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No. of Recommendations: 0
Dont worry...pope confirmed no hell anyway.

Not that mad...more frustrated.

The greatest investment and frontier of our age, and really of human civilization, will be the wave of space exploration, colonization, and space mining of the moon and asteroids.

And neither SpaceX or Blue Origin are publicly traded. If they ever do go public, it will be at massive valuations. I would likely still invest then, but it is akin to missing 80% of Netflix gains the last 5 years or so.

Argh!!!!!

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/18/blue-origin-ceo-bob-smith-be...
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No. of Recommendations: 23
Let me help you be not mad anymore....

I work for NASA. I was formerly head of Human Exploration Future Capabilities... meaning I led an international team to determine "what's next in Human Space Exploration".

There's lots of marketing out there about Asteroid Mining as a multi-trillion dollar industry that's untapped. There's lots of marketing out there about putting people on Mars. Note I refer to them as marketing. That's what it is.

Facts are WAY more boring and don't make good head lines.

Fact... Obama called for NASA to study both going to Mars and going to Asteroids when he cancelled the Constellation Program. You'll note they went fairly silent after that.... why did they go silent?? Because we gave them FACTS on just how hard those missions were. We simply don't have the technology and funding in MANY areas. You'll notice Trump has quietly said Moon... and hasn't made much noise afterwards.

What SpaceX is doing.... AMAZING. Great stuff. Truly is. When they get their BFR flying... also great stuff. STILL NOT enough. SLS is planned to be bigger than BFR... and for a reason... but it would require 6-10 SLS launches for a Mars mission. BFR's... more than that. Launch transportation only a fraction of the problem.

But... would I invest in SpaceX if it were a public company?? Nope. It would get some hype. It'd get bid up in the short term because of marketing... but company value? Would you invest in United Launch Alliance... the Boeing Lockheed partnership. No... the profits aren't large and the growth is very low. SpaceX will be the same thing. There's only so many satellite launches per year... in spite of what the marketing says, we aren't going to Mars with Humans any time soon.... nor Asteroids. I could give you a thousand boring technical facts on why.

I am required to say this post represents my personal opinion and does not represent the views of NASA or the U.S. government.

So.... don't be mad.

Mark
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Mark,
Then someone should tell Musk and Bezos to save their billions and invest in cannabis so people can get high without rockets, I guess.

NASA also doesn't need to be funded for space-related programs anymore then...what's the point. Why send another probe or lander out past the moon (or even to the moon) if it is just plain too hard for humans to get out there. What are we mapping it for? Asteroid collisions? I imagine we use land-based telescopes to track for those dangers anyway. Plus, if we ever found an asteroid headed our way, probably too difficult for us to do anything about it then. (all the more reason for cannabis in our final days)

I guess only the folks a little older than Baby Boomers have the right stuff capable of getting off this rock. Shucks.

What is the point of money on ISS...bring all that funding back to roads and infrastructure on terra firma. $100b could be used in other ways: https://www.space.com/9435-international-space-station-worth...



Dreamer <--- taking his ball and going home. But not to ET's home, apparently.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I suspect that the announcement within the past few days that the SpaceX BFR will be produced near L.A. may have been partially to deflect some attention away from some of Tesla's difficulties.

Both of you guys (Dreamer Dad and Mark/ProdigalFool) would find Josh Wolfe of Lux Capital to be quite interesting, and should listen to the episode of Invest Like the Best that he was on. I think Lux may be an investor in Planet, the small (maybe even "micro"?) satellite company. Here's their website, which has some nice imagery from their swarm of small satellites.
https://www.planet.com/

Josh is very skeptical of Tesla (think he may have a short position), as is Charley Grant with the WSJ and The Motley Fool's automotive specialist John Rosevear.
Here's a tweet from last night where I shared a quick Seeking Alpha article on Tesla:
https://twitter.com/riddlejT4/status/986435148894924804

Josh's twitter account:
https://twitter.com/wolfejosh
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I also had a bit of skepticism about the timing of the first Falcon Heavy launch possibly being related to deflecting some attention away from Tesla's last earnings announcement.....providing Elon with sort of a "halo effect", which I would compare a bit to Urban Meyer's getting somewhat a pass for all the shenanigans that went on under his time as the University of Florida head coach simply because he also had Tim Tebow on his team and Timmy is just such a nice guy (never mind that Aaron Hernandez kid, amongst lots of other hooligans).
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There's only so many satellite launches per year.

there will be a lot more if they are cheaper.
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No. of Recommendations: 12
I'll elaborate my position a bit more...

1) The money to be made in space is in Low Earth Orbit... because THAT's where the market is... Earth. That's where the people are... that's where the money is. There's very little money to be made in Deep Space (beyond the Moon) because there's no market there. This is not like discovering the New World (North/South America) and harvesting vast natural resources. Asteroids are a virtual complete unknown. We simply don't know what the composition is of most asteroids. Nickel... Iron... that's what makes it through the atmosphere and lands on Earth. The asteroid robotic landing missions haven't discovered anything too exciting yet. Nothing hugely exciting has been found on Mars yet either. Conclusion: No known huge market in Deep Space but large market in LEO.

