Extraterrestrial colony companies

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Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Postby williatw » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:13 am

ladajo wrote:Typical Brown bias. The article demonstrates some leaps of logic, and a lot of naivety regarding what is currently going on in space as well. Meh. I think two things are going to drive the future of humanity, and they are interrelated in a big way: The coming (I hope) Energy Age, and its enablement of real human space access, The Interplanetary Age.

Man you guys are a tough crowd...here I post a vaulting optimistic pro-space pro-USA future hope and you just pick it apart. Like most things people do the emotional motivations are just as important (maybe more so) than the logical/practical at least initially. Okay; in the long term the development of let us say fusion drives would be needed to really open up the solar system and insure an adequate long term resource/energy base for the human races' long term "survival with style"; paraphrasing the late J.E. Pournelle--agreed. But we have to get there from here and reusable BFR developed by an apparently hyper-competent entrepreneur (Musk) in competition with another such (Bezos) who both seem to have a strong desire for space development. Earlier efforts from decades ago by the likes of say Gary Hudson didn't have the bucks to back them up, Bezos is now the richest man on the planet and is prepared to spend "a billion dollars a year" or some such. Combine that with a big new military push into space (Space force/SDI) by the US government (believe Musk has already indicated his support for such) looks to me to be just the recipe we need. As an aside any comments about DARPA looking into EmDrive?

https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/ ... a-emdrive/

A million bucks to start with and I am sure many more if it works out; I like the emphasis on orbit tending for (spy) satellites as the first application if it works out. DARPA has allot more money/clout to make things happen than NASA (Sonny White) has.
Last edited by williatw on Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Postby williatw » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:22 am

paperburn1 wrote:I have to agree wholeheartedly. Our next big step needs to be the availability of cheap dependable energy for the long-term. We can go back to our historical record and find civilization after civilization basically collapsed because the lack of available energy to overcome flood, famine, climate change or invader. Somehow by luck or my personal opinion the introduction of caffeine along with the cheap easily accessible petroleum stocks we were able to enter into the Industrial Revolution and develop precision and repeatability.

Our next big hurdle is to have enough energy to maintain our society and crawl out of this gravity well that has been holding us back from becoming a truly interplanetary Society. I have a hypothesis that this is one of the reasons of the Fermi paradox. The developing civilization did not have enough energy to support the population and and leave the gravity well. It seems currently the most water worlds for life can exist are larger than our planet Earth. Most people don't realize that it only takes our planet being just a little bit larger and the ability to go into orbit increases by several factors reaching to the point where something 50% larger than Earth would be almost impossible to get the orbit using conventional means [ rocket fuel and oxygen ]

Under those assumptions it would be easy to see why have planet would not focus outward into space but inward into sustainability

If we develop fusion power (Polywell or some such) we would have both; power for domestic (Earth) usage and then access to easily the three orders of magnitude greater energy/material resources of the solar system at large. As for your argument about larger gravity wells that only makes sense if I assume they (the hypothetical aliens) never developed anything beyond chemical rockets at least for their launch systems. Surely at some point someone would invent a high thrust/energy to weight ratio nuclear drive of some sort. Hard to believe that hurdle explains the "Fermi Paradox"; I would guess some other kind of "Great Filter" that prevents intelligent technological species from occurring in the first place or causing them to not survive long afterwards for some reason.
Last edited by williatw on Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Postby hanelyp » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:38 am

paperburn1 wrote:
hanelyp wrote:If polar regions are premium real estate on the Moon, a transfer station at L1 or L2 seems a strategic location to catch a shuttle to the lunar surface. I'm assuming a transportation architecture where using 3 specialized spacecraft and 2 transfer stations, one in LEO and the other somewhere near the moon.

L1, L2, and L3 are positions of unstable equilibrium. Any object orbiting at L1, L2, or L3 will tend to fall out of orbit; it is therefore rare to find natural objects there, and spacecraft inhabiting these areas must employ station keeping in order to maintain their position. In contrast to L4 and L5, where stable equilibrium exists would require no fuel to remain in the basic same location. I think that would be a huge plus as far a logistics go and would not cost that much more in Delta V. (I have not done the math , this is just an assumption)

The distance from L4 or L5 to the moon tends to defeat the purpose of using a separate spacecraft between LEO and near-lunar space. With a change of ships in lunar orbit or L1,L2 you can have one ship with larger accommodations or higher delta_V from LEO to near-lunar space, and another ship with lighter cabins or higher acceleration capability for surface operations.
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Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Postby paperburn1 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:34 pm

Last edited by paperburn1 on Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

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Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Postby paperburn1 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:37 pm

williatw wrote:
As for your argument about larger gravity wells that only makes sense if I assume they (the hypothetical aliens) never developed anything beyond chemical rockets at least for their launch systems. Surely at some point someone would invent a high thrust/energy to weight ratio nuclear drive of some sort. Hard to believe that hurdle explains the "Fermi Paradox"; I would guess some other kind of "Great Filter" that prevents intelligent technological species from occurring in the first place or causing them to not survive long afterwards for some reason.

