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Elon M: I'll put Human Boots on Mars by 2026

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Electrocar and rocket tycoon Elon Musk says he'll put the first human beings on Mars well before the 2020s are finished – and also promised to float his SpaceX firm on Earth stock exchanges once the interplanetary mission gets underway.

"I'm hopeful that the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years, I think it's certainly possible for that to occur," he told CNBC. "But the thing that matters long term is to have a self-sustaining city on Mars, to make life multi-planetary."

Musk said that the SpaceX goal was essential to the future survival of humanity. Either mankind would slip the surly bonds of Earth and become an interplanetary species, or remain a single-planet culture and become extinct due to a man-made or natural catastrophe.

Musk's schedule puts him well ahead of NASA, which is only talking about getting man to Mars by the 2030s – and then only if it can get billions in public funding and build a rocket big enough for the job. Musk's Falcon Heavy booster is scheduled to fly within the next year, and will carry enough payload to make assembling a Mars spaceship possible.

Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/18/spacex_can_get_mankind_on_mars_in_10_or_12_years_claims_elon_musk/

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And, you know, I could just about believe him.

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He certainly has the drive and vision, Peter.

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Posted (edited)

I think he's being a little ambitious here (SpaceX can't even get their latest Falcon 9 off the ground at the moment despite trying since May). The technology to put humans on Mars by 2020 may well be within his reach but the knowledge of what effect long term exposure to reduced gravity has on the human body is lacking.

I find a kind of double standard at work here. When Mars One makes a claim that they will put humans on Mars in the 2020s they are immediately dismissed. When Elon Musk makes the same claim he is immediately praised.

Mars One and Elon Musk are raising the bar when it comes to sending humans into the solar system but I worry that they are trying to run before they can walk, The public have become much more risk averse, when it comes to spaceflight, than they were during the Apollo era. Killing or seriously injuring a crew could set back space exploration for many years.

Risk is part of exploration, but knowing and reducing the risks is part of good management.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
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I think he's being a little ambitious here (SpaceX can't even get their latest Falcon 9 off the ground at the moment despite trying since May). The technology to put humans on Mars by 2020 may well be within his reach but the knowledge of what effect long term exposure to reduced gravity has on the human body is lacking.

I find a kind of double standard at work here. When Mars One makes a claim that they will put humans on Mars in the 2020s they are immediately dismissed. When Elon Musk makes the same claim he is immediately praised.

Mars One and Elon Musk are raising the bar when it comes to sending humans into the solar system but I worry that they are trying to run before they can walk, The public have become much more risk averse, when it comes to spaceflight, than they were during the Apollo era. Killing or seriously injuring a crew could set back space exploration for many years.

Risk is part of exploration, but knowing and reducing the risks is part of good management.

Mars one was seen as more of a publicity stunt I guess, however when you look at their list of suppliers and partners then the criticism seems a little early. Space X is one of the suppliers, which makes me wonder why he is opting for a secondary route, unless he feels the Mars One mission will lose legs before it gets off the ground.

What I haven't heard from either of these groups though, is how they plan to get around existing agreements to not contaminate Mars. As I understand it they use target probabilities when sending hardware to the red planet (something like 1 in 10000 I think)....how do they think they can achieve similar results on their missions....unless they intend to ignore the agreements of course.

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which makes me wonder why he is opting for a secondary route, unless he feels the Mars One mission will lose legs before it gets off the ground.

SpaceX is a commercial company and would, presumably, provide spacecraft to Mars One on a commercial basis, that does not exclude Musk from having his own, separate dreams. However Musk keeps a lot of things secret. It is perfectly possible that his plans to put humans on Mars are in conjunction with Mars One and that there is no secondary route at all.

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SpaceX is a commercial company and would, presumably, provide spacecraft to Mars One on a commercial basis, that does not exclude Musk from having his own, separate dreams. However Musk keeps a lot of things secret. It is perfectly possible that his plans to put humans on Mars are in conjunction with Mars One and that there is no secondary route at all.

Possibly, although there is a 3 yr difference in the time scales, although in terms of a project this size that is nothing at all.

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Mars one was seen as more of a publicity stunt I guess, however when you look at their list of suppliers and partners then the

criticism seems a little early. Space X is one of the suppliers, which makes me wonder why he is opting for a secondary route,

unless he feels the Mars One mission will lose legs before it gets off the ground.