2) So why explore? Why go beyond low Earth orbit? The answer is NOT because there's a business case to go (see point 1). You explore most fundamentally because it's the one thing that we can unite humanity around. All the Syria problems.... Russia/U.S. proxy fights... all the problems.... yet Russia and the U.S. make the effort to work together in Human Space Flight. The investment in human spaceflight exploration isn't about a business case... it's about getting humans to work together where they can't on Earth. November 22, 1963... JFK Assassination... where was NASA Administrator James Webb... in Moscow discussing making the Apollo Missions a JOINT US/Russia mission. True. The assassination changed all that... but it's no coincident that a decade later the Apollo-Soyuz Program allowed Russian and U.S. vehicles to dock in space. That ground work was laid years before. Following the fall of the Soviet Union... I was on the first U.S. trip to non-Soviet Russia to work with their space program. This led to the International Space Station. Look up the Iran/Iraq Non-proliferation Agreement.... that's why we have an ISS. Conclusion: The reason for exploration is to unite humanity; not for a business case.

3) Further... why explore?... because we push technology... we incrementally make progress. But that's why space exploration is government funded... since there's no business case... the government funds that basic research to push things forward and gets the "State Department benefit" of getting folks to work together.

4)Next point: launch vehicles aren't where the real money is. The real money is in the payloads. A launch vehicle may cost $50-400M... depending on the vehicle... but the payload is what is expensive.... payloads typically costs MANY times the launch vehicle cost. That's especially true on Deep Space payloads. Launch vehicles also aren't a great revenue stream. Think of a communications satellite... the satellite costs many times the cost of the launch vehicle... but it provides a huge revenue stream for a decade. SpaceX is trying to improve the launch vehicle revenue stream with reusables.. so is Bezos. BUT.... the reason why there won't be dramatically more launches if the launch costs go down is because the payload development costs swamp the equation. The launch vehicle business may be a bit more profitable through reuse... but the payloads and funding available to develop payloads swamps the equation. Conclusion: Launch vehicles by themselves aren't going to be a huge income stream because they need more payloads to fly.

5) Final point... SpaceX will get interesting when they start developing their own payloads... I'm not talking Dragon... I mean revenue producing payloads like comm satellites. THAT's where this becomes fascinating. Concepts like Global High Rate Satellite Internet Access... effectively wifi for the world...

6) Final final point.... Bezos and Musk are VERY different. Bezos is largely funding Blue Origin out of his own pocket. He doesn't market much. He was first to reuse a booster.... he's just quiet about it. Musk gets HUGE government funding for what he's doing... it's not Musk spending all that money. He's government funded big time.

So.... didn't mean to have you take your ball. We can play.

Money to be made is close to Earth... exploration is about international cooperation and gradually learning new things and pushing boundaries.

Again... required to say... this represents my personal opinion and doesn't represent the views of NASA or the US.

M
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No. of Recommendations: 0
With the low earth orbit internet satellites, don't the costs go down significantly because there would be a large volume of the same satellite?

Who is going to own the SpaceX low earth orbit internet satellites? Is someone else paying for them or is that an internal SpaceX project?
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No. of Recommendations: 6
I didn't mean to imply that global internet was a real project... I inserted that as an example of my own as something that would be worth investing in.

I love what SpaceX and Blue Origin are doing technically. I think the marketing hype is just that... hype.

I'm just saying that the real money is in something payload related... not repetitive-use LV's.

All the Asteroid/Mars stuff... not so much.

When all this plays out... my prediction is that you'll see the "product lines" of these companies expand to include revenue payloads.

Example: Telsa as a car manufacturer. You can debate. I know Telsa is well loved here. But what makes it interesting is that Musk is going after the true end to end system... solar power... charging... the whole ball of wax. Selling cars is fine... but selling the car AND all the power it'll ever need.... now that's interesting.

Similar case here... if he's ONLY going after launch vehicles and exploration... I'm not so excited. There has to be other product lines to make it come together into a high profit/high growth business. Selling the LV... yeah... okay... but if it included the end-to-end system... payloads to end user fees.... now that'd be interesting.

And again... heck if I know SpaceX's plans... I'm just saying that from a space architecture point of view a) we haven't seen the cards yet to be plays and b) there has to be more cards to have this make sense and become a high profit/high growth proposal. c) my example payload was just my example...

Final... yes... many copies of the same satellite would reduce costs... that's what they do on comm satellites... and they still costs a ton.

Required statement: These views are my own and to do not represent NASA or US.

M
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No. of Recommendations: 1
but the payload is what is expensive.... payloads typically costs MANY times the launch vehicle cost most payloads are low production,oten hand made, thus high cost today. With very LEO multiple small satellites as Musk is suggesting, they could be made in large numbers ,maybe even mass produced . Cost would plummet, bringing the internet to rural areas and maybe eventually undercutting line of sight towers on a cost basis in many areas.

Mars is beyond my investment horizon. And I don't care much about Deep Space. But inexpensive internet to ALL Americans should if necessary be government supported .For the same reasons (but way more so) that we support libraries. The Internet can be a path out of the mal-education given by many K-12 schools, all you need is the desire, a willingness to study, a connection, and a cheap netbook . THe latter getting cheaper every year.

So that is why I might invest in Space X. If I could.

He's government funded big time
you mean like NASA employees? Is that bad ?


Appreciate your input.
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No. of Recommendations: 8
Couple things...

Apparently I gave a good example on the global internet access... but to be clear... I have no knowledge that SpaceX is thinking that way at all. I was posing an example of what would make it interesting. If they were to expand their product line like that... then I'd be interested.

Yes, in my example, payload costs would go down. That example is sorta my "standard" example of how I'd go about commercializing space more.

