Famous upstart startup rocket company SpaceX, bankrolled and helmed by renowned internet nerdwealth hecamillionaire Elon Musk, has once again sent its goalposts racing ahead of its rapidly-advancing corporate reality. The Dragon capsule with 'Draco' rockets in action. Credit: SpaceX A proper Dragon can breathe fire as well as …
@John Smith 19
Writing has been effective as a means of communication for many hundreds of years without every other word being punctuated with *asterisks*. Most people are capable of understanding the meaning conveyed in writing without needing the intended emphasis to be thrust in their faces.
"Writing has been effective as a means of communication for many hundreds of years without every other word being "
If you're Chinese that would be several thousand.
I've tried it various ways. Some get it without emphasis. Some don't get it without emphasis and some spend their time complaining.
Do you have a comment on the contents of my posts *other* than my writing style?
I just thought my pupils had probably turned into asterisks after reading all that!
Paris seems to be trying to dislodge punctuation from her face as well...
When Mr. Millionaire doesn't come back, who gats the money? // Jean Clelland-Morin
There are some relevant points to consider when seriously discussing routine access to Mars
1) Pace of technologic development and cost: Gagarin to Armstrong/Aldrin was 8 years, but the Apollo craft was very delicate, very expensive, pushed every envelope to the breaking point and was therefore very dangerous despite the relatively few serious accidents given the nature of the beast.
2) Moving from experimental to production technology: One goal of the new companies is to make the craft more reliable, use less experimental technology, and make it more comfortable. Both Apollo and Shuttle are experimental technology that require large staffs of highly trained people to operate; the ground operations for Shuttle are a significant part of the program. Early autos required frequent maintenance (tire repair, water, oil, etc...) and still broke down frequently. Today cars go forever despite the lack of maintenance we give them. Form factor aside the Orion and Dragon craft are as completely different than the Apollo craft as a Model T is from a Honda Civic.
3) Sustainable interplanetary infrastructure: for reliable access to Mars we need to invest in something like the Aldrin Cycler. A quick shot to the Mars, like the one to the Moon, is akin to the Lewis and Clark expedition. To open up the frontier the government, decades later, invested in the railroads which provided frequent, reliable, and sustainable round trip capacity. They took longer to build than the carts and boats that took Lewis and Clark, but made settling the West possible.
Just my 2c
"To open up the frontier the government, decades later, invested in the railroads which provided frequent, reliable, and sustainable round trip capacity."
I'm not sure the US Gov actually *invested* in the building of the railroads.
AFAIK they made land grants to deal with the *route* but otherwise the railroads were *privately* financed. I recall that it was the ownership of this transport network by a *very* few large families (Van der Bilts and Rockerfellers?) that meant they could dictate prices for things like transporting oil. Sure they'd *let* competitors transport their goods, but at rates which were extortionate, slowly strangling the competition.
IIRC it was one of the triggers for the first anti trust/monopoly laws being enacted in the US.
It's always wise to check that we recall history as it *was*, rather than how we would like it to have been based on c140 year difference in PoV.
Billionare Space Club
Team Musk with Bigelow (the space hotel folks), and you've got a winning combination that would have a space big enough to make the trip enjoyable, and give the landing team a nice space to spend their time. Orbital module, hotel space, and a cottage to visit. Hell, I'd go too.
All we need now
is someone like Musk backing the development of a proper NERVA system and we'll get real interplanetary spaceflight.
"is someone like Musk backing the development of a proper NERVA system and we'll get real interplanetary spaceflight."
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