Your right, I did make the assumption that "this is too hard lets do something else" We as a species have already started down this path. We no longer have the capability of the heady days of Apollo. Entire space shuttle complex is shut down . The space station is in danger of being shut down as well because we don't have the same capability we had before. The entire ISS could been launched on five Apollo missions but instead through poor planning?/? We chose to go the route of the space shuttle and lost a large amount of capability.It took almost 100 launches of the space shuttle to complete the ISS. Until the advent of Elon's must space X Corporation we were doing a slow and steady slide into space exploration being a tiny niche Operation of government and a few scientists.A lightweight fusion reactor like the Polywell would definitely be a boon and a game changer but I can see a people after losing their space capability no longer being able to get the Ambition to return to space because once again space is hard.Maybe that is the quote great filter quote is limiting people to being interplanetary explorers or more importantly interstellar explorers . Because something surely is and we need to figure out what it is to be prepared to be a space faring nation.

As for nuclear rockets we literally have had that capability for 40 years but due to the nuclear hysteria that seems to exist we've never pushed past those boundaries to find a way to use nuclear energy for space travel and God forbid if anyone even considers trying to use a nuclear rocket in the atmosphere. I think the space elevator and waterfall are just engineering dreams rather than a true potential solution at least for the near term and that a spacefaring civilization would have to see the benefits of space travel and the economic benefits as well as the societal benefits to even pursue one of the more esoteric forms of getting to orbit

Just my humble opinion hopefully I'm proven wrong on all counts will gladly admit it especially if I'm sitting in my chair on the lunar station supervising all my minions
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Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Postby williatw » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:04 pm

Exploring Bennu, the $670 billion asteroid headed toward Earth

About a week after Mars InSight touched down on Mars, another NASA space probe, OSIRIS-REx, arrived in orbit around an asteroid headed toward Earth called Bennu. The probe will spend the next two years mapping and examining Bennu.

OSIRIS-REx’s mission will not only offer insights into the origin and evolution of the solar system — but also may interest future asteroid miners. One estimate suggests that Bennu contains $670 billion worth of material.

The climax of the probe's stay around the asteroid will feature the extension of a sample-gathering arm that will take about 60 grams of particulate material from Bennu’s surface. The probe will blast out of orbit around the asteroid and bring its priceless cargo back to Earth.

In September 2023, OSIRIS-REx will eject a capsule with the samples, which will then land via parachute at the Utah Test and Training Range. The sample capsule will then be taken to a lab at the Johnson Spaceflight
Center in Houston, Texas for study.

One goal of the OSIRIS-REx mission will be to study the material from the carbonaceous asteroid, containing clays, some organic material, and volatiles (nitrogen, water, carbon dioxide, ammonia, hydrogen, methane and sulfur dioxide.) Key information for both planetary science and possible future mining projects.

The second main science mission will study how the so-called Yarkoysky effect determines Bennu’s path in orbit around the sun. The effect involves the absorption of radiation from the Sun and its subsequent emission as heat, creating a tiny but measurable amount of thrust.

A measurement of the Yarkoysky effect will be vitally important to future generations. Scientists believe there is a significant chance that Bennu could impact the Earth sometime in the 22nd century. The impact, were it to happen, would not be the world-killing catastrophe of the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago — but it would hit with 1,200 megatons of force, creating massive devastation.

OSIRIS-REx’s studies will refine understanding of the forces affecting Earth-approaching asteroids, thus aiding the defense against Earth impactors.

So far, missions to other asteroids have not returned a lot of gorgeous images. An asteroid up close looks like a rock with various shades of gray. The images cannot compete with the alien landscapes of Mars, the glorious rings of Saturn, or even the “magnificent desolation” of the lunar surface. However, from both a scientific and commercial perspective, NASA’s voyages of discovery like OSIRIS-REx have an importance that is beyond evaluation.

Asteroid science will help humankind gain a better understanding of the little part of the universe where our home planet orbits the typical, commonplace star that we called the sun. The knowledge won by such missions is as valuable, in its own way, as the gold sought by the Conquistadors in the last age of exploration. Science illuminates our civilization, making it better, opening paths to improve the human condition.

