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Interplanetary Transport System – Wikipedia

The Interplanetary Transport System (ITS),[1] formerly known as the Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT), is SpaceX’s privately funded development project to design and build a system[2] of spaceflight technology and remote human settlements on Marsincluding reusable launch vehicles and spacecraft; Earth infrastructure for rapid launch and relaunch; low Earth orbit, zero-gravity propellant transfer technology; and extraterrestrial technology to enable human colonization of Mars. The technology is also envisioned to eventually support exploration missions to other locations in the Solar System including the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.[3]

Development work began in earnest before 2012 when SpaceX began design work for the large Raptor rocket engine to be used for both the ITS launch vehicle and spacecraft (ITS tanker and Interplanetary Spaceship). New rocket engine designs are typically considered one of the longest of the development subprocesses for new launch vehicles and spacecraft. By June 2016, the company publicly announced conceptual plans[4] that included the first Mars-bound cargo flight of ITS launching no earlier than 2022, followed by the first ITS Mars flight with passengers one synodic period later in 2024,[5] following two preparatory research launches of Mars probes in 2018 and 2020 on Dragon/Falcon Heavy equipment.[6] SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled details of the system architecture at the 67th International Astronautical Congress on September 27, 2016.[7]

As publicly discussed, SpaceX is concentrating its resources on the transportation part of the project including a propellant plant that could be deployed on Mars to make methalox rocket propellant from local resources. However, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is championing a much larger set of long-term interplanetary settlement objectives, ones that go far beyond what SpaceX will build and that will ultimately involve many more economic actorswhether individual, company, or governmentto facilitate the settlement to build out over many decades.[8][9][10]

As early as 2007, Elon Musk stated a personal goal of eventually enabling human exploration and settlement of Mars,[11][12] although his personal public interest in Mars goes back at least to 2001.[10] Bits of additional information about the mission architecture were released in 20112015, including a 2014 statement that initial colonists would arrive at Mars no earlier than the middle of the 2020s.[13] Company plans as of mid-2016 continue to call for the arrival of the first humans on Mars no earlier than 2025.[5][14]

Musk stated in a 2011 interview that he hoped to send humans to Mars’s surface within 1020 years,[12] and in late 2012 he stated that he envisioned a Mars colony of tens of thousands with the first colonists arriving no earlier than the middle of the 2020s.[13][15][16]

In October 2012, Musk articulated a high-level plan to build a second reusable rocket system with capabilities substantially beyond the Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy launch vehicles on which SpaceX had by then spent several billion US dollars.[17] This new vehicle was to be “an evolution of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster … much bigger [than Falcon 9].” But Musk indicated that SpaceX would not be speaking publicly about it until 2013.[13][18] In June 2013, Musk stated that he intended to hold off any potential IPO of SpaceX shares on the stock market until after the “Mars Colonial Transporter is flying regularly.”[19][20]

In August 2014, media sources speculated that the initial flight test of the Raptor-driven super-heavy launch vehicle could occur as early as 2020, in order to fully test the engines under orbital spaceflight conditions; however, any colonization effort was reported to continue to be “deep into the future”.[21][22]

In January 2015, Musk said that he hoped to release details in late 2015 of the “completely new architecture” for the system that would enable the colonization of Mars. but those plans changed and, by December 2015, the plan to publicly release additional specifics had moved to 2016.[23] In January 2016, Musk indicated that he hoped to describe the architecture for the Mars missions with the next generation SpaceX rocket and spacecraft later in 2016, at the 67th International Astronautical Congress conference,[7] in September 2016.[24][25] Musk stated in June 2016 that the first unmanned MCT Mars flight was planned for departure in 2022, to be followed by the first manned MCT Mars flight departing in 2024.[5][6] By mid-September 2016, Musk noted that the MCT name would not continue, as the system would be able to “go well beyond Mars”, and that a new name would be needed: Interplanetary Transport System (ITS).[1]

On 27 September 2016, at the 67th annual meeting of the International Astronautical Congress, Musk unveiled substantial details of the design for the transport vehiclesincluding size, construction material, number and type of engines, thrust, cargo and passenger payload capabilities, on-orbit propellant-tanker refills, representative transit times, etc.as well as a few details of portions of the Mars-side and Earth-side infrastructure that SpaceX intends to build to support the flight vehicles. In addition, Musk championed a larger systemic vision, a vision for a bottom-up emergent order of other interested partieswhether companies, individuals, or governmentsto utilize the new and radically lower-cost transport infrastructure to build up a sustainable human civilization on Mars, potentially, on numerous other locations around the Solar System, by innovating and meeting the demand that such a growing venture would occasion.[8][9]

The Interplanetary Transport System consists of a combination of several elements that are keyaccording to Muskto making long-duration beyond Earth orbit (BEO) spaceflights possible by reducing the cost per ton delivered to Mars:[26][27][28]

The super-heavy lift launch vehicle[30] for the Interplanetary Transport System will place up to 300 tonnes (660,000lb) (reusable-mode) or 550 tonnes (1,210,000lb) (expendable-mode)or carry 380 tonnes (840,000lb) of propellant on an ITS tankerto low Earth orbit.[29]

The ITS launch vehicle will be powered by the Raptor bipropellant liquid rocket engines on both stages, using exclusively densified liquid methane fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer on both stages.[29][30] The tanks will be autogenously pressurized, eliminating the need for the problematic helium gas pressurization.[29]

The ITS launch vehicle is reusable, making use of the SpaceX reusable technology that was developed during 20112016 for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.[29][2]

On all Earth-away launches, the long-duration spacecraft (tanker or spaceship) will also play a role briefly as the second stage of the launch vehicle to provide acceleration to orbital velocity, a design approach not used in other launch vehicles.

The Interplanetary Spaceship is an interplanetary ship with a carbon-fiber primary structure propelled by nine Raptor engines operating on densified methane/oxygen propellants. It is 49.5m (162ft)-long, has a maximum hull diameter of 12 m, and is 17m (56ft)-diameter at its widest point, and is capable of transporting up to 450 tonnes (990,000lb) of cargo and passengers per trip to Mars, with on-orbit propellant refill before the interplanetary part of the journey.[27][29] Early flights are expected to carry mostly equipment and few people.[13]

As of September 2016, there is no name for the class of spacecraft beyond the descriptor Interplanetary Spaceship. Musk did indicate however that the first of those ships to make the Mars journey might be named Heart of Gold[1] in reference to the ship carrying the Infinite Improbability Drive, from the novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.[31] Although it was noted that the number of first-stage engines seemed to be inspired by The Answer,[32] Musk didn’t allude to such a connection.

