It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Space X

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It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Space X

Postby Raid » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:35 pm



Space X have revealed their plan for space travel to (and from) Mars. Current projections have them starting trips in the early 2020s. This isn't just a research trip, this is settlement. Elon Musk wants to make humanity a multiplanetary species within the next decade. It was the title of his talk today where this was announced:


(skip to 20:55 for the start)

Now granted, they've come up with the idea, but their funding plan includes the South Park Underpants Gnome meme. Still, Space X have been responsible for some really quite exciting progress in space technology in recent years, and part of me believes this is all possible. Musk's reason behind this vision is what he sees as stagnation in space technology, as we have no good reason to spend such a phenomenal amount of money when governments have enough problems to deal with. Space X is a commercial venture, so that doesn't apply in the same way.

I'm excited by the prospect of space exploration, so I probably have an overly hopeful view of this sort of thing, but after watching the US Presidential Debate this morning, a little bit of hope for the future is a welcome change.

And yes, the title of this thread is a reference to the opening sequence of Star Trek: Enterprise, because the Space X concept video reminds me of that montage. It feels like we're one shot closer to that crazy space future.

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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby Wrathbone » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:23 am

I really hope they succeed. The prospect of not only getting a human to Mars but creating a colony there - and in the next decade (!) - is incredible. The future of space exploration and development does seem to be commercial, which raises a few interesting / concerning long-term questions:

- If SpaceX land a person on Mars, can they claim the planet?
- What laws will the colony be subject to?
- If future Mars societies (and potentially colonies and societies on other planets) are founded by companies for commercial reasons, will they have the best interests of their people at heart?

While Elon Musk I'm certain has only the best intentions, it's not hard to imagine a distant, dystopian future in space where companies exploit the people living in their territories. I'm struggling to think of an historical example of a company claiming ownership or effective jurisdiction of territory on Earth - the East India Company, perhaps?
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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby eVoL » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:37 am

Spreading musk through the galaxy.

I dont think they'll manage it in the next ten years. What they have accomplished so far is incredible, especially for a company named after a 60's TV show that never existed but I feel he might be shooting a bit too soon. I really hope they manage it because maaaaan space is awesome and we need more stuff out there.

I really love this thing
http://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pix ... ystem.html
It makes you wonder how the hell we manage to do anything out there never mind landing on a tiny ass comet.
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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby Wrathbone » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:57 am

eVoL wrote:I really love this thing
http://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pix ... ystem.html
It makes you wonder how the hell we manage to do anything out there never mind landing on a tiny ass comet.


I thought it was awesome, then I noticed you can click the C button at the bottom right and it scrolls at the speed of light. :o One of the best things on the internet.
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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby Animalmother » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:11 am

Yeah, 10 years sounds very optimistic to be honest. Maybe 50 years would be more realistic for a colony on Mars.

I suppose if they found life on Mars, no matter how primitive, that would completely change the rules on going there. It might be off-limits for anything other than research.

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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby DjchunKfunK » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:44 pm

I'd rather we didn't have a corporation bidding to take over chunks of another planet, especially one with Musk involved, but the idea behind it is cool.
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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby Raid » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:05 pm

I am curious about laws regarding individuals claiming land on other planets. I imagine there simply aren't any. There are treaties prohibiting governments from claiming land on any other celestial body, and from placing weapons of mass destruction or testing them outside of Earth's atmosphere. Similarly, "outer space" cannot be claimed (it's all international waters, so to speak). When these laws were written, there weren't any private organisations able to reach orbit so their inclusion wasn't thought necessary.

I suspect this will be something that is at least partially resolved by the time anyone is actually able to land people on Mars.

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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby Mantis » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:08 pm

The concept of commercial entities driving forward space exploration is all a bit Weyland Industries. Still quite cool though.

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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby katarn » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:51 pm

It's good that 'stuff is happening' with Mars. I can see future generations in the 2400's (or whenever) harking back to contractual decisions made in the dawn of space travel (now) regarding legal rights.

Although, it's possible that hundreds of years from now Mars will just be seen as a place to explore and nothing else, similar to the Moon. There might end up being no real practical benefits to doing much with the planet.

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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby Jez » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:30 pm

DjchunKfunK wrote:I'd rather we didn't have a corporation bidding to take over chunks of another planet, especially one with Musk involved, but the idea behind it is cool.


They might as well do it as anyone. Countries are definitely no better. Once they open up the path to mining these places it can only really be big industry that will forget the way.

Sadly.

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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby Raid » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:38 pm

I think it'll be interesting how an already established civilisation decides on how we effectively start from scratch. A vast number of problems here on Earth are down to territory disputes, claims over natural resources and lack of available land for expanding populations. This all stems from an obvious lack of organisation and communication over the course of the development of our species.

Well, now every single government can communicate in real time with one another. We have the ability to map the entire planet and establish boundaries without bloodshed, to plan ahead and try not to damage the planet as we have Earth (although, ironically, the greenhouse effect will be a necessary part of terraforming). How do we proceed?

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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby Quietman » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:49 pm

Call me when it's terraformed with pootatoes.
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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby Raid » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:53 pm

Quietman wrote:Call me when it's terraformed with pootatoes.

That's not exactly enticing.

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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby Edwin » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:05 pm

Wasn't the problem with the mars colony idea that anyone who went there wouldn't be able to leave? Also there is no air, food, drinkable water and basically nothing to do.
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Re: It's bin' a long time, gettin' from there t' here - Spac

Postby eVoL » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:29 pm

It was a multi stage thing with supplies being shipped ahead with follow up supply runs. It was never a suicude mission as such but the expectation would be they would for there though.
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