The supplier list of MARS ONE is an often used argument to back the, or a, seriousness of this company. But the supplier list

isn`t an indicator for seriousness and/or an indicator for the projects progress at all, it is just marketing language.

From MARS ONE HP:

About the Suppliers

Mars One has visited several major aerospace companies around the world to discuss its plan, and the hardware components

that are needed to implement the plan. For each component, Mars One has found at least one potential supplier. Mars One has

visited the companies below, and has received letters of interest from them.

Even you or me would be able to schedule a meeting with each of the listed companies so that we also could mention these

companies on our HPs as "potential supplies". And yeah, "has received letters of interest from them" isn`t any indicator as

well as this kind of communication is standard post-appointment blabla and common in all types of business around the globe.

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The supplier list of MARS ONE is an often used argument to back the, or a, seriousness of this company. But the supplier list

isn`t an indicator for seriousness and/or an indicator for the projects progress at all, it is just marketing language.

Agreed, however if Mars One is a con trick or a massive publicity stunt why set it up as a not-for-profit organisation. It is this fact that makes me believe they are serious. Although believing they are serious does not mean I believe they will succeed?

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The supplier list of MARS ONE is an often used argument to back the, or a, seriousness of this company. But the supplier list

isn`t an indicator for seriousness and/or an indicator for the projects progress at all, it is just marketing language.

From MARS ONE HP:

Even you or me would be able to schedule a meeting with each of the listed companies so that we also could mention these

companies on our HPs as "potential supplies". And yeah, "has received letters of interest from them" isn`t any indicator as

well as this kind of communication is standard post-appointment blabla and common in all types of business around the globe.

Having worked at growing CLS Trading into a reasonable import/export agent for particular projects i'm well aware how meaningless a letter of interest is....i've sent many hundreds ;)

That wasn't my point though, my point was in response to Waspie when saying that Mars One received criticism, Musk gets praise. Musk has history, Mars One didn't....when they started listing suppliers, contributors, and partners it gives a little more credibility to the general public, whilst remaining meaningless in terms of whether those letters of interest move on to schedules of intent etc..

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Agreed, however if Mars One is a con trick or a massive publicity stunt why set it up as a not-for-profit organisation. It is this fact

that makes me believe they are serious. Although believing they are serious does not mean I believe they will succeed?

I have posted a comment in another thread on Mars-1 already:

I would like to clean up the non-profit organization fairy tale here. As per M1 HP, M1 is a "Dutch Stichting" a non-profit organization and

legal entity with a limited liability but with tax benefits. "Non-profit organization" always sounds beneficent and is always a wallet opener.

M1 has a CRO, it´s co-founder Bas Lansdorp.

As per M1 HP: “The graphic below highlights how the revenues have been invested. Please note that the income from donations and

merchandise have not been used to pay salaries.” That means, we have no information if, for example, the salary for the CEO will be

paid in future from this resource also and if yes, how much.

As per HP M1, M1 generated by donations and merchandising USD138k until OCT2013 and that´s simply nothing looking at the target

of USD6B. In case the project will be ended early, and I´m sure it will, due to missed target in funding all the earned money that was not

invested within the fiscal year, will be kept within the foundation. And that opens the option that, for example, the CEO can skim this money

by increasing the salary or by bonus payment to keep the foundation in the yearly management analysis = non-profitable as salaries and

bonus are listed as emissions in the gross profit analysis report. And as the foundation has a limited liability, so the CEO, no money can

be claimed back.

The whole Mars-One project is just designed to earn lots of money for a few, nothing else.

Ulrich Walter, a German former ESA astronaut and ISS1 crew member stated in an interview about Mars 1 : “I think the budgeting and

the time schedule as well are absolute unrealistic.”

I have to add here, that there are some facts on M1 that are quite dubious, for example the donation section on their HP. Every serious

institution that collect donations offers a donation receipt to the donators as donations are tax-deductible in a lot of countries. There is no

such offer on the M1 HP. Or look at the so called Expenses Report. This "report" is a joke. It is not dated, means we have no idea for

what period of time it is valid and the report only shows percentage values, but does not show how much money was invested. Another

dubious fact is that there is no imprint on the HP, so no adress, no telephone number and no email contact. Seriously, who would buy

something from an internetshop where such informations are missing? I would say no one.

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Having worked at growing CLS Trading into a reasonable import/export agent for particular projects i'm well aware how meaningless

a letter of interest is....i've sent many hundreds ;)

Welcome to the club!

