Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Not a hit piece

Although clearly lacking some understanding, this article tells a lot of truth that, with such understanding, gives a stronger foundation in christian faith. A true christian is not a gullible fool. Faith, should not be and true faith is not, gullibility. Christians are told, not just to be reasonable, but to make it apparent to other reasonable people. The article makes errors in conclusions, but gets much of the historical facts correct. So what needs clarification or correction?

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and the bible makes one very important extraordinary claim... it is the word of god.
2 Timothy 3:16,17...  All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.
I believe the bible does contain this extraordinary proof and the linked article includes support for an accurate understanding of that proof. It really is not a hit piece even if the author intended it to be such. A true christian should be unafraid of the historical facts, even embrace them, to be a true christian. Setting things straight requires people willing to be set straight so we need to start with that attitude.
They are God’s frauds, cafeteria Christians who pick and choose which Bible verses they heed with less care than they exercise in selecting side orders for lunch.
Frauds yes, God's no. Jesus foretold this in the parable of the wheat and the weeds and Jude confirms the apostasy had already started in the first century as the apostles that protected the congregations died out.
(Jude: ...certain men have slipped in among you...These men are murmurers, complainers about their lot in life, following their own desires, and their mouths make grandiose boasts, while they are flattering others for their own benefit... call to mind the sayings that have been previously spoken by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ...)
That apostasy is greater today and the linked article does much to explain how and why.
America is being besieged by Biblical illiteracy.
Absolutely true (and obvious given a moments thought.) This is in accord with prophesy that will cause politics to turn on these illiterates even as another sign occurs... truth found in the bible will be declared throughout the earth (even in their own languages in a large way.) Those teaching truth will also be turned on but this is described as poking god's eye to which he will react. Otherwise the kings of the earth are inadvertently doing god's will by devastating the weeds.
evangelicals [not just] accepted the attitudes and beliefs of the Pharisees—religious leaders depicted throughout the New Testament as opposing Christ and his message—more than they accepted the teachings of Jesus.
Again absolutely true and prophesied at Matthew 7:22  ...many people will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name and expel demons in your name and do lots of miracles in...
the topic has become too important for Americans to ignore
As pointed out, government worldwide will not, as has been the case for over a century now and soon will reach a climax.
At best, we’ve all read a bad translation [of translations of translations of copies of copies.]
This misrepresents the truth by asserting at best, but does contains the truth that bible text was copied many times over centuries and english was not the original language (and certainly not king James english as some particularly ignorant seem to believe.) It leaves out history that blunts his point and doesn't consider that even with these facts, god's will to be understood will never be completely denied. The wheat has never been completely choked out by the weeds. The good news about god's literal kingdom will be declared earth wide and the end of those that take no note will occur without fail. This is not any man's work.
About 400 years passed between the writing of the first Christian manuscripts and their compilation into the New Testament.
Misleading. The bible has never included everything said or written by the apostles or the prophets or said by Jesus because that is not required for god's purpose. Accurate knowledge is possible but requires effort. The linked article actually contains some of that effort but simply falls short. The bible itself does not fall short because it interprets itself and has been kept safe by god himself even with thousands of years where god's enemies have tried to destroy it. Those trying to destroy inspired scripture over the centuries are one of the best ways to identify those enemies. The text had originals. Over the years copy errors did occur, but today we have a more accurate text than even a century ago because we have more text to compare and the errors show up and can be removed. Perhaps not all, but enough... just like an encoded message that may get a few words wrong. It may still be understood with important parts being with certainty.

With some of the personal letters Paul wrote, do you imagine they were the only one's? Not all of them were required for us today. All of the apostles and others were used to teach with accuracy even after the apostasy down to our day. By reason, I reject that god's will to teach us has been lost. Our feelings, the heart, can't be trusted. Our reason, our minds, can not be fully trusted. But true faith, supported by abundant, undeniable evidence (Hebrews 11) can be. It's why the linked article actually makes my faith stronger as I was mostly aware of the many true facts it contains. You just have to be aware of what's left out and some of the biased conclusions. My bias, after decades of research being unafraid to hear others arguments (but less inclined to hear them repeated after I've done my personal research) is let god be found true even if it makes everyone else a liar (including me... god wants the humble and teachable.) I actually prefer the arguments of atheists since they carry less baggage (but with regard to biblical truth often just as willing to ignore evidence that would lead to other conclusions.)

Yes, I also am guilty of that myself but over decades have learned that only god (not those that claim to represent him) can be trusted. He actively, to this day, causes his past statements to be true in ways even the superior intelligence of the angels marvel at.
some 1,500 years passed between the day the first biblical author put stick to clay and when the books that would become the New Testament were chosen.
I think it's closer to 1600 years in which 40 writers wrote. Even with all the different styles and languages of writing the single author is clear. For example, the theme of the bible throughout is god's kingdom starting in Genesis 3:15 - I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring.

How this relates to a kingdom is clear from many other bible books and identifies these offspring or seed. Jesus made this theme a prominent part of his teaching. The book of Revelation, although not the last book actually written in the canon, continues the theme also clearing up that judgement day is during this kingdom rule for a thousand years (with Jesus king and Peter only one of many judges.) God causes the earth to be inherited by the meek (teachable) fulfilling his Edenic intent (part of the reason god is incapable of lying and his intelligence is superior to ALL others.) Then kingdom rule is handed to his father, by Jesus.
they did not start copying the letters and testaments about Jesus’s time until centuries after they were written.
False. Every congregation copied the originals from the start, but on perishable materials. The dead sea scrolls made today's bible even more accurate with respect to the originals.

Then the linked article makes two more valid points and draws another wrong conclusion. Translation is often ambiguous and later copyists did add spurious text. How does he know the text was spurious? Because people cared enough to remove them and continue to remove language ambiguities where they can. Those that are unwilling to use a more accurate translation in the face of these undeniable facts are simply proving they are the weeds. The spurious text the author mentions, are not found in my bible but is in KJ.
religious convictions [often] determined translation choices
Absolutely true, but ignores that bias is not uniform so something unbiased is possible. Even more likely if that conviction is "let god be true, even if all others are liars." If all possibilities are considered, the most accurate translation can be found by letting the bible interpret itself from other verses. People that say, "only as far as it's translated" are simply looking for a way to diminish the bible and aren't interested in an accurate translation. They prefer their own thoughts to god's.
a fundamental tenet of Christianity—that Jesus is God—was reinforced in the Bible, even in places where it directly contradicts the rest of the verse.
First century christians, when the apostles were around to fight false teachings, believed what scripture clearly says, Jesus was the first of gods creations, his only directly created son. God's son then created everything else. First the other angels (including those that by wrong desires made themselves demons.) These angels witnessed god's master worker, the firstborn Jesus, create the physical universe. Trinity, taken from Pagan religion, came with Constantine; who was clearly not a christian (christians do not war. they are known by their international love for one another even in time of war.)
It seems nonsensical, but the belief that he refused to convey a clear message has led to the slaughter of many thousands of Christians by Christians.
A christian that intentionally kills a christian is not a christian. The clear message, that history records, is that first century christians did not believe trinity nonsense. There is only one almighty god and his firstborn son isn't he, no matter how closely Jesus does his father's will; who may have been alone with his father for longer than the other angels and this universe have existed, but not forever.