The transport capacity of the spaceship from low Earth orbit to a Mars trajectorywith a trans-Mars trajectory insertion energy gain of 6km/s (3.7mi/s) and full propellant tanksis 450 tonnes (500 tons) to Mars orbit, or 300 tonnes (330 tons) landed on the surface with retropropulsive landing. Estimated Earth-Mars transit times vary between 80150 days, depending on particular planetary alignments during the nine discrete 20202037 mission opportunities, assuming 6 km/s delta-v added at trans-Mars injection.[27]

The spaceship is designed to enter the Martian atmosphere at entry velocities in excess of 8.5 km/s and allow aerodynamic forces to provide the major part of the deceleration before the three center Raptor engines perform the final landing burn. The heat shield material protecting the ship on descent is PICA 3.0, and is reusable. Entry g-forces at Mars are expected to be in order of 46 g during the descent.[27] The spaceship design g-load would be in the range of 5 g nominal, but able to withstand peak loads 2 to 3 times higher without breaking up.[33]

Energy for the journey is produced by two large solar panel arrays, generating approximately 200kW of power while at the distance of Earth from the Sun, and less as the journey progresses and the Sun is farther away as the ship nears Mars.[26]:19:38

The spaceship may use a large internal water layer to help shield occupants from space radiation, and may have a cabin oxygen content that is up to two times that which is found in Earth’s atmosphere.[13] The initial tests of the spaceship are not expected prior to 2020, with the ITS booster to follow only later.[14]

According to Musk, the spaceship would effectively become the first human habitat on Mars.[34]

A key feature of the system is a propellant-cargo-only tanker: the ITS tanker. Just as the spaceship, the tanker would serve as the upper stage of the ITS launch vehicle during the launch from Earth. The vehicle is designed exclusively for the launch and short-term holding of propellants to be transported to low Earth orbit for re-filling propellants in the interplanetary ships. Once on orbit, a rendezvous operation is effected with one of the Interplanetary Spaceships, plumbing connections are made, and a maximum of 380 tonnes (840,000lb) of liquid methane and liquid oxygen propellants are transferred in one load to the spaceship. To fully fuel an Interplanetary Spaceship for a long-duration interplanetary flight, it is expected that up to five tankers would be required to launch from Earth, carrying and transferring a total of nearly 1,900 tonnes (4,200,000lb) of propellant to fully load the spaceship for the journey.[27]

The ITS tanker is the same physical dimensions as the Interplanetary Spacecraft: 49.5m (162ft)-long, maximum hull diameter of 12 m, and is 17m (56ft) at its widest point. It will also be powered by six vacuum-optimized Raptor engines, each producing 3.5MN (790,000lbf) thrust, and will have three lower-expansion-ratio Raptor engines for flight maneuvering and Earth-return landings.[35][29] Following completion of the on-orbit propellant offloading, the reusable tanker will reenter the Earth’s atmosphere, land, and be prepared for another tanker flight.[27] The tanker could also be used for cargo missions.[citation needed]

A key part of the system Musk is conceptualizing to radically decrease the cost of spaceflight to interplanetary destinations is the placement and operation of a physical plant on Mars to handle production and storage of the propellant components necessary to launch and fly the Interplanetary Spaceships back to Earth, or perhaps to increase the mass that can be transported onward to destinations in the outer Solar System. Coupled with the Earth-orbit tank filling prior to the journey to Mars, and the fully reusable launch vehicles and spacecraft, all three elements are needed to reduce the transport cost by the multiple orders of magnitude that Musk sees as necessary to support sustainable colonization of Mars.[27]

The first Interplanetary Spaceship to Mars will carry a small propellant plant as a part of its cargo load. The plant will be expanded over multiple synods as more equipment arrives, is installed, and placed into mostly-autonomous production.[27]

The propellant plant will take advantage of the large supplies of carbon dioxide and water resources on Mars, mining the water (H2O) from subsurface ice and collecting CO2 from the atmosphere. A chemical plant will process the raw materials by means of electrolysis and the Sabatier process to produce molecular oxygen (O2) and methane (CH4), and then liquefy it to facilitate long-term storage and ultimate use.[27]

The initial launch site for the launch and rapid reuse of the ITS launch vehicle will be the SpaceX leased facility at historic Launch Pad 39A along the Florida space coast. While originally thought to be too small to handle the ITS launch vehicle, the final optimized size of the Raptor engine is fairly close to the physical size of the Merlin 1D, although each engine will have approximately three times the thrust. Falcon Heavy will launch from 39A with 27 Merlin engines; ITS LV will launch with 42 Raptor engines.[29]

Musk indicated on September 27, 2016 that the ITS launch vehicle would launch from more than one site. A prime candidate for the second launch site is somewhere along the south Texas coast.

As of March 2014[update], no launch site had yet been selected for the super-heavy lift rocket and the then-named “Mars Colonial Transporter.” SpaceX indicated at the time that their leased facility in Florida at Launch Pad 39A would not be large enough to accommodate the vehicle as it was understood conceptually in 2014, and that therefore a new site would need to be built in order to launch the >10-meter diameter rocket.[36]

In September 2014, Elon Musk indicated that the first person to go to another planet could possibly launch from the SpaceX South Texas Launch Site,[37] but did not indicate at the time what launch vehicle might be used to carry humans to orbit.