If we have the will to acquire them, the resources that asteroids consist of can become the basis of a new, space-based industrial revolution, creating an abundance of wealth that could vanquish poverty and want. Undertakings like OSIRIS-REx are not only a sign of American greatness, but evidence of what human beings can accomplish when they set out to do great and difficult things.

https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/ ... ward-earth

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Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Postby Betruger » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:31 pm

What is supposed to happen here? D Day is decades not years away.
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Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Postby kunkmiester » Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:01 am

Talk about thread drift. I just went back and looked, there were a couple of posts about financing with the bank idea, but none of the rest directly addresses the idea of colony mutual funds and such for financing individual or group colonization.
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Re: Extraterrestrial colony companies

Postby williatw » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:36 am

Musk vs. Bezos: The Battle of the Space Billionaires Heats Up

SpaceX and Blue Origin compete to commercialize Earth orbit and beyond


The commercial space business has blossomed over the past decade. Two companies, though, have grabbed the spotlight, emerging as the most ambitious of them all: Blue Origin and SpaceX.

At first glance, these two companies look a lot alike. They are both led by billionaires who became wealthy from the Internet: Jeff Bezos of Blue Origin earned his fortune from Amazon.com, and Elon Musk of SpaceX got rich initially from Web-based businesses, notably PayPal. Both companies are developing large, reusable launch vehicles capable of carrying people and satellites for government and commercial customers. And both are motivated by almost messianic visions of humanity’s future beyond Earth. This coming year, we’ll likely see some major milestones as these two titans continue to jockey for position.

Over the past few years, SpaceX has become one of the most active launch companies on the planet. In 2018 alone, SpaceX performed 20 launches (as of press time), with two more scheduled before the end of the year, representing about 20 percent of roughly 100 worldwide launches.

The company stands out in another way—it’s the only one to recover and reuse its rockets. Landings of its Falcon 9 first stages have gone from being novelties, often with explosive failures, to a routine aspect of most missions. Last May, SpaceX introduced its latest version of the Falcon 9, called the Block 5, the first stage of which is designed to be flown 10 or more times.

Although the Falcon 9 will be SpaceX’s workhorse for years to come, the company added a new vehicle to its stable three months before introducing the Block 5. Last February, the company launched the first Falcon Heavy, which includes three Falcon 9 first stages lined up in a row. The Falcon Heavy is capable of placing more than 60 metric tons into low Earth orbit, far more than any existing launch vehicle can accomplish.

But even the Falcon Heavy pales in comparison with what SpaceX is now developing, a vehicle that until recently was called the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR. (The R-rated interpretation of that acronym wasn’t lost on the rocket’s developers, who initially used it as the informal code name for the project.) In late November, Musk announced a name change for the BFR—to Starship for the crewed upper stage, and Super Heavy for the lower booster stage. That booster will have 31 of the company’s Raptor engines, which are under development, while Starship will be outfitted with seven Raptor engines. Both stages are intended to be reusable, and Starship will be able to carry dozens of people to destinations far beyond Earth orbit.

SpaceX has modified the design of this colossal vehicle a couple of times since conceiving it in 2016. The most recent version was described at a press conference this past September at the company’s California headquarters. This version, Musk said, would be able to place 100 metric tons on the surface of Mars, provided that the spaceship’s upper stage was refueled in Earth orbit before departing for the Red Planet.

“I think it looks beautiful,” he added, noting the similarity to a fictional rocket ship of graphic-novel fame. “I love the Tintin rocket design, so I kind of wanted to bias it towards that.”

Speaking in early September at an event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, SpaceX’s chief operating officer, Gwynne Shotwell, said that the company will begin making the first “hop tests” of the BFR’s upper stage (Starship) in late 2019.

Blue Origin, by contrast, has yet to launch anything at all into orbit. But the company has similarly big ambitions. It’s working on a rocket it calls New Glenn (named after John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth), which is scheduled to launch for the first time in 2021. The two-stage rocket will be able to place 45 metric tons into low Earth orbit, with its first stage designed to land on a ship at sea and be reused up to 25 times.

“We’re in build mode right now,” said Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin, during a space policy workshop in Washington, D.C., this past October. The company has completed a new 70,000-square-meter (750,000-square-foot) factory for constructing the rocket just outside the gates of the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida, and it’s currently building a testing and refurbishment facility nearby, which is expected to be completed in early 2019. Blue Origin is also modifying a dormant launchpad at nearby Cape Canaveral for its operations and has signed up several commercial customers for New Glenn.


Up and Away: Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket [top] will be capable of lifting 45 metric tons into low Earth orbit, while SpaceX’s Starship [bottom], if refueled in space, will be capable of ferrying 100 metric tons to the surface of Mars.

Powering New Glenn will be an engine that Blue Origin has been developing called the BE-4. The company is also selling the engine to United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing that was formed in 2006 to serve U.S. government customers. ULA will use the BE-4 on the first stage of its Vulcan rocket, a successor to its existing Atlas and Delta vehicles.

Last October, both Blue Origin and ULA received contracts from the U.S. Air Force to support development of their launch vehicles: $500 million for Blue Origin and nearly $1 billion for ULA. (SpaceX did not receive an award as part of this Air Force Launch Service Agreement program, although the company did not disclose whether it had even submitted a bid.) “It’s exciting to see that we’ll be powering two launch vehicles in the United States Air Force’s arsenal for decades to come,” Smith said at that workshop.

