Monday, April 21, 2014

First Stage of CRS-3's F9 recovered!


They've found the first stage of CRX-3's F9;

This is from the National Geospacial Inteligence Agency's April 21st maritime hazards warnings;
http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/StaticFiles/MISC/warn/dm_a.html

NAVAREA IV 274/14 [1 of 1][[WWNWSFOLDER]]

WESTERN NORTH ATLANTIC.
1. 150 FOOT LONG ROCKET BOOSTER ADRIFT VICINITY
31-00N 076-00W. REPORTS TO U.S. COAST GUARD MIAMI,
PHONE: 305 415 6800, E-MAIL: RCCMIAMI@USCG.MIL.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 220720Z APR 14.//

Authority: RCC MIAMI 190256Z APR 14.

Date:
Cancel: 22072000 Apr 14

Note the cancel; the second iteration is a typo by the National Geospacial Intelligence Agency (not me for once!). The first iteration is correct; 220720Z

What it means is April 22nd, 07:20 GMT (Zulu). That's just under two hours from now.

I can think of only one reason why they'd put that specific a cancel time in the NOTM;  the stage is about to not be at that location anymore.

THEY GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






The time when colonization of Mars becomes practical

That time has arrived. Several things have to happen in concert but they all can and are being worked on right now. The weak leg is funding which will be addressed herein. That funding can be accumulated now. We can do so by using a trust which addresses the issue of fraud and also mitigates other potential pitfalls.

Billions of dollars in technology is being designed, built, and tested by government and private industry for the purpose of getting humans to mars right now. We know how to get to orbit. We know how to build ships to go beyond orbit. We need better ways of landing on mars, but we have successfully landed on mars already.

SpaceX has been leading the way because of Elon Musk's vision and drive, but he is not alone. Elon now has a record of making things happen (congrats on the soft sea landing) so I'm betting the MCT becomes a reality but not even it is required. What they first called a Red Dragon has become a wider Mars One lander that Mars One feels confident enough in to put on their critical path. NASA is working on concepts to land 10 to 100 times the mass they've already successfully put on the surface of mars. Having the vehicles to land humans safely on the surface of mars are only a few years of funding away. The MCT itself is just scaling up of what SpaceX has been doing for it's entire eleven years existence. Funding is the key. SpaceX would love to sell you tickets. They claim they will eventually do it for $500k per person. I believe we need $250m per person ($4b for a dozen at a time) to do it with technology that will be available in the Mars One time frame. To meet that schedule, accumulating funding should start ASAP although we really do not have to meet that schedule as long as we make reasonable progress.

Zubrin and the Mars Society have researched living on mars. We know we could put people in a can with life support but living on mars will required ISRU industry. Freedom is also a requirement that is oddly missing in most settlement plans. Top down design only works for a small base. Settling a world requires individuals with assets and freedom to pursue each of their own individual dreams.

The foundational requirement for living on mars is simple chemistry and power. Jerry Pournelle in the 70s pointed out how fundamental energy is to living in style in space. We should be cautious that we provide them enough power for industry beyond just that required for living. Zubrin's Mars Society has shown how they can develop more on their own. Ultimately t\he colonists themselves will be responsible for what they bring which will be their own property (also solving the issue of how mars gets the things they can't produce themselves while incentivizing them to learn how.)

During the time that the technology matures we need to accumulate funding to buy the tickets for those willing to go. Mars One has identified 200,000+ of them.

I believe a trust is one of two keys required to accumulate and disburse the funding required. A trust holds money and property for the benefit of others. It is a contract managed by trustees. It's not a new concept having been used since at least the 1600s.

I believe we could transport a person with one ton or several of supplies to the martian surface with soon to be existing technology for $150m per person from already published prices. But that might be too optimistic. So the plan is to be able to accumulate more than $250m per person so a dozen at a time could go to mars by offering $4b to the company that would do it. This is the same ballpark using similar technology as Mars One has written about although not exactly. We can send more at a time than they propose which by itself reduces cost. The trustees would determine if any proposal meets the requirements to do that. With multiple acceptable proposals a reverse auction could determine the vendor to choose. Competition brings costs down.

The trust agreement has to cover many contingencies and will have to be worked out with lawyers that specialize in such things. The asset that provides the reason for adding money to the trust is the 144,000,000,000,000 sq. meters of martian surface area. It currently has no value although worthless $20 deeds have been sold online for years. But even a small value of just some of that produces a large enough sum to pay for realistic proposals.