Musk has indicated that the earliest SpaceX-sponsored missions would have a smaller crew and use much of the pressurized space for cargo. The first cargo mission of the Interplanetary Spaceship would be named “Heart of Gold” and would be loaded with equipment to build the propellant plant.[33]

The first crewed Mars mission would be expected to have approximately 12 people, with the primary goal to “build out and troubleshoot the propellant plant and Mars Base Alpha power system” as well as a “rudimentary base.” In the event of an emergency, the spaceship would be able to return to Earth without having to wait a full 26 months for the next synodic period.[33]

Before any people are transported to Mars, some number of cargo missions would be undertaken first in order to transport the requisite equipment, habitats and supplies.[38] Equipment that would accompany the early groups would include “machines to produce fertilizer, methane and oxygen from Mars’ atmospheric nitrogen and carbon dioxide and the planet’s subsurface water ice” as well as construction materials to build transparent domes for crop growth.[13]

The early concepts for “green living space” habitats include glass panes with a carbon-fiber-frame geodesic domes, and “a lot of miner/tunneling droids [for building] out a huge amount of pressurized space for industrial operations.” But these are merely conceptual and not a detailed design plan.[33]

As of 2016 when publicly discussed, SpaceX the company is concentrating its resources on the transportation part of the overall ITS project as well as an autonomous propellant plant that could be deployed on Mars to produce methane and oxygen rocket propellants from local resources. If built, and if planned objectives are achieved, then the transport cost of getting material and people to space, and across interplanetary space, will be reduced by several orders of magnitude. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is championing a much larger set of long-term interplanetary settlement objectives, ones that take advantage of these lower transport costs to go far beyond what the company SpaceX will build and that will ultimately involve many more economic actorswhether individual, company, or governmentto build out the settlement over many decades.[8][9]

In addition to explicit SpaceX plans and concepts for a transportation system and early missions, Musk has personally been a very public exponent of a large systemic vision for building a sustainable human presence on Mars over the very long term, a vision well beyond what his company or he personally can effect. The growth of such a system over decades cannot be planned in every detail, but is rather a complex adaptive system that will come about only as others make their own independent choices as to how they might, or might not, connect with the broader “system” of an incipient (and later, growing) Mars settlement. Musk sees the new and radically lower-cost transport infrastructure facilitating the build up of a bottom-up economic order of other interested partieswhether companies, individuals, or governmentswho will innovate and supply the demand that such a growing venture would occasion.[8][9]

While the initial SpaceX Mars settlement would start very small, with an initial group of about a dozen people,[33] with time, Musk hopes that such an outpost would grow into something much larger and become self-sustaining, at least 1 million people. According to Musk,

Even at a million people youre assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars. You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth. There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil.

Excluding organic growth, if you could take 100 people at a time, you would need 10,000 trips to get to a million people. But you would also need a lot of cargo to support those people. In fact, your cargo to person ratio is going to be quite high. It would probably be 10 cargo trips for every human trip, so more like 100,000 trips. And were talking 100,000 trips of a giant spaceship.[39]

The notional journeys outlined in the November 2016 talk would require 80 to 150 days of transit time,[40] with an average trip time to Mars of approximately 115 days (for the nine synodic periods occurring between 2020 and 2037).[27] In 2012, Musk stated an aspirational price goal for such a trip might be on the order of US$500,000 per person,[13] but in 2016 he mentioned that long-term costs might become as low as US$200,000.[40]

As of September 2016[update], the complex project has financial commitments only from SpaceX and Musk’s personal capital. The Washington Post pointed out that “The [US] government doesn’t have the budget for Mars colonization. Thus, the private sector would have to see Mars as an attractive business environment. Musk is willing to pour his wealth into the project” but it will not be enough to build the colony he envisions.[41]

The overview presentation on the Interplanetary Transport System given by Musk on 27 September 2016 included concept slides outlining missions to the Saturnian moon Enceladus, the Jovian moon Europa, Kuiper belt objects, a fuel depot on Pluto and even the uses to take payloads to the Oort Cloud.[29] “Musk said … the system can open up the entire Solar System to people. If fuel depots based on this design were put on asteroids or other areas around the Solar System, people could go anywhere they wanted just by planet or moon hopping. ‘The goal of SpaceX is to build the transport system … Once that transport system is built, then there is a tremendous opportunity for anyone that wants to go to Mars to create something new or build a new planet.'”[10] Outer planet trips would likely require propellant refills at Mars, and perhaps other locations in the outer Solar System.[40]

The extensive development and manufacture of much of the space transport technology has been to date (through 2016), and is being, privately funded by SpaceX. The entire project is even possible only as a result of SpaceX multi-faceted approach focusing on the reduction of launch costs.[29]

As of 2016[update], SpaceX is expending “a few tens of millions of dollars annually on development of the Mars transport concept, which amounts to well under 5 percent of the companys total expenses”,[40] but expects that figure to rise to some US$300 million per year by around 2018. The cost of all work leading up to the first Mars launch is expected to be “on the order of US$10 billion”[40] and SpaceX expects to expend that much before it generates any transport revenue.[9]

Musk indicated in September 2016 that the full build-out of the Mars colonialization plans will likely be funded by both private and public funds. The speed of commercially available Mars transport for both cargo and humans will be driven, in large part, by market demand as well as constrained by the technology development and development funding.[9][40]

Elon Musk has said that there is no expectation of receiving NASA contracts for any of the ITS system work. He also indicated that such contracts, if received, would be good.[42]

In September 2016, Musk presented the following high-level, forward-looking, fabrication cost projections, given a set of assumptions. Those assumptions include: Cost of propellant: US$168/tonne; Launch site costs: US$200,000/launch; Discount rate: 5%; Cargo delivered: 450 tonne per single Interplanetary Spaceship; and full reuse. All assumptions are about a single mission once thousands of launches and hundreds of flights to Mars are a realistic prospect. They do not apply to costs for the much smaller number of early missions envisioned for the 2020s. Given these assumptions, Musk presented the following long-term mission cost projections:[31][27]

Calculated result: total average cost (based on the life cycle of the system, included costs of the initial fabrication, propellant, maintenance and company’s amortization) of one Interplanetary Spaceship transported to Mars: US$62 million; or less than US$140,000 cost per tonne of mass transported to Mars.

SpaceX plans to fly its earliest missions to Mars using its Falcon Heavy launch vehicle prior to the completion, and first launch, of any ITS vehicle. Later missions utilizing ITS technologythe ITS launch vehicle and Interplanetary Spaceship with on-orbit propellant refill via ITS tankerwould begin no earlier than 2022. The company is planning for launches of research spacecraft to Mars using Falcon Heavy launch vehicles and specialized modified Dragon spacecraft. Due to planetary alignment in the inner Solar System, the launches are typically limited to a window of approximately every 26 months. Originally (in June 2016), the first launch was planned for Spring 2018, with an announced intent to launch again in every Mars launch window thereafter. In February 2017, however, the first launch to Mars was pushed back to 2020.[43] The early missions will collect essential data to refine the design of the ITS, and better select landing locations based on the availability of extraterrestrial resources such as water and building materials.[6]

The tentative mission manifest from November 2016 (now outdated) included three Falcon Heavy missions to Mars prior to the first possible flight of an ITS to Mars in 2022:[6]

In February 2017, the first launch was postponed to 2020 and it was unclear whether the overall sequence of Mars missions would be kept intact and simply pushed back by 26 months. In July 2017, Musk announced that development of propulsive landing for the Red Dragon capsule was cancelled in favor of a “much better” landing technique, as yet unrevealed, for a larger spacecraft.[45] As of August 2017[update], no new schedule for Mars missions has been forthcoming.