Final. I've got no issue with government funding to SpaceX. None. We've gotten great value for our funding and I believe he'll drive launch costs down. I just take issue with folks thinking the Musk is doing this all on his own using all of his own money. That's not the case.

M
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Great post(s)...I just choose to be a bit of a dreamer.

I have faith in the future.

In 1998, just 20 years ago, a lot of us still used AOL and dial up internet. CRT monitors were big and notebook computers were huge and expensive. The capabilities of todays smartphones and GPUs and smart sensors are so much more advanced than what we had then.

It cost $2.6b to sequence the genome in 2003. Then illumina could do it for 300k in 2006. Then $1000 in 2014...now aiming for $100 today.

Make the payloads less expensive.

Curiosity cost $2.5b in 2012.
Maybe that could be done cheaper. You could build 2 Cowboys stadiums for that price. I am not knocking nasa, but perhaps costs can be driven down a tad.

How about a new approach vs a single point of failure. Maybe turn the ISS into a robotics building platform.
Send robotic AI by the hundreds in micro space ahips. Build a swarm of tens of thousands of IOT sensors to circle Mars or asteroids..be ok with a high failure rate.

Lower cost of launch vehicles...lower cost of payloads. Onward and upward.

Yeah - I read a lot of scifi, I get it. Just a lot more interested in what we could do in 2038 than what we find really hard to do in 2018.

Dreamer
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No. of Recommendations: 5
I think you are looking for the future in the wrong place. Launch vehicles are "so 1960"... the technology has only marginally changed since 1960....

Do a search on Quantum Vacuum Thrusters or Dr. Sonny White.... Dr. Harold White is his given name.

Q-Thrusters and what Sonny is working will redefine the world... it'll redefine physics as we know it.... all things transportation will change with Q-thrusters. The implications of his theories will change fundamental physics....

That's where we'll be in 2038. The reason for exploration is pushing the edge.... that's Sonny White.

He's facing all kinds of skeptics and criticism now.... he'll be next to Einstein in the future. He's agreed that I can carry his bags to Stockholm when he gets his Nobel Prize.

Mark
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launch vehicles aren't where the real money is. The real money is in the payloads. A launch vehicle may cost $50-400M... depending on the vehicle... but the payload is what is expensive.... payloads typically costs MANY times the launch vehicle cost.

Payloads cost a lot for a number of reasons. One of them is that because it costs so much to launch them that you do lots more testing on them with lots more careful procedures than for other similarly complex systems. It doesn't make sense to NOT spend an additional few million or ten million for testing, double checking everything and then triple checking it...then checking it again. And it isn't that this isn't good, but many times you are not doing more or better testing it is that you are having meetings to reverify that what you verified had all the i's dotted and t's crossed by everyone multiple times.

Mike
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Did not NASA experimentally provide proof that Quantum Vacuum thrusters provided a net positive thrust? That was a few years ago. Has it advanced any further? Not gonna take us into orbit, but easily to Mars.

Tinker
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Yes. We've prove net positive thrust. Sonny is still testing it in the lab. We've seen cases where the N/kW would easily support a launch vehicle... but we can't replicate or design to it yet. This is still very early physics... but it is real. The challenge with chemical propulsion... all current launch vehicles.... is that the overwhelming majority of your rocket is spent lifting the propellant and the rocket itself. The challenge with Q-Thrusters will be power. LOTS of power.

If I were writing scifi linked to science fact, I'd take the rumors of Skunkworks cold fusion and Sonny's Q-thrusters.... combine those two in 2038... now you'd have something amazing.... world changing.

M
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Cold fusion, warm fusion... always just a decade away, from every new decade that comes. One may posit that the solution to creating practical amounts of antimatter at practical costs may precede that of practical uses for cold and warm fusion beyond hydrogen bombs.

Fascinating that he is still at it. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/11/nasa-impossible-... The last readily accessible updates are from late 2016.

My understanding is that its more practical use would be post orbital acceleration and not launch acceleration. Launch acceleration would indeed be quite exciting. But perhaps baby steps.

There is an old experiment where 4 year olds were left in a room with a chocolate chip cookie and told if they did not eat it, when the adult came back, the child would be given multiple chocolate chip cookies to eat.

The children who ate the cookie first, after being tracked, did markedly less well in most measures of life than the children who deferred gratitiation and waited.

This comes to mind as I interviewed a potential client today who had an excuse for everything as to why it could not be done, and I had to explain to him that if he wanted to achieve this goal it would take baby steps. It was not gonna happen over night.

Then I thought of my last true love, and remember how she thought she would be rich in 3 months if she started her business. I was left open jawed by this. Of course she would not be in 3 months. But she had other great attributes, but one of the reasons I did not marry her.

Anyway, thinking the same thing with EM engine. Lets put the dang thing in orbit and start the baby steps! Presently quantum computing is ahead of the EM drive developmetally. Why can’t we start putting a working model in orbit. Just a tiny bit of net thrust is all it takes, and by dong so the whole world would begin to invest in the new science.

But I am sure better minds than me are at it.

Tinker
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No. of Recommendations: 3
That's actually what Sonny is doing exactly. Taking very methodical baby steps. Working ever forwards.

Q-Thrusters are amazing.. but that's only the tip of the ice berg. The math and physic behind the Q-thruster is what really blows me away. The application of that is WAY beyond just Q-thruster.