Nothing has intrinsic value. The only value a thing has is what somebody is willing to pay for it. Most people will only spend money on things they can legally own. Can the martian surface legally be sold as real estate? Does it require the state to give it's blessings?

Historically right up to today real estate ownership is determined by chain of title. All chain of title begins with a claim. Without a claim, nothing is owned. Ownership itself is a moral imperative. Civilization outside utopian marxist fantasy is based on it. If only it was just fantasy because millions have died because of this false reasoning and millions more probably will. It's time to face up to the reality that if civilization is to exist on mars it will require private real estate ownership.

Recently I came across an expression of that utopian fantasy...
One can only hope that by the time colonization of Mars becomes practical that we will be beyond ownership of material things...
I am so thankful this thought was so well expressed because it has really fired me up. We might thank Star Trek for giving people this delusional fantasy but they are not alone. The U.N. is fully behind this idea and a broad range of lawyers are currently working to prevent others from owning space real estate. They'd rather it be owned by everyone meaning owned by no one and controlled by them. We can't let that happen. This will prevent us from becoming a spacefaring civilization. It will almost completely stunt any progress. It already has.

So how does ownership get worked out? It doesn't require the blessings of government. That is a trap. Governments have often recognized ownership after the fact and that is required here. The difficulty with getting to mars and the communications delay are actually a major advantage. A major reason for using a trust is to avoid the pitfalls required to claim ownership. The historical method of claiming property is by possession. Anyone can do this. The trick is defending that claim. Colonists privately funding transport to the martian surface will be able to use the strongest legal claim of ownership which is by possession. The trust makes it possible to do this with the right timing to prevent others from throwing a wrench into the works because the property is held in trust for the benefit of others but no claim is made before actual possession. But even before possession the trust provides contractual ownership of the land which others can not sue for because it has not yet been conveyed. Should land ownership for a particular plot be contested the most expedient thing to do would exchange it for another uncontested plot. Mars has a lot of potential real estate.

Who gets an account in this trust? Those that have proven their willingness to go one way to mars such as the 200,000+. They will risk their lives for the benefit of mankind. They need a plan that rewards their risks. They do not have to pay a cent and will arrive on mars with all the assets needed for a lifetime of freedom to pursue their dreams. Mars One will take 100,000 years to send everyone at a rate of 2 per year. We can do better. They selected over a thousand from the 200k in the current round of selections. So we start by randomly selecting four dozen from those. Once the first dozen have reached a certain level of funding we randomly select another thousand at a time (based on further criteria) until 10s to 100s of thousands have had a chance to participate. Each person will be assigned 1000 sq. km. (one billion sq. m.) in an account that accumulates 25 cents per sq. meter. This money comes from those that believe enough in the plan to contribute for the potential of owning mars real estate. Would you want a $50 government bond or 200m2 of mars real estate? Tell me again after hyperinflation. At 25 cents per m2 I would and so would many others if marketed correctly by people that know how. A 2000m2 homestead would cost $500. Putting it into a trust is how you prevent fraud and give the money time to accumulate. I'll let you know what the trust lawyers say but basically it's just a contract.

Letting it accumulate in trust means whatever the cost of the first landing it will be covered. The second landing will cost half as much since supplies will not need to be prepositioned for them. Elon see's 80k going but in a very hard sell. My plan will send 100s of thousands all arriving with a lifetime of assets so they can individually pursue their own dreams. Some will die. They will be doing it for humanity to produce a true spacefaring civilization because make no mistake, this will not be the only world we settle, just the easiest.

I can't really go into all the details here but please feel free to add your own thoughts in comments. An earlier post.

I am looking for lawyers specializing in trusts. Send them my way if you know any.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Have you become jaded?

A while ago I presented a new plan for financing the colonization of mars.

People that know me might have dismissed it because it is very much like some of my old plans but that would ignore the significant difference this new plan contains. First let's get rid of some ridiculous arguments against it...
"the implication of your argument is that mars real estate will never be owned." One can only hope that by the time colonization of Mars becomes practical that we will be beyond ownership of material things...
Obviously, JamesG watched too much StarTrek or is the result of a good American education thanks to the progressive lefties that have taken over our school system for the last century. I refute this in my original post but don't feel the need here. Anybody that accepts this drivel doesn't have the brain cells to understand a rational argument.

The plan is simple and basic. We buy tickets with money held in trust. That's it. The rest is detail.