Italics indicate unflown vehicles and future missions or sites. denotes failed missions, destroyed vehicles and abandoned sites.

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Interplanetary Transport System – Wikipedia

Elon Musk signs letter urging UN to protect world from ‘Pandora’s box’ of deadly autonomous weapons – Washington Examiner

Tesla CEO Elon Musk joined more than 100 technology leaders in signing a new letter that urges the United Nations to protect the world from the “dangers” of deadly autonomous weapons.

The letter, released at the opening of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Melbourne, Australia, warns that these weapons “threaten to become the third revolution in warfare.”

“Once developed,” the letter continues, “they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend.”

The letter was signed by more than 116 founders of robotics and artificial intelligence companies from 26 countries, according to the Faculty of Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Toby Walsh, a professor on artificial intelligence at UNSW, unveiled the letter. It is also signed by Mustafa Suleyman, who is co-founder of Google’s DeepMind AI project.

Musk, a billionare whose other business ventures include SpaceX and Mars colonization, has repeatedly warned about the dangers of AI. In July, he told America’s governors that people “should be really concerned” about artificial intelligence, which “is a fundamental risk for human civilization.” Earlier this month he tweeted that AI is more dangerous than North Korea.

In December 2016, 123 nations that are part of the U.N. Convention on Conventional Weapons agreed to set up formal talks on the dangers of autonomous weapons. At the time, 19 countries called for a complete ban, and Human Rights Watch cheered the move towards formal talks as “a major step toward negotiations for a ban” on “killer robots.”

The new letter warns that autonomous weapons could be used by despots and terrorists alike against “innocent populations,” and even weapons held by more responsible powers could be hacked.

“We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close,” the letter says. It beseaches the U.N. “to find a way to protect us all from these dangers.”

IJCAI previously sent a letter in 2015 about dangers of autonomous weapons, signed by thousands of researchers in AI and robotics from around the world, which included the endorsements of Musk, British physicist Stephen Hawking and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

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Elon Musk signs letter urging UN to protect world from ‘Pandora’s box’ of deadly autonomous weapons – Washington Examiner

Ancient Aliens: Did Truman create the Majestic 12 to conceal UFOs? – Hidden Remote

Photo Credit: Ancient Aliens/History Channel Image Acquired from A&E Networks Press

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Photo Credit: Ancient Aliens/History Channel Image Acquired from A&E Networks Press

In 1984, a roll of 35mm film was sent from an anonymous source in Albuquerque, NM to the doorstep of filmmaker Jaime Shandera in Burbank, CA. The film contained still pictures of eight top secret pages known as the Eisenhower Briefing Document. The documents are a briefing from the head of the CIA to Eisenhower from 1952, and they inform him of not only the MJ12 organization, but also groups composition and purpose. That purpose is UFOs and communication with aliens.

In April 2017, Giorgio Tsoukolos met with investigator Linda Moulton Howe, one of the first people to see Top Secret documents in 1994. Those documents are from April 1954 and have official Majestic 12 Group markings, as well as a war office stamp.

Regardless of opinions on the matter, many believe the Roswell Incident is incontrovertible proof of Americas involvement and interaction with aliens. In fact, the local newspaper reported that a flying saucer was captured at Roswell Army Air Field in the following days paper. Government officials may have clarified with the whole weather balloon comment the following day, but a close examination of all the available data makes that fairly difficult to believe.

Could the Roswell Incident and the formation of MJ12 be mutually revealing? If not, its awfully coincidental. Furthermore, other Top Secret organizations were formed around the same time:

According to Dwight D. Eisenhowers great-granddaughter, the organization was real, and her famous relative had no choice but to continue what Truman had started. In fact, she says Eisenhower physically met with aliens.

Any secret with more than one person involved risks not being a secret. So its interesting to consider MJ12 as a hoax considering its relative anonymity.

In the first place, MJ12 itself may have actively attempted to throw investigators off the scent. Famous astrophysicist Donald Menzel may have been the perfect person to dissuade potential believers. Menzel was a UFO contrarian and skeptic. In fact, he wrote multiple books on the matter. According to Robert Wood, PhD, Menzels books were nothing more than counter-intelligence. Indeed, while some of the information in MJ12 documents has been disproven, there is certainly more than a grain of truth when it comes to Menzels inclusion in the group.

Americas first Secretary of Defense was James Forrestal, who was also the first man to lead MJ12. Appointed by Truman to be in charge of the secret MJ12 investigations, Forrestal may have uncovered German secrets that needed to be kept secret. The official stance is that he suffered from depression, and committed suicide from the 16th floor of a hospital.

His suicide is highly questionable. Some have mentioned scratch marks were allegedly on the window, and his own brother unequivocally refutes the possibility of suicide. Among his brothers concerns are the plans James had following hospital discharge, the bill of health given by all top level people (including Truman), and the fact he committed suicide a few hours before was to be discharged.

Perhaps James Forrestal was planning on spilling the beans on Americas involvement with UFOs?

JFKs death has been discussed, researched, reported and debated ad nauseam. Those details wont be discussed. Howe provides one extra piece of information. She breaks down one Top Secret document often referred to as the Scorched Memo, recovered from a fire. That document is allegedly from CIA chief Allen Dulles referencing JFK. For example, it says LANCER the Secret Service name for JFK at the time was getting a little too curious for their liking.

The fact that a later portion mentions that it should be wet, makes the document potential authorization to kill JFK if he doesnt cease his inquiries.

Furthermore, author Douglas Caddy was interviewed on the episode about his last interaction with CIA operative E. Howard Hunt. Caddy says he had personal communication with Hunt in 1975, and explicitly asked about a JFK assassination. According to Caddy, the reply was that JFK was indeed assassinated. Apparently JFK was about to give Americas most vital secret to the Soviets.

Much of this Ancient Aliens episode revolves around a second roll of film unveiled in March 1994. According to Howe, its the most compelling document to confirm the MJ12 cover-up.

