I’ve been mulling over the question for many years, and over the past few I’ve nibbled at the edges of finding answers for myself. For the moment, I’m not going to go into those answers.
What I’d like to know from my readers and my fellow posters on the fora on which I post, is why would you good people like to go to space? Really, the question comes in several parts:
- Why Should Humanity Go Into Space?
- How Should We Go?
- What Do We Do There?
- How Far Should We Go?
- What Is Needed to Go?
In other words, what makes the Go To Space, well… Go?
For those of you that have a specific aversion to going at all, I’m not willing to engage that sentiment. Stay to monitor the conversation, and learn what you can, but don’t expect accommodation for views that counter the questions posed above. Consider it an assumption that the human race must go into the void and fill it with exploration and exploitation. Outbound is happening.
Keith Cowing at NASAWatch seems offended by this image:
#JourneyToMars Facebook hype from @LockheedMartin As if Orion with only a service module will be in Mars orbit
Here’s a bit of SpaceX concept art that is essentially the same as the CowingSnark is concerned about:
It’s rather GOOD concept art, and I can see why Elon Musk published it on Instagram. Can we NOT poke at concept art? That seems incredibly picky, perhaps even petty.
I took a look at the data presented in Table 1 of NineSigma’s proposal information, and compared the Moon and Martian materials to Earth values. There are a few first thoughts:
1. As it might be expected, just a straight comparison like this shows that the lunar material composition holds the greatest parity with Earth. While not a part of this study, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that there is a sizeable number of lunar geologists that theorize that the Moon is a chunk of material that was once part of Earth.
2. Silicon Dioxide is by far the primary compound at all three locations.
3. Despite similarities with terrestrial soils, lunar samplings show a distinct lack of Sulfate and Chlorine.
The points above generate some paths to follow:
1. What terrestrial structural materials can be most easily replicated, and which correlate better with the Moon vs. Mars?
2. Is there a particular structural material and/or process that significantly involves Silicon Dioxide or related compounds?
3. What limitations does the poverty of lunar Sulfate and Chlorine enforce?
So, I’ll now look at those questions.
There is a recent article by Steven Starr over at the Federation of American Scientists, bemoaning yet again the futility of surviving Nuclear War. Suffice it to say, even after a long heritage of debunking nuclear winter, there is always a subject matter expert willing to re-approach the concept.
What does this have to do with Outbound’s mission, you ask? Simply put, with recent geopolitical events as they are and continue to develop, we face a renewed and increased chance that a nuclear exchange is in our future. Perhaps our near future. Despite the horror that promises, the likelihood of human extinction from that event is not high, but it will set back human civilization. How far back is primarily driven by how prepared we are to recover from the event. Pre-emptively surrendering humanity’s future isn’t the best strategy.
Imagine all the people that will be asking themselves: “Aren’t I supposed to be dead? What do I do now?”
Hopefully, WWIII will be averted. If it isn’t though, we’ll be better served both on Earth and beyond by being prepared to weather the (fire)storm. As a reference, here is some excellent information on doing just that:
The Good News About Nuclear Destruction
And in addition to plans to survive a nuclear war on Earth, a faster implementation of space settlement (a la Outbound) removes at least some humans from the stupidity, and allows them to continue advancing our race while the Earth recovers.
In reference to my post about embarking on a personal Kaizen, I’d say that I’m doing okay. The general advice is to improve something every day, even if it’s only a small percentage better. So far, so good. I have made progress in a number of things I had been stalled on, so I’ll just keep going.
A new NASA website is now providing a daily global view of Earth, as imaged by the DSCOVR spacecraft. Check it out.
I find Table 1 of the Nine Sigma In-Situ Competition to be very interesting. It’s a simple summary chart of various soil/rock material distributions for Earth, Moon, and Mars, as defined by percentage mass.
I think that’ll be my first line of attack. Let’s see what is common enough between the terrestrial and the extraterrestrial and pick some building materials.
I’ll post the chart itself later,as I’m on my phone at the moment.
Thanks to Brett Hoffstadt for this really great cartoon summation of Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I didn’t know about the rest of the videos in this series, and will definitely be checking them out. See the FightMediocrity YouTube channel.
In my continued theme of interesting YouTube wanderings, I’ve run across this video:
The Mars Underground
It describes the history of the Mars Society and the Mars Direct mission. Again, I wouldn’t recommend this unless I really enjoyed watching it, which I did. However, I have come to the definite conclusion that Robert Zubrin is one bitter guy. I hope he can find a way to shed his attitude, and stow the chip on his shoulder somewhere far from his reach. I think he is really a (frustrated) genius, and would move with more freedom and be better regarded without his acerbic tone.
I’m working on a big CAD project at the office, and I tend to zone out to music or documentaries. Below is another of the latter that I’m really enjoying at the moment.