But that's beyond the scope of this board too. Believe me... when that's investment ready... I'll be first onboard.

DreamerDad can be happy.... there's really cool stuff coming by 2038.

M
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<<<But that's beyond the scope of this board too.>>>

I have found little to be beyond the scope of this board in the past. I remember discussing whether or not the work of Einstein was an original inspiration or if he built upon the shoulders of others. Perhaps Newton is an original inspiration, but Einstein was clearly a brilliant, utterly brilliant derivative of multiple pieces of work in the mid to late 1800s that Einstein was able to incorporate into his mind set to come up with the most brilliant discovery in human science history. My, admittedly, lay person adventure into string theory went back into historical developments that preceded Einstein but that laid the foundation for what Einstein did. The only real investable idea from Einstein appear to be mapping and location technology and perhaps a few bankrupt nuclear power plant behemoths.

If we can discuss that, we can certainly discuss the Q-thruster, even though it has little investment connection for us, and possibly for our kids, but perhaps for our kids. We shall see. More likely grandkids, but lets apply some quantum computing power!!!!

I know, I know, it does not work that way. We just like to think that ML and AI will solve all problems and conundrums.

Thanks M.

Tinker
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<< There is an old experiment where 4 year olds were left in a room with a chocolate chip cookie.... >>

This is known as the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_marshmallow_experimen...


Alan
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Hmmm, in 2038 I will turn 54, not yet 59 and a half to tap the tax-advantaged retirement funds......guess I should embrace my engineering side and read up on Q-thrusters (keeping the investor/MBA hat on too).

Is there anyone younger than me here or on Saul's board that posts regularly? Did I simply luck out to discover them at a young age?

-volfan84 ('84 being my Orwellian birth year)
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A bit more detail:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RF_resonant_cavity_thruster

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_vacuum_thruster

Not sure I'd bet the farm on these "engines".

Who knows what the next decade will bring?

I can remember when I was in medical school in the '70's. Everyone was sure that cancer would be wiped out in our lifetime.

A decade later, we were in the midst of the AIDs epidemic. And no one knew that the advent of the Internet was just one more decade away.


Alan
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Vol,

I am still younger than you will be...so lots of life left until you get really old.

Physical drive technology has certainly stagnated over the last 50 years. There have been some efficiency improvements and the like, but we still use the same jet engines, the U.S. for nearly a decade had no high orbit launch capacity so we used the Russians (I mean, that was absurd. To me that was a “make America Great Again” leading indicator. We had to pay the Russians to put our orbiters into orbit! Yes, the same Russians who are all over the news.

I am not sure that the rocket technology is actually that much more advanced then what once was.

Be great to see advancement in drive technologies. These seem far more complex than computer and communication technologies. But perhaps we are do...

Tinker
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No. of Recommendations: 0
My comment on my age (which I failed to type out) was more in cobtemplating if I should delve more deeply in terms of my career, in the event that it could come to fruition before retirement. The past 4 years of the nuclear power industry have been very disheartening, seeing plants be planned to shut down (starting with San Onofre's steam generator-induced permanent closure, pushed along due to politics, along with Vermont Yankee and Kewaunee falling victim to being smaller, single-unit sites), essentially due to market failures (so-called competitive electricity markets are not truly competitive when some market players are compensated substantially for out-of-market attributes, to put things concisely).

Semi-fortunately for me, the time of dwindling optimism for having essentially limitless, clean energy, has coincided with being invested in NVDA......boosting my investing interest to new heights (still sub-orbital, of course).
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No. of Recommendations: 9
Vol,

Here is what happens with your career. If you are pre-family, not in great debt, delve into your career as deep as possible and pursue your passion that also corresponds with making money.

As the owner of the San Antonio Spurs, and sell out of Broadcast.com to Yahoo for billions said, following your passion is not the key, following what corresponds with your passion in a commercial sense.

If you have something like that in mind, then go for it. Once you start a family (unless your wife is all supportive and your passion is legitimate - mine was going to support my athletic career in Europe) and you are not in debt, do it. PERIOD.

What happens is, that over time you make connections, you develop skills, and as you get older, you get caught up in your ways. If you have not already made the connections (although skills can be developed, but it takes time and money) you will have so many obligations, and not be willing to sacrifice what you have done and the money you are making, that you may never do what you were really meant to do.

20 years from now, barring any health issues, you will still be young. Start being the person you want to be now because that 20 years will come faster than you think. And when that 20 years does come, although you are still young, you also start looking that you will soon be old, and you get only 1 try at this, you will then begin to wonder, am I the person I could have been, or just the person I fell into being.

Up to you.

I am both an under and overachiever. And am still figuring my way. But I also have beautiful children, a place int eh world I love, and whether or not I am ready to put it all at risk to do something bigger...not just a matter of willing to take the risk, but jeepers, the energy it takes.

Being a little desperate, but focused, with no other obligations, that allows you to optimally pursue the you you want to be. Be pragmatic about it of course, but make your decision.

"Wisdom" if that be that cost you an infinite amount less than I bill per hour. I once wanted to be president, but glad I got that out of my system. We are in a world where being at the top of the legacy world is not so great anymore. Important, yes, but the power it takes to make a difference, it takes a true Reagan or Trump to overcome all the systems that be. Build the new world outside of the purview of the systems that be.

Tinker
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And I think it’s the Altas V that uses Russian built engines....

Crazy

M
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Hmmm, in 2038 I will turn 54,

Hmmm, in 2038 I will turn 100...


