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Elon Musk gives update on Mars colonization plan at Australian conference

By William Gayde · 28 replies
Sep 29, 2017
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  1. Elon Musk is presenting at the International Astronautical Congress in Australia an update for his plan to colonize Mars. The SpaceX CEO has dropped a few hints since speaking at last year's conference but most of the scheme has remained a mystery. You can watch the livestream of the presentation above.

    We can expect to hear updates on the spaceship that Musk calls the Interplanetary Transport System, new missions and applications for SpaceX, and logistics details of funding the travel and surviving in a martian habitat.

    Calling the Interplanetary Transport System a big rocket is an understatement of astronomic proportions. It measures 400 feet high, has a 40-foot diameter and features 42 rocket engines in its first stage. It is the largest rocket ever made and even surpasses NASA's Saturn V by 40 feet in height.

    In space travel, bigger isn't always better though and Musk will likely unveil a scaled-down 30-foot diameter version in his talk. While it won't be able to carry as much or travel as far, this will significantly reduce the price and allow for more versatile missions.

    One of the biggest issues SpaceX is faced with is financing the mission. The company has a plan to send colonists to Mars by 2024 but hasn't said how they will pay for it. Many with ties to the industry believe the Mars missions will be financed with funds from Earth-orbit missions.

    NASA under the Obama Administration was focusing on a mission to Mars. Now, under the Trump Administration, they are pushing for a return to the Moon. This could mean more business (and profits) for SpaceX should they choose to take up these missions.

    The event is set to take place at 2pm Australian Central Standard Time (00:30 Eastern). Musk has said that "certain aspects of the new design and its applications will be unexpected,” so expect an eventful presentation.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2017
  2. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Evangelist Posts: 559   +245

    My skeptical side keeps me... skeptical... But I really want to live to see man arriving in Mars. That's gonna be amazing.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  3. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 690   +939

    It's an optimistic schedule to say the least.

    Nevertheless who wouldn't want to see that enormous adult toy climb off the launch pad, it would look incredible and my missus is already excited
    TempleOrion likes this.
  4. andrewdoyle88

    andrewdoyle88 TS Addict Posts: 135   +125

    Be careful of the trajectory, it could head straight for Uranus!
    TempleOrion likes this.
  5. SpaceX wants to send colonists to Mars by 2024. How will they do it?

    Same way they make cars. Subsidies.
  6. OortCloud

    OortCloud TS Maniac Posts: 225   +107

    I know Elon Musk gets some stick, but it's great to see private enterprise taking on the massive projects that push us forward in a world where the only massive projects politicians put their names to are building huge walls between themselves and their neighbours.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  7. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 546   +363

    Another fake projects from another fake figurehead cult of personality. Or lack of one, in this case.
  8. I am not sure why everyone hates Elon so much in what he is trying to do. I am honestly excited that someone is trying to challenge the way we do things to make things better.

    I see a major criticism mentioned around subsidies all the time but seriously I would much rather see him get it rather than oil, mining and muppets who want to stay in the 80's.

    I am not sure why everyone is calling this a fake project as he is the current space leader is reusable rockets and holds multiple contracts with NASA and has half of all rockets launching to space.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  9. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 546   +363

    He's a fake in the same way Zucky and Jobs and Gates and so many other "tech leaders" are. They don't do anything. They just front-man companies and take all the credit. Yes, these people exist but their bios are spooky to the core. Musk's projects are all money-pits, with almost no ROI, and he was magically worth as much as Zucky before even turning a profit with Tesla or SpaceX. Zucky made all that money doing what, before Facebook had ads and went public? Jobs was just as bad. Fake people, fake credit, fake products.
  10. Mc128k

    Mc128k TS Enthusiast Posts: 31   +6

    Anybody got a clue about why they try to convince people that going to mars makes sense?
    I mean, we have enough trouble living here. Using huge amounts of resources to move people to a desert planet... seems reasonable, right?
  11. Lol this made me laugh just a little.

    You better tell everyone who are buying Tesla cars they don't exist and NASA that the rockets he is restocking the space station with are fakes...... they need to know.

    He is an engineer (in the states this is very broad term), works directly with his teams and genuinely understands the science behind his products.

    Of course there are 100's of other people working for him as well but this is a guy who decided he wanted to make real change happen and to be fair he has done just that, it is hard to deny everything he has accomplished up until now.