That wasn't my point though, my point was in response to Waspie when saying that Mars One received criticism, Musk gets praise.

Musk has history, Mars One didn't....when they started listing suppliers, contributors, and partners it gives a little more credibility to

the general public, whilst remaining meaningless in terms of whether those letters of interest move on to schedules of intent etc..

i would not compare the Mars-1 project with the Musk project as both parties are playing in totally different leagues. Mars-1 is a

simple TV production project with the plan to send humans on a one-way kamikaze action to a foreign planet. Musk is the

owner of Space-X and so an active partner of NASA since years resulting in deep knowledge about space travel technology.

And I didn`t found any hint in the article that Musk is also planning a one-way trip to Mars. And yeah, the one-way trip planned

by Mars-1 is criticizable in general, mostly from an ethical point of view.

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I wish had never mentioned Mars-1 now, the topic was supposed to be about Elon Musk.

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I wish had never mentioned Mars-1 now, the topic was supposed to be about Elon Musk.

I think Mars one could be extremely damaging to future privately funded space missions if it does turn out to be a con. You can see from this thread how pessimistic it has made us all feel towards what probably are more viable projects.

Mars one funding and timeline is ludicrous IMO.

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I think he's being a little ambitious here (SpaceX can't even get their latest Falcon 9 off the ground at the moment despite trying since May).

With respect, that's one setback compared with a lot of successes. Haven't they now successfully launched three Dragon spacecraft to the ISS? On top of that they've now successfully managed the re-entry of a Falcon 9 first stage, and have just had a successful test of the landing system of the Falcon 9 first stage. To me that's runs on the board.

It will, however, be interesting to see how the early test flights of their Falcon Heavy and Dragon 2 end up. If there are problems I will probably start to agree Musk is getting ahead of himself.

The technology to put humans on Mars by 2020 may well be within his reach but the knowledge of what effect long term exposure to reduced gravity has on the human body is lacking.

Doesn't that depend on how long he intends his crew to stay? After all, we've had astronauts spend periods in excess of a year in weightlessness, whereas the most conservative manned Mars mission profiles seem to involve stays of about a month. I'm no biologist or doctor, but it strikes me that one month in one-third G is going to be less debilitating on the human body than one year of weightlessness.

I find a kind of double standard at work here. When Mars One makes a claim that they will put humans on Mars in the 2020s they are immediately dismissed. When Elon Musk makes the same claim he is immediately praised.

I think the main reason is that, as I mentioned above, SpaceX has the runs on the board. They went from start-up to sending a spacecraft to the ISS in ten years. Mars One might have an advantage if they buy off-the-shelf product, but at the moment they present little more than a concept (as fascinating as it is).

Mars One and Elon Musk are raising the bar when it comes to sending humans into the solar system but I worry that they are trying to run before they can walk, The public have become much more risk averse, when it comes to spaceflight, than they were during the Apollo era. Killing or seriously injuring a crew could set back space exploration for many years.

Risk is part of exploration, but knowing and reducing the risks is part of good management.

I see your point, and agree to some extent. But in return I'd suggest that while I have no interest at the moment in going to Mars I also have no problem with other people risking their lives. In other words, why should my risk aversion (or that of most other people) be used as the basis for preventing third parties from doing what they want to do with their lives. I also have no interest in jumping out of a plane with a parachute attached to me but I wouldn't dream of using that as an excuse to ban parachuting. (Having said that, I suppose (grumpily) that there may be people who have exactly that attitude.)

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I see your point, and agree to some extent. But in return I'd suggest that while I have no interest at the moment in going to Mars I also have no problem with other people risking their lives. In other words, why should my risk aversion (or that of most other people) be used as the basis for preventing third parties from doing what they want to do with their lives. I also have no interest in jumping out of a plane with a parachute attached to me but I wouldn't dream of using that as an excuse to ban parachuting. (Having said that, I suppose (grumpily) that there may be people who have exactly that attitude.)

Totally agree with risk aversion being taken out of public opinion when making decisions on whether to do something or not, however, i'm not sure that was Waspie's point, I think the point was more that space exploration is in the most part tax funded, bad PR makes getting the funding (and the appetite from the public to fund risks) less likely. That's how I read it anyway, although i'd hope to be corrected if that's not the case.

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The story tells you why a second route. Competition, a race ywill mak it happen intead of just talk.

