20 Jun

SpaceX wants to beat NASA to Mars by 20 or so years

I just recently posted the graphic of NASA’s plans to put people on Mars in the 2040s. This article says 2030s, but 2040s sounds more like what’s coming out of the plans.

SpaceX has other ideas:

“Elon Musk, speaking to CNBC about how the future of humankind is rather closely tied to our ability to get off this planet, is ‘hopeful that the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years’ — with SpaceX rockets and spacecraft, of course. This lines up with some of his previous comments about establishing a Mars colony in the 2020s. Meanwhile, NASA recently announced that it would try to put a human on Mars in 2035 — and only if it can secure the necessary funding and carry out a number of important milestone missions beforehand. Tantalizingly, Musk also spoke about SpaceX going public on the stock market — perhaps to raise the necessary funds to fly (and establish a colony?) on Mars.”

(Via SpaceX says it will put humans on Mars by 2026, almost 10 years ahead of NASA | ExtremeTech.)

The mention of SpaceX going public has me drooling. I was broke when Tesla went public, and I view it as too dear to trade now. Maybe I’ll have a little around when SpaceX goes public.

12 Jun

A look at the future of NASA & humans in space

Screen Shot 2014 06 10 at 5 49 04 PM 1024x631

“‘Assuming the ISS [International Space Station] is extended to 2028 and the HSF [human spaceflight] budget is increased up to 5 percent per year (two times the rate of inflation), the earliest a crewed surface mission to Mars is likely to occur will be approximately 2040 to 2050.”

(Via Ariel Waldman » The future of humans in space.)

This, along with many other interesting highlights about the recent and thorough look at the future of NASA manned spaceflight by one of the report’s authors are all at the link above.

Meaty reading, I only had a chance to skim.

15 May

The return of Skylab?

A look at using a part of the unused fuel tank in the SLS system to bring back a Skylab-like space station in deep space:


“NASA launched the Skylab space station 40 years ago Tuesday (May 14), turning the modified third stage of a Saturn V moon rocket into Amerca’s first off-Earth astronaut abode. Now, a team of researchers inspired by this recycling ethos has proposed transforming part of another rocket into ‘Skylab II,’ which could become the nation’s first-ever manned outpost in deep space.”

(Via 40 Years Later, Skylab Space Station Inspires Possible Successor | Space.com.)