Hyperlink.
    Again... you're confusing different forms of investment, and are primarily focusing on how public companies function, but the companies in question are private, and as such, that affects the way investments work. There are a lot of different forms of investment, such as venture capitalists, angel investors, loans/bonds, crowdfunding (which also has many of its own branches), and so on. All of these things affect who gets a say in what. Some methods of investment don't allow the investor/shareholder to have any real control after the money has been passed over.
    In the case of companies like SpaceX, the investors can't have much say in how the company is run because they don't know a damn thing about how the product works. Building rockets that you might only launch a few times in a year is very different from churning out products in a factory. There's no steady stream of revenue involved and there probably never will be. If SpaceX were public and you determined whether or not you wanted to buy or sell stocks based on quarterly revenue, everyone would sell ASAP.
    Those who invest in SpaceX know that if you try to penny-pinch, you're increasing the chances of failure. It costs millions to do 1 launch. If the launch is successful, great, the money was well worth it. If it fails, you (as the investor) are getting nothing back. So, if you leave all the control into the investors where they're like "do we really need a tank of hydrogen that big?" then you're increasing your chances of total failure.

    Anyway - I do feel that at this point, Tesla could go public and that would work in their favor. They proved themselves, they have a reputation, and the brand is popular (both in a good and bad light). That's the kind of stuff shareholders love to see.

    His interference can be minimal, but that doesn't mean investors are calling all the shots. I'm sure it's the actual scientists who have most of the control, because they know more than everyone else and everyone involved depends on them. If they say they need that giant hydrogen tank, they're probably going to get it. If Musk suddenly steps in and says "let's colonize Mars by 2023!", that's when investors are like "eh... no".
    Well, considering your pessimistic view of colonizing Mars, of course you'd think that. But forming a functional colony on Mars is the first baby step in what I believe will be a half millennium project. Even if Mars got its first colonists today, it is not going to be a "fresh start" for a very VERY long time, but, it has the potential if/when people on Earth decide to accelerate the pace at which we're screwing things up.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019

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