Constantine was a political power bearing absolutely no relation to christianity. The fact that he is identified as such only shows how vigorous the weeds are.
Things that are today accepted without much thought were adopted or reinforced at Nicaea.
Yep. By non-christians.
There are also deep, logical flaws here that should be apparent to anyone giving the Bible a close read.
Which the author already points out most don't do but should. What the author fails to realize is those flaws go away with a deeper read.
the Messiah will be a descendant of David
Joseph was the legal father of Jesus for the purpose of identifying the messiah. Joseph was not the biological father. You can certainly argue this to be a logical flaw or you can just accept the truth as presented. Incidentally, my father told me when I was twenty that since he didn't raise me, I was not his son except genetically. I had to agree with the jerk. No logical flaw there either. Different premises lead to different logical truths. There is no contradiction.
The stories in the four Gospels of Jesus’s death and resurrection differ as well.
Yes, which actually confirms truth. Different witnesses confirm truth when they are not identical. Identical witness usually means collaboration and usually indicates an intention to mislead. True witnesses are going to focus on different things. Different perspectives should be expected and does not mean someone is lying unless there is an absolute contradiction. Every so called contradiction I've ever come across in the bible has resolved itself with careful reading. Bad assumptions, like not mentioning some so we assume they weren't there is one example. Confusing different instances as one is another. Confusing timelines in two accounts is another. Taking an incomplete account and asserting nothing more is another. Going directly to "they lied" says more about reader bias than truth. Understanding often requires contemplation.
the Second Coming of Christ
Again requires more than a casual reading. Prophesy often had minor fulfillments and words matter. Roman sacking of Jerusalem in 70ce was such and had some amazing prophesy associated with it. The bible talks about parousia which means presence more than arrival and can refer to more than just physical presence. It is no surprise that the weeds misunderstand this. Or that soon can be in reference to more than one thing, especially in prophesy that has a minor aspect.
The editors of these modern Bibles just made it up.
Translators choose words to convey meaning. To assume intent is mind reading by the author. Perhaps true in some cases, it borders on slander.
sins aren’t ranked
A keen insight... for all fall short. But to suggest that homosexuality is not included among sins is more than just a stretch. At the same time Jesus ransom sacrifice applies to homosexuals as well as anybody. God is not partial. All that repent can be saved.

The author makes good points about prayer but doesn't seem to understand the 'our father' prayer is not meant to be repeated exactly (like some formula or incantation) for just before Jesus said... When praying, do not say the same things over and over again as the people of the nations do, for they imagine they will get a hearing for their use of many words.

Prayer is a personal conversation, but can be said in front of a small private group.

I'm getting tired, but one last point has to be made.
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
These. So why did he leave out the first and more important?
“Teacher, what do I need to do to inherit everlasting life?” He said to him: “What is written in the Law? How do you read?” In answer he said: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole strength and with your whole mind’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” He said to him: “You answered correctly; keep doing this and you will get life."

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Lack of resourses

I left for Los Angeles on Dec. 24 but a bearing gave out in Globe. I got a tow to Pep boys in Mesa. They wanted $300 just in labor to replace a belt! No way. It took about ten minutes to fix and that was with complications.

But I've lost another month. We will try again next payday.

After an oil change and two new front tires, I will try again next month. I'm not exactly starting with nothing, but I used to have more and I know the difference.

When I got back to Springerville it was 9 degrees. Slept in the Jimmy. Stuck here for another five weeks.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Olive oil, honey and Skippy natural peanut butter

How much food to take to mars using this as a metric? That 41,600 calories in 1.59 cubic feet would be 923,520 in one cubic meter which is about a year of calories (massing 312 kg not counting water.) Include the high calorie foods in the title for better caloric density.

Water can be recycled at better than 90% efficiency. You need about 2200 kg of water per year per person. With recycling 300 liters should be enough, but to be safe 688 liters giving us one ton total of water and food per person for a year (for an 8 month trip.)

That's about a ton less than I've been using in my calculations. Mars should be closer than I've been saying. It's really just a matter of when somebody picks up the tab which is really only about 1% the cost others will scare us with. You see how frustrating it is not to be a billionaire? You could even have my coffee ration!

Curiosity sees tenfold spike in methane

A human crew would know if bacteria was the cause.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Tomorrow. If space were important, the real Orion could have done it... within our solar system at least. Provisioning for a stellar trip would have been quite a balancing act... it will be interesting to see how this three night movie represents it.

About the only vision that survived the sixties seems to be marxism which is not just the wrong stuff but pure evil.

Adults with the minds of children are running things. We can't blame them. We allow it... because we no longer have the right stuff. Do you imagine the democrats of JFK's day would have allowed it? Would the democrats that voted for Reagan have allowed it? WTF is wrong with us today?

Can we ever get the right stuff back? A good start would be to realize we don't need government blessings to claim our natural rights. If we fought for them we could win. You can't put up such a fight with turncoats in the leadership.

For something different consider Spaceland.

Update: It's all just a social experiment? It's not Orion? I will be so disappointed.

Update: So magic kid sends a lone crew member to a planet around a different star than the one they weren't heading to? So all hope for a great new science fiction series is gone since they've firmly departed into fantasy territory. They had a workable premise. All they had to do was start a couple of years before landing. Even though they had some good moments (honeypot) I am so disappointed.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

550 tons of yellowcake

This stuff never existed in Iraq according to the media.

Making war affordable

At $0.59 per shot.

How do you shoot down helicopters and not shoot people?

How fast is Curiosity?

0.000279 mph.

Humans would never be able to keep up with that pace!

A nation of children

Maturity has by now been banished from nearly every aspect of our lives. Easy divorce laws have removed the need to work at relationships; easy credit has removed the need for fiscal self-control; easy entertainment has removed the need to learn to entertain oneself; easy answers have removed the need to ask questions. We have become a nation of children, happy to surrender our judgments and our wills to political exhortations and commercial blandishments that would insult actual adults.
Something to consider... the purpose of school.

Recently I heard a talk about how the bible encourages mature working on marriage counter to self help books self indulgance.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Mars colonization by annuity

One of the things naysayers say about mars colonization is resupply kills it (like the recent MIT study.) So an annuity that pays forever seems like a natural answer to that complaint. I see annuity rates now at 7%, so 5% seems a reasonable return to me. The only show stopper is funding that annuity. The $20b spent on SLS/Orion would have more than done it, but that's been pissed away already.

I strongly believe we could send a dozen colonist to mars every 26 month launch window for about one billion dollars per mission. A 5% annuity gives us that for under $10b. If I'm wrong, we still go, but at a slower rate unless we do get sufficient funding.

This is more than you can expect from a kickstarter campaign. It's a lot less than the idiotic numbers others throw around (they're real purpose being simply to discourage.) Interestingly, it's not far off from the six billion Mars One is looking for (people doubt they can pull that off either.)

But is it too much to give humanity a whole new world? No, and private investors will one day realize this.

Sharp pointy rocks

Have anther name. It's called ore. Or it might be. We know for sure mars has all the elements we need for industry. Rovers are great and teach us a lot, but people would discover ten times as much in 1% of the time.

The mission cost of the next rover will be $2.5b or about half of Mars One's costs. I could put 24 crew on mars for that price.

Friday, December 5, 2014

There's the rub

acting as legislators

9 pixels wide of Ceres.

The craft that visited Vesta is due to reach Ceres in march. They took a picture that isn't quite as good as the Hubble's but we can expect it to get much better very soon. This mission is really amazing. One day Ceres may become someone's home.

Apparently a fiction story written in 1981 includes my idea for inverted highways (due to low gravity and speed that isn't very high.) Mine were underground. Don't know about theirs.

Interesting factoid

NASA has a $500m annual budget for mars. If I got the job...

1st year:

$100m prize to 1st and 2nd private company for 2500kg payloads each delivered safely within 10 km of a specified point on martian surface. Must accomplish before 4th year prizes are awarded.

$100m to 1st company to put ship in LEO meeting these specifications: Refuelable in orbit, 13 ton ship w/ life support for 12 and 240 m3 of internal volume. Must include storm shelter for solar flares and capable of 6 km/s of delta V after refueling (assuming dry departure mass of 40,000kg.) Ship remains owned by the company that put it in orbit.

$200m for 100,000kg fuel stored in LEO which could be transferred to ship.

2nd year: $500m for additional fuel to LEO.

3rd year: $500m for five more supply landers on mars. (17,500 kg of supplies now prepositioned for the first dozen colonists when they arrive.) Supplies will include radio controlled rovers with 200 km battery range pulling trailers with seating for six and inflatable tent. Solar panels to recharge and really small methane engine generator for backup.