The people putting money into this trust are taking an adult risk that is mitigated by a number of factors. First is that the money is going into a trust. They call it a trust for a reason. Practically speaking, a trust is a company that hold money and property for others based on a written agreement. It's very common although our use of the trust might be considered new (or not.)

The trust then is the pivot of the plan. Money goes in. Money goes out.

Going in:

People are taking a risk that their deed is more than a novelty deed. That is certainly true. It is more than a novelty simply because of how the money going in will go out. It will pay for ventures that will enforce those property claims by the most solid historical basis, possession.

Going out:

This is the least controversial aspect. We're simply going to buy tickets. Those tickets contain all the profit motivation required to make it happen. The tickets for the first colonists will cost about twice that of all those that follow because additional supplies will be required to ensure the survival of the first group. All groups following will be supported by those that went before.

Who's going to sell those tickets? Anybody that wants the profit. That includes Elon Musk who has already announced a ticket price goal of $500k. My plan doesn't wait for Elon because we assume the ticket price to be over $250m per person at first. We expect it will soon be practical to put a dozen on mars for $4b with enough profit to provide incentive. When ticket prices come down that just means more people will have enough in their trust account to pay for these new lower prices.

In other words, anyone that thinks we are going to be able to go to mars someday has just been shown how it's paid for. You should be getting excited and on board rather than all the lack of enthusiasm you visionaries of the future are generating now.

If it makes you feel better tell everybody it's your plan.

All groups following will be supported by those that went before.

Why am I repeating myself? Because this is a very important aspect of the plan. Some object because they think those colonist will never be independent and will always require support from earth. Let's not argue. Let's say you're right (ok, I'm not going to argue. I'm not.) The new colonists will bring that earth support of things the colonists can not produce themselves (which does not include the fundamental requirement for life that they certainly can produce ISRU. We already know how they can do that.) It's the new colonists property which they can trade with the old for the support they need to get started on a new life. Win/win for everybody.

So who's going to establish this trust and get the ball rolling? I would think this would fit well with Mars Ones plans but there are others like space adventures that might take up the challenge. Mars One seems a good choice because media will be an important factor and they have a media agenda.

Update: There is a simple mitigation of the 'Chinese land grab' scenario. Part of the trust agreement can include an option for changing property from contested to uncontested should that scenario become a reality.

Update: To increase the odds of this being viable we can first select a few dozen colonists and limit sales to their land holdings. Once we reach a certain threshold we open up sales to all other holdings. Opening up other sales allows those to throw their support to others increasing their holdings to greater than $250m (or simply increasing it enough for current ticket prices whatever they may be.)

The trust contract would ensure all money is distributed based on reality on the date of disbursement or refunds based on other contingencies.

Check out Rand. Check out Uwingu.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Linux upgrade

Just downloading linuxmint-13-cinnamon-dvd-32bit.iso now. Thinking of upgrading from 12. I'm going to think about it. This is their long term support version. 16 is actually the latest.

Win-XP still has 27% market share when support is about to expire. This means something.

Update: Running 15rc, not 12... Duh. Well now to d/l 16.

The reemergence of the self reliant

An individual with little means can be self reliant but with more it becomes easier. Never the less, self reliance is a state of mind rather than anything else. We live in a world that is trying to beat that out of us. Cliven Bundy vs the govt. being a recent example.

Space exploration and settlement gives us a unique opportunity for the reemergence of the self reliant. A person that can live their lives with others not dependant on a government telling them what they can or can not do.

Why? Well, they say space is hard and that's true, but eventually we'll get past those hard parts and they will just become part of the noise. The thing is, space is big and our one world is tiny. It will take a while for people to understand the implications of that. The implication is that government and it's desire for central control just isn't up to the job. People will be able to get far enough away to ignore government for the most part and government will be happy to ignore them since they will be focussing more closer to home. The limitation of lightspeed is a wonderful thing.

The reason we have many governments on our world is because of the historical limits to travel and communication. As those limits become less restrictive we are going to see first two opposing governments as the little ones take sides, then one. We can call that one big brother or nanny or what ever, but the key thing is it will not allow self reliance to really exist. I haven't seen it yet, but the movie Divergent probably explores this theme.

So with limits to travel and communications reasserted in space we will see multiple diverse governments the outcome even if they are loosely tied to one another. We will also see some getting the elbow room to become self reliant. Space is big.

Are there limits to what a single person can do that requires government? We've been brainwashed to think so, but that just isn't the case. Poor people have become millionaires. Millionaires have become Billionaires. Billionaires with vision can take on projects that governments have almost zero chance of accomplishing. They did build that.