Howe states the documents titled Extraterrestrial Entities and Technology, Recovery and Disposal have been authenticated multiple ways, one of which includes the typeset. In fact, typeset nuances were traced back to a monotype in a government printing lab, and confirmed by a longstanding employee there.

Other details contained within the second roll of film are four different sketches of UFOs (e.g. Triangle, Long tube, Ice cream cone), a note about mutually agreed upon, alien initiated, obscure location meetups, and an investigation into Interplanetary Phenomena Unit (IPU) in July 1947. The IPU investigation was ordered by President Eisenhower, and conducted at the White Sands Proving Ground by General Nathan Farragut Twining. According to Eisenhower, Twinings report was for the purpose of making an appraisal of the reported unidentified objects being kept there. Additionally, the final report included talks of a possible atomic engine inside a UFO confirmed by Dr. Robert Oppenheimer.

The rest of the Ancient Aliens episode rambles a bit, as most episodes do. If there were a format for 45 minute shows, Ancient Aliens would be a perfect candidate. Speaking of perfect candidates, there is a guy named Corey Goode who alleges to be part of a secret military space program (i.e. Solar Warden) and Mars colonization effort that involves three dozen nations.

Furthermore, a hacker named Gary McKinnon may have found more proof of a link between MJ12 and current space operations. He hacked into NASA and Pentagon servers to uncover files he claims provide undeniable proof of MJ12 and their legacy. In one such document, he found a list of people and ships that were named after original MJ12 personnel. For what its worth, Corey Goode confirms his experiences with Solar Warden.

Both believe the truth is being hidden from the general population, but everything will soon be disclosed.

This episode of Ancient Aliens is a bit different. It deals more with cover-ups than actual aliens. Nonetheless

The total count for the ancient astronaut theorists suggest/say/theorize phrase variation: 3.

Ancient Aliens airs Friday nights on the History channel.

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Ancient Aliens: Did Truman create the Majestic 12 to conceal UFOs? – Hidden Remote

Colonization of Mars – Wikipedia

Mars is the focus of much scientific study about possible human colonization. Its surface conditions and the presence of water on Mars make it arguably the most hospitable of the planets in the Solar System, other than Earth. Mars requires less energy per unit mass (delta-v) to reach from Earth than any planet except Venus.

Permanent human habitation on a planetary body other than the Earth is one of science fiction’s most prevalent themes. As technology has advanced, and concerns about the future of humanity on Earth have increased, the argument that space colonization is an achievable and worthwhile goal has gained momentum.[1][2] Other reasons for colonizing space include economic interests, long-term scientific research best carried out by humans as opposed to robotic probes, and sheer curiosity.

One of Elon Musk’s stated goals through his company SpaceX is to make such colonization possible by providing transport, and to “help humanity establish a permanent, self-sustaining colony on [Mars] within the next 50 to 100 years”.[3]

All of the early human mission concepts to Mars as conceived by national governmental space programssuch as those being tentatively planned by NASA, FKA and ESAwould not be direct precursors to colonization. They are intended solely as exploration missions, as the Apollo missions to the Moon were not planned to be sites of a permanent base.

Colonization requires the establishment of permanent bases that have potential for self-expansion. A famous proposal for building such bases is the Mars Direct and the Semi-Direct plans, advocated by Robert Zubrin.[4]

Other proposals that envision the creation of a settlement have come from Jim McLane and Bas Lansdorp (the man behind Mars One, which envisions no planned return flight for the humans embarking on the journey),[5] as well as from Elon Musk whose SpaceX company, as of 2015[update], is funding development work on a space transportation system called the Interplanetary Transport System.[6][7]

2025- As of June 2016, owner Elon Musk is planning for a permanent manned Mars landing in 2025.[8] Concept video published September 2016[9]

2032- As of May 2017, the Mars One website is planning a permanent manned Mars landing in 2032.[10] Concept video published June 2012. [11] A subsequent concept video was released on September 2015.[12]

2030’s- As of May 2017 (dated December 2014), NASA is planning for a round trip manned landing on Mars in the 2030’s.[13]

2030- As of April 2014, Russia is planning for a round trip manned landing on Mars by the year 2030.[14]

Earth is similar to Venus in bulk composition, size and surface gravity, but Mars’s similarities to Earth are more compelling when considering colonization. These include:

Conditions on the surface of Mars are closer to the conditions on Earth in terms of temperature and sunlight than on any other planet or moon, except for the cloud tops of Venus.[34] However, the surface is not hospitable to humans or most known life forms due to greatly reduced air pressure, and an atmosphere with only 0.1%oxygen.

In 2012, it was reported that some lichen and cyanobacteria survived and showed remarkable adaptation capacity for photosynthesis after 34 days in simulated Martian conditions in the Mars Simulation Laboratory (MSL) maintained by the German Aerospace Center (DLR).[35][36][37] Some scientists think that cyanobacteria could play a role in the development of self-sustainable manned outposts on Mars.[38] They propose that cyanobacteria could be used directly for various applications, including the production of food, fuel and oxygen, but also indirectly: products from their culture could support the growth of other organisms, opening the way to a wide range of life-support biological processes based on Martian resources.[38]

Humans have explored parts of Earth that match some conditions on Mars. Based on NASA rover data, temperatures on Mars (at low latitudes) are similar to those in Antarctica.[39] The atmospheric pressure at the highest altitudes reached by manned balloon ascents (35km (114,000 feet) in 1961,[40] 38km in 2012) is similar to that on the surface of Mars.[41]

Human survival on Mars would require complex life-support measures and living in artificial environments.

