You must log in or register to comment.

wart365 t1_j6aub8d wrote

If NASA can actually do this then by 2030 we will have all the data needed to mass produce space reactors (for propulsion, electrical power, mining, whatever) which would permit serious space exploration in the later 2040s and 50s. By "serious" I mean off-earth laboratories with triple-digit populations, such as a lunar particle accelerator or a venus orbiter which would build up for a true mars shot - itself just step one for a larger program to chart Jupter's and Saturns many moons. By that point we'll have information from JUICE vis-a-vis conditions on Europa, and this would allow for an in-depth Europa chemical analysis program to discover off-earth life. Ideally, by that point we'll have a regular schedule of rockets coming to and from other planets that we can just slot missions into.

And if we can successfully do that, we could build something like a giant 100m telescope outside the asteroid belt, creating optimal conditions for observing Alpha Centuari for an inevitable probe there that would have to be nuclear-powered somehow.


[deleted] t1_j6b4ssc wrote



aquarain t1_j6bq6dg wrote

You've underestimated the weight of "Advanced" in "Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency". Those megabrains are way out there on the speculative defense benefits.

The stuff you're speculating about them funding someday went operational in the 90's. And a whole lot more you never imagined. The stuff they're funding now is way further out there.


up_down_underwater t1_j6bwhgf wrote

I’ve heard something similar to “if a new technology is being divulged to the public, assume that the US military has been using the tech for anywhere between 30-50 years already” from multiple sources.

Compare the (actual) beginning of “project Oxcart” with the release of SR-71 “news” in the late 80’s and this logic seems pretty solid.


aquarain t1_j6b650t wrote

They finally figured an end around SpaceX for LockMart and Boeing. Big budget for fast trips with nuclear power rather than cheap slow trips. DARPA as accelerant.

That means all SpaceX regulatory approvals will slow to a crawl. Completely coincidentally.

I am reminded of that era in the late 1980's when Microsoft, beset by lobbying efforts to regulate their business and even split it, pivoted from their apolitical stance and decided that if money politics was a weapon to be used against them that was a war they intended to win. They went all in on fundraising, bought us the first Bush, and all their antitrust problems miraculously vanished overnight. The unintended consequences were unfortunate but they got what they needed.


aquarain t1_j6bajnc wrote

... and I just figured out why Elon Musk bought Twitter.


wart365 t1_j6bfea2 wrote

Fast trips mean higher vehicle turnaround and increased safety for crewed missions. This is very good regardless of who's doing the flight. NTRs will be needed as power sources in the outer solar system anyway, as PVs aren't as powerful out there. SpaceX's entire business is based off low turnaround to/from LEO, so this is the natural path up. This works out to SpaceX's advantage anyway. If the government commits to 4 Mars trip every year, that creates 4 opportunities to launch probes, mining equipment, orbital human facilities, and ground-based robots.

In the nearer term it means a regular Moon flight every week or so, and a regular long-endurance moon mission once or twice a year. Great opportunities to demonstrate SpaceX-branded habitats, moon trucks, and heavy industrial equipment needed to build things on the moon. It is the perfect chance to show how SpaceX can work with others inside a greater mission, such as a true Mars human transfer vehicle or Mars orbital lab.

(or we get a Trump Presidency and all this money goes to Hummer H4 production instead)


aquarain t1_j6bg67h wrote

Mars is only close enough to visit every second year. And the window is only a few weeks.


Torifyme12 t1_j6c3rro wrote

>and all their antitrust problems miraculously vanished overnight.

This is a joke right? Their problems went straight into the Clinton admin.


theFireNewt3030 t1_j6cklwf wrote

Ahh this is why we are getting all these ufo visits


picpoulmm t1_j6eyzrv wrote

Yay for sabre rattling !