Government gives us the SLS. A single billionaire is going to give us the MCT.

It is hard to argue with the naysayers but you only need one of any example to prove them wrong.

Dr. Robert Zubrin wrote, “...NASA will spend $100 billion on human spaceflight over the next 10 years in order to accomplish nothing.” That just could not happen if a self reliant person were spending the money. Accomplishment is what self reliant people do.

...the Democrat Party is just the Customer Service Division of Worldwide Socialism, Inc.

That just about sums it up.

Cooking the books used to be considered an illegal activity. Well, not by criminals or democrats, but I repeat myself.

Sending "It was worth it" Biden to Poland is like sending the village idiot to... Poland I guess.

Update: Please accept my apology. I didn't mean to insult village idiots.

Economic issues of reusable SpaceX launch vehicles

What could happen if SpaceX achieves reusability? They say the F9R could cost $7m compared to today's $56m for an F9 launch. Would anyone pay $56m when they could pay $7? Where would the supply of used vehicles come from? It is much more likely that F9R would be priced somewhat higher so that the choice between the two were closer to a 50/50 decision. Customers like NASA would probably continue to choose only new launch vehicles.

They did announce $7m and others would complain, but all they have to do is not offer it at that price. New vehicle launches will not dry up by simply choosing an appropriate used vehicle price. What this means is the competition is going to have to work a lot harder or dry up completely.

What competition? None of the established claim to be working on reusability. Blue Origin seems to be the only one on the horizon.

SpaceX expects that launches are elastic and demand will go up. But to compete others may have to license their technology. Could SpaceX become another Intel? Before cell phones it looked like Intel might have driven every competitor out of business. Now others seem to have a fighting chance. So what are the other markets SpaceX envisions?

The MCT will be produced for one: Space settlement beginning with mars. If you can settle mars, you can pretty well settle anyplace else. Although no other place has the integral resources of mars. I do mean integral: necessary to make a whole complete; essential or fundamental.

Other markets they've probably discovered during their dragonlab seminars. Those that haven't pursued reusability may never have heard from such customers other than the general lament you hear that things can't happen until costs come down which is a myth in itself. Who would argue that price reduction is a bad thing?

Those that think the 30% performance cost of reusability keeps them in the game have not considered Raptor which will be the next game changer.

In an arrangement unusual for launch vehicles... reminds me of that old Johnny Carson joke about Reagan vs. Jimmy Carter... Reagan talked congress into his programs and Carson said that Jimmy asked, "You can do that?"

The testing program continues with each F9 launch which makes it possible the F9R will fly before the end of this year. It will be interesting to see how the competition responds?

Update: ok, Rand never comes here to comment but I know him well enough that he would take issue with "things can't happen until costs come down which is a myth in itself." Obviously some things certainly would be possible at lower costs that will not happen now. My brain wasn't meaning that. What I was meaning is that some risk can be taken even at today's costs. So to say those can't is the myth. I like mom and apple pie too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Legality does not equal justice

Legal is what political people create. Justice is an absolute that has always existed.

Justice is what the Bundy case is about. We are not servants to the government. VIA

MoreThere are private rights in federal lands – vested rights, not privileges.

Ranchers need to understand their vested water rights that the statist haven't yet taken away from them.

the BLM invaders left when it got ugly because it’s an election year and they’re all Democrats. They’ll be back.

The fight shouldn't be dem vs rep. The fight should be liberty vs statism.

Update: Richard Fernandez makes the same point I think...
Perhaps the choice is not between Democrat and Republican in the long run — but between individual liberty or subordination to rank hypocrisy.
Yup.

Update: Now we have to say, "Crime shouldn't pay."
Update: Because this is how a criminal organization works, by deceit.

Slow playing WW3

Putin is playing poker while Obama is trying to figure out checkers.  Just heard on the news that Russian troops have crossed the border into the eastern Ukraine to support those that took the police stations which Ukrainian troops have begun to take back. Now Ukrainian troops are being blocked by citizens sympathetic to Putin.

A German utility has been supplying gas to Ukraine. While Russia is telling them what they can't do with tanks in the Ukraine's own country.

Hey Putin, it's not a civil war if you instigate it. Putin lies.
The UN human rights office, meanwhile, said ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine had falsely claimed to be under assault to justify Russian intervention, warning that such propaganda could affect Ukraine's presidential election next month.
This is the exact same playbook Putin used in Georgia. He borrowed that playbook from Hitler.