Mars presents a hostile environment for human habitation. Different technologies have been developed to assist long-term space exploration and may be adapted for habitation on Mars. The existing record for the longest consecutive space flight is 438 days by cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov,[42] and the most accrued time in space is 878 days by Gennady Padalka.[43] The longest time spent outside the protection of the Earth’s Van Allen radiation belt is about 12 days for the Apollo 17 moon landing. This is minor in comparison to the 1100 day journey[44] planned by NASA as soon as the year 2028. Scientists have also hypothesized that many different biological functions can be negatively affected by the environment of Mars colonies. Due to higher levels of radiation, there are a multitude of physical side-effects that must be mitigated.[45]

The difference in gravity will negatively affect human health by weakening bones and muscles. There is also risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular problems. Current rotations on the International Space Station put astronauts in zero gravity for six months, a comparable length of time to a one-way trip to Mars. This gives researchers the ability to better understand the physical state that astronauts going to Mars will arrive in. Once on Mars, surface gravity is only 38% of that on Earth.[46] Upon return to Earth, recovery from bone loss and atrophy is a long process and the effects of microgravity may never fully reverse. There are also severe radiation risks on Mars that can influence cognitive processes, deteriorate cardiovascular health, inhibit reproduction, and cause cancer. Additionally, in-utero development is very fragile and severely effected by radiation. Data from irradiated survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki provide insight into the “radiosensitivity in humans as a function of gestational age and dose for several CNS endpoints, including severe mental retardation, head circumference, intelligence test scores, and school performance”.[47] Close monitoring of the radiation received by reproductive colonists will be necessary to ensure the health of offspring. Additionally, a large focus of colonization development is on reducing the amount of radiation absorbed by astronauts. But early colonizing may be faced with these challenges and the harm could be seen for generations, as stated in academic articles: “the pioneers making the first journeys to Mars and its vicinity to explore and set up a base that eventually will lead to a continuously occupied colony, will face more hazards than those that follow”.[47]

A study from the Journal of Cosmology by Dr. Nick Kanas states that Unprecedented factors will affect such a mission. A Mars crew will be tens of millions of miles away from home, engaged in a mission that will last around 2 12years. Crew members [sic] will experience a severe sense of isolation and separation from the Earth, which will appear as a receding bluish-green dot in the heavens. From the surface of Mars, there will be 2-way communication delays with the Earth of up to 44 minutes, depending on where the two planets are located in their respective orbits, and the crew will be relatively autonomous from mission control. Due to the communication delays, new protocols need to be developed in order to assess crew members’ psychological health. Researchers have developed a Martian simulation called HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) that places scientists in a simulated Martian laboratory to study the psychological effects of isolation, repetitive tasks, and living in close-quarters with other scientists for up to a year at a time. Computer programs are being developed to assist crews with personal and interpersonal issues in absence of direct communication with professionals on earth.[48] Current suggestions for Mars exploration and colonization are to select individuals who have passed psychological screenings. Psychosocial sessions for the return home are also suggested in order to reorient people to society.

There is much discussion regarding the possibility of terraforming Mars to allow a wide variety of life forms, including humans, to survive unaided on Mars’s surface, including the technologies needed to do so.[49]

Mars has no global magnetosphere as Earth does. Combined with a thin atmosphere, this permits a significant amount of ionizing radiation to reach the Martian surface. The Mars Odyssey spacecraft carries an instrument, the Mars Radiation Environment Experiment (MARIE), to measure the radiation. MARIE found that radiation levels in orbit above Mars are 2.5 times higher than at the International Space Station. The average daily dose was about 220Gy (22mrad) equivalent to 0.08Gy per year.[50] A three-year exposure to such levels would be close to the safety limits currently adopted by NASA.[citation needed] Levels at the Martian surface would be somewhat lower and might vary significantly at different locations depending on altitude and local magnetic fields. Building living quarters underground (possibly in Martian lava tubes which are already present) would significantly lower the colonists’ exposure to radiation. Occasional solar proton events (SPEs) produce much higher doses.

Much remains to be learned about space radiation. In 2003, NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center opened a facility, the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory, at Brookhaven National Laboratory, that employs particle accelerators to simulate space radiation. The facility studies its effects on living organisms, as well as experimenting with shielding techniques.[54] Initially, there was some evidence that this kind of low level, chronic radiation is not quite as dangerous as once thought; and that radiation hormesis occurs.[55] However, results from a 2006 study indicated that protons from cosmic radiation may cause twice as much serious damage to DNA as previously estimated, exposing astronauts to greater risk of cancer and other diseases.[56] As a result of the higher radiation in the Martian environment, the summary report of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee released in 2009 reported that “Mars is not an easy place to visit with existing technology and without a substantial investment of resources.”[56] NASA is exploring a variety of alternative techniques and technologies such as deflector shields of plasma to protect astronauts and spacecraft from radiation.[56]

Mars requires less energy per unit mass (delta V) to reach from Earth than any planet except Venus. Using a Hohmann transfer orbit, a trip to Mars requires approximately nine months in space.[57] Modified transfer trajectories that cut the travel time down to four to seven months in space are possible with incrementally higher amounts of energy and fuel compared to a Hohmann transfer orbit, and are in standard use for robotic Mars missions. Shortening the travel time below about six months requires higher delta-v and an exponentially[clarification needed][an exponential function of what?] increasing amount of fuel, and is difficult with chemical rockets. It could be feasible with advanced spacecraft propulsion technologies, some of which have already been tested to varying levels, such as Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket,[58] and nuclear rockets. In the former case, a trip time of forty days could be attainable,[59] and in the latter, a trip time down to about two weeks.[4] In 2016, a University of California scientist said they could further reduce travel time for an unmanned probe to Mars down to “as little as 72 hours” with the use of a “photonic propulsion” system instead of the fuel-based rocket propulsion system.[60]

During the journey the astronauts would be subject to radiation, which would require a means to protect them. Cosmic radiation and solar wind cause DNA damage, which increases the risk of cancer significantly. The effect of long-term travel in interplanetary space is unknown, but scientists estimate an added risk of between 1% and 19% (one estimate is 3.4%) for men to die of cancer because of the radiation during the journey to Mars and back to Earth. For women the probability is higher due to their larger glandular tissues.[61]

Mars has a surface gravity 0.38 times that of Earth, and the density of its atmosphere is about 0.6% of that on Earth.[62] The relatively strong gravity and the presence of aerodynamic effects make it difficult to land heavy, crewed spacecraft with thrusters only, as was done with the Apollo Moon landings, yet the atmosphere is too thin for aerodynamic effects to be of much help in aerobraking and landing a large vehicle. Landing piloted missions on Mars would require braking and landing systems different from anything used to land crewed spacecraft on the Moon or robotic missions on Mars.[63]

If one assumes carbon nanotube construction material will be available with a strength of 130 GPa then a space elevator could be built to land people and material on Mars.[64] A space elevator on Phobos has also been proposed.[65]

Colonization of Mars will require a wide variety of equipmentboth equipment to directly provide services to humans and production equipment used to produce food, propellant, water, energy and breathable oxygenin order to support human colonization efforts. Required equipment will include:[4]

According to Elon Musk, “even at a million people [working on Mars] you’re assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars… You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth”.[68]

Communications with Earth are relatively straightforward during the half-sol when Earth is above the Martian horizon. NASA and ESA included communications relay equipment in several of the Mars orbiters, so Mars already has communications satellites. While these will eventually wear out, additional orbiters with communication relay capability are likely to be launched before any colonization expeditions are mounted.