New Glenn builds on the lessons Blue Origin has learned with its suborbital tourist vehicle, New Shepard, named after Alan Shepard, whose 1961 suborbital trip made him the first American in space. New Shepard, featuring a reusable booster and capsule, is being tested at Blue Origin’s West Texas launch site.

Blue Origin plans to fly passengers soon on New Shepard, which has room in the capsule for six people. Timing of the first tourist flight is unclear, though. “I’m hopeful it will happen in 2019,” Bezos said when asked when commercial flights would start, during an interview at the Wired 25 conference last October. At the same time, he included the appropriate notes of caution: “I was hopeful it would happen in 2018. I keep telling the team that it’s not a race. I want this to be the safest space vehicle in the history of space vehicles.”

Unlike Blue Origin, SpaceX has no apparent interest in suborbital spaceflight and is focusing instead on sending people into orbit, most immediately using the Block 5 version of its Falcon 9 booster. SpaceX and Boeing both have NASA contracts to develop crewed spacecraft to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Development of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, a variation of the Dragon spacecraft currently used for carrying cargo to the space station, is nearing completion. NASA released a schedule last October that calls for a final test flight of the Crew Dragon, with people aboard it for the first time, this coming June.

Blue Origin also anticipates flying people into orbit one day, on its New Glenn rocket. The company participated in earlier bidding rounds of NASA’s commercial crew program and maintains an unfunded agreement with the agency, whereby NASA will provide technical support for Blue Origin’s efforts in human spaceflight. “All of our early flights will be payloads,” said Rob Meyerson, formerly the senior vice president of advanced programs at Blue Origin, speaking of the company’s New Glenn rocket at a conference at MIT last March. “We’ll evolve to flying people probably seven, eight years down the road.”

Even further down the road, both Bezos and Musk see their companies truly enabling the expansion of humanity beyond Earth. But they have different visions of where we should go and how.

Musk has long talked about his desire to make humanity “multiplanetary” and thus not vulnerable to a calamity, natural or human-made, affecting Earth. We should try “to become a multiplanet civilization...to ultimately have life on Mars, the moon, maybe Venus, the moons of Jupiter, throughout the solar system,” he said at the September press conference where he described the most recent version of the BFR.

His primary focus, though, has been on Mars. The design of the BFR has been based on its ability to take large amounts of cargo and people to the surface of Mars to establish settlements there. In a 2017 speech, he said the first BFR cargo missions to Mars could launch in 2022, followed by crewed missions in 2024, a schedule he acknowledged was “aspirational.”

Yet Musk has shown an increasing interest in missions to other destinations, particularly the moon. At the September press conference, he announced that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa had paid for a BFR flight, scheduled for 2023, that will go around the moon. Maezawa, an art enthusiast who made his fortune in online fashion retailing, plans to fly on that mission accompanied by a small number of personally selected artists.

Musk has also suggested that the BFR could support permanent stations on the moon. “We should have a lunar base by now,” he said in that 2017 speech, but he hasn’t disclosed any details about who would build it, or how.

Blue Origin has a similar view of humanity’s destiny. “Blue Origin believes in a future where millions of people are living and working in space,” the company states on its website.

But Blue Origin has focused on going to the moon, not Mars, as an initial step beyond Earth. It has proposed developing a lunar lander called Blue Moon for delivering cargo and, eventually, people to the lunar surface. “At Blue, we believe there are certain steps that you have to take,” Smith said. “We believe that the moon is the next logical step. It has resources. It is an incredible gift.”

Bezos, a Princeton University alumnus, said he was inspired by Gerard O’Neill, a Princeton physicist who in the 1970s proposed the development of giant space settlements that could be home to thousands of people.

“My role is to help build that heavy-lifting infrastructure, because I have the financial assets to do that,” Bezos said last May while accepting an award created in memory of O’Neill, from the National Space Society. “That will set things up for this dynamic entrepreneurial explosion that will lead to this Gerry O’Neill world.”

Those financial assets are in the form of his stake in Amazon.com, which makes him the wealthiest man alive, worth more than $100 billion. He said he spends about $1 billion a year on Blue Origin and suggested at the Wired 25 conference last October that his outlays for the company may go up in 2019.

“Blue Origin is the most important thing I’m working on,” Bezos said, “but I won’t live to see it all rolled out.” Musk, too, speaking about colonizing Mars, has said, “I probably won’t live long enough to see it become self-sustaining.” Clearly, these titans of today’s gilded age are thinking hard about their legacies, which despite their many other accomplishments may end up being for what they do in space.

This article appears in the January 2019 print issue as “SpaceX and Blue Origin Face Off.”

https://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/spa ... s-heats-up

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