Elon Musk says SpaceX will land humans on Mars within 5 to 10 years

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Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,046   +152
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In a nutshell: Elon Musk during a recent interview with podcaster Lex Fridman said that in the worst case scenario, it’ll be roughly a decade before SpaceX is able to land a human being on Mars. A key limiting factor today, however, is money: it's simply too expensive to send anyone to the Red Planet right now.

About a half hour into the interview, Fridman asked Musk when he thinks SpaceX would land a human on the Red Planet. After a more than 20-second delay to think about it, Musk said the best case would be about five years and the worst case would be closer to 10 years.

A major determining factor in getting humans to Mars is engineering the vehicle that’ll take astronauts there. “Starship is the most complex and advanced rocket that’s ever been made,” Musk said. The SpaceX CEO added that the fundamental optimization of Starship is minimizing the cost per ton to orbit and ultimately, the cost per ton to the surface of Mars.

Right now, Musk said, money is the limiting factor. “You couldn’t fly to Mars for a trillion dollars. No amount of money could get you a ticket to Mars,” he said.

The serial entrepreneur made it clear that he doesn’t just want to have “flags and footprints” on Mars then not come back for a half century like we did with the Moon.

Musk said earlier this year on Twitter that SpaceX aims to land Starships on Mars well before 2030, adding that the really hard part will be building the first self-sustaining base. By 2050, Musk hopes to have a million people on Mars.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,090   +3,996
I doubt Elon can outrun his pump & dump schemes for long enough to land anything on Mars, which will certainly be comfortably beyond just 10 years.

Even if we concede is plausible we only need to consider another of his "technically plausible" projects, Starlink, to definitively say he can't possibly achieve the launch past his gigantic belt of space debris and broken satellites so at the very least he seems to be on a race against himself again, even if we collectively shut our brains off and consider either of them financially viable.

Only thing he has is a huge bubble with Tesla and possibly a huge government bailout when (Not if) it blows up in his face, that's far more of what's required to get to Mars and just let an egomaniac child billionaire (Not my words, the words of many of his former employees and colleges) establish a dictatorship on a colony.
 

McKocoa

Posts: 57   +67
I'm a little tired of this marketing. I understand we need public support and enthusiasm but first we need to test and prove things on the moon, e.g habitats, resource collection, hubs, stations, equipment, safety checks, growing potatoes with human made organic matter etc.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 682   +1,081
Actually, I'd imagine getting a human on Mars is the relatively easy thing to do.

...

Now, getting them back, or having them survive... heh, well, I don't see anything specific about that in the 5-10 year prediction ;P
Exactly, going to Mars just takes extra time. Anyone who can get enough fuel on a rocket can do it. Getting off Mars would be more complicated as regular trips back and forth isn’t going to be common (Earth and Mars only cross orbits about once every two years). So you have to either refuel on Mars somehow, or have enough reserve fuel afterwards. Then you have to both escape Mars’ gravity and slow down while resisting Earth’s gravity. Luckily, coming back to Earth should take less fuel than going to Mars (partially since you don’t need to bring anything back to Earth).

I think he’s said they plan on leaving the life support systems to other companies, but they plan on making (or collecting?) methane fuel from the atmosphere on Mars, and apparently they've just recently started research on that (to create/collect fuel on Earth at least). He recently gave a detailed update of their plans including what the remaining challenges for SpaceX not yet started:
Musk acknowledged that some technical challenges still need to be fully addressed. In a Twitter exchange, he said that even the Raptor 2 engine wouldn’t be enough to “actually make life multiplanetary,” and that a new class of rocket engine would have to be developed. Also, Starship would need a yet-to-be-developed insulation system to keep the super-cooled propellants at their proper temperature for long-duration trips or for in-space refueling.
 
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kiwigraeme

Posts: 985   +739
Tell him he's dreaming.

I read a short article about getting to Mars a year or so ago . It's definitely a one way trip . You basically need to mine Mars for rocket fuel/oxygen , Plus oxygen/water to live . Though with enough supporting rockets I suppose it could be done as Mars is only 10% the weight

The basis points of the article were - you need to show bases are possible on the moon first - it's not some dome in the desert you can secretly let fresh air or food in .

