Skip to comments.Private space mogul wants to skip the moon and go right to Mars
Posted on 04/23/2012 5:00:08 PM PDT by KevinDavis
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is an ambitious guy. He's the one who said he can get commercial flights to Mars up and running a decade or so from now, but what about humanity's return to the moon? Well, if you ask Musk, the moon's little more than old news.
Musk has been making the rounds to talk up his company a lot these days as part of the lead-up to a (hopefully) historic SpaceX launch next week. On April 30 the company will launch an unmanned Dragon capsule to dock with the International Space Station. If it succeeds, the mission will mark the first time a private space vessel has docked with the space station, paving the way for more breakthroughs for private spaceflight in the coming years.
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QUICK! REGULATE HIM AND THEN THROW HIM IN JAIL FOR SPACE MONOPOLY!</government>
We aren’t going to Mars. The Leftist establishment will make sure of it.
I agree, we already have Moonies here on Earth. Much better to go to visit Martians.
Pretty original idea except that Wernher von Braun said the same thing nearly sixty years ago. He called going to the moon a “mistake.”
He called going to the moon a mistake.
Why? I’m not an expert, but I’d guess that the moon could be mined for it’s resources and used as a launch base to go to Mars
He unfortunately proved to be a prophet.
He said the moon was too easy. We needed a sufficiently difficult goal to force the building of a large infrastructure that would become commercially self-sustaining. He was afraid that if we got to the moon, politicians, and to some degree the general public, would say, “ok, we did it, that’s that.”
And to a large degree that is exactly what happened. Politicians like Mondale went after NASA, claiming that the “money could be better spent on earth.” (Translation: welfare).
‘He said the moon was too easy. We needed a sufficiently difficult goal to force the building of a large infrastructure that would become commercially self-sustaining. He was afraid that if we got to the moon, politicians, and to some degree the general public, would say, ok, we did it, thats that.
And to a large degree that is exactly what happened. Politicians like Mondale went after NASA, claiming that the money could be better spent on earth.’
He was completely wrong in the big scheme of things. If we’d “held out for Mars” instead of the Moon, the project would have been prohibitively expensive - and I mean unbelievably expensive. There would have been a huge public backlash. Further, there was no viable commercial goal in Mars exploration. Finally, there would have been a huge risk of failure going for a Mars as the first extraterrestrial destination.
We had a politically motivated lunar program that was successful. The major commercial success in space has been the first baby step - satellites. Commercial success on the Moon is quite feasible, as is lunar colonization. There is unlimited energy on the Moon, no EPA, and best of all, no need for an EPA.
Lunar colonization will let us work out the wrinkles in nuclear spacecraft propulsion, necessary levels of G-force for long-term survival and other issues. To go beyond lunar orbit in a practical way, nuclear powered spacecraft are required.
Mars, at its closest approach, is around 140 times as far away as the Moon. It would be lunacy (heh) to attempt to “skip” the Moon and go straight to Mars.
robert zubrin THE CASE FOR MARS
Why not use the moon as a jump-off point (not literally - I don’t advocate BASE jumping to another planet) to get to Mars.
Wernher von Braun said the same thing nearly sixty years ago. He called going to the moon a mistake.
He said that in a vague reference not to some sort of fiscal or political mistake, but to the idea that certain other parties not of this Earth would not like our presence there ... where he got that idea or knowledge is unknown.
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