4th year: $500m for six, 2 crew, 2,500 kg payload landers put in mars orbit. Unmanned craft must have successfully demonstrated landing on mars which would likely be one of the seven presupply missions.

5th year: $500m for transferring crew to landers in mars orbit and getting them to the surface. Ship still belongs to private company and they can do what they want with it after crew transfers off.

6th year: Embezzle and head for Rio. Set up mars land title company.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Programming productivty

I've used dozens of computer languages (dozens just of different BASIC dialects... still fond of Bascom) since 1975, but was never more productive than VB6 which seemed to get a lot of things right, but one major thing wrong. It required a runtime module. I want to hand a static compile to a customer and know I'm not going to have any installation or configuration issues. They get an executable and it just works.

But it's not my favorite language. They all have flaws. VB has just enough object orientation. C++ has too much. C doesn't have any and too many ways to do the same thing. Pascal makes my skin crawl. I really like the old Euphoria but it's a pain to compile (you first must translate it to C.) Forth really isn't compiled but can be a single static file.

The Falcon C++ IDE looks interesting.

I own two basic compilers, PowerBASIC and PureBasic, but haven't gotten up to speed with either. Neither has a decent IDE. When my laptop arrives on Saturday I'm going to have to get serious about coding. No Linux this time.

The IDE is really important but I'm not up to writing one myself. I think about using NoteTab which has program-ability but that's just another language to deal with (although perhaps once and done.)

Klang is something I muse about (Ken's Language.) But I don't know. Like VB it would have 3 code file types (module, form & class.) 3 scope levels (public, private & local.) Automatic memory allocation/deallocation and sequences like Euphoria (not the usual garbage collection hiccups.)

Only two control structures, loop and if (a case structure.) Nothing more is required and just makes code ugly and less solid. I like simple, bullet proof code. Which means no jumping to labels. No labels period. No file includes. No header files. No macros or preprocessor. WYSIWYG. All routines are order independent (forward referencing is just fine.) Dot notation brings up a proper list of routines in the editor. External calls for other languages absolutely including C. Call by address for machine language and call backs. Only two routine types, Sub and Pub, both return a sequence (Euphoria) that can be ignored.

A database class works directly with all major types (SQLite is default and built in.) ODBC info can be read but bypassed for the actual connection. Methods would include .open, .close, .execute, .error, .next, .EOF, .text(index) and .release (.tran_begin, .tran_commit and .tran_fail as well, but I don't use them much.)

Numbers take as many bytes as required with type conversion functions for external calls (float80, float64, float32, int8, int16, etc.) No limit to decimal expansion. I'm getting tired and questioning this post, so I'm done.

Stupid, limited perspective

"Let's go to Mars, but make sure it's for the right reasons" the title says but he gives no reasons. Actually he has much in common with the myopia of those wanting to terraform mars. Have any of them realized the earth itself is not terraformed? Many places on earth will kill you just as fast as mars. The way to terraform mars is the way we do it on earth... one place at a time.

The author makes the brilliant observation that mars is cold. My bedroom is cold, but there's a fix for that, that works on mars just as well. We call them space heaters. Stuff breaks which means you have more than one heater and big spaces that fail gracefully.

An example of myopia: "it will not become the new promised land."

The promised land wasn't until people arrived to make it so. There is absolutely no reason, not one, that mars could not be a paradise in quality of life.
Living on Mars is harsh, with few natural resources available.
Just plain wrong. It's not harsh, it's completely deadly until we change it, one large habitat at a time. As for resources, that's why we choose mars, because it's abundant in resources. In some respects more than earth. The potential for industry is enormous.
Homesteaders will not be faced with dense forests, clear rivers and abundant wildlife to start a new life. 
No, it's not earth (as if it had to be???) Will they have wood? Why not? Will they have water? Absolutely in abundance. Wild life? Perhaps not, but animals they import. You bet. Probably by insemination of a few brood females to create the genetic diversification required.
About all Mars can offer are minerals, rocks that contain oxygen, and underground ice.
Otherwise known as the periodic table that makes modern life possible. Sheesh.
No one even knows if Martian soil could support plants in a greenhouse.
Wrong again. Plants will grow, but we should take live earth soil as a starter medium. What we don't know is the rate of growth which with high CO2 could potentially surpass standard air.
if you run out of supplies, the delivery truck takes seven months to get there, at a cost of at least a billion dollars.
You never run out of supplies because the essentials already exists on mars. Non essentials from earth cost about $60k per kg as a mass surcharge, making every new colonist a millionaire just by careful selection of personal possessions they bring with them.
Of course, it might be possible to geo-engineer Mars to replenish its atmosphere and make its rivers flow once again, but this would take tremendous effort with no guarantee of success.
Blindness. They just can't see. Totally not required or even desirable.
Why would we give up living in the Garden of Eden to move to a frozen hell?
To live in a community with a touch more vision? To not be at the mercy of those that can't see past their nose but still vote to make other lives miserable? To live where SSTO is easy, opening up the rest of the solar system? Where the resources you disdain haven't yet been picked clean over thousands of years. Where nuclear power really will become too cheap to meter. Where thinking outside the box is the norm? I could go on and on, but that's sufficient.
So, sure, let's go to Mars. In fact, I will volunteer to make the first boot prints in the red soil. But like any traveller in a strange new place, I will think about what I left behind and be happy to return home.
The beauty of colonizing mars is they don't have to live with the blind. You're not invited. They go for a new life. To stay... until others (mainly from mars) go beyond.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Aspire E15 Laptop w/ AMD E2 1.5ghz quadcore processor

Bought it at Walmart for $325 yesterday. I've been without a computer for quite a while now, but did have an Inspiron 17 loaned to me for a short time. I thought a 15.6 inch screen would be too small, but it seems ok. The weirdest thing is the touchpad has no buttons, but that isn't a problem. Double tapping in the lower right corner is a right button click and anywhere else is a left button click. The keyboard is usable. My diabetic fingers and eyeballs make using any keyboard difficult.

Getting Revo uninstaller was the first order of business to get rid of the crapware that comes with it. It comes with a terabyte drive. I do not like win 8, so Linux Mint is going on half of that. There's no win 8 reinstall disk (at least I haven't figured out how to make one. Haven't even tried to burn a DVD yet actually.) So after I've repartitioned for Linux I'll make a ghost of the windows half. Linux I don't have to worry about.

I've got a USB passport drive for the ghost images and will burn a data DVD as well.

My compiler has lifetime upgrades for both OS so I'm good to go there.

I had some trouble with getting a SQL database hosted (PostgrSQL and SQLite are natively supported by my compiler but hosts seem only to handle MySQL well) so I'm going to start developing with SQLite for now. ODBC is fine for managing DBs but I prefer to bypass it for the actual connections. I'll just create a server that allows the single user SQLite to serve multiple users. Much less management hassles since I build the data structure directly in software... no management outside that required. It's just a file.

It'll be a few days before I've got everything on my laptop configured the way I want it and backed up, but there's no hurry. I just hope I have no road blocks. After Revo did it's thing I got Chrome installed. The library here in town wouldn't install Chrome so now with my laptop I have a browser I can stand to use. The Linux version of Chrome has some minor differences from the windows version but nothing major. I wonder if I can get Linux to see my passport drive?

Update: The laptop DVD drive is M-Disc ready, which I googled. So if I can find the discs they will store my data for 1000 years... outlasting my laptop by 1000 years (rounding of course.)

Update: Ghost will not work. Win 8.1 will not make a recovery DVD. Win 7 could, but... Apparently I have to wait for windows to break before recovery (which sits on the drive that will eventually break but a separate partition.) Otherwise I need a 16gb USB drive and all the crapware will be reinstalled when that eventuality occurs. Not a problem for Microsoft since they're happy to sell you duplicate copies of their OS for your one computer. B.G. called this a ham sandwich once. Hate is not a strong enough emotion. The day when your computer is cheaper than your OS has arrived... or we could all migrate to Linux... low info voters have a lot in common with low info users. Neither are likely to be educated as we all get driven into the abyss.