The one-way communication delay due to the speed of light ranges from about 3 minutes at closest approach (approximated by perihelion of Mars minus aphelion of Earth) to 22minutes at the largest possible superior conjunction (approximated by aphelion of Mars plus aphelion of Earth). Real-time communication, such as telephone conversations or Internet Relay Chat, between Earth and Mars would be highly impractical due to the long time lags involved. NASA has found that direct communication can be blocked for about two weeks every synodic period, around the time of superior conjunction when the Sun is directly between Mars and Earth,[69] although the actual duration of the communications blackout varies from mission to mission depending on various factorssuch as the amount of link margin designed into the communications system, and the minimum data rate that is acceptable from a mission standpoint. In reality most missions at Mars have had communications blackout periods of the order of a month.[70]

A satellite at the L4 or L5 EarthSun Lagrangian point could serve as a relay during this period to solve the problem; even a constellation of communications satellites would be a minor expense in the context of a full colonization program. However, the size and power of the equipment needed for these distances make the L4 and L5 locations unrealistic for relay stations, and the inherent stability of these regions, although beneficial in terms of station-keeping, also attracts dust and asteroids, which could pose a risk.[71] Despite that concern, the STEREO probes passed through the L4 and L5 regions without damage in late 2009.

Recent work by the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, in collaboration with the European Space Agency, has suggested an alternative relay architecture based on highly non-Keplerian orbits. These are a special kind of orbit produced when continuous low-thrust propulsion, such as that produced from an ion engine or solar sail, modifies the natural trajectory of a spacecraft. Such an orbit would enable continuous communications during solar conjunction by allowing a relay spacecraft to “hover” above Mars, out of the orbital plane of the two planets.[72] Such a relay avoids the problems of satellites stationed at either L4 or L5 by being significantly closer to the surface of Mars while still maintaining continuous communication between the two planets.

The path to a human colony could be prepared by robotic systems such as the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. These systems could help locate resources, such as ground water or ice, that would help a colony grow and thrive. The lifetimes of these systems would be measured in years and even decades, and as recent developments in commercial spaceflight have shown, it may be that these systems will involve private as well as government ownership. These robotic systems also have a reduced cost compared with early crewed operations, and have less political risk.

Wired systems might lay the groundwork for early crewed landings and bases, by producing various consumables including fuel, oxidizers, water, and construction materials. Establishing power, communications, shelter, heating, and manufacturing basics can begin with robotic systems, if only as a prelude to crewed operations.

Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander MIP (Mars ISPP Precursor) was to demonstrate manufacture of oxygen from the atmosphere of Mars,[73] and test solar cell technologies and methods of mitigating the effect of Martian dust on the power systems.[74][needs update]

Before any people are transported to Mars on the notional 2030s Interplanetary Transport System envisioned by SpaceX, a number of robotic cargo missions would be undertaken first in order to transport the requisite equipment, habitats and supplies.[75] Equipment that would be necessary would include “machines to produce fertilizer, methane and oxygen from Mars’ atmospheric nitrogen and carbon dioxide and the planet’s subsurface water ice” as well as construction materials to build transparent domes for initial agricultural areas.[76]

As with early colonies in the New World, economics would be a crucial aspect to a colony’s success. The reduced gravity well of Mars and its position in the Solar System may facilitate MarsEarth trade and may provide an economic rationale for continued settlement of the planet. Given its size and resources, this might eventually be a place to grow food and produce equipment to mine the asteroid belt.

A major economic problem is the enormous up-front investment required to establish the colony and perhaps also terraform the planet.

Some early Mars colonies might specialize in developing local resources for Martian consumption, such as water and/or ice. Local resources can also be used in infrastructure construction.[77] One source of Martian ore currently known to be available is metallic iron in the form of nickeliron meteorites. Iron in this form is more easily extracted than from the iron oxides that cover the planet.

Another main inter-Martian trade good during early colonization could be manure.[78] Assuming that life doesn’t exist on Mars, the soil is going to be very poor for growing plants, so manure and other fertilizers will be valued highly in any Martian civilization until the planet changes enough chemically to support growing vegetation on its own.

Solar power is a candidate for power for a Martian colony. Solar insolation (the amount of solar radiation that reaches Mars) is about 42% of that on Earth, since Mars is about 52% farther from the Sun and insolation falls off as the square of distance. But the thin atmosphere would allow almost all of that energy to reach the surface as compared to Earth, where the atmosphere absorbs roughly a quarter of the solar radiation. Sunlight on the surface of Mars would be much like a moderately cloudy day on Earth.[79]

Space colonization on Mars can roughly be said to be possible when the necessary methods of space colonization become cheap enough (such as space access by cheaper launch systems) to meet the cumulative funds that have been gathered for the purpose.

Although there are no immediate prospects for the large amounts of money required for any space colonization to be available given traditional launch costs,[80][full citation needed] there is some prospect of a radical reduction to launch costs in the 2010s, which would consequently lessen the cost of any efforts in that direction. With a published price of US$62 million per launch of up to 22,800kg (50,300lb) payload to low Earth orbit or 4,020kg (8,860lb) to mars,[81]SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets are already the “cheapest in the industry”.[82] SpaceX’s reusable plans include Falcon Heavy and future methane-based launch vehicles including the Interplanetary Transport System. If SpaceX is successful in developing the reusable technology, it would be expected to “have a major impact on the cost of access to space”, and change the increasingly competitive market in space launch services.[83]

Alternative funding approaches might include the creation of inducement prizes. For example, the 2004 President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy suggested that an inducement prize contest should be established, perhaps by government, for the achievement of space colonization. One example provided was offering a prize to the first organization to place humans on the Moon and sustain them for a fixed period before they return to Earth.[84]

Mars Odyssey found what appear to be natural caves near the volcano Arsia Mons. It has been speculated that settlers could benefit from the shelter that these or similar structures could provide from radiation and micrometeoroids. Geothermal energy is also suspected in the equatorial regions.[85]

Several possible Martian lava tube skylights have been located on the flanks of Arsia Mons. Earth based examples indicate that some should have lengthy passages offering complete protection from radiation and be relatively easy to seal using on-site materials, especially in small subsections.[86]

Robotic spacecraft to Mars are required to be sterilized, to have at most 300,000 spores on the exterior of the craftand more thoroughly sterilized if they contact “special regions” containing water,[87][88] otherwise there is a risk of contaminating not only the life-detection experiments but possibly the planet itself.

