AfterDawn: Tech news

Elon Musk reveals plans to colonize Mars with "Big Fucking Spaceship"

Written by Matti Vähäkainu (Google+) @ 28 Sep 2016 14:51 User comments (12)

Elon Musk reveals plans to colonize Mars with "Big Fucking Spaceship" Elon Musk has revealed new plans for his space exploration company SpaceX. For a while we have known that the mad scientist plans to get humanity to Mars but when and how?
Now Musk has told us some very (and others not so) specific steps SpaceX is taking in order to make it possible for people to travel to Mars and make it a place they call home. The aim is to make the travel as "cheap" as a median mortgage in the US and to take just a couple of months.

If you haven't been following Musk's obsession with space exploration this might sound completely crazy. However, even NASA's new budget allows it to explore more and further making human missions to Mars a definite possibility in our lifetime.

Musk also unveiled plans for the spaceship, and the rocket carrying it to space. The ship is called Big Fucking Spaceship, I kid you not. It is obviously currently only a vision of what it takes to make travel affordable enough, including room for hundred or more people.

The development will take decades but Musk believes that within from 40 to 100 years we'll be sending Matt Damon to grow some crops.

Previous Next  

12 user comments

128.9.2016 18:16

Wow...getting Matt Damon off of this planet sounds great, but he might survive on Mars, let's send him to Mercury instead. J/K of course; he isn't worth a rocket.

229.9.2016 12:41

At first I thought this article was going to mention Elon sending a Tesla there......autopilot.


SpaceX is an AWESOME concept but they are morons. Seldom anything successful comes and they absolutely NEED to work tightly with NASA. I know they work together to some degree but what that degree is, I do not know.

Still, SpaceX is farther from unfettered space flight than they are giving credit IMO.

40-100 years living on Mars is NOT a mile marker. NASA wanted a flight to Mars by 2029 and that has since been pushed up to 2024 now so 40-100 years (nice range there) for populating Mars w a few peeps is nothing surprising. In 40-100 years, our asses BETTER be on Mars w/ great success.

Elon is a goof. Tesla cars are still decades off from being the "standard" self-driving car. Decades off the MAJORITY of people using them and true "self-driving cars" will likely come when they're on a grid.

Either way, Elon is an overzealous indiv.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Sep 2016 @ 12:42

329.9.2016 14:34

Originally posted by hearme0:
At first I thought this article was going to mention Elon sending a Tesla there......autopilot.


SpaceX is an AWESOME concept but they are morons. Seldom anything successful comes and they absolutely NEED to work tightly with NASA. I know they work together to some degree but what that degree is, I do not know.

Still, SpaceX is farther from unfettered space flight than they are giving credit IMO.

40-100 years living on Mars is NOT a mile marker. NASA wanted a flight to Mars by 2029 and that has since been pushed up to 2024 now so 40-100 years (nice range there) for populating Mars w a few peeps is nothing surprising. In 40-100 years, our asses BETTER be on Mars w/ great success.

Elon is a goof. Tesla cars are still decades off from being the "standard" self-driving car. Decades off the MAJORITY of people using them and true "self-driving cars" will likely come when they're on a grid.

Either way, Elon is an overzealous indiv.
Be fair; SpaceX has a better track record than any national space agency; look back at the early days of the USA and the USSR in the space race and it makes SpaceX look great by comparison. They also seem to be doing better than China...a California startup is doing better than the world's most populous country.

Also, you have obviously never had to work with a government agency if you are saying they should work with NASA more. The actual science and implementation of landing on the moon was nothing compared to cutting all the red tape involved. It's a nightmare...there is a local manufacturer that does stuff for the US military. They just had to buy all new CAD software and retrain all their engineers and convert over all their old stuff just because of a policy that makes using software from France (an ally that no one can imagine becoming an enemy) frowned upon! BTW, that new software is absolute trash compared to what they were using and it is hard to imagine that the quality won't suffer for it.

Elon thinks forward...way, way forward. And yeah, that means the Tesla is too expensive for most people right now and it is probably a bad idea to put a beta version of a self-driving feature into a production car...but look at what he is up against. The big three have not innovated since the days of carburetors and NASA doesn't even fly space shuttles anymore. It is no wonder this country is going to s**t when we are relying on institutions that have to be pushed just to copy the advancements made elsewhere.

429.9.2016 16:00

What we need is not a big fucking rocket. What we need is a safe and more reliable means of escaping Earth's gravity that's not prone to exploding.....

