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I’ll start with a purging admission of my admiration for Elon Musk – he’s actually doing what I dreamed of, heading a company making working rockets with the goal of sending living people to all the interesting places in the solar system. :bow: He and his folks at SpaceX have a sense of humor, too - I got a chuckle that the working names for 2 of the 3 components of the proposed Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), the launch vehicle (booster) and “Interplanetary Spaceship” passenger vehicle, were BFR and BFS (“big f***ing” rocket and spaceship). :)

 

With this many ships eventually going to Mars Space X will have brought the cost down to a few hundred grand per passenger AND created a refuelling depot on Mars. Surely it would only take a couple ships to then leave Mars in the other direction, to mine the asteroid belt, and we'd have a truly space-faring civilisation able to colonise almost everywhere?

I just listened to Musk's 9/27/16 speech to 67th International Astronautical Congress, the source of this Wired and this GeekWire article. I recommend everybody listen to it – it’s 67 minutes long.

 

In the last 2 minutes, Musk talks about the ITS “beyond Mars”, pointing out that the Interplanetary Spaceship can launch, without need of a booster, from Mars, and take many tens of people (in its Mars liner function, its planned to transport 100-200 people and their “luggage”, which includes the equipment needed to live on Mars) to any body of interest smaller than Mars – asteroids, the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, and even Pluto and other Kuiper belt bodies. The spacecraft would not be limited to the special-purpose of taking colonists to and from Earth and Mars, but capable of nearly any kind of solar system exploration and science.

 

Though the talk doesn’t mention asteroid and other body mining, since the Interplanetary Spaceship can lift tens of thousands of kg, with the right equipment as cargo, it could do it.

 

In summary, I think the key feature of the Interplanetary Spaceship is that, like a 17-19th century merchant sailing ship, it’s very general purpose. It could haul colonists, raw materials, manufactured goods, other spacecraft, construction materials, etc. Musk expects that if the STS is successful, future ships would likely be bigger and more capable, which also fits my sailing ship analogy.

 

I’m delighted and exited to see what comes of SpaceX’s near-future plans to learn lessons in interplanetary spaceflight that will inform the design of the ITS. Plans are for the first Falcon Heavy launched Red Dragon to make an unmanned landing on Mars in the 2018 Earth-Mars launch window, continuing to make them until ITS flights begin in the late 2022 launch window (Earth-Mars launch windows occur about every 26 month). Go SpaceX! :thumbs_up

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Not true. If believed by many, I’d say this rises to the status of a myth.  Although most present-day astronauts spend less than 200 days at a time in space, many have spent more in zero gravity, 10

http://www.space.com/22229-space-station-colony-futuristic-technology.html   Some pretty wild ideas by the info-graphic link inside the article. Closing the life support loop will be a challenge, but

I missed moonguy’s original post about SSL’s proposed Aquarius launch vehicle. I was a big fan of this proposed system when it was being widely publicized around 2001, then lost track of it. I see p

Hi Craig,

great breakdown. So the ticket price includes all the equipment to establish a colony: that's awesome. Now I'm wondering what it might take to get them spreading out away from the new colony at Mars. A demand for methane? Would a space elevator at Titan be a desired outcome of a colony there, flinging large tankers of methane back to Mars? But as I understand it, one of the main rationale for Mars is that it has everything we need in one go. Land there, and you could eventually start mining and building a whole new planet based civilisation.

 

There are, of course, asteroid buffs that want us to head out there first and build a bunch of Halo's / Toruses. As I see it Mars is the perfect stepping stone and indeed *rationale* for the asteroid belt. It becomes the new "East India Company" for opening up a whole other economy, the asteroid belt. One day the dream is aero-braking a few ice asteroids on Mars. But that's a ways down the track. But as CraigD already noted above, these Space X landers are multi-purpose, and once they're refuelled on Mars can head elsewhere. Space trade. Those Halo's will be built one day.

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It's fascinating to wonder how television would continue to exist.

Based on my own viewing habits, in which I increasingly watch entertainment and informative videos delivered via the internet, and the writing of various media experts who lead me to believe my viewing habits are fairly typical, I think that the old model of “television” consisting of a small number of “channels” that show a single thread of programs watched by most people in realtime, will continue to decline in viewership until only a small number of people use it, and may disappear completely.

 

If thousands of people live off of Earth, I expect the internet will continue to be used by them like it is used by us now. So I expect they have viewing habits similar to people living on Earth.

 

Would people still get Earth based programmes?

I don’t think there would be difficult technical barriers to internet communication in space. The ISS has had internet access about as good as a urban US residence, and is a research platform for systems to allow reliable internet connections between Earth and spacecraft, moons, and planets. (see NASA’s “New Solar System Internet Technology Debuts on the International Space Station”)

 

Because most video makers will live on Earth, I expect most of it will continue to be made on Earth for a long time. If enough people eventually live off-Earth, more off-Earth videos will be made. Some unique programs – for example, sports or fiction involving microgravity – can be made much more easily and realistically in space.

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Based on my own viewing habits, in which I increasingly watch entertainment and informative videos delivered via the internet, and the writing of various media experts who lead me to believe my viewing habits are fairly typical, I think that the old model of “television” consisting of a small number of “channels” that show a single thread of programs watched by most people in realtime, will continue to decline in viewership until only a small number of people use it, and may disappear completely.

 

If thousands of people live off of Earth, I expect the internet will continue to be used by them like it is used by us now. So I expect they have viewing habits similar to people living on Earth.

 

I don’t think there would be difficult technical barriers to internet communication in space. The ISS has had internet access about as good as a urban US residence, and is a research platform for systems to allow reliable internet connections between Earth and spacecraft, moons, and planets. (see NASA’s “New Solar System Internet Technology Debuts on the International Space Station”)

 

Because most video makers will live on Earth, I expect most of it will continue to be made on Earth for a long time. If enough people eventually live off-Earth, more off-Earth videos will be made. Some unique programs – for example, sports or fiction involving microgravity – can be made much more easily and realistically in space.

Psychologically, do you think many people would adapt well and quickly to non-Earth movies as the norm?

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This guy seems to have a pretty good grip on the subject! 

 

By the way Moontanman, this guy is now my favourite youtuber and I have watched dozens of his movies, and will continue to do so! Thanks for that reference, a real gem. And the fact that I watch so much youtube kind of reinforces the conversation above: TV viewing declines in 'real time'. As long as the Mars & other colony databanks keep sucking down the juice from Earth, and people can get their next season of Daredevil and Jessica Jones from Netflix, they'll be happy. The only real drag is online gaming and Skype are out, but many people will adapt to Facebook chats etc in bit-by-bit stages.

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Psychologically, do you think many people would adapt well and quickly to non-Earth movies as the norm?

Yes. Many people like movies set in off-Earth places now – “The Expanse”, for example, so I imagine the same and more people would like movies actually shot off-Earth.

 

People today don’t care much where a movie is actually shot, only how enjoyable it is. I expect that would apply to movies shot off-Earth, as well.

 

The only real drag is online gaming and Skype are out, but many people will adapt to Facebook chats etc in bit-by-bit stages.

That’s a good point. Millions of people enjoy being able to play real-time multiplayer games with people all over the world, but the speed-of-light limits on communication between spacecraft beyond a few light-seconds from Earth and on other moons and planets would mean that those games could only be played with your nearby neighbors. Early space colonists gamers might find themselves with nobody to play multiplayer games with. Space demands sacrifices! ;)
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