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The story tells you why a second route. Competition, a race ywill mak it happen intead of just talk.

How can it be competition when SpaceX are providing the spacecraft for both?

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I'm not sure how seriously to take him or not. There are so many of these entrepreneurial geniuses who come up with these incredibly grandiose schemes, but they never seem to have their feet on the ground enough to ever be able to make a practical proposition of them.

Anyway, it'll probably end up being bought by Google. :angry:

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Posted (edited)

I'm not sure how seriously to take him or not. There are so many of these entrepreneurial geniuses who come up with these incredibly grandiose schemes, but they never seem to have their feet on the ground enough to ever be able to make a practical proposition of them.

Anyway, it'll probably end up being bought by Google. :angry:

Never seems to be able to make a practical proposition of them? I couldn't disagree more, if you take Space X alone then his achievements to date are more then impressive. Far in excess of anything most other individuals will ever achieve, and born out his own drive and determination, as are all his businesses.

Edited by The Sky Scanner

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Posted (edited)

if you take Space X alone then his achievements to date are more then impressive.

Are they?

SpaceX needs to be commercially successful if Elon Musk's dream of sending humans to Mars is to be achieved. Even his considerable wealth is not enough for this dream.

SpaceX is promising to be cheaper and more reliable than it's competitors. It's certainly cheaper but more reliable? The Falcon 9 is managing a launch rate of just 2.25 per year at the moment, the Ariane 5 manages seven a year. In fact the Falcon has a launch rate worse than the notoriously unreliable space shuttle which, even though it was grounded twice after accidents, managed an average of 4.5 launches a year.

It is also worth remembering that people think of the Falcon 9 has being totally privately funded, but Musk admits that with out NASA money the Falcon 9 would have taken longer to develop. There are US tax payers dollars in that there rocket.

SpaceX is also far from open with information. When United Launch Alliance or Arianespace have a technical issue they are very open about it. Musk is very open about the successes but keeps quite about the technical problems. Every major commercial launch organisation provides live video footage of their launches... at least they did until yesterday. Guess which one isn't going to provide launch coverage from now on? If you guessed SpaceX go to the top of the class.

I don't want to come out of this as a naysayer. I hope SpaceX succeeds, I hope to see Musk's dreams fulfilled, but there needs to be a bit of realism in all this. They are not yet the success story Musk would have you believe.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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I wanna go!

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Posted (edited)

I find a kind of double standard at work here. When Mars One makes a claim that they will put humans on Mars in the 2020s they are immediately dismissed. When Elon Musk makes the same claim he is immediately praised.

The big difference is that Mr Musk has SpaceX, a company already producing tangible space hardware and Mr Lansdorp (Mars One) only has some nice artwork, a few coffee mugs and some T shirts.

That said, personally I don't think Mr Musk will put boots on Mars either... the first boots on Mars will be NASA's.

Edited by Occams Razor
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Posted (edited)

However Musk keeps a lot of things secret. It is perfectly possible that his plans to put humans on Mars are in conjunction with Mars One and that there is no secondary route at all.

Unlikely, Mars One are keen to boost their credibility by pointing out they have contracts with Paragon Space Systems, Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology. They often omit the fact that these contracts are for "conceptual design studies" and not actual space hardware. If they had any kind of contract with SpaceX they would be shouting it from the rooftops.

Edited by Occams Razor

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Posted (edited)

I think Mars one could be extremely damaging to future privately funded space missions if it does turn out to be a con. You can see from this thread how pessimistic it has made us all feel towards what probably are more viable projects.

No, I don't think so. Mars One is an obvious scam, SpaceX is obviously a real space technology... aerospace company. People aren't that stupid, most can sort the wheat from the chaff. The people interested in investing in real space technology will be smart enough to be able to tell a real space project from an 'other peoples money scam' at a glance. That's why Mars One doesn't have any serious investment money, it has to sell T shirts, coffee mugs, as yet unwritten novels, and other novelties to keep the cash coming in.

Take a look at this, this is Bas Lansdorp's last project:

As far as I know Ampyx Power still doesn't have this "technology" commercially available, it's just a black hole for "investment" money... they need to carry out more research and development... they need more cash! Collecting cash from as many sources as possible is their real core business. Just take a look at their website. This is their "news" page:

http://www.ampyxpower.com/News.html

Now... do you still think Mars One is for real?

Edited by Occams Razor

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