I just hope the Linux install doesn't crash windows. Here goes nothing...

Update: Crash. Walmart sold out. Can't find same computer online. Variations I did find are all inferior specs. Can not describe how bad this is. "Bummer" doesn't quite cover it. A boot disk (not included) would have completely solved the issue, but not part of Microsoft agenda. I really can not say more.

Update: Just ordered another online: Walmart Product#553288298. This time the first thing I will do is buy a 16gb flash drive to make the emergency backup (which includes crapware reinstall) If I'd done that before I would have saved myself a lot of grief. Also noticed that Microsoft is no longer selling 8.1 retail (just preinstalled) because they are pushing win10 now.

Anyone know a specific linux laptop I could get w/ similar price and specs?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Destination Not Mars

Mars remains the beacon for human exploration. Generations of science fiction writers and multiple successful space probes and rovers have established Mars in the core of our collective consciousness. More than any other place, Mars beckons humanity. Although an eventual human landing on Mars is inevitable...
This is not how this article begins. Instead it is used as the transition to its argument for focusing on Deimos as the intended destination. It is just one of many articles you can find that attempts to dissuade us from colonizing mars with one distraction or another.
...most experts agree it is currently a bridge too far.
Stuff those experts. I'll raise you reality. Nothing ever gets done until someone does it. Taking focus away doesn't get it done. If you want to explore Deimos, fine. Explore it. But don't kid yourself this is the path to colonizing mars. The path to colonizing mars is to get colonists on mars. Now back to the start...
Round-trip crewed missions into orbit about Mars are beyond the reach of current capabilities—but just barely.
While I'd like to put a bullet in this carefully worded meme, until we've actually done it, no proposal can ever argue as forcefully as actual performance. Instead of begging the government for handouts, for $200m, funds which Tito already has, he could have put an unfueled Inspiration Mars ship in LEO... capable of taking not just two, but up to a dozen, on a mars flyby. Then he could be spending his time working on getting funds for an existing ship in orbit rather than having nothing to show a potential investor other than good intentions. The fact is, a round trip crewed flyby around mars involves not a single thing we haven't already done in parts. So to say we are incapable is farcical.
...extending human space travel from LEO to interplanetary destinations, we face difficulties no less formidable than did Magellan.
Is this assertion true or are we just supposed to accept it? We have a huge advantage over Magellan. For Magellan, "Here be monsters" was the reality of his lack of knowledge. They were facing an unknown, unknown. We today are not. We lack experience but we have knowledge. That lack of experience could kill us as easily, but we can also anticipate and avoid problems just by putting effort of thought into it before we go. Not only that, but we can gain much of that experience before we go. Any ship going to mars would benefit from shakedown cruises (around the moon?) first. These cruises could even be a source of profit that pays for the fuel for the mars mission. Are you paying attention Mr. Tito?

Finally we discuss Deimos. Is it a natural staging area for mars? Although probably not his intention he first shoots down the moon as a staging point...
Deimos is easier to get to energetically from LEO than the lunar surface.
Yes, indeed. It's  also part of the logic that destroys the Conestoga wagon and island hopping analogies. If it's not your destination, stopping for fuel can raise time and cost in frictionless space. For space travel the question is, "Do you have enough resources for this leg of the journey?" If you do, any other stop from that leg is an undesired cost. Which includes Deimos since it also cost additional fuel to get to than just going to [a better] orbit, leaving the question, does it make up for this starting disadvantage. Let's look at those he gives? First he sets up an artificial condition...
If several surface assets were positioned at regularly-spaced longitudes...
The first landing will be at one spot, making a stationary orbit (geosynchronous) preferred. For about the same cost (except lower in cost per crew) instead of the Mars One plan of sending all four to the surface and waiting 26 months for more help, you put a dozen in the right orbit with multiple landers (which arrived in mars orbit on a separate low cost trajectory) taking 2 to 4 crew to the surface at a time when you need them instead of having them years away (and unable to help in a timely manner.) Working in shifts, those in orbit work continuously to assist those on the ground. Those on the ground can then make those telerobots more productive especially to get beyond snags that will occur. There simply is no other comparably productive scenario. He makes my argument for me...
Phobos is so close to Mars it unfortunately has a much narrower view of the planet. Because Phobos rises and sets four times a day, acquiring and operating surface assets from the inner moon would be much more challenging than from Deimos.
...and less challenging again for a ship in the right orbit which also cost less to get to. We've taken away the base camp argument because Deimos is the wrong base camp.

Deimos is not a staging area for the landers that are currently being designed which use the wrong fuel and are not refuelable. So do we stop colonization until the mars SSTO is available which requires a brand new development program (Bezos perhaps?) Mars One already has SpaceX landers in its critical path suggesting development is farther along than us mere mortals are privy. We do have the preliminary specs. $150m for 2,500 kg. including up to 4 crew.
[Deimos ISRU could make] human missions to the Martian surface far sooner than anticipated.
Not by my anticipation that doesn't require this, what if? It is worth looking into this, but is just a mistake to impose on a critical path when it is not required.
...the standard approach [is] insufficient for human interplanetary spaceflight, it is dangerous.
Nobody is denying the danger. Deimos does not mitigate it. This assertion is simply false because we've already demonstrated it is sufficient. We just haven't put all the pieces together in a single mission yet to unassailably prove it.

Am I forgetting radiation shielding? No, I am not. It would take time to establish a base on Deimos. That time is better used setting up the first ISRU habitat on mars itself. Part of the crew might spend an extra month in orbit while risking no more than Mars One plans on the surface. They join those on the surface and the ship (or ships) return to earth for reuse.
For trips to the Mars system and back including required stay times, self-contained exploration systems are simply not possible.
A true statement and strawman (or false choice) since that is not my proposal. I think Mars One plan must be modified but including Deimos is just a costly distraction. Note that trips back are not part of either proposal but can be implemented with an optional ERV without modifying either plan.

Now it's revealed that Deimos is an even bigger distraction than even I suggest...
Establishing a human foothold at Deimos will require a series of increasingly sophisticated robotic precursor missions with probes capable of everything from detailed mapping and remote sensing of the moon to multiple sample analyses of surface and subsurface strata, excavation and preparation of a radiation-protected subsurface habitat (see below) and storage facilities for pre-emplaced crew consumables, and Earth return propellant for visiting crew. Support infrastructure (e.g. power, communications, thermal control, refrigeration, environmental control, and life support) must be transported, deployed, and proven operational prior to human visitation.
Whoaa... perhaps we should first establish a base on one of Saturn's moons to show we could do it on Deimos. A ridiculous suggestion, right? You bet and no less than this. Any chance of arguing that Deimos is not a distraction just died with this factual statement by the article.

With all due respect to the authors of this fine article they destroy their own argument. Perhaps if they had less integrity they could be more persuasive? I was going to wait for part two, but I will address it here after it comes out.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Putin needs a bloody nose

He denies that 32 tanks, 16 D-30 howitzers and 30 KamAZ heavy trucks crossed past a border checkpoint and headed toward the volatile Luhansk region on Thursday.

Ok then. If we had any balls we'd be flooding the Ukraine with anti-tank weapons.   ...but could we trust our govt. to give them to the right troops?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Why am I tired?

I've been falling down more than usual these past weeks so I went to see my doctor. Blood pressure was 100/70. Oxygen during sleep was as low as 68%. I have to schedule a night at the hospital for more tests. I'm getting a O2 concentrator for while I sleep.

