Elon Musk Reveals More Details About His Plan to Colonize Mars

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed a trove of new details on the company’s plan to colonize Mars.

He discussed technical details about the giant rocket that he says will take passengers to the Red Planet, the road map for getting to its first launch, and insights into SpaceX’s broader strategy in an “Ask Me Anything” forum on Reddit Saturday.

Musk was his typical freewheeling self during the AMA, quoting the cartoon Bob the Builder and responding to a question about spaceship design with the highly technical insight that “tails are lame.”

He also gamely responded to questions about tangential details of settling Mars, including speculation that settlers might use a compressed version of the Internet. Musk observed that data would take between 3 and 22 minutes to travel between Earth and Mars. “So you could Snapchat, I suppose. If that’s a thing in the future,” he wrote.

More substantively, Musk clarified the scope of SpaceX’s ambitions on Mars. Though he has shared images of vast Martian cities in his presentations on Mars colonization, he said SpaceX isn’t focused on building those cities itself.

“Our goal is get you there and ensure the basic infrastructure for propellant production and survival is in place. A rough analogy is that we are trying to build the equivalent of the transcontinental railway. A vast amount of industry will need to be built on Mars by many other companies and millions of people.”

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That means SpaceX will be designing and building things like systems for creating fuel from Martian resources, work that Musk said is “pretty far along.” But they won’t be focused on issues like how colonists grow food.

Musk also reiterated previous claims that SpaceX is designing the new Mars rocketstill code-named BFR, which stands for exactly what you think it does – to be as safe and reliable as today’s commercial airliners. That will be crucial if plans to use the BFR for transportation around Earth come to fruition.

Musk also shared some details about the game plan for testing the BFR ahead of its first scheduled flight in 2022.

“[We] will be starting with a full-scale Ship doing short hops of a few hundred kilometers in altitude and lateral distance,” Musk wrote. “Those are fairly easy on the vehicle, as no heat shield is needed, we can have a large amount of reserve propellant and don’t need the high area ratio, deep space Raptor engines.

“[The] next step will be doing orbital velocity Ship flights, which will need all of the above.”

SpaceX’s progress on its Falcon 9 rocket in recent years – especially its unprecedented success in landing and reusing rockets – has fascinated observers and re-energized public dialogue about space.

Tech

According to the SpaceX Co-Founder, This Is Why Elon Musk Is Wildly Successful

With businesses that focus on clean energy, electric, self-driving cars and launching into outer space, Elon Musk is on the innovation scoreboard in a big way, and often leading it. But according to a Quora response from his SpaceX co-founder, Jim Cantrell, it’s not just intelligence that’s propelled Musk to where he is.

To be clear, Cantrell isn’t saying that Musk lacks in the brain department (I think we all know that). In fact, he acknowledges that Musk is highly intelligent. He’s simply saying that other factors do Musk more good and that intelligence isn’t always a prerequisite for success.

So what are those factors for success, specifically?

1. Do something you’re good at or have an inherent talent for.

Musk has many different talents–he speaks with conviction, responds fabulously to his customers, and has a knack for pulling together the resources he needs, for example. But his biggest gift, arguably, is his ability to see the genius in what other people would write off, to identify which moonshots are actually worth pursuing. And after he’s identified great moonshots, he’s able to convince others they’re doable.

2. Do something that creates value (and that you can sell now or later).

Although Musk’s cutting-edge electric cars and groundbreaking initiatives solar initiatives are geared toward those who care about the Earth, they’re highly marketable overall, appealing to the need for both travel and energy. Even space travel entices with novelty. In time, it might become a necessity, too.

3. Raw, Pure Passion.

Elon Musk doesn’t spend his days churning out complex math formulas or training with NASA. But he genuinely believes that space exploration and making humanity “a multi-planetary species” is essential to our long-term survival. In the same way, he believes that the fossil fuel industry is a danger and that electric cars and solar are legitimate paths to saving the environment. His sincere concerns drive him to keep innovating on each platform, even when others have doubts.

But what’s really made Musk successful, Cantrell says, is sheer determination. He just doesn’t give up. So dig your heels in. Don’t quit. Even if you ‘fail’, the amount of experience you gain is priceless, including what you learn about yourself. And when you’re learning, improvement is inevitable.

Tech

Why Elon Musk says 50% of all cars will be electric by 2027

It’s time to hit the reset button on the gas engine. As you may already know, the electric car is now much more viable than it was 10 years ago—there are charging stations in every major city scattered everywhere, particularly at hotels and along major highways. One glance at just the Tesla supercharger network of 900 stations proves that point.

Yet, to reach the point where more than half of all new cars are fully electric by 2027—as Elon Musk predicted recently—there needs to be a massive undertaking that only the enterprise can understand. It is not a consumer endeavor but one that must be backed by IT, similar to an ERP roll-out or a massive Windows deployment.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Cloud helps Elon Musk further his audacious goals

There are some people whose vision of the future simply defy words. I would put Elon Musk firmly in the category – changing the world through a single initiative isn’t Musk’s style, rather, he wants to deliver his vision of the future across multiple areas. Space travel? Check. Hyper-efficient terrestrial transportation? Also check. Personal automobiles that challenge both existing business and technology models? Check. Solar power with new economics and scale? Also check. While many would question his political leanings, there is no denying that Musk is a genius.

I’ve never met Musk, but watching him speak it is obvious that this is one visionary who not only sees a “bigger picture” for the future of humanity, but he also deeply understands the technology constraints and opportunities that will deliver the future. Which is an inspiring thing to watch, but which also places huge challenges upon the individuals who need to deliver that work. By extension, it also pushes the boundaries of what existing technologies can do.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Network World Cloud

IDG Contributor Network: Cloud helps Elon Musk further his audacious goals

There are some people whose vision of the future simply defy words. I would put Elon Musk firmly in the category – changing the world through a single initiative isn’t Musk’s style, rather, he wants to deliver his vision of the future across multiple areas. Space travel? Check. Hyper-efficient terrestrial transportation? Also check. Personal automobiles that challenge both existing business and technology models? Check. Solar power with new economics and scale? Also check. While many would question his political leanings, there is no denying that Musk is a genius.

I’ve never met Musk, but watching him speak it is obvious that this is one visionary who not only sees a “bigger picture” for the future of humanity, but he also deeply understands the technology constraints and opportunities that will deliver the future. Which is an inspiring thing to watch, but which also places huge challenges upon the individuals who need to deliver that work. By extension, it also pushes the boundaries of what existing technologies can do.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Network World Cloud