('84 being my Orwellian birth year

1984 was born in 1948!


The masterpiece that killed George Orwell

By mid-November, too weak to walk, he retired to bed to tackle "the grisly job" of typing the book on his "decrepit typewriter" by himself. Sustained by endless roll-ups, pots of coffee, strong tea and the warmth of his paraffin heater, with gales buffeting Barnhill, night and day, he struggled on. By 30 November 1948 it was virtually done.

Now Orwell, the old campaigner, protested to his agent that "it really wasn't worth all this fuss. It's merely that, as it tires me to sit upright for any length of time, I can't type very neatly and can't do many pages a day." Besides, he added, it was "wonderful" what mistakes a professional typist could make, and "in this book there is the difficulty that it contains a lot of neologisms".

The typescript of George Orwell's latest novel reached London in mid December, as promised. Warburg recognised its qualities at once ("amongst the most terrifying books I have ever read") and so did his colleagues. An in-house memo noted "if we can't sell 15 to 20 thousand copies we ought to be shot".


https://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/may/10/1984-george-or...

The Captain
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I really need to read that book again. I was either 12 or 13 years old when I read it. I would certainly glean more from it now.
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<< I would certainly glean more from it (Orwell's 1984) now. >>

Definitely worth reading again. But what I think you'll glean from it is that 1984 didn't happen.

Still, the lessons are timeless.


Alan
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And I think it’s the Altas V that uses Russian built engines....

Finally.....proof of Russian collusion!
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The problem with deep space travel in propulsion. On Earth jet airliners don't need to carry oxidants, the use the oxygen from free air. Space, having no free oxidants, forces chemical rockets to carry both fuel and oxidants reducing the useful payload capacity. Not only is the payload reduced by the weight of the oxidants but additional fuel is burned to lift the oxidant and the extra fuel. A very negative feedback loop. There are palliatives like disposable fuel tanks, multistage rockets, and high altitude launches from mother ships. Ideally spacecraft should operate without having to carry fuel and oxidant, like sailboats of yore.


Sunjammer

Author: Arthur C. Clarke
Publication date: March 1964

"Sunjammer" is a science fiction short story by British writer Arthur C. Clarke, originally published in 1963,[1] and included in the March 1964 issue of Boys' Life. The story has also been published under the title "The Wind from the Sun" in Clarke's 1972 collection of short stories with this title. It depicts a yacht race between solar sail spacecraft.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunjammer

What happens when you abandon the solar system, when no more solar power?

BTW, by the time we have Sunjammers we will also have Space elevators

2061: Odyssey Three, novel by Arthur C. Clarke. The possibility of a space elevator is realised after a groundbreaking discovery that Jupiter's core (now in fragments around the orbit of Lucifer, the small sun formed by the implosion of Jupiter) had been a solid diamond; as the hardest substance in nature, suddenly available in vast quantities, it facilitates the construction of a solid elevator rather than the more common tether structure previously envisaged

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevators_in_fiction


The Universe is the limit for human imagination. The sky as the limit is so passé!

The Captain
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But what I think you'll glean from it is that 1984 didn't happen.

Except in Mao's China, Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, Rwandan genocide, Bosnian ethnic cleansing, ISIS, Apartheid, Argentinian desaparecidos, , , , , <-- fill in the blanks

The Captain
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Denny,

That oxidant issue is part of why nuclear-powered rockets have gotten a decent amount of study through the years.

I don't have actual numbers, but I think I recall reading something about being able to cut trips to Mars into a sixth or less amount of time if nuclear-powered rockets were available.

A large portion of the population would probably find it pretty ironic that using a nuclear-powered rocket could be able to reduce the total mission radiation dose for astronauts by a substantial amount simply by reducing the transit time to and from Mars.......but if a proper nuclear-powered interplanetary rocket had been fully developed, that would be the case.

Going back up to Tinker's post above, perhaps within 5-15 more years maybe I will simply fund myself and my family via savings and subsequent investment returns and have adequate time freed up to think about such things independently, without need for a specific financial return associated with such thoughts.

Here's a wikipedia link to a nuclear-powered rocket:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NERVA

And a general page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_thermal_rocket
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1984 did not happen? Have you told that to College campuses? College campuses is where things 20 years hence start to happen off of college campuses. The terminology for things much worse than micro-aggressions or the need to be protected from any idea that may make you have to think and debate is utterly 1984 and the purpose is the same. To shut off all alternate thought other than the thought thatis proper thought.

That is happening in mainstream America as we speak.

Tinker
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That is happening on mainstream college campuses as we speak. Imagine, the ultimate place of knowledge and debate in the world, and now the policy has been to shut off all debate as it may create a micro-aggression and put thoughts in one’s head that are not the state sanctioned thoughts.

I wish I was making this up, but that is what is happening in mainstream college America around the country from Harvard to a small school in Oregon.

Having wrong thoughts will not be tolerated, and no one should be assaulted with wrong thoughts on penalty of expulsion and ridicule and even violence.

Tinker
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1984 didn't happen. it came pretty close in East Germany where nearly everybody was an informant. I visited there during height of Cold War, it was as drab as Winston Smith's world.

When I first read 1984 I thought that all those people involved in monitoring would be too much expense and too much paperwork for the society to support. Just like spending a fifth of their GDP on arms helped collapse the USSR


But with modern data storage and AI it all becomes feasible.

