SpaceX - The Quest For Mars


Thanks for the info TI, no matter what one thinks of it it sounds like fun. Btw, I may have misheard but I was sure he said $220k per ticket – the median price of a house in the US. Minor point anyway.


Yes, thanks TI for v interesting post. Musk’s plans are fascinating, but surely should be separated into two elements. First, developing craft capable of bringing humans to Mars for exploration and temporary residence. The second part, trying to develop a self-sustaining community of many thousands of ‘colonists’ within the next 40-50 years is pure fantasy. You might get small groups of individuals willing to risk death for the dubious pleasure of living in an enclosed world lacking virtually all of the necessities of life, but tens of thousands? Only if Earth, in the meantime, has suffered some catastrophic calamity. If Musk’s plans depend on tens of thousands of people forking over hundreds of thousands of dollars to up sticks and live on Mars, then they are pie in the sky.


And the first neo-pioneering group can’t be a random group but would have to include a bunch of miners/blacksmiths/and a variety of other technical craftspeople to develop tools and building materials from first principles since they will hardly carry much of these in the payload. I haven’t been reading the SpaceX material but what are the plans to grow food and make water to sustain a colony there?

Maybe Musk is hoping on a scenario where Trump gets elected and things get really bad on Earth.


Well if it turns out that there are microbes of any sort underground living in the icy water on Mars then I would not like to be the first person to test this water


This reminded me of you.


Re Spacex’s rocket blowing up on the pad recently.

After all of the “obvious” causes have been excluded sabotage is being considered as a potential cause: … story.html


I had wondered (if only a little) regards previous failures. So who is doing the sabotaging or most likely culprit?

Meanwhile, some cool old school Soviet Bloc style space tec (something to note, there are claims the US shuttle has it’s own jet engines, because you can hear them… does it? I thought it was a glider)

Buran 1988 (from circa 6:40 you can see the rear mounted engine for autonomous takeoff and landing, possibly used for testing purposes). Not sure this ever went into orbit, maybe once. Great video.


It was a glider during landing. The ‘jet’ noise that is obvious during touch down and roll out on countless videos is the sound of the three hydrazine-fueled Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) working away to power the craft’s hydraulics. But they didn’t provide any thrust.

The Buran orbiter had two jet engines to assist approach and landing. They were located above the fuselage against either side of the vertical stabiliser. The craft seen flying in the video was an aerodynamic test vehicle incapable of going into space and had an additional two jet engines in pods either side of the rear fuselage to permit independent runway take off.

Buran had one unmanned launch into orbit and a successful re-entry and autonomous runway landing (apparently including a go around due to high cross winds - those engines came in handy!).

Then the wall came down.


The would have cancelled it any way, the Russians could never understand why the Americans were building the Shuttle so the copied them anyway so as not to be left behind, in the end they figured out that it was nothing more than a gigantic pork project, the US public still don’t get it, which is why they continue to waste billions on the SLS


You were doing well up to the last sentence, if anything they should be spending more on SLS and other science/engineering projects especially seeing how low interest rates are


Jesus wept

Since the SLS is a rocket built with engines and boosters left over from the Shuttle program, could you tell me exactly what is costing so many billions ? and why is it such a good idea to waste even more ? interest rates are low, so lets waste money, amazing

And this is for a rocket that won’t be much better than the Falcon heavy or the new Blue Origin rocket, even the next ULA rocket will end up being cheaper


It aint your money so put your panties back on, its easy to be an internet keyboard warrior when the problem does not affect you in any way.

Right now all of the above mentioned rockets are non existent, with the SLS being the one furthest along of actually flying. 18 billion is pocket change for Uncle Sam, be happy this is money not being spent on weapons.

Also competition is good, the more the merrier and its keeping engineers sharp and training new generation.

goto ItIsNotYourMoneyPointMadeAbove;


A foolish argument, just because its not my money does not mean its a good idea to waste it, call me a keyboard warrior if you want, but the facts are clearly on my side

No, the Falcon Heavy even with a few more delays will still launch before the SLS

There is very little new engineering being done on the SLS, its a waste of money, and its not competition, its a pork project like the Shuttle


I’m firmly with @the dude on this one.
The SLS is a rocket from the 70’s on literally a mission to nowhere (there is no mission objective) sucking a huge amount of money that could be better spent on other space projects. While not my money it could be better spent to further humanity’s access / use of space or to further our understanding of the universe. Flagship missions like Casini or the Curiosity rover cost circa $2 bn. SLS is preventing amazing science from happening.

The SLS is a fully disposable very expensive system using tec designed in the 60’s and 70’s it is also designed to fly only twice per year, by the time it is built it will be massively out classed by the Falcon Heavy The ITS and Blue Origin’s new Glen. The ONLY reason SLS is even a project is because it sucks government money into particular Senators constituencies.

By way of example. Nasa has publicly said that it would have cost them circa $4 bn to develop the Falcon 9 rocket (without the reusability) SpaceX did it for $300m!!

NASA does deep space and science really really well. It cannot build cheap rockets.

US space policy actually mandates NASA to use Private launch vehicles where available. Hence the commercial crew and ISS resupply programs which are 100% private.

SLS is the biggest waste of mone on a space project ever.


I saw the Buran at its resting place in Moscow’s Gorky park back in 1996. Bit sad to see it there but the the whole shuttle thing was a very bad design.


Bad design or not bringing my little ones to various NASA facilities (I seen the last shuttle few days before final liftoff, and been back since) and where one of the Shuttle’s is now proudly displayed for all to see, was a memorable experience for all of us. If it lights an interest in them in science and technology then great!

Once again its easy to be cribbing and moaning from the sidelines but at least the Americans are spending gobs of money both publicly and privately on pushing science and technology forward, while here in Ireland we are busy as always selling homes to one another. What does that teach our kids? being a Savy McCanny Politician is a better career choice than engineering? :frowning:


A big congratulations to Jeff Besos and Blue Origin on a successful in flight abort test of the crew capsule of their New Shepperd rocket.

Video here: … video.html

This was the fith flight of thier sub orbital rocket (SpaceX has yet to refly one of theirs) this was also the one that the CEO thought there was a “non zero” chance of the booster surviving. Spoiler: It survived! 8DD

Space is exciting again.


Musk features in the trailer for a six part drama about the colonisation of Mars, which starts in November on National Geographic Channel:


Yes I’m looking forward to that.

I think Musk consulted on the architecture. It’s no coincidence that the minseries lander has legs and will land very like Musk’s Spaceship.


Even we, in little Ireland, could pay that just using the Apple settlement + penalty interest.