Secondly - the first base needs to be by robots - they don't need doctors, food , water, oxygen , waste disposal, hermetically sealed living space with back up ( just enough for radiation and fine powder ) - just energy and spare parts - lay out a 1 km sq of solar panels

As someone stated the windows for efficient access are spaced way out . Not sure how fast you could get there wasting huge amounts of fuel.
This is either a scam or an ego boost to kill people - Setting up a base on the moon - or a slow moving spaceship would be well impressive enough
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,419
If Musk does land a person on Mars, the lowest common denominators in our society will still continue to spew hatred for him. Fortunately he doesnt strike me as stupid enough to care about what his haters think.

We need more like him I say, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that very little if any life in the known universe has ever become inter-planetary. Meaning if we dont eventually get off this rock it will be both birthplace and the tomb for humanity. Personally I say we should be giving Musk full support with this. Especially since NASA seems to be making very slow progress, they originally planned to have a man on mars in the 80s but it seems politics got in the way.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,538   +7,376
If Musk does land a person on Mars, the lowest common denominators in our society will still continue to spew hatred for him. Fortunately he doesnt strike me as stupid enough to care about what his haters think.
Yeah well, can we still say rude things about him in the meantime? I mean we still have at least ten years grace period to hate all we want. Hey, in the meantime maybe he'll even be able to get one of his "Starships" off the pad without exploding.

GqUjymBKXL2gmXdvm8pMUF-1200-80.jpg
 
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Lounds

Posts: 1,087   +959
Why has no one designed an earth to orbit elevator. The most expensive part of space travel is the fuel to get from the ground on earth to space.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,538   +7,376
Why has no one designed an earth to orbit elevator. The most expensive part of space travel is the fuel to get from the ground on earth to space.
You know skyscrapers actuality sway in the wind a bit. Imagine how stiff the damned thing would have to be, to punch through the stratosphere.

So, just like that, we're going to build a 120 mile high elevator.

In other words, as an example, take the Eiffel Tower's stance, and multiply in by at least 400 times, how wide would the base be?
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,419
Yeah well, can we still say rude things about him in the meantime? I mean we still have at least ten years grace period to hate all we want. Hey, in the meantime maybe he'll even be able to get one of his "Starships" off the pad without exploding.

GqUjymBKXL2gmXdvm8pMUF-1200-80.jpg
I know im preaching to the converted. But which bilionaire or billion dollar organisation would you like to see responsible for pioneering manned missions to mars? Or are you one of those ”eat the rich” types?
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,669   +7,575
He also said he could rescue those kids in Thailand with a submarine and we saw how far that load of BS got him ..... of course if he volunteered to lead the mission himself I'd be the first one in line cheering him all the way!
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,090   +3,996
Why has no one designed an earth to orbit elevator. The most expensive part of space travel is the fuel to get from the ground on earth to space.

My guess is for the exact same reason nobody has constructed a bridge from London to New York: it's implausible and well beyond our technical engineering abilities at this time, not to mention impossible to finance.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,419
He also said he could rescue those kids in Thailand with a submarine and we saw how far that load of BS got him ..... of course if he volunteered to lead the mission himself I'd be the first one in line cheering him all the way!
I am a British diver, I was in Thailand for that rescue (although not part of the cave team, im too young and inexperienced to be doing that) and ive met Mr Unsworth and believe me, if you knew him you’d be egging Musk on for that Tweet. The man is insufferable, brilliant sure but insufferable. Me and many many others wont dive with him. He has the interpersonal skills of a wet fart. On top of this he took Musk to court for $190 million for that tweet. I mean an apology would have sufficed really, nobody should lose $190 million over a single tweet, what a **** move.

Musks idea wasnt great because of the nature of cave diving. However the plan the divers used, sedating these kids was insanely risky and they got extremely lucky that none of them had a mask slip off or anything like that if you ask me. Unsworth should have handled the brash billionaire offering to help a lot better rather than having a **** measuring contest with him on twitter. Especially as there were questions around who was paying for everything at the time.

If you haven’t watched the documentary its on Disney plus, its pretty good. Unsworth isnt in it much because the creators wanted to ensure the dive rescue team were portrayed well. The reality of the operation was that it was a mess, I was told to arrive, was there for two days and then headed back to cover work done by a member of the cave team whilst he was caving. Ironically I was on the actual Pattaya beach (not the place in the cave where the kids ended up which was nicknamed Pattaya beach).
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,419
Why has no one designed an earth to orbit elevator. The most expensive part of space travel is the fuel to get from the ground on earth to space.
I read about this, its because we dont have a material strong enough to handle the extreme forces. But this might be changing as we develop carbon nanotubes, which is like carbon fibre but on a molecular level.