Also bought a cane tall enough to use. Old sucks.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More can't do thinking

More comedy from the can't do crowd. They start the ball rolling with a classic, the strawman:
"no one knows how to manufacture an entire atmosphere."
Well they only need breathable air in their habitats and suits when not in habitats. We certainly know how to fill tanks with gas and and release it to keep a proper mixture at an appropriate pressure and temperature. Continuing to set up another strawman:
"On Mars, the best we can expect is a crude habitat, erected by robots."
Ridiculous. They have the resources of an entire, minerally diverse, planet.
[Problems include:] carrying out medical and equipment repair procedures they know nothing about.
Unless of course they have a bit of training before they go. They don't have to be perfect, just good enough.
What works for them definitely won't scale to house 1 million people comfortably enough for them to want to spend the rest of their lives there.
Is strawmen the only way he knows to argue? Has this guy ever met humans? Does he not know they, unlike most pre-written software for robots, adapt their environment as a normal human behavior? What works at first doesn't all have to scale up. They can apply new tricks as they go.
...for a true Martian metropolis to exist, in which humans and other earthly life would not merely survive but thrive, we would need to somehow replace Mars's inhospitable atmosphere with one that mirrors our own.
No. We don't. He just repeated the first scarecrow. Let's skip the rest of the terraforming B.S. and go right to the last line...
No one wants to carry an oxygen tank for a night on the town.
The first and only reasonable thing said in the entire article. Of course they won't. Most martians will spend their entire lives not wearing space suits. If you can't imagine how you just aren't cut out to be a martian. Walking in suits on mars will be something teenagers do to get merit badges in their scouting programs. Adults will only put on suits if the rovers find something worth going out for which will be rare. Mars scenery will mostly be appreciated while working in shirtsleeve gardens that take advantage of martian sunlight.


Something a bit more optimistic.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Avoiding the 20 yr plan trap

Greason did it again... better than his settlement talk.

Is he going to include ownership in his limits of planning?

Uh oh... he's talking about exports.

Not sufficient to get people there... good so far. Competition... yes. Open standards... sure.

Enough funding to do their own R&D. Depots... yada yada.

Free trade works off world... then back to talking exports... they just can't hit the bullseye.

Not dirt Jeff, they export freedom.

What they can't understand: An economy can grow without exports. Focusing on exports means you miss the most important fact of an economy.

Ah, now Jeff is talking ownership with regard to time.

Serfs do not make settlement work! He got it!!!

Send free people (w/ millions in assets if they do it my way.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The incredible, expendable Mars mission

[Why has every post at S.R. that references this post been deleted?]

It's great when the Space Review has an article agreeable to this blog.
it would be unfair to compare the 2009 scenario with what could be envisioned now
Unfair perhaps, but I envisioned and wrote about it with numerous revisions as new information has become available.
It took me many hours of careful reading to even figure out which vehicle the astronauts were supposed to use to land on Mars.
Being obtuse is a bug they consider a feature. You and I are lessor mortals, don't you know?
mission design was intended to use nuclear thermal propulsion
Intelligently using what we already have would thwart their hidden agenda.

John Strickland does a great job of showing what a white elephant the Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0 represents. What's the right way?

I see departing from LEO or a Lagrange point to be primarily an economic issue. Do whichever is cheaper. Leaving from a Lagrange point requires much less fuel but at what cost to get everything to it from LEO? I haven't run the numbers yet which is dependent on the overall architecture.

Let's get the purpose right. It's not for science or the search for life. That's putting the cart before the horse making everything more expensive and less effective. The purpose is to establish a permanent independent colony that will grow itself over time. It requires presupply but zero resupply... or rather, resupply is provided by the personal possessions of new colonists. Everything else they either make for themselves or do without. This is what it means to be a pioneer. Doing it this way gives us more science results faster and cheaper because keeping scientist alive is no longer the primary occupation of their time.

My architecture starts very simply... $200m to put a ship in LEO dry. This 13k kg ship is a combination of an F9R upper stage and a Bigelow habitat of 200 to 240 cubic meters in volume; which comprises a general purpose ship(s) (GPS) that never lands with a crew of six to twelve. This ship is a profit center that will pay for a second GPS of the same design. It will be thoroughly tested in earth orbit and trips around the moon for profit before both leave together on a mars mission.

[Note to Tito: That GPS gives you a better Inspiration Mars option... just add fuel and take along a Dragon v2 for earth return. Now you don't have to beg for govt, help.]

The only other vehicle is a SpaceX lander waiting for them in mars orbit ($150m each to mars orbit or surface.) That's it, two ship types. Both GPS return empty back to earth for reuse on ion drives.

An optional ERV may be sent but is not part of this mission which is to establish a permanent colony. Better would be a mars SSTO but again not part of this mission.

We send a mars lander to mars orbit ahead of the GPS for every two crew (although it will have seating for four.) It will contain about 1,000 kg of personal possessions for each of the two using it to get down from mars orbit. The plastic containers will themselves be valuable personal property that could hold water or be used for 3D printer feedstock. I would recommend the first mission have a dozen crew to mitigate many of the issues that come up with sending less. Subsequent missions should be much larger but still with just the two thoroughly tested vehicle types. If Elon's MCT lowers costs later, good for him.

Those personal possessions represent both assets to give each colonist a good start in their new home and negate the need for any separate and costly resupply missions. They will trade these valuable earth products for mars products including homes and initial life support which will be entirely ISRU on mars.

We must of course send abundant presupply ahead on additional lander vehicles for the first mission only, which are only used as temporary emergency life support shelters. Martians will live in comfortable homes they personally own, mansions and malls they trench into the ground, not tuna cans. Two tractors can be sent ahead, in one lander, taking a day to assemble.

Lots of solar panels and batteries must be part of presupply. Double or triple whatever we think they need.  A lander could even be a ten year nuclear power source with power cords under an external panel. They need enough power to produce more ISRU power. A single lander provides 5,000 days of food (water comes entirely from mars) for one person. We send what they need for the first 26 months but expect most of that to become emergency back up.

How soon can we do this? How soon can we put that $200m GPS in orbit? Whatever the rate of income that produces pay for presupply, fuel, etc.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The exploration of the solar system will be carried out by international partnerships, not by daredevils, and they will insist on a methodical approach to risk identification and mitigation, which will almost certainly include an LAS.
Wrong to both (Nations, daredevels.) It will be carried out by families that own their own boat and are trying to get as far away as they can from those that think only two kinds of people exist.

Boeing’s superior proposal

VehicleCostCrewLVLASSchedule Risk
Dragon 2$2.6B**7F9R***"more schedule margin"**
Dream Chaser$3.3B*7Atlas IVdrop flight tested*
CST 100*$4.2B7Atlas IV*analog dropped
*winner (it must be the blue back lighting. That's got to be worth a billion or two???) Via Rand.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Politics on mars

Here we have a one square kilometer claim divided into 27 sections. Each section is 32,000 square meters which could be further divided into 16 plots of 2,000 m2 (40m x 50m, nearly half an acre) each plot having a 40 m. frontage on a 10 m. wide public road.

The perimeter road is interior to the claim and would be 20 m. wide where claims join.

The supreme law of the land would be absolute property rights. This does not exist on earth. On mars this would mean...

Nobody could take your land for the fictional 'public good' (eminent domain.) Nobody could tax it because that is a form of taking. Regulation is a form of taking as well, but unavoidable so how do we limit its impact? By making all politics local. Not as a quip but in reality.

Making property rights absolute brings consent of the governed closer to reality than by any other means. Consent of the governed is a fiction in a democracy leading to many appalling results you could read about daily if you chose to, or ignore if you're disposed to. Those affected by it can not so easily ignore it.

First a bit more physical reality. Because of the curvature of a planets surface you soon run into problems trying to map squares onto it, so I have a suggestion. Map those squares onto a ten kilometer wide ribbon that starts at the equator and spirals to each pole. Let every 100 sq. km. (10 km. x 10 km.) be a township. This doesn't work in every land area, but will in most cases. The 10 m. wide interior roads are the responsibility of those owning any of a given claim. The 20 m. wide perimeter roads are those of the township. The town council has one member from each occupied claim, chosen by any means those of a claim come up with (there's a reality show in that some where.) Claims with no local residents will not be represented but their rights are still protected by the supreme law of the land. No political entity (world, township, claim, or other world) can take away the property of any property holder unless it is freely traded by the owner.

Up to 100 towns choose membership in a county (10,000 sq. km.) Up to 100 counties join a state (1,000,000 sq. km.) 144 (or so) states form the world council. None can take away, tax (by any name) or use anyone's property without actual consent (not by legal fiction or otherwise.)