We need to look no further than college campuses to see the desire to suppress freedom of speech and to willingness to use violence and intimidation to do so. And that is in the US, it is worse lots of other places.

Orwell is even more valuable to read today than he was 50 years ago. Can't say that about almost any other author of the time.
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<< 1984 did not happen? Have you told that to College campuses?.....Mao's China, Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, Rwandan genocide, Bosnian ethnic cleansing, ISIS, Apartheid, Argentinian desaparecidos.... >>

Well, I just got schooled. Wish I could take my post back. I gotta remember not to write anything before a couple cups of coffee and an engaged brain.


Alan
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Alan, of all the 1984s mentioned the one happening on American campuses is the most dangerous one. It is undermining the most powerful bastion of freedom and democracy. Imagine a government that supports assaults on rights granted by the Constitution.

Alan, of all the 1984s mentioned, you can do something about the American one.


Denny Schlesinger
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I am constantly amazed at how this college thing has become just mainstream stuff. Denny is absolutely correct. You want to protect this country for yourself, your children, and your grandchildren, this stuff that is on college campuses, that is often seen in political correctness (but to a lesser but growing degree in the real world) has to be stopped.

It is a friggin college campus and "Make America Great Again" is considered a violent statement!

What Denny said.

Tinker
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Damn, Tinker, you can be so wise and reasonable when you're not talking about politics.
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Dang it Advocatus you really do want to support Orwellian ideas don't you. Not a thing wrong with college speech codes, is there? Nothing...

The extremist speaks, at it is not moi.

Tinker
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5) Final point... SpaceX will get interesting when they start developing their own payloads... I'm not talking Dragon... I mean revenue producing payloads like comm satellites. THAT's where this becomes fascinating. Concepts like Global High Rate Satellite Internet Access... effectively wifi for the world...

Are you aware of the item below? Do you consider it just hype? On the surface at least it sounds like your "when they start developing" has happened.

Starlink[1] is a satellite constellation development project underway by SpaceX, to develop a low-cost, high-performance satellite bus and requisite customer ground transceivers to implement a new space-based Internet communication system.[2][3] By 2017, SpaceX had submitted regulatory filings to launch a total of nearly 12,000 satellites to orbit by the mid-2020s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlink_(satellite_constellat...


One other point I did not notice being mentioned... Part of the cost of payloads can be linked to their limited production. They tend to be one-of-a-kind hand-buit devices. If we accept the 12k units mentioned above such volume production would lower the unit cost a lot. I will further speculate that there will be more off-the-shelf hardware in them than anyone building high-cost one-of-a-kind units would risk using.
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The extremist speaks, at it is not moi.


I was responding to this post in the thread, where you are just giving positive life advice:

http://boards.fool.com/vol-here-is-what-happens-with-your-ca...

I hadn't read any other posts in this thread, somehow meandered from SpaceX to Orwell???

I'm generally against "safe zones" and "speech codes", except that I would perhaps discourage use of the n**** word and the waving of swastika flags.
Someone wrote recently:

"When we were young, we were looking for reasons to be angry. Today, young people are looking for reasons to be offended."
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Then we do not disagree on the free speech issue. That was what I was responding to. The fact that something we in the United States take for granted for so long (having to have fought against prior restraint laws of the past) is now considered violent, and evil, and to be protected against even with the use of intimidation and violence.

I have no use for NAZI and the use of the "N" word.

But even here, due to political correctness, we let the use of such things and worse become mainstream in hip hop and rap, and we are forbidden from criticizing it because it is mostly a minority cultural thing (which is crap).

My ideas lose, fine. They are not going to lose because of intimidation and institutionally shutting them down.

So if I mischaracterized your position in regard, my apologies. It is one of my pet peeves speech codes, for the reasons that Denny specified.

Tinker
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Space X has already pioneered use of vastly cheaper off the shelf hardware in rockets. Something similar in satellites will result in way lower costs. Mass production is cheaper per unit and allows for statistics based quality control.

You can not project these costs based on present hand built satellites and throw away rocket booster costs.

The competition is land based , building lots of towers ,burying lots of cable , ofen in remote low population places or the opposite extreme ,high priced urban locations. I suspect all the most financially rewarding spots have been built, future costs per customer will go up. I do know for sure that there are no coverage areas where I travel. And where I do get coverage cell phone and cable, it is not cheap. Will Musk type satellites be better/cheaper? To be determined. I do not know.
But I do know Musk thinks outside the box so familiar to insiders and "experts"
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I have no use for NAZI and the use of the "N" word.

Check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sisKfXPiLU
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I could barely make out the "n" in these answers and the persons putting out the answers did so sort of under their breath. Idiots basically. Not necessarily racists as the "n" word has become mainstream in movies and today in context is a term of adearment spoken between friends. True, usually black friend to black friend, but it is kept alive in whatever context.

I find it stupid no matter the context it is used in, but it is not necessarily racist anymore.

Well, not unless you hear it in the context of a South Park episode where rich black celebrities move into town, and the "klan" is formed to move out the "richies" (happen to coincidentally be only black people how are rich) until the very end of the episode:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XHC55vY5_Q

No wonder the one black character in the whole show is named "Token".

Now hip hop:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/xxxtentacion-kodak-black-and-h...

No comedy about it. Outright advocating and making mainstream violence against women, black people, white people, etc.

Yet no push back at all against it because it is black males (who cannot be held to a higher standard I guess) advocating it.