    If he can make it affordable to get to a few major cities spread out around the world in less than an hour I will get on board, hate spending 24 hours getting sitting in planes with stop overs.
    TempleOrion and OortCloud like this.
  12. Valid argument but I would rather it spent on rockets than mobile phones, actually I would love to see that as a graph of total resources used to create phones each year to what SpaceX use.
  13. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 546   +363

    Not just a desert planet, but it will never be possible to create a sustaining atmosphere on Mars, simply due to its radius and mass. Earth's radius and mass are just right to float a nitrogen/oxygen/argon atmosphere, whereas Venus is slightly smaller and thus it floats CO2 instead, chiefly. You have to have the proper gravity with the proper charge emission (heat) to float a proper atmosphere.

    Mars is far too small to support a breathable atmosphere, so it would be only dome life at best. Sending people there is cool and all but they'll have a terrible time coming back down the well to Earth's gravity anyway, with no return on investment. Sure, there may be valuable minerals on Mars but getting them back will offset that value tremendously.

    Reference on atmospherics: http://milesmathis.com/atmo2.pdf
  14. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 546   +363

    Cool story, bro. How's that Langley money spending for ya?
  15. It isn't just about the breathable atmosphere on Mars but actually having a presence beyond earth. Unless someone does something like this there will be zero advancement....... which is why nothing has changed for 20 years.

    We need billionaires with pipe dreams to make things happen, governments will only do what they do everyday to ensure they keep their little empires
  16. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 546   +363

    Making expensive gestures isn't advancement, it's waste. Sure, people should go to Mars and explore it, but to say that there will be "zero advancement" and "nothing has changed for 20 years" is ridiculous. Physics has advanced more in the past ten than in the entire century before. We haven't even begun to see the outcomes of the modern charge theory, it's just now being taken seriously and explored by engineers and technicians.

    To say nothing has changed for 20 years is pure hubris. Everything changes, constantly. There's only growth or decay.

    And nobody here said anything about government being a force for advancement or change. Their job is just to steal our money and give it to the really rich people, not even the toy fake billionaires like Musk or Zucky. Money isn't the problem with space exploration, it's terrible physics and outdated, falsified science that's the problem.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,683   +3,836

    Dude, get a grip:
    As of today, Tesla sold 182,115 cars worldwide including the Roadster. More details can be found here. There is a daily counter near the bottom right. You have to scroll down a little to see it. Let me know if you have more questions.

    Other estimates from around the web are quite similar.

    Q: How many cars did GM alone sell in 2016? A: More than 10,000,000


    And you can't run run that "hyperloop" sh!t, without a hefty percentage of vacuum in the tube. Otherwise, air compressibility will actually slow you down from the speed you could make on the surface.

    So, good luck with that cross country trip underground. A 3,000 mile vacuum you say? Yeah, they have that entire tunnel pulled down by, (if they're lucky), by the turn of the next century. Christ, it takes a half hour to evacuate a car air conditioner..
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
    TempleOrion and JaredTheDragon like this.
  18. Hi Cranky,

    Yeah sales have been low compared to GM, but from memory Tesla have been up front on this from the start (they cannot meet demand atm), they are making a "speciality" car (electric cars have a long way to come) but you have to walk before you run.

    GM do make alot of cars but not very good cars, they are all about the mass production mass profit business (which is fine) but they are really dinosaurs when they come to cars. This has been seen in Australia with the failing of their factories etc and side by side with Korean and Japanese cars they don't come close.

    Hyperloop yeah is far fetched I agree but still excites alot of engineers and scientist and great for PR which is the end game to fund rocket development. Never know they might pull a rabbit out of a hat and if you never try you never succeed.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  19. Reusable rockets........ never done before and SpaceX was told that they could never be done..... they are now what 16 landings in. They are not gestures, they have real contracts and deliver real products and services.

    Physics yes has advanced absolutely but applications of such has been fairly stagnant outside military applications.

    Yeah everything changes but growth doesn't equal advancement.

    Musk and Zucky are very different, Zucky just wants to drain and sell all the information he can possibly steal from users.

    Money is absolutely the problem with space exploration, renewable energy and most things in the science community, outdated science etc is all a result of no funding in areas that count.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  20. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 546   +363

    No, money doesn't solve problems in physics or engineering, or any other field. Real theory, solid design, better technique, the mastery of a medium (in art) - that's how you solve problems.

    And if you think SpaceX is really landing rockets despite all the video hoaxing, I can't help you. You're simply not skeptical or critical enough to trust your own eyes. Thanks for playing.
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,683   +3,836

    Right, Musk makes promises he can't keep, yet he still pockets all the money he can from "his businesses". You spin it your way, I'll spin it correctly. Tesla hasn't tuned in more than a few profitable quarters since it began, if that.

    Well, these "researchers, have a big stake in grabbing all the money they can. It's called, "self preservation with a big house in the suburbs. You, don't think think they'll throw up their hands,, say f**k it, and go to work at "Burger King", do ya?

