SpaceX - The Quest For Mars


We had this debate at the start of the thread, you might be right but it makes little difference SpaceX are working on sending people to Mars


Another couple of decades and we’ll probably be designing humans for these kinds of situations and worries about radiation and low gravity will be moot, or the Chinese will anyway.


Why don’t we just design robots to do it. They can establish the “colony” and keep it running. It’d be like keeping the larder stocked in the nuclear bunker. Just 'cos you want to have it for backup doesn’t mean you want to live there all the time.


Robots makes more sense technologically and ethically. Designing humans to live on Mars sounds to me like creating a race of Martian slaves. In the old days slaves were selectively bred, in the future they’ll be crispr’d.


In the long (very) run I think that we will abandon planet living altogether. Once we become a proper space faring species.

Why be constrained by a paltry narrow film of living on the surface of a rock. 2k Down you’re dead, 10k up you’re dead and all that wasted usless mass below your feet.

When spaceships are as big as contentment’s or planets, you won’t even notice the difference. They will have real, sky, mountains, lakes, geology (rather centric term I know but I don’t know what the correct term would be) etc. All the resources / raw materials we will ever need can be found in space

But we have to learn to live off earth 1st. Mars is the friendliest place close to home. It’s a stepping stone to the rest of the Galaxy.

Don’t have such a navel gazing narrow geocentric view, let’s populate the apparently sterile Galaxy with the spark of life.

Mars is the start


Reminds me of a sci-fi short story that shocked me as a kid – it was probably by Asimov – where the space faring version of the species are returning for the first time in many generations to meet their Earth-bound cousins. There’s a sickening twist at the end where the space people come down the ship’s ramp and they are pink slugs, transformed by eons of zero g. :smiley:

In order to exploit those resources we will need practically limitless energy. What that says to me is that the first nut to crack is limitless energy. Musk is wasting his time building rockets when he could be putting his efforts into nuclear fusion.

I really don’t think it is. When we have limitless energy we will be able to get to Mars in a matter of days on a direct route. Perhaps building Martian habitats will be a fun project once we can do that, but right now all the effort is going into dead-end development of chemical rockets.


Musk is just sticking to known physics to get the job done and making it commercially viable at all steps is his key to success.

It’s like building the sailboat to get the job done rather than waiting for the ICE powered ships to be invented.


That’s why I don’t quibble too much about Mars. I don’t care if he never gets there, but the commercial rocket development is pretty cool.

On the other hand, I’d love to see fusion technology get more attention as I think it’s ultimately more important. It is “known physics” too but faces many engineering challenges and probably can’t be done in commercially viable stages initially. A number of fusions startups have commercial funding, but they need people with deep pockets who can live with a very low chance of success for quite a number of years.


Why going to Mars is a crap idea… … lonisation


Not a very good effort, and in any case it doesn’t matter now, even if SpaceX fail, Blue Origin, Russia, China, Japan or any one in the launch business in a serious way will end up with their own version of a reusable Falcon 9, and Blue Origin are already working on two far bigger rockets, so it looks to me that its just a matter of time


Rocket Lab launched “It’s Business Time” from its New Zealand launch site last Sunday. The company’s third launch, and first commercial one, placed six cubesats in sun-synchronous orbit at 500km. Rocket Lab plans for launches to cost an incredible $5m each. Its 3D-printed Rutherford engines are similar in design to SpaceX’s Merlins, running on RP-1 and LOX, but use L-ion battery-powered fuel pumps. Its Electron rocket has nine engines like the Falcon 9 and the second stage uses an identical Rutherford engine for economy of scale. For sun-synchronous orbits a third kick stage circularises the orbit at 500km.


Very impressive from a small country like New Zealand, when Musk started SpaceX he had a large aerospace industry to recruit like minded people from, impossible to do that in New Zealand

Will be interesting to see what their long term plans are


As far as I know their next phase is a $140m raise to ramp up the cubesat business. It’s quite plausible they could carve that out as a niche. There are huge numbers of real-world applications for cubsesats and if they can truly get launch costs down to $5m they could be onto a winner. Especially if their drag chute technology works to deorbit all the potential junk.

Speaking of which, from Wapo via


Thats not really what I mean, for example, even before SpaceX were finished developing the Merlin engine they had started work on the Raptor engine, we will see the Raptor being flight tested next year, so I assume SpaceX are now talking about the engine after Raptor, I hope the Kiwi’s are doing the same


Explanation and interview with the CEO.


The Falcon Heavy beat the SLS to orbit and now it looks like the Falcon Heavy replacement will beat the SLS to the launch pad, and the way these NASA pork projects work, who knows it may beat it to orbit too

Looks like we will see the first Dragon 2 flight in January and a Falcon Heavy too, and later in the year BSF (Starship) testing



Did we just glimpse a novel craft of the long rumoured Secret Space Program before the feed was cut to Dragon X docking? :angry:

Here is the original video and channel - IS this the USAF taking a peak or buzzing Dragon X for shits and giggles? :nin

What could it be?


Looks like a city @ night passing below on the earths surface.


Yes that looks exactly like lights from a town / city on the night side of the Earth as the Dragon approaches the station from below.