529.9.2016 16:01

A big fucking rocket isn't gonna go anywhere if it explodes into a million fucking pieces, IMFHO.

61.10.2016 18:04

Originally posted by ivymike:
What we need is not a big fucking rocket. What we need is a safe and more reliable means of escaping Earth's gravity that's not prone to exploding.....

Wellll... That depends on cost-to-orbit, per pound. It does look like we may actually be able to pull off some sort of tether/"space elevator", considering recent stronger-than-diamond carbon nanofiber research, for example, but that's it's own bucket O' worms. Similar "skyhook" ideas are the same, pretty much.

Another significant possibility is ablative laser-launch setups; we already can make powerful enough lasers to make this work pretty damn well.

I personally believe we will see significant push for something like this, concurrent with the development of orbital power satellites, within 75 years.

72.10.2016 0:58

Originally posted by ivymike:
What we need is not a big fucking rocket. What we need is a safe and more reliable means of escaping Earth's gravity that's not prone to exploding.....
I totally agree with this.

I've long felt that we should be launching from the moon. A launch up there w/ the same power as down here would dramatically reduce the fuel needed and likely the transit time too.

82.10.2016 10:33

We can also use a mass accelerator to move durable goods (g-shock insensitive) off the Moon.

The Moon has its merits, but we still need the orbital infrastructure.

92.10.2016 13:39

Originally posted by hearme0:
Originally posted by ivymike:
What we need is not a big fucking rocket. What we need is a safe and more reliable means of escaping Earth's gravity that's not prone to exploding.....
I totally agree with this.

I've long felt that we should be launching from the moon. A launch up there w/ the same power as down here would dramatically reduce the fuel needed and likely the transit time too.
I agree that launching from the moon would be more cost-effective vs. a launch from Earth, but you still have to get the supplies to the moon (unless some sort of manufacturing process is implemented on the moon using natural resources).

Nevertheless, this is great thinking. Lots of interesting ideas, folks.

102.10.2016 14:52

Originally posted by DarthMopar:
Originally posted by hearme0:
Originally posted by ivymike:
What we need is not a big fucking rocket. What we need is a safe and more reliable means of escaping Earth's gravity that's not prone to exploding.....
I totally agree with this.

I've long felt that we should be launching from the moon. A launch up there w/ the same power as down here would dramatically reduce the fuel needed and likely the transit time too.
I agree that launching from the moon would be more cost-effective vs. a launch from Earth, but you still have to get the supplies to the moon (unless some sort of manufacturing process is implemented on the moon using natural resources).

Nevertheless, this is great thinking. Lots of interesting ideas, folks.
If you had some sort of factory established on the moon making things out of moon rocks and such, then yes, launches would be a lot cheaper from there. Of course, setting that all up would be a good portion of the total cost of setting it all up on mars, maybe even more because of the complete lack of atmosphere. If you are talking about launching from earth to the moon, having some form of landing on the moon, then some sort of launching system on the moon itself, you are talking about a lot more resources per kg to get to Mars.

What we really need is to launch some semi-autonomous construction robots to Mars ASAP. Get them started building a base with local resources...that will take a lot of time by robot with local materials vs launching inflatable structures or something, but it would end up costing a lot less, being more durable, and perhaps most importantly, walls could be made thick enough to negate most of the radiation (it still wouldn't be as safe as earth in terms of rads but it would be a lot better).

Of course, Mars probably isn't an ideal place for our first other-planet base anyway. There is a lot to be said for Venus, like that it has an atmosphere and a magnetic field that will keep children from being born with 3 arms or not at all. At high altitudes the temperatures and pressures are close to earth, yet solar panels and wind turbines can make lots of power. There are other reasons, no shortage of information on that subject if you are interested. It probably won't happen because people have been obsessed with Mars since the early days of science fiction, plus it wouldn't actually be on the surface and you can't plant a flag...but if we were actually just trying to become a multi-planet species in the most efficient way possible, Mars would be the second choice.

We will have to wait and see how all of this comes out of course; 50 years ago everyone was sure we would have permanent colonists on the moon by now...but money got in the way.

113.10.2016 10:20

is it just me or is this company on something???


123.10.2016 12:47

@KillerBug: You make some good points, but Venus is a spectacularly bad candidate for colonization. It's not just the heat and pressure; the atmosphere is also highly corrosive.

Mars, on the other hand offers proven water ice under at least one pole's CO2 ice crust, MUCH better exploration of the surface, much lower environmental danger, and the actual possibility of terraforming, even with today's technology.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive