Elon Musk Says Humans Will Go To Mars by 2024

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Elon Musk seems to say a lot of things today.




The techno-utopianism that doesn’t actually address our real problems as they exist just gets a little tedious is all.



When will they be able to come back?


Yeah, that’s the little detail where sending humans to Mars in that timeframe goes from “boldly optimistic” to “criminally irresponsible.” Sometimes exploration requires risk, but sending humans before we’ve even tested the technologies required to bring them back is needless risk.

Send a robotic mission that brings back a load of rocks as a proof-of-concept, THEN we can talk about sending humans.


Nonsense. Fail fast! err, or, something…


“[…] or Cory Doctorow novel every day.”

Except that people actually read every day!


Kind of makes it less thrilling that he thinks that simulated humans will be going to a simulation of Mars, is all.


Hey I don’t even need a billion dollars to do that. I can do it with some construction paper and glue!


Mars One already had thousands of volunteers for what was posted up front as a one-way trip and no guarantees. Probably those same people would sign up for Elon Musk’s colony, regardless of if it was one way or not.


No offense, but isn’t that a little bit like saying, “We can’t help refugees, we have homeless veterans!”

It’s possible to care about — and work towards — more than one thing at a time.

Sure, Hyperloop is probably nonsense, but if anyone can kill internal combustion and jumpstart residential renewables, it’s going to be Musk and Tesla.


Sure and I’m all for space exploration. Not sure I’m so keen on the privatization of space exploration, though you could argue that making it a key neoliberal project, that it probably will more likely be an international project. Will it really benefit everyone or just the corporations that are involved?

We’ll see what it does for residential renewables. Just because they can get the technologies working, doesn’t mean it will be evenly deployed, as opposed to benefiting a wealthy few.

I’m just skeptical of motivations here, to be honest. Lurching towards changes like this has consequences (especially when driven by capital) and I’d like to have a discussion about it that includes all angles, not just the profit-driven or pie in the sky ones.


Shit, we’re not even going to have Hyperloop working in nine years. We don’t even have all the science issues worked out for a Mars trip (keeping people alive, for one), much less the engineering problems solved, much less anyone eager to spend all the billions needed to make it happen. Also there’s the whole damn issue of not wanting to contaminate the surface of Mars with humans before we’ve seriously looked (or looked at all, for that matter) for life on Mars. I mean, Holy Tilda Swinton, finding life - or its remains - on Mars would be one of the biggest scientific discoveries of all time. Putting people on Mars is just a dick-measuring contest and/or libertopian wild-west fantasy.
So yeah, all these techbro narratives about how we’re going to be on Mars within 10 years…


Well, it can also make some people really rich, so we need to do it… of course.


I wonder if it would even do that, so much - that money could end up spread between a lot of contracts.

I think he’s serious about Tesla, and serious about it at least partly out of an earnest desire to end dependence on fossil fuels. I mean, as a strictly commercial venture Tesla was always nuts, the automotive industry has historically been perceived as impossible for new players to enter, but now here we are discussing whether he’s just doing it for the money, and Apple and GM are scrambling to catch up with him.

He’s super wealthy, and if he was driven solely by profit then pretty much ANY enterprise would have been less risky than electric cars and spacecraft.

I think he’s a dreamer and he’s betting the farm on big ideas. I like the cut of his jib.


Damn straight. The world could use a few more of his ilk among the billionaire mob.


He’s not saying that humans will go to Mars by 2024. He’s saying that it’s possible. Not likely in that time-frame, but possible.

But at least he’s trying to make it happen, spending money, bending metal and meeting milestones. It’s better than all the times a Russian or Chinese or EU scientist describes their (unfunded, non-greenlighted) plans, and the press reports it as THIS IS WHAT RUSSIA/CHINA/THE EU IS DOING!!!"

“Non-private” space exploration meant Lockheed Martin and Boeing, acting together as one monopoly (The United Launch Alliance). And they acted and priced like a monopoly, fleecing the taxpayers.

One reason for the failure of the Constellation program and Ares launchers is that it’s primary mission was to keep the standing army of Shuttle technicians and engineers employed, with jobs scattered around many key congressional districts. It’s the same story for the Space Launch System, AKA the Senate Launch System, which even if it test launches after tens of $Billions of dollars, may simply be scrapped for lack of a mission.

SpaceX showed that they could launch reliably for a fraction of the cost. They also developed Falcon 9 in less time and for 1/20th the money spent on NASA/Allient/Boeing’s failed Ares I.

Not that I want to get rid of NASA. There’s little in the way of a business case for commercial missions beyond geosynchronous Earth orbit. (Mars One’s funding plans are pure fantasy.)

But where possible - launch services and post-ISS low earth orbit space stations - NASA should go commercial where possible.