    So, why don't you google, "air compressibility effects". That will explain how drag squares against a linear speed increase.

    The sh!t, about "reusable rockets" is about all Musk and his supporters have to hang their hats on.

    BTW, you know that NASA, is a US government agency, don't ya? The reason I ask, is because Musk got a huge chunk of money from them. Now if you're going to try and float the crap about how, how, "no that money was from private contributors". First, a leech will suck blood wherever it finds it, and second, had the money from any Space-X launches been diverted to the project, Space-X would long be belly up by now.

    The odd thing about money is, the more you print, the less it's worth. Get over it.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  22. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 546   +363

    Ask yourself how someone like Musk can be worth billions, magically, before turning a profit in these companies. He was hired as the frontman for Tesla - they'd already designed their cars, without him, before he was put in place there.


    And he was hired for SpaceX for the same reasons, as a frontman. He's done nothing technical in his career, just like Jobs did nothing, and Zucky did nothing, and so on. Is SpaceX even remotely profitable? Nope. They even (allegedly) blew up an Israeli satellite worth millions in one of their accidents.

    SpaceX isn't even a big advancement into astroengineering. They only look new and cool because they styled their craft to look new and cool, but they're not using any new tech at all except faster computers for quicker physics calcs. And they still aren't even making a profit, so how did Musk end up with so many billions? And don't say PayPal. He's allegedly made most of that since taking over MagicCar and MagicSpace.

    "For 2016, the company forecast that it would have $1.8 billion in revenue and $55 million in operating profit. Those numbers are based on 20 successful rocket launches; SpaceX had only eight last year, so it’s unlikely the company met its financial goals. For 2017, the company plans to launch 27 missions; by 2019, SpaceX’s goal is to launch a rocket each week. So far, the record for the highest number of annual SpaceX launches is eight rockets."


    Do you think that NASA or the NSF doesn't have access to these computers, as well? You know, the same computers we read about here all the time? If these "private companies" had better tech, why are they turning to Nvidia and AMD to power their craft and mobiles?

    No, SpaceX is just an even bigger money pit than NASA already was. They've done almost nothing in 50 years and now they want to do even more nothing, for even more fake profit. Musk is the frontman showing us that all that money, both grants from the NSF and venture capital, is all being siphoned up from the People (grants come from taxes, you know) to the already-rich. He's just the fall guy.
    captaincranky likes this.
  23. There is not much in what you said that I don't agree with but comments that he is fake and doesn't produce anything is just incorrect.

    Yep fully aware about NASA and the money being given to SpaceX but this is the same as the car, mining and power industry..... they all get subsidies from the government. Hell in AUS they are planning on building new coal power plants (funded by the government) and new mines as everything is in decline.

    There are factories here that have been given hundreds of millions of dollars just to stay open............ So my point is is that it is either not okay or okay, you cannot pick and choose who can get subsidies.

    Not sure why we are talking about the hyperloop...... I just want more rockets
    TempleOrion likes this.
  24. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 546   +363

    Two things:

    1. When you say, "funded by the government" you mean stolen from the people by the most corrupt organizations in history. No checks and balances exist in NSF grants, for example. The grants are voted on internally, again by corrupt politicians posing as people, and then there's no accounting beyond that. ROI means nothing to these people, since they're not the investors - the taxpayers are. It's just like the military budget, a bunch of financial black holes.

    "So my point is is that it is either not okay or okay, you cannot pick and choose who can get subsidies."

    Of course you can pick and choose: it's called accounting. It's when you do the math behind the grants and finance those agencies that are either profitable or beneficial.

    2. I never said they don't produce anything. When I say these companies are fake, I mean that they don't exist to produce the garbage they do produce, they exist to funnel money. The toy products are produced, sure - it doesn't take a genius to engineer some 1950s tech and attach it to some 2000s CPU/GPU tech.

    Remember what Tesla himself was working on? The charge field, specifically the electrical aspect of it. Free energy, from the energy already flowing all around us in the form of photons and larger, baryonic matter. So why are these cars still powered by batteries that need recharging? That's not remotely new tech. Same with their rocketry. Same fuels, same RCS systems, same everything just with shinier fairings and cosmetic designs just different enough to be saleable.
    captaincranky likes this.
  25. ross01

    ross01 TS Rookie Posts: 23   +6

    "in space bigger isn't always better" let me stop you right there and say if you actually watched the presentation Musk explains that the cost of space travel actually goes down with larger vehicles. It is the exact same concept as an aeroplane where a 787 is cheaper to charter than a small private plane. This fixation of bigger being worse stems from the Nasa space ships which would not reuse their rockets. SpaceX will reuse rockets so bigger is better and CHEAPER.
    TempleOrion likes this.

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