While a criminal may be deprived of his/her life, he or she can not be deprived of their property, which goes to any heirs. He or she can not be forced to sell it to pay for his/her incarceration. They may choose to sell some or all for damages or restitution but can not be forced to. Strong property rights are like those in our first amendment, inalienable.

We've never tried this on earth. I wonder how it would turn out hundreds of years later on mars?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fixing Mars One

Starting w/ this analysis via Rand. I will select statements to comment on. My goal is to modify the Mars One plan to deal with justified criticism so the end result is viable and does work. Their analysis tool has some serious flaws which I will point out.
The establishment of a colony on Mars will rely on in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and life support technologies that are more capable than the current state of the art.
Paragon life support is the state of the art. However, dependence on earth resupply of critical systems no matter how good they are, does make this a suicide mission. We can completely eliminate this risk. We will also know, before any human goes, the minimum ISRU production rate of water and power. Humans on site will increase this rate providing a resource cushion.
...resupply logistics and sparing will play a large role in the proposed colony, though the magnitude and behavior of these two effects is not well understood.
This is absolutely a mission risk. Which is why we should diminish the impact of resupply. Done correctly, it can be eliminated altogether and make colonization more viable and increase the potential for long term success.
If crops are used as the sole food source, they will produce unsafe oxygen levels in the habitat.
...the ISRU technology required to produce nitrogen, oxygen, and water on the surface of Mars is at a relatively low Technology Readiness Level.
A spare parts analysis revealed that spare parts quickly come to dominate resupply mass as the settlement grows: after 130 months on the Martian surface, spare parts compose 62% of the mass brought from Earth to the Martian surface.
The space logistics analysis revealed that, for the best scenario considered, establishing the first crew for a Mars settlement will require approximately 15 Falcon Heavy launchers and require $4.5 billion in funding, and these numbers will grow with additional crews.
Mars in-situ manufacturing will have a significant impact on reducing the mass and cost of Mars settlement architectures.
You bet it will. This should be our first assumption with cases to back it up.
ISRU is still at a relatively low technology readiness level and as such the mass, volume, and power required by these systems are quite uncertain.
We don't need to know these exact parameters. We just need to know a boundary they are contained within and make sure we go beyond that. Safety demands it. We eliminate the uncertainty that way.
This sparing analysis determines the required number of spare parts to provide a probability greater than 0.99 that enough spares will be available to execute all required repairs during the time between resupply missions.
This is a flaw in the analysis in that it does not consider on-site machinists and 3D printing to make spare parts rather than shipping them from earth. Mean Time Between Failures does not tell you which part will need replacing requiring all parts to have spares. Making only the parts that need replacing significantly reduces resupply mass and eliminates it entirely if a source on mars for materials can be found. This is why the first team needs to include both a chemist and machinist. Two of each preferably.
...there is a high uncertainty in the reliability and size of ISRU systems.
...there has been no announcement from SpaceX regarding the development of a scaled-up version[of a mars lander].
Perhaps not directly, but it certainly is their intention to land on mars. If the proposed lander (2,500 kg for $150m w/ up to 4 crew) does not become available that saves us all a lot of bother, doesn't it?
...there is much uncertainty in the ultimate sizing of the crop system for flight systems.
I have no idea why they mention 'flight systems.' Again we can eliminate uncertainty by not depending on any specific growth rate. A single lander can provide 2,500 kg of dry food or 400 man-days of food. This should be considered emergency back-up. Crop size is entirely scalable, limited only by how many hours they put into it. They will not be sitting around watching the plants grow.
The current operational paradigm for the International Space Station (ISS) relies on the availability of regular resupply from the ground.
Wrong paradigm then, isn't it? ISS can provide good parameters for life support issues, but we have to look elsewhere for the right paradigm (living off the land.)
No operational experience has been gained for long-duration human spaceflight missions (LDHSM) beyond low Earth orbit.
Misrepresents the truth. While there have been no actual LDHSM  to date, every aspect of such a mission has been experienced by humans. There is absolutely zero doubt that it could be accomplished. It's a shame Inspiration Mars lost their vision.
There are many areas (not covered in this analysis) that need to be investigated in detail in order to mature the Mars One mission architecture into an executable plan.
Absolutely and I will address some that I see.
These include the Mars entry, descent, and landing strategy, the power system architecture, and the surface-to-orbit communications strategy.
EDL is assumed. Otherwise what's the point? Power has been defined, although not enough (in more than one sense.) Communications has a vendor, just like other parts of the plan.
Comment on Fig. 1.
This is known as GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) as I will explain.
One of the first inputs into the Habitation Module is the assignment of a schedule to each crew-member.
Oh. My. God. They are going to live the entire rest of their lives on mars. Let me interpret... In order for our model to work we must remove all humanity and turn these people into our puppets. While it's useful to know if they have more tasks than hours in a day...this is extreme. They are trying to micromanage...
...resource consumption and metabolic exchange rates...
Simply allow for a cushion and be done with it.
...and handle varying crew metabolic waste loads as they move through a given habitat module. 
OMG!! It just gets worse. They want them to shit on schedule. Don't adults know how to do this without a task list? Yes, they need facilities. No, they do not need a schedule. The body has its own. I bet these kids at MIT are so very proud of how they thought of every thing!

Ok, this is good. They give some thought to failure modes...
Crew starvation, dehydration, hypoxia...
Let me step back and look from a higher perspective. These are going to be responsible adults that can do math. They will have access to both production and consumption rates. They will have backup on earth to check their math. They will know well ahead of time if they have to adjust their behavior to avoid resource depletion. They will have standard on hand levels. If they get hot, they will have a means of cooling. If they get cold, they will have a means of heating. They should always have too much power rather than not enough. This means on hand reserves. This means back up generators. This means on hand level of fuel for the generators. We provide them with more than they need and a means of increasing that. We remove the uncertainty and we do it with local resources. We don't send them with a fragile plan.
CO2 poisoning, Cabin underpressure, Fire Risk
Large living spaces mitigates this and other issues. Atmospheric issues should fail gracefully with plenty of warning, giving time to act. Everyone should have a basic understanding of the chemistry required to provide life support. We get them out of the cans ASAP and only use them for emergency back-up. If it comes from earth it is emergency back-up. Got it?
For each crewmember, 8 hours of sleep and 2 hours of exercise are budgeted per day.
Have I used up my full allotment of OMGs yet? I have to step back again and ask, "do these guys understand the colonists are going to be living on a planet?" Their model seems to make the error of treating this as a space ship. It is not. It is not a mission. It is life. Responsible adults can handle this as long as they have enough initial resources and this model isn't going to define that. Resources will be determined by effort and even by luck. Here's some real wisdom from Christopher McKay, PhD...
The crew’s success is a function of themselves, not their technology.
Back to the analysis...
Biomass Production System Crop Selection: The lack of BPS flight experience introduces significant uncertainty to the integrated behavior of the habitat.
Flight experience? I told you they have a mindset of a ship and not planetary home.
The main limitation of the MEC models is the limited number of crops that it can model. This is due to the lack of experimental data...
Do you see the mindset problem here? The colonists will produce the data. Our job as planners is to make sure they have enough resources to garden and learn by doing. Am I seeing this model on page eight correctly? Are they planning on using in-door artificial lighting? The sun shines on mars in just over a 24 hour cycle, They need plastic with UV protection. They can supplement that natural lighting if need be. They can't predetermine production rates... GIGO. We plan on no production with the assumption that will increase in time by a rate the colonists will tell us.

Nine crops? Are they kidding. Talk about driving people insane. Seeds are the best space travelers of all. Send hundreds of different food crops, if not thousands. That will give you your experimental data and you will not have to schedule the planting. Again, adults living a life can figure it out for themselves.