Tinker
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I just thought the wheel of fortune clip was one of the funniest things I ever saw.
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Yes. That's exactly what I was talking about but didn't know if it'd been released publicly... so I was diverting it as an example.

THAT's what will make things very interesting.... totally changes how you'd evaluate SpaceX.

M
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Not a thing wrong with college speech codes, is there? Nothing...

In some cases there may be, but in general they are hardly what you characterize them to be. In very many cases, the speakers who are being turned away are ones associated with inciting violence. This is not an anti-right or anti-left thing, but an anti-violence thing.
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Oh, and I have also seen cases where leftist speakers were also turned down, exactly because of a history of violence or criminality.
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Check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sisKfXPiLU


This is so obviously fake.
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Fake. That would be par for the course from the Left.

This started off with Orwell. Seems it even ends with Orwell. More fake news. Wonderful. Why should I have hoped for more from the Left. That is plain stupidity on my part to try to discuss anything in good-faith with real facts from someone who is on the Left.

Tinker
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OMG!

At CUNY school of law in New York, a free speech law expert came to give a presentation and students protested even having someone who was a free speech legal expert who supported free speech!!!!!

This is at a law school! Even under law, law students apparently are not allowed to argue improper thinking!

Orwell would even roll over in his grave over this. In the United States of America!!!!

This is no joke.

The protesters stated that FREE SPEECH IS SIMPLY FASCIST, WHITE SUPREMACIST, NAZI. This is law students...I mean, if this does not shock every reasonable person in America...

This is not a radical speaker. He is giving a speech on the current law of the First Amendment.

OMG!!!

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/04/students-at-cuny-law-...

The Federalist Society is "racist"!!!

These are future lawyers and judges!

This is not funny anymore.

Tinker
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Fake. That would be par for the course from the Left.

Why does this have anything to do with someone from the left?
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from the link
A student shouted out “F*** the law.” This comment stunned me. I replied, “F*** the law? That’s a very odd thing. You are all in law school. And it is a bizarre thing to say f*** the law when you are in law school.” They all started to yell and shout over me.

schools could stop this very easily. Allow protests in public spaces, but expel students who did it in classrooms, especially if they were not taking that class. Arrest them, charge with trespass and pursue conviction.
The fact that universities are so spineless shows that administrators agree that 1st amendment is invalid for them. 2nd one too, probably others. Mao and Po Pot weren't bothered by lack of them why should we be?
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Tinker, one has to be careful about slanting the story. You appear to lump this in to your idea of a university forbidding a speaker the opportunity to speak, but nothing of the sort occurred here. The person was allowed to speak and their only problem in delivering their message was that there were hecklers who did not like the conservative message. Don't the students also have free speech? To be sure, my preference is for a debate between thoughtful people on both sides, but given that there are many speakers who are not actually thoughtful, it can be hard to have a debate, especially if the person is only interested in giving their speech. There is no conspiracy here, just people who didn't like what they were hearing and expressing their difference of opinion.
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Hi Mark - welcome to New Paradigm.

I used to work in in the space industry. For a NASA contractor. Gave it up a few years ago, but still follow the industry, and do have some idea what I am talking about. And I don't agree with everything you have written.

>> There's lots of marketing out there about Asteroid Mining as a multi-trillion dollar industry that's untapped. There's lots of marketing out there about putting people on Mars. Note I refer to them as marketing. That's what it is. <<

Mostly marketing, I can agree. The space mining companies have some funding and are doing mission development work, but they are a long way from commerciality. There are no existing business plans for this that look viable. But that is in 2018, and things are changing...

>> Fact... Obama called for NASA to study both going to Mars and going to Asteroids when he cancelled the Constellation Program. You'll note they went fairly silent after that.... why did they go silent?? Because we gave them FACTS on just how hard those missions were. We simply don't have the technology and funding in MANY areas. You'll notice Trump has quietly said Moon... and hasn't made much noise afterwards. <<

Agree, mostly, again. These things are hard. Mars and asteroids are hard, particularly when you are talking human crews. We need a bunch of development - everything from CELSS to propulsion to in situ resource utilization. Radiation protection. Artificial gravity. And much more. It's hard and needs work, but it is reasonable to note that none of this needs technology breakthroughs. The reason it is so hard is there isn't a lot of focused attention on the areas, notwithstanding the good work NASA is doing. The reason there isn't a huge amount of focused resources is because there isn't a huge amount of public interest, and there aren't viable business plans. If either of those conditions changes, then we'll start finding solutions for this hard stuff lickety quick. See, for example, reusable first stages. Took SpaceX what? 5 years or so from first Falcon 9 to landing the first stages? They had a viable business plan, and were able to achieve what many people said was virtually impossible in only a half decade or so. And they are improving with every launch.

Also note that Falcon dev costs were estimated at $300 MM. Compare this to a NASA cost plus contract, which estimated dev costs for a launcher of this capacity at $3.6B. The difference again, is focus - SpaceX knew what they wanted and didn't faff around with endless studies, extraneous requirements, change orders, etc.

>> What SpaceX is doing.... AMAZING. Great stuff. Truly is. When they get their BFR flying... also great stuff. STILL NOT enough. SLS is planned to be bigger than BFR... and for a reason... but it would require 6-10 SLS launches for a Mars mission. BFR's... more than that. Launch transportation only a fraction of the problem.<<

Now, this is where we differ. First, the facts: BFR is being designed for 150 tonnes to LEO. SLS Block 2 is only 130 tonnes. But more important than capacity is cost. Stated BFR target launch cost is $9 million. $60/kg to LEO! That is a game changer. A ticket for less than $5k for a person to get to LEO? That's basically a business class ticket to Europe. Can SpaceX hit this target? Who knows? Their track record is certainly not perfect, but they have definitely achieved more than many doubters thought.

