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Space

Elon Musk Wants Space Colonists, Not Just Tourists 67

Posted by michael
from the one-way-trip dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Elon Musk, founder of PayPal and CEO of SpaceX, is not all that excited about space tourism: he wants to colonize Mars. 'I don't think it's a tragedy that people can't have fun in space. People should be able to go if they want to, but it's no great tragedy if they can't. But I do think it is a great tragedy if humanity can't establish itself on another planet. It's the single most important thing we can do to continue the human race.' SpaceX will launch Falcon I in mid to late January 2005."
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Elon Musk Wants Space Colonists, Not Just Tourists

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  • by WhiplashII (542766) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @11:16AM (#10787669) Homepage Journal
    I don't think we should colonize another planet. Why waste all that energy getting out of this gravity well only to stick ourselves in another one? I think the future of humanity is to create and live in structures in solar orbit. All the problems can be solved through engineering, just like the Mars problems would have to be. And once we have figured it out, there are no limits on expansion, etc!

    Anybody with me?

  • why choose? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @12:06PM (#10788306) Homepage Journal
    People colonize other places because of what they need to do there, not for what they can send back here. Space tourists will be something in space that "locals" will be needed to take care of. Tourism is a lot less risky and expensive to get started than energy/matter mining, so it's a good reason to start colonies, that tourists can visit.

    All recent colonization (past few thousand years) has been an effort to connect with other people already living in remote locations, and prior "aboriginal" colonization was apparently due to exhausting resources (or social conflict) in the original location. While planting colonies among alien "people" seems an attractive option, it's unlikely. While waiting until the Earth is used up, or too hostile to stay, is a much less likely way to ensure our species' survival.
  • by dpilot (134227) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @12:33PM (#10788624) Homepage Journal
    So the Libertarian Arcology is out in the asteroids, and the Sunni Muslim Arcology is orbiting Mars, and the Shiites are near Venus, while the Baptists are at L5. Maybe the best thing about space is that it's BIG, and these different groups of like-minded people could stay separated.

    But somehow I have this feeling that they would feel compelled to park all of their Arcologies in geosynchronous orbit over the Jerusalem/Mecca vicinity, and duke it out.
  • Re:why choose? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cephyn (461066) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @12:53PM (#10788869) Homepage
    People colonize other places because of what they need to do there, not for what they can send back here

    Hmm that's not how the colonists in North America saw it -- the Colonies were pretty angry that everything they made had to be sold back to England, and that their economy was being crushed by English taxes. People didn't go to the new world for tourism, they went because of business opportunity -- and when the unfair trading practices made those opportunities poor, they revolted.

    The colonization of North America was NOT about connecting with people -- once they figured out it was a continent, they gave up the quick way to India idea (some sooner than others) and settled in. They weren't overly interested with "connecting" with the Native Americans. They were savages! What's to connect with? That's the way most of them saw it. And of course don't forget many colonists were also religious refugees fleeing England -- so they had nothing to do with connecting with people, economics, or tourism -- they were true colonists.

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