Uh, do they plan on sending live soil to mix with  mars soil or is hydroponics the only option? Each colonist grows their own food and trades with each other. That's how humans living their lives do it. They aren't puppets on strings. Try to make them such and watch how fast they revolt.
A first simulation of the baseline Mars One habitat indicated that with no ISRU-derived resources, the first crew fatality would occur approximately 68 days into the mission. This would be a result of suffocation from too low an oxygen partial pressure...
What, no hours, minutes or seconds? How absurd! We've already discussed how to avoid this. Basic math + responsible adults + consumption and production rates + on hand levels + sufficient initial resources (mostly power.) Rocks are made of oxygen which can be released with enough power. No ISRU derived resources is not a given condition. Water production is determined before any humans even depart. Do you think there might be a problem with this simulation? GIGO. Their simulation assumes that nobody is tracking the various gas levels and no corrective measures are taken. Like I said, absurd.
...supplying all food by growing plants in the same environment as the crew was found to increase the habitat relative humidity level beyond a comfortable limit.
Related to the previous issue. Both have the same solution as, "Doctor it hurts when I do this." To which Groucho would respond... "Don't do this." In other words grow food on the other side of an airlock not in your habitat proper.
Grow 100% of the required food locally, using a separate enclosed plant chamber to decouple the variations in atmospheric composition generated by the plants to those of the crew.
These kids are smart. I figured it out in five seconds. I wonder how long it took this team of whiz kids?
...each of these cases is analyzed in further detail...
I spoke too soon. Not so smart.  I dismiss the other case of bringing all food along (for lifetimes.) You supply complete emergency ration until local production and storage demonstrates they need less. You don't send more colonists until they've demonstrated sufficient production.

Skipping over option A. So on to B...
Introducing an “Oxygen Removal Assembly (ORA)” to transfer excess oxygen from the plant chamber atmosphere to the oxygen tank. This makes use of a valuable resource that would otherwise be vented. It should be noted however, that this technology does not currently exist.
Really? Perhaps these kids should visit grams at the old folks home more often. A portable oxygen unit that compresses oxygen out of the air costs about $5 grand. was found that even though 100% of the food is grown in this case, some food still needs to be brought from Earth to support the crew over the period spanning between their first arrival, and the time at which the first crop batch matures.
I didn't even need a simulation to tell me that. Which is part of the emergency food backup I already discussed.  This is comical. Hey guys, you see these trees? They're part of a forest... just saying...
With the ISRU requirements derived for these two habitation case studies, the corresponding ISRU system can be sized to determine the total mass and volume of active equipment required for the Mars One mission.
Or, just spit-balling here... We give them the ability to increase their ISRU to any level they need so we don't have to guess for them? How about that? That would mean, instead of this absurd analysis to determine precisely how much they need; We instead figure out the tools and designs they need to make it for themselves including on hand reserves they should keep for emergencies. Enough to give them time to fix the problems. These would be individual reserves to avoid single points of failure. They would share because it's their community... not because someone is pulling their puppet strings.
Once the oven geometry/design was determined, a mass estimate was generated using aluminium for most structures and titanium for high-temperature applications.
Could an oven be made out of, I don't know... brick and clay? from mars itself. Do we have to limit them to things brought from earth?

Skipping over discussion of TRL as they obviously aren't aware of what is or is not available. The simple thing is you determine your basic production needs. Then go shopping. There are thousands of little office park shops that will build you anything you need if it's not already in some catalog.  We're talking chemistry which is pretty well understood. Not even chemistry. Getting water out of sand is something boyscouts do in the desert with a rock, a piece of plastic and a metal cup.

The important thing is to keep the designs simple enough for those on mars to reproduce even without a 3D printer which they will have several of. Which can self replicate.
Spares analysis...
They make their own spares. If that's a problem: redesign. I'm only halfway through, but it's the same mindset problem throughout so I'm going to skip as much as I can unless something is glaring. ...and here she be...
At the 10-year mark, the 5th crew is accompanied by over 100 tonnes of cargo, 64% of which is spare parts.
Am I good or what? I just answered this absurdity before asked. My plan says 1 ton per crew of personal property.
These mass savings indicate that using ISRU to support Martian settlements is a clear avenue to system mass reduction.
Considering anything else is a ridiculous waste of time. But they fail to make the next logical leap that the ISRU machinery itself should be producible by the martians.

Conclusions... perhaps I should have just started here?
First, our habitation simulations revealed that crop growth, if large enough to provide 100% of the settlement’s food, will produce unsafe oxygen levels in the habitat. As a result, some form of oxygen removal system is required – a technology that does not currently exist.
Based on the false assumption  that for 68 days nobody would be monitoring or take corrective action, then die. Correction action being as simple as not sharing your living habitat with your farm. ...and the technology is off the shelves although that shouldn't be used. The technology should be a design they can build themselves (although I don't know, perhaps the off the shelf technology is something they can build themselves?) It's mainly pumps and condensers.
Second, the ISRU system sizing module generated a system mass estimate that was approximately 8% of the mass of the resources it would produce over a two year period, even with a generous margin on the ISRU system mass estimate.
Based on the false assumption that the systems are not designed to be built by the martians. Life support fundamental requirement are known and simple... Power: not just solar panels and batteries (they can make more of both) but methane engines and generators in the short term and nuclear in the long term. Water: abundant, they need power and dirt. Oxygen: Water and power. Temperature control: simple heat pump design and power.
Finally, the space logistics analysis revealed that for the most optimist scenario considered, establishing the first crew of a Mars settlement will require approximately 15 Falcon Heavy launches costing $4.5billion, and these values will grow with additional crews.
Finally the most absurd conclusion of all which they disprove themselves.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I respectfully disagree on some points

What should Mars One astronaut candidates be studying in preparation for the mission?
There are two key things they need to learn. First, they need to learn survival, and second they need to learn to do scientific exploration.
Survival is their primary, if not only, objective. They can rent a comfortable room to a scientist that arrives after they've done that. Nothing should distract from survival other than survival in style (Pournelle, 1970s.)
Survival includes how to maintain equipment to stay alive. It’s just like a camper preparing for a camping trip…you have to know how to use the stove, the first aid kit, all that sort of stuff. When you are on Mars you are living in a little bubble of Earth. If that bubble bursts, you’re dead in minutes. So the number one requirement is to keep that bubble intact and safe.
Survival means creating an environment that is not fragile but is forgiving. Equipment on mars from earth should be emergency backup only. They should have at least two chemists in the first team. Two others should be machinists. Survival on mars requires gaslight era technology and all colonists should have a fundamental understanding of the principles of life support so they can make what they need from local resources. Give them trenching rovers to build shirtsleeve mansions and malls. Bubbles they don't need.
The number two issue is water and food supply, which is already a problem occasionally on the space station. Water may get contaminated by bacteria, for example. So the crew has to watch water and food supply to be sure it is not compromised, because if the water becomes infested with bacteria, you can’t just throw it out and get a new batch. So water and food are the next issues.
Water, oxygen and power are linked. Insufficient power is the biggest issue. Industry requires more than just for life support. Each martian should be able to produce three times their own personal needs. They will need to know how to preserve food (easy on mars) like country folks.
Whatever [power] is being used must be maintained and operated.
Each individual should have more personal power than they require. They start with solar panels and batteries (Lithium from earth, Nickel–metal hydride made on mars) then 3D print methane and stirling engines to turn martian built generators (kids can build a generator given the parts and instructions) so let's add an electrical engineer to the first team. Later a can do nuclear engineer for a backyard reactor (martians will have a rational understanding of radiation not found on earth.) Plus a 3D printed wire extruder with insulated coating bath. The machinist and chemist know how to make that work.
...the point is that all the things we take for granted, from the air we breathe to the power coming out of the wall socket, those things can’t be taken for granted on Mars.
Yes, which gives them a perspective missing on earth.
The crew’s success is a function of themselves, not their technology.
YES. A thousand times yes. This is why personal property ownership is so important. Without that, everyone is subject to demoralization.

Actually, I believe we do not disagree that much.

You want answers?

