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Full Version: "Hold my Beer..." - Elon Musk
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Disclaimer - I'm a huge fanboy of Elon and the SpaceX team. I watch (just about) every single launch live, those that I miss the kiddos and I catch up on after homework. 

I also want to say that I am in no way advocating for "rushing" into anything, especially human space flight. Sure, there is risk involved no matter what, but I fear that a disastrous outcome on a manned flight to Mars will set us back big time. 

However, I'm not quite sure I agree with this assessment:

Mars 2033 Not Feasible 


Quote:NASA contracted with the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) to prepare the report, which Congress directed NASA to perform in the 2017 NASA authorization act. That bill called specifically for a technical and financial assessment of "a Mars human space flight mission to be launched in 2033."
 
Part of the reason is this stuff (2 years for a preliminary assessment...)
But there's more (and again, I'm not saying I take this lightly. They are scientists after all...)
Quote:STPI, at NASA's direction, used the strategy the agency had laid out in its "Exploration Campaign" report, which projects the continued use of the Space Launch System and Orion and development of the lunar Gateway in the 2020s. That would be followed by the Deep Space Transport (DST), a crewed spacecraft that would travel from cislunar space to Mars and back. NASA would also develop lunar landers are related system to support crewed missions to the lunar surface, while also working on systems for later missions to the surface of Mars.

That work, the STPI report concluded, will take too long to complete in time to support a 2033 mission. "We find that even without budget constraints, a Mars 2033 orbital mission cannot be realistically scheduled under NASA's current and notional plans," the report states. "Our analysis suggests that a Mars orbital mission could be carried out no earlier than the 2037 orbital window without accepting large technology development, schedule delay, cost overrun, and budget shortfall risks."

So my take? Here's the thing, if somebody told NASA that after the shuttle was retired a private company would grow from the ashes and land rocket boosters to reuse them, they would laugh them out of the building. And in fact, NASA (and others) pretty much did just that. When Musk had a dream, doubters were there to tell him it can't be done:
Quote:Noting that the cost of fuel, oxygen and other expendable liquids in the rocket amounts to just 0.3% of the cost of a Falcon 9 mission, SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk says there is potential to further lower the cost by a factor of more than 100, assuming a high launch rate and the ability to fully and rapidly reuse the entire rocket, including its first and second stages.

“This is a difficult thing to achieve,” he told an annual U.S. Export-Import Bank conference in Washington April 25. “A lot of people in the aerospace industry think it's not possible, and most in industry have given up on it. But we think it's possible.”

Quote:Among the doubters is NASA Deputy Associate Administrator Dan Dumbacher, a former Space Shuttle engineer who leads the agency's exploration systems development. Dumbacher says the agency learned a lot from its experience with the orbiter's reusable Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs).

“We tried to make the engines reusable for 55 flights,” he said in Paris last month. “Look how long and how much money it took for us to do that, and we still weren't successful for all parts.”

NASA warns SpaceX on their ridiculous idea...
A year and a half later?



My point to all of this, again, we shouldn't race to Mars simply to get to Mars. But I think I would be preaching to the choir here by saying sometimes Government should just step aside and let innovators & dreamers take their shot. 
Thoughts?
  I disagree with you my friend. I and my husband think we've practise enough and waited long enough.
We could have been on Mars in the late 70's even with the Saturn Booster system.
We could of actually used one of the Nuclear rockets engines they built and tested and been to Mars.
Our deep space probes out there all use nuclear power.

We need to go back to space and stay.  JMHO
I think we are saying the same thing. I'm trying to point out that NASA saying something should take 20 years, should really only take 5 if the money and time are spent correctly. 

SpaceX has proved that the money can be spent correctly, if they can cut through the bureaucratic red tape, time should be on  their side!
Quote:My point to all of this, again, we shouldn't race to Mars simply to get to Mars.
But I think I would be preaching to the choir here by saying sometimes Government should just step aside and
let innovators & dreamers take their shot. 

I agree and agree with Guohua as well!
The long-held perception of space is that it is 'Government-owned' -that is whichever country strives to put a craft
into space, tends to be funded with public-acquired monies.

The US and Russia should've pushed on after the lunar visits and maybe they did in a clandestine way, but after
almost four decades of low-orbit farting around, it was fairly obvious that a private entrepreneur would eventually
pick up the baton.

Sure, let the billionaires invest in space and reap the rewards. When it comes to expanding our species in this vast
universe, getting there is far-more important than who pays for it.

And another thing, how many times as a Government picked up the pieces when a private company has gone broke...?
When it comes to thinking about all the opportunities for human development out there among the stars, one person's
cash is as good as another's.

The crying-shame is that the rugged technology used for travelling to the moon has been lost in favour of relying on
computers. The will to survive is always a better device than a soulless machine.

If Musk thinks he can do it, he should do it. There's no sign in space saying 'Government Property, Keep Off!''
(But we should've already done it!)
In my humble opinion.
 &  
Right,,, we agree,,, 
We need to go NOW!
Our Nation and others have the Techknowledge.
We can build livable habitats and we all know there is water on Mars for making fuel to power a return to the Orbiter which could be powered a Small Nuclear reactor for the return to Earth. 

There is No reason to delay, there are plenty of well Educated and Knowledgeable people willing to Volunteer.