Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lansdorp disagrees with history

As Earth's own colonization history has proved, placement and subsequent expansion of a settlement has essentially led to ownership of that land.
(My emphasis.) If Lansdorp is successful in putting colonists on mars his disagreement with history will have little impact.

Abundant water on mars with enough solar panels (which can be produced ISRU) for power makes mars colonization inevitable.

Getting to mars is difficult; Living on mars need not be.
"If you have a Falcon Heavy, and you have a Dragon, and you have a Bigelow module, then all of a sudden, life gets interesting," Pittman told NBC News. "It changes the whole equation here."
Well yeah.
Strickland said the alternate scenario could lead to the establishment of a base on Mars in the 2030s, at a cost of "tens of billions of dollars instead of hundreds of billions."
Actually, perhaps as little as two billion would land the first dozen colonists. While independent depots certainly make sense they aren't required to get colonists to mars. The ships for orbital transfer are themselves depots. They sit in orbit (with a profit potential as lease-able space) until fully fueled with enough delta V to make the trip using storeable kerosene and LOX. Ion engines with internally stored fuel provide a safety margin for mars orbit insertion and returning the ships empty to earth for reuse. Clarification: The bulk of your chemical fuel used for orbital transfer is no longer subject to collision loss. Your ion fuel stored internally is only lost if the entire ship is lost to a collision.

For a dozen colonists you need 3 landers in mars orbit ($150m ea.) 2 BA330 class ships for orbit transfer ($200m ea. or less) 2 F9/Dragon to orbit ($100m ea.) The rest is fuel cost to orbit which comes down in future trips because there are cheaper sources than taking LOX from the earth's surface.

The first trip could begin in as little as three years. Strong property rights pays for everything at a significant profit. Colonists risking their lives should go for free and arrive with wealth for future development independent of any enslaving organization. We could finally attempt true free enterprise with contracts replacing the need for government. [This last sentence has caused cognizant dissonance in control freaks but what can you do?]
Unless and until you get the government on board, it's really tough to make progress.
No. The problem is the psychological block that says government is required when it is not. 2 billion is within the reach of a single company or even individual and the profit potential is much higher even if it takes a dozen years to realize (but doesn't have to.) The initially small colony on mars can be self governing only needing supplies from earth mainly for survival in the early years.

Will it take a Russian orbital station to teach us about free enterprise in space?

Does concentrated solar heat stored in salts have implications for a mars colony?

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