 

Arbie

Posts: 363   +655
Say what you will about Musk as a person, but I'm astonished that anyone could today create either a successful rocket company or a successful electric car company, much less do both (and the Boring Co) within about a decade! He's unarguably a technical visionary and entrepreneur of historic stature. And in distinct contrast to some currently outstanding graspers and self-promoters, he at least seems to be trying to make the world a better place.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 571   +476
I wonder why people are planning to go to Mars. God created a conducive place for us to live in, and yet people dream of going to Mars that's got no oxygen, no water, no plants, no animals, but just a pile of rubble and sand. Man cannot create anything. We just take something from what we have and try to reinvent the wheel. And FYI, the world is in this miserable state because of sinful man. So it does not matter where we go, because we will bring corruption and destruction along with us.
 

DaveBG

Posts: 618   +284
I doubt Elon can outrun his pump & dump schemes for long enough to land anything on Mars, which will certainly be comfortably beyond just 10 years.

Even if we concede is plausible we only need to consider another of his "technically plausible" projects, Starlink, to definitively say he can't possibly achieve the launch past his gigantic belt of space debris and broken satellites so at the very least he seems to be on a race against himself again, even if we collectively shut our brains off and consider either of them financially viable.

Only thing he has is a huge bubble with Tesla and possibly a huge government bailout when (Not if) it blows up in his face, that's far more of what's required to get to Mars and just let an egomaniac child billionaire (Not my words, the words of many of his former employees and colleges) establish a dictatorship on a colony.

LOL if Elon does pump & dump schemes imagine what you are doing based on your bull*hit posts :)
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,538   +7,376
I know im preaching to the converted. But which bilionaire or billion dollar organisation would you like to see responsible for pioneering manned missions to mars? Or are you one of those ”eat the rich” types?
I'd honestly like to see it go back to NASA.....with more public oversight. Abuses of cost overruns are notorious in the defense industry, an well as aerospace, for whatever reason. The public wants their food stamps and section 8 housing, which was the necessity of getting NASA off budget and space exploration,:"privatized". Space-X is the most successful, in large part because they've been the company most closely associated with NASA.

As for me, "eating the rich",,Well, Musk is the world's best bullsh!t artist, and almost as big a camera wh*re as any of the Hollywood elite. He's more of a financier, than he is a scientist or innovator. He'll smoke a joint, (which he's done on camera), "imagine" something he wants done, then go back and bully a very talented staff to make it happen.

As is always the case, this last interview, was in response to flagging interest in his projections on mars flights, since nothing is really happening in that area. Or, as in the case of his "spacesuit previews", that was mostly to draw people's attention from Tesla having another quarter when it lost a quarter billion dollars. Musk's part in all this, is very similar to the magicians assistant's black fishnet stockings, which are there to draw attention away from what's really going on.

As for Bezos and the other whatshisname, they're just overly rich billionaire playboys. Bezos has never actually "been to space". His "missions", are no more advanced than NASA shooting a monkey, (sorry, "great ape"), downrange to see if it's safe to try it with a human..

I guess the only way billionaires going through a midlife crisis can get laid these days, is to have a phallic shaped missile, instead of the more traditional private jet, or luxury yacht.

So, it's their money and they can spend however they choose. But if you want to call my observations, "eating the rich", I can't prevent that either..

Let's review the recent launch of the Webb space telescope. The "Ariane 5" booster, has exactly the same power configuration as did the Space Shuttle. Yet, it has had 98 out 99 mission perfect launches. And yes, the Challenger was a terrible tragedy. But don't you think that NASA could have worked out those issues if properly funded and motivated? Budget cuts and deteriorating morale hurt them badly.

As to private space ventures being "cutting edge". Who do you think is responsible for the ISS, governments, or Elon Musk?

In conclusion, yeah Space-X did fine with a three day orbital mission. But projects like launching ten billion dollar telescopes are best left to governments. They're the only ones who can pull it off.
 
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