Man to Mars and Moon

by Jamie Ross
(County Clare, Ireland)

Since Elon Musk came up, I thought I would throw in my two centimes.. I have worked with SpaceX on a couple of projects. Musk has a sweet deal going with Government subsidies which he moves around his three companies, skimming lots off the top along the way, much like most entrepreneurs. That said, his technology is a welcome break from the giant monopolies that have been dominating the American space program.

There is no point in going to Mars. See there I said it. The ONLY reason people want to send a man to Mars is because they all read Edgar Rice Burroughs and believe deep down that they will find beautiful women who will fall for the super strong Earthings. This is true. I have sat in meetings with NASA and when you ask WHY, they all hem and haw and give vague answers. There is nothing there of interest and trying to colonise a mostly dead planet when you can't even manage to maintain a living one is insane.

That doesn't mean its not worth going out there. The asteroid belt is full of asteroids which contains lots of metals we need (it's estimated one asteroid could produce 400 metric tons of Platinum, enough to crash the market). The outer giants have Helium 3 which could be the basis of safe fusion (see Harrison Schmitt on that subject). NASA says, show us a reactor and we will get He3, the Fusion people say, bring is He3 and we will build a reactor. University of Wisconsin is doing the pioneering work on a very small budget.

All of this can be done with robots by the way. Space is really a harsh place for humans. The Lunar regolith is incredibly nasty stuff which slices up everything making Lunar Bases very difficult. The Apollo astronauts wore through their heavy boots in an hour or so. Making electrical connections is even more difficult.

The moons of Mars are an interesting place to go, not down in the gravity well and can observe Mars.

This will take money and currently the civilian space program in the US is funded at $19B. The military space program is probably closer to $100B (bigger than the entire Russian military budget). If you could reorient priorities, then you might have a chance.. in the mean time, we can only write about what might have been

Le Meas! Jamie

{Comment from Zendexor: It's exciting to hear from someone who has been involved with the reality of the space program! I would agree that the urge to go to Mars is irrational - though to me that's not an ideological objection, merely a practical one. Maybe 'trans-rational' would be a better term, or 'meta-rational' if you prefer Greek prefixes to Latin. Beyond-logic rather than anti-logic, anyhow.

As for the Moon -

I didn't know the regolith was that bad - but still, the Moon has a huge advantage. As I pointed out before, it is so close compared to Mars. You can actually look up and see features on Luna with the naked eye, it's that close. Looking down on us and inviting us to establish the first ever human base on another world. Surely it's time it was done. And I'm not just saying that because I want to find the Moon Maid... though that would be nice.}

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Mar 15, 2018
Lunar Colony
by: Jamie Ross

I would suspect it's less prevalent in the mountains. The current plans are to explore the polar regions as far as I know. They are really hoping to find water to use for fuel. NASA hopes to test ORION out for Lunar missions and Russia is planning three Luna missions so they might find something interesting. I would like them to find giant blind worms living underground myself;)

{Z: Giant blind worms might put some people off. They'd make it harder for estate agents to sell properties in Luna City. More worth while would be to gain an audience with the Grand Lunar.

Regarding NASA and ORION, the last I heard, they had got around to building the spacecraft but not the booster. Do you happen to know whether they actually have got a heavy-lift rocket now, or are they going to use Musk's new one, or what else is the plan?}

Mar 15, 2018
the Moon is toxic
by: Jamie Ross

Here is an article on lunar soil.. it doesn't even discuss the electrical properties which are hazardous to power systems.

That said, one thing I want to add is that the stories we tell, inspire the imaginations of people who read them and and inspire so to even attempt to create the worlds we imagine. There is great fodder for ideas in old projects (L5 colonies etc) and what the oil and gas people are doing on the sea floors. Great ideas which can be the kernel of a story... run with it and imagine what it could be... Whether its soft scifi or hard scifi, its all great stuff ... keep writing! We have Zendexor's April edition coming up!

{Z: Amen to that! We don't want the magazine to fold after the first issue!

I never was one for L5 colonies, but sea-floor exploration is quite enticing, especially if it uncovers a civilization of sunken Atlanteans or of intelligent squid...

I had a look at the article on toxic lunar dust. I wonder if the regolith is maybe less evident in the lunar highlands, or on mountain slopes, or at the poles, or in relatively recent craters. It's a pity the Apollo program was ended before the planned expedition to Tycho could take place. Correct me if I'm wrong on this, Jamie.}

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