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Mars Transportation

Elon Musk Hints 1st Person To Mars May Go Via New Brownsville Spaceport 91

MarkWhittington writes If SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has his way, the first astronaut to set foot on Mars may begin his or her journey from the new commercial spaceport being built at Boca Chica Beach, just outside Brownsville, Texas. The Texas Tribune reported on Monday that Musk made the suggestion at the ground breaking ceremony of the commercial spaceport. The ceremony was also attended by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and various other Texas politicians and dignitaries, Musk's desire to establish a Mars colony and even retire to the Red Planet himself is not a secret.
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Elon Musk Hints 1st Person To Mars May Go Via New Brownsville Spaceport

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  • I mean, "We're building a [cool thing] and [cool related activity] might happen there" isn't really meaningful outside of a PR office.

    • Ha! You are so right. It's all rather pie in the sky at this point.
      • The announcement is as void as space.

        • by khr ( 708262 )

          The announcement is as void as space.

          "In space no one can hear you announce."

          • I bet that if you have a *really* powerful speaker, and a *really* sensitive microphone, you would be able to detect the announcement, even in empty space (*)
            (*) I'm talking about tera-watts here.

            The exact dimensions would be something for e.g. the xkcd creator to figure out.

      • Actually, it might be cake in the sky, not pie.
        • It's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake.
          If the way is hazy,
          You gotta do the cooking by the book.
          You know you can't be lazy.
          Never use a messy recipe.
          The cake will end up crazy.
          If you do the cooking by the book,
          Then you'll have a cake.
          We gotta have it made.
          You know that I love cake.
          Finally it's time to make a cake.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I mean, "We're building a [cool thing] and [cool related activity] might happen there" isn't really meaningful outside of a PR office.

      Because nobody on /. wants to go into space or go to Mars.

      We all live in our mom's basement and are afraid to go outside.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Indeed. It would be a huge surprise if anybody went to Mars in the next 50 years. Let them sustain a Moon-base for 20 years, and then we can talk about it. All this "going to Mars" is pure nonsense at this time, as there is nothing there and no way to come back.

      • > as there is nothing there

        There is as much land area as the Earth. It just needs proper development. Las Vegas is in a fucking desert, and people live there anyway. The real problem is people who look at an empty piece of land and see nothing, rather than seeing the potential for what it could become.

        • by itzly ( 3699663 )
          Las Vegas has a fucking atmosphere. If you don't mind living in the desert, there's still plenty of that down here. No need to go to Mars.
        • by Gavagai80 ( 1275204 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @12:08PM (#47974563) Homepage

          Antarctica is the most comparable place on Earth, and we've not managed a large-scale colonization of it yet despite the easy access, regular resupply flights and air.

          • by BringsApples ( 3418089 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @12:22PM (#47974713)
            I wish I had mod points for you. Imagine shipping off for 6 months, excited to begin a new. That whole six months, you are thinking about what the future holds, what exciting new things there will be to explore, or at the very least, experience. Then *PSSSHHH*, the doors open, and you are basically in Antarctica - for LIFE!

            No thanks.
            • Then *PSSSHHH*, the doors open, and you are basically in Antarctica - for LIFE!

              Except that even the highest point in Antarctica has almost 100 times as much atmospheric pressure as the surface of Mars.

              —George

          • Antarctica is the most comparable place on Earth, and we've not managed a large-scale colonization of it yet despite the easy access, regular resupply flights and air.

            That's because short trips to Antarctica make more sense. When you are talking about Mars, you are talking about a very long trip, i.e. permanent.

          • Antarcita is not more comparable to Mars as e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

            Actually it is two bladed: Antarctica at least has an atmosphere ... besides that Mars at the equator is just more hospitable.

          • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @01:38PM (#47975579) Homepage Journal

            Because there is no reason to colonize Antarctica. It has all the negatives without any of the positives.

            Mars has some huge positives, namely the fact that it's not Earth. Think of it as an offsite backup for the human race.

            Colonizing Antarctica would be like making a backup of your computer on a USB stick and then leaving it plugged in.

            • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @03:12PM (#47976767)

              Because there is no reason to colonize Antarctica. It has all the negatives without any of the positives.

              Penguins are a huge positive.