And 150 tonnes to LEO is 60 tonnes TMI, give or take. Yes, entry and landing is a challenge, but Falcon already have shown supersonic retropulsion works. The technical issues can be solved with proper focus. And with well-designed ISRU, now we are talking about 2 launches for a Mars mission. Call it $20 MM in launch costs. You are right - the actual Mars hardware will be orders of magnitude more expensive than launch, and there is no reason to develop it yet, as there is no business plan. But it is all possible. And based on experience with Falcon 9 development, it is possible for development costs an order of magnitude less than current estimates.

>> But... would I invest in SpaceX if it were a public company?? Nope. It would get some hype. It'd get bid up in the short term because of marketing... but company value? Would you invest in United Launch Alliance... the Boeing Lockheed partnership. No... the profits aren't large and the growth is very low. SpaceX will be the same thing. There's only so many satellite launches per year... in spite of what the marketing says, we aren't going to Mars with Humans any time soon.... nor Asteroids. I could give you a thousand boring technical facts on why.<<

I'd invest in SpaceX. Wouldn't bet the farm, but I'd invest. 9 launches in 2016, 18 in 2017, probably 30 this year? That is growth I like. And 30 launches - SpaceX is now running on a $2B/year revenue stream. I'll bet you they'll be more than 40 launches in 2019.

Yes, growth in space industries has been low, and the satellites are expensive. But part of the reason the satellites are expensive is launch costs are high. Satellite costs are connected to launch costs - as launch costs fall, satellites will get smaller and cheaper, and the number and applications of satellites will increase. Comms, and remote sensing, and GPS, the standard applications, will expand dramatically. But there will also be new markets - on orbit satellite servicing (maintain those expensive assets!), refueling, debris collection, real estate (hotels? that's just the start...), manufacturing, energy collection (would that O'Neill were still around...). And many other applications we can't see at this time. When cars were invented, the number of cross-country US journeys didn't stay the same as in the days of the Conestoga wagons, and the new technologies, and businesses, and infrastructure, expanded well beyond harness-makers. I expect to see something similar in space, starting in LEO, and expanding outward gradually to GEO and cis-lunar space. I'll agree with you that Mars and asteroids won't be any time soon, at least from a business/investable perspective. Although I wouldn't be too surprised if SpaceX attempts a Mars landing in the 2020's just to prove they can.

Time will tell. In any event, it'll be fun to watch.

Brian
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Stated BFR target launch cost is $9 million.

I think you are missing a zero on that....$90 million would be closer.

Otherwise, we don't disagree too much.

M
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Now, this is where we differ. First, the facts: BFR is being designed for 150 tonnes to LEO. SLS Block 2 is only 130 tonnes. But more important than capacity is cost. Stated BFR target launch cost is $9 million. $60/kg to LEO! That is a game changer. A ticket for less than $5k for a person to get to LEO? That's basically a business class ticket to Europe. Can SpaceX hit this target? Who knows? Their track record is certainly not perfect, but they have definitely achieved more than many doubters thought.

Let's do the maths:

5,000 / 60 = 83 Kilograms

The average weight of an adult human is 137 pounds (62 kg) according to a league table of the world's 'fattest' nations from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Find out how you compare to other adults using our interactive graphic

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/earthnews/9345086/The...

You are only allowing 21 Kilos, (46 pounds) for food, life support, accommodations, safety regulations, and whatnot. A more realistic figure might be five to ten times the weight of the human.

Denny Schlesinger
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<< The average weight of an adult human is 137 pounds (62 kg).... >>

Hah! That's the average weight of a 6th-grader in this country.


Alan
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Hah! That's the average weight of a 6th-grader in this country.

Alan


No wonder healthcare is bankrupting America! You are eating yourselves sick! YUCK!

Denny Schlesinger
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>> No. of Recommendations: 0
Stated BFR target launch cost is $9 million.

I think you are missing a zero on that....$90 million would be closer.

Otherwise, we don't disagree too much. <<

Nope. Falcon Heavy is about $90 million for ~64 tonnes to LEO ($1400/kg). For BFR, SpaceX states $9 million. Not missing any zeros.

Can they do it? I'm not sure. I am certainly not going to say it is impossible and there is no way they'll hit that target. Too many people have been made to look foolish stating SpaceX can't do this or that. I am perfectly capable of looking foolish all by myself without any help from predicting what SpaceX can or can't do.

Brian
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Hey Denny,

>> You are only allowing 21 Kilos, (46 pounds) for food, life support, accommodations, safety regulations, and whatnot. A more realistic figure might be five to ten times the weight of the human. <<

I'm aware of this and was simplifying. It gets complex to figure out the logistical overhead because it is caught up in the purpose of the flight. Are you on a one month lunar tour? A 45 minute sub orbital hop NY to Sydney? A 12 hour shuttle to the Hyatt Regency LEO? It makes a difference. $5K is probably a lower bound, but how much more it will be depends a great deal on what it is you are trying to do. And, of course, whether SpaceX can meet its cost goals.

But the basic point stands - these sorts of costs are game changers.

Brian
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