I'll give you answers... to astroethics. it ethical to recruit astronauts for a one-way trip
Yes. I hope they're all this simple.
Lifeboat ethics?
Who do you kill, really? Those on the lifeboat decide. This isn't about space.
The habitation modules of Mars One will be a fragile oasis of [life support]...
Which is why they should be only for temporary emergency use. Let them immediately build permanent habitats from local resources that have gradual forgiving failure modes. Who wants to live in a can when you have an entire planet to work with?
It's called informed consent. People are not your property. They will make their own adult decisions. They should not be prevented from knowing the facts as best we know. They decide. Clear?
Mental health issues?
You send enough crew to deal with isolated cases. I recommend at least a dozen. To avoid the problems of isolation you go with the two proven mitigations... 1) more people. 2) private ownership.
Confinement? Lack of physical privacy?
See fragile oasis solution above.
This is not a space ethics issue. Roll the dice. Sue if you like.
U.S. federal laws and regulations don’t reach into outer space.
Don't let Nanny hear that. They are under a different delusion.
Humans on the scene will deal with it. Another reason not to send too few.
Could zero-gravity or increased radiation environment cause unpredictable changes in our gut bacteria?
Let's find out. Like when we broke the sound barrier. Do we have to keep imagining the bogyman?
We need to think about the quarantine of astronauts.
Quarantine Ebola first.
With space exploration, we have a clean slate in front of us to reinvent society, without being bogged down by legacy systems for property, economics, governance, and even ethics.
Finally, some sense.
Anybody born on Mars would very much be a stranger in a strange land.
Not to other martians. Grok that?
We don’t want it to devolve into nationalistic land grabs.
Right. So we get that property into the hands of as many as possible, as soon as possible. This could actually unify us here on earth.
Outer space and the future of humanity don’t belong to any one nation-state but to all of us.
Screw that. It can't belong to all of us. That's not ownership. Without ownership you get trouble without end. Let's start by getting this right.

What Iranian explosion

Not newsworthy apparently. Via Rand.

Monday, October 6, 2014

AmericaSpace can't handle the truth

AmericaSpace apparently continues its stealth banning. So I will make my reply to this here.
Jim Hillhouse
October 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm
I would love for “commercial” space to finally become commercial. But don’t hold your breath.
Bigelow is just waiting for 'space taxies' before launching its Alpha station (for less than a billion and more capable than the $140b I.S.S.) Imagine 200 space destinations for the same cost the U.S. spent to build one. Each one with twice the life support and better protection for its guests.

In a few short years from now there is going to be an explosion of commercial space activity with egg all over the face of those promoting pork space.

Spacecraft compared

VehicleLaunch MassCrew VolumeNotes
BA-33020k kg330 m36 crew, habitat only
CST-10013k kg18 m37 crew
Dragon V24.2k kg10 m37 crew, propulsive landing on any rock
Dream Chaser11.3k kg16 m37 crew, 1.5g landing
DC mini6k? kg8? m33 crew, Stratolaunch
Orion23k kg8.9 m36 crew, Delta4H or SLS
MCT100k kg200? m3100 crew, requires BFR
My MCT13k kg240 m348 crew, replaces F9R 2nd stage, most crew and fuel launch separately
Mars SSTO10k kg20 m36 crew, transports crew & cargo from mars orbit (uses a single raptor engine)
Sundancer8.6k kg180 m33 crew, habitat only
PPTS12k kg33 m36 crew, replaces Soyuz

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Photos worth it?

Photos. Or is it time to colonize?

Spending on SpaceX by Govt.

Clearer than my last attempt (with thanks to Paul.)

YearAmountTo Date
2002NoneCompany founded

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Smaller air launched DreamChaser

To have a crew of three.

Stepping stones redux

Joseph makes an astute observation...
Well... It depends on what you're lacking. If delta-V is limited then stepping stones don't make much sense but if mass is limited, they do.
So which is it?

We can assume he's talking about limited fuel mass because you want the ship mass to be low. The premise is you build fuel stations along your route like an interstate. Eventually that must happen but would actually slow progress to a halt if attempted today.

A refuelable ship in orbit is it's own depot. The place you want a depot is at the destination so you can get back. Anywhere else is a very costly detour. A settlement trip is one way. Tourists come back. A business person could certainly build one in LEO or a Lagrange point but that's a business decision, not required infrastructure. You don't run out of fuel in space, you coast forever which is where the interstate analogy breaks down. You don't need more delta V than you need until you have a new destination... so put one in mars orbit to fill a need.

A refuelable ship has unlimited delta V from the point of departure because tankage in space doesn't require much structure. You don't need islands or stepping stones to get anywhere. Building them before a market develops is how ghost towns happen.

Will depots bring down costs? Of course, but leaving from a Lagrange point requires ship and crew to get there first. That's exactly what business people are for... to see a market and fill it.

Look at it another way... is island hopping going to be THE PLAN or will companies do what they always do... focus on their own specialty? One company will provide transportation. Another company will sell them fuel. Or rather many companies will compete to provide transportation and many companies will compete to sell them fuel. That's the real world. But no company is going to start up without customers. Fuel companies require transportation companies first. Transportation companies need customers and cargo to transport. Build it and they will come is a risky business venture.

Monday, September 29, 2014

US spending on SpaceX

I summarize the summary. SpaceX was founded in 2002.

Duplicate entries removed from list. The last date in any year is the final revised number. However, the latest date may not be the highest number, so I use the higher number to err on the side of caution.

About $11 million before 2012. Billions coming only in the last few years. Update: Read Paul's comment before you quote me on this. The way I looked at the data doesn't jive with other representations.

The bump seems to come in 2010. Before that, Paul's listing adds up to $33.9 million. Which is about a tenth of what was privately funded. $25.7m of that 33.9 came in SpaceX's 7th year by which time they had already built two rockets, multiple engines, and had successfully reached orbit twice.

  None (just to be explicit.)

  12-25-2003... $3.50M

  12-29-2004... $3.00M
  02-12-2004... $354.51K

  None (just to be explicit.)

  05-19-2006... $30.00K

  None (just to be explicit.)

  07-17-2008... $4.00M
  05-06-2008... $4.00M

  None (just to be explicit.)

  03-12-2010... $129.91K

  11-09-2011... $499.79K
  11-09-2011... $282.76K
  11-09-2011... $230.44K
  11-09-2011... $174.56K
  11-09-2011... $24.40K
  11-09-2011... $20.00K
  09-28-2011... $328.38K
  08-31-2011... $198.86K
  07-07-2011... $294.92K
  01-12-2011... $104.46K

  12-19-2012... $16.75M
  12-10-2012... $3.83M
  12-03-2012... $16.45M
  11-07-2012... $14.04M
  10-21-2012... $14.04M
  09-23-2012... $11.93M
  08-29-2012... $9.46M
  07-25-2012... $8.20M
  07-17-2012... $7.69M
  05-16-2012... $1.36M
  04-03-2012... $1.36M
  02-14-2012... $822.56K

  12-23-2013... $36.11M
  11-18-2013... $1.47M
  11-07-2013... $35.14M
  10-17-2013... $35.14M
  10-10-2013... $901.63M
  09-27-2013... $3.10M
  09-25-2013... $901.63M
  09-11-2013... $35.14M
  09-04-2013... $23.54M
  08-27-2013... $957.33M
  08-21-2013... $955.10M
  07-30-2013... $23.27M
  03-13-2013... $170.96M
  03-04-2013... $96.90M
  03-04-2013... $4.53M
  03-04-2013... $50.82K...
  01-03-2013... $1.17M

  09-03-2014... $1.23B
  09-23-2014... $129.30M
  09-25-2014... $61.48M
  09-10-2014... $47.56M
  08-07-2014... $2.07M
  07-23-2014... $47.56M
  07-08-2014... $1.22B
  06-05-2014... $47.56M
  04-10-2014... $7.08M
  03-12-2014... $47.16M
  02-17-2014... $4.50M
  02-12-2014... $982.77M
  02-10-2014... $46.85M
  01-29-2014... $36.30M
  01-06-2014... $982.78M

Plus these...

Why, if you are wondering, did I do this?