            • by itzly ( 3699663 )
              There are only a few and very unlikely scenarios where humans on Mars would have a better chance of survival than humans on Mars, and many likely scenarios where humans on Earth would have a huge advantage. Even something similar as the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event is survivable for a group of well prepared and sheltered humans on Earth, at a tiny fraction of the cost it would take to colonize Mars.
              • Human psychology is extremely relevant here.

                We could build a self-sustaining underground colony on Earth that's powered by nuclear reactors and which grows its own food hydroponically. It could probably survive a dinosaur-killer asteroid event. And as you mentioned, it would cost way less than a Mars colony.

                But think about it. Who the hell wants to live in an underground colony on Earth, permanently? You're not gonna get many volunteers. And I guarantee *nobody* is going to fund it. Living underground in Ka

                • Underground or aboveground, won't change Kansas. People live there now.

                • But think about it. Who the hell wants to live in an underground colony on Earth, permanently? You're not gonna get many volunteers.

                  Umm. Where do you think the Mars colonists will live? Mars is bathed in radiation, and it is, for all intents and purposes, a vacuum. To live on Mars is to live underground. On Earth, you could shelter underground and then return to the surface to live, after only a few days, should a Chicxulub type event ever occur. And then, back to business. On Mars, you are underground until your colony dies out, which it will.

                  And I guarantee *nobody* is going to fund it. Living underground in Kansas has zero glamour. Like it or not, humans love exploring new places and thanks to sci-fi, Mars has a tremendous romantic value.

                  No it doesn't. There is little, if any, public feeling in favour of a Mars colony. There is a

            • Mars has some huge positives, namely the fact that it's not Earth. Think of it as an offsite backup for the human race.

              Colonizing Antarctica would be like making a backup of your computer on a USB stick and then leaving it plugged in.

              If you were my backup guy, I'd fire you. Your backup plan is analogous to moving (not copying, moving) a few gigabytes of a petabyte production system onto a usb stick, and then storing that usb stick in a ziplock bag under an iceberg on the arctic circle. This is not a good backup plan, owing to the following:

              • You backup plan doesn't actually copy any data, it just moves it
              • The vast majority of the important data lies unprotected
              • The "backup" itself is inadequately protected and subjected to such hazard that
          • by gweihir ( 88907 )

            Excellent point!

      • If you ignore the part about coming back, then I could see there being a Mars landing in the next 25 years. But I'm with you on the 50 year outlook. There's very little we could gain by sending people there that we couldn't accomplish by sending robots. And as the years pass, and robots gets more and more capable, that will only become more true. People forget (or don't know) how far away Mars is. The minimum time required [nasa.gov] for a round trip to Mars is around 21 months. Also, they estimate you would need
        • by gweihir ( 88907 )

          Indeed. Now, if we manage to make robots that can make more robots on Mars, they could prepare some kind of colony. But judging from CS, Material Sciences and other advances of the last 50 years, that is far, far away. And at the very least we would need to solve the energy problem first. Working, reliable nuclear fusion is at least 50 years away. Add another 50 years for miniaturizing it and making it space capable. At that point, we can revisit the idea, but not before.

          The facts just do not pan out on bas

  • Men will finally be from Mars...Now, if only we could work so hard to get to Venus
  • by Anonymous Coward
    So Musk wants to retire on Mars. He's stll got a couple of decades left of work in him. Then, how ironic it would be if, just as he lands, Earth is hitting the Singularity, transforming our civilization's power and aspirations so radically that travelling on a slow chemical fuel rocket to another planet would seem horribly passé.
  • Sing along now! Oh we'll send him to outer space, to find another race

  • A lot of people died just trying to cross the Atlantic ocean for the first time... and that's in an environment that is actually hospitable to life.

    I suspect that making the months-long trip to mars to be just as fatal for many before we succeed.

  • I'm thinking that a good first step would be something a little closer like, I dunno, that big whiteish thing that we can see in the sky at night... what's that forgotten thing called again?...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Building a spaceport in Brownsville is a brilliant idea. Presumably it will save a lot on rocket fuel, as rockets will take off by sheer force of will just to get the fuck out of Brownsville.

  • Many CEOs have emergency plans for a retirement out of reach from shareholder class action suits, but this seems a bit excessive.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.

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