It is impossible to sterilize human missions to this level, as humans are host to typically a hundred trillion microorganisms of thousands of species of the human microbiome, and these cannot be removed while preserving the life of the human. Containment seems the only option, but it is a major challenge in the event of a hard landing (i.e. crash).[89] There have been several planetary workshops on this issue, but with no final guidelines for a way forward yet.[90] Human explorers would also be vulnerable to back contamination to Earth if they become carriers of microorganisms.[91]

One possible ethical challenge that space travelers might face is that of pregnancy during the trip. According to NASAs policies, it is forbidden for members of the crew to engage in sex in space. NASA wants its crewmembers to treat each other like coworkers would in a professional environment. A pregnant member on a spacecraft is dangerous to all those aboard. The pregnant woman and child would most likely need additional nutrition from the rations aboard, as well as special treatment and care. At some point during the trip, the pregnancy would most likely impede on the pregnant crew member’s duties and abilities. It is still not fully known how the environment in a spacecraft would affect the development of a child aboard. It is known however that an unborn child in space would be more susceptible to solar radiation, which would likely have a negative effect on its cells and genetics.[92] During a long trip to Mars it is likely that members of craft may engage in sex due to their stressful and isolated environment.[93]

It is unforeseen how the first human landing on Mars will change the current policies regarding the exploration of space and occupancy of celestial bodies. In the 1967, United Nations Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, it was determined that no country may take claim to space or its inhabitants. Since the planet Mars offers a challenging environment and dangerous obstacles for humans to overcome, the laws and culture on the planet will most likely be very different from those on Earth.[94] With Elon Musk announcing his plans for travel to Mars, it is uncertain how to the dynamic of a private company possibly being the first to put a human on Mars will play out on a national and global scale.[95][96] With NASA having recently taken a cut in funding, it is no longer certain that they will be a leading force in the journey to Mars.[97] It is likely that the values and culture on Mars will be determined by the group that establishes human contact with the planet first.

Mars colonization is advocated by several non-governmental groups for a range of reasons and with varied proposals. One of the oldest groups is the Mars Society who promote a NASA program to accomplish human exploration of Mars and have set up Mars analog research stations in Canada and the United States. Mars to Stay advocates recycling emergency return vehicles into permanent settlements as soon as initial explorers determine permanent habitation is possible. Mars One, which went public in June2012, aims to establish a fully operational permanent human colony on Mars by 2027 with funding coming from a reality TV show and other commercial exploitation, although this approach has been widely criticized as unrealistic and infeasible.[98][99][100]

Elon Musk founded SpaceX with the long-term goal of developing the technologies that will enable a self-sustaining human colony on Mars.[95][101] In 2015 he stated “I think we’ve got a decent shot of sending a person to Mars in 11 or 12years”.[102]Richard Branson, in his lifetime, is “determined to be a part of starting a population on Mars. I think it is absolutely realistic. It will happen… I think over the next 20 years, we will take literally hundreds of thousands of people to space and that will give us the financial resources to do even bigger things”.[103]

In June 2013, Buzz Aldrin, American engineer and former astronaut, and the second person to walk on the Moon, wrote an opinion, published in The New York Times, supporting a manned mission to Mars and viewing the Moon “not as a destination but more a point of departure, one that places humankind on a trajectory to homestead Mars and become a two-planet species.”[104] In August 2015, Aldrin, in association with the Florida Institute of Technology, presented a “master plan”, for NASA consideration, for astronauts, with a “tour of duty of ten years”, to colonize Mars before the year 2040.[105]

A few instances in fiction provide detailed descriptions of Mars colonization. They include:

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Colonization of Mars – Wikipedia

Elon Musk signs letter urging UN to protect world from ‘Pandora’s box’ of deadly autonomous weapons – Washington Examiner

Tesla CEO Elon Musk joined more than 100 technology leaders in signing a new letter that urges the United Nations to protect the world from the “dangers” of deadly autonomous weapons.

The letter, released at the opening of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Melbourne, Australia, warns that these weapons “threaten to become the third revolution in warfare.”

“Once developed,” the letter continues, “they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend.”

The letter was signed by more than 116 founders of robotics and artificial intelligence companies from 26 countries, according to the Faculty of Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Toby Walsh, a professor on artificial intelligence at UNSW, unveiled the letter. It is also signed by Mustafa Suleyman, who is co-founder of Google’s DeepMind AI project.

Musk, a billionare whose other business ventures include SpaceX and Mars colonization, has repeatedly warned about the dangers of AI. In July, he told America’s governors that people “should be really concerned” about artificial intelligence, which “is a fundamental risk for human civilization.” Earlier this month he tweeted that AI is more dangerous than North Korea.

In December 2016, 123 nations that are part of the U.N. Convention on Conventional Weapons agreed to set up formal talks on the dangers of autonomous weapons. At the time, 19 countries called for a complete ban, and Human Rights Watch cheered the move towards formal talks as “a major step toward negotiations for a ban” on “killer robots.”

The new letter warns that autonomous weapons could be used by despots and terrorists alike against “innocent populations,” and even weapons held by more responsible powers could be hacked.

“We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close,” the letter says. It beseaches the U.N. “to find a way to protect us all from these dangers.”

IJCAI previously sent a letter in 2015 about dangers of autonomous weapons, signed by thousands of researchers in AI and robotics from around the world, which included the endorsements of Musk, British physicist Stephen Hawking and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Read more here:

Elon Musk signs letter urging UN to protect world from ‘Pandora’s box’ of deadly autonomous weapons – Washington Examiner

Elon Musk’s Space X And Richard Branson’s Virgin Will Use The … – The Inquisitr

Elon Musk and Richard Branson are reaching for the stars, but they will start with the Moon. It seems that the Moon is being equipped with cell phone towers already, in preparation for its first lunar clients. Moon orbit tourism has its first flight tentatively scheduled for late 2018.

Richard Branson is focused on the Moon, while Elon Musk has his eyes on Mars. NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay explains on Science Alert why the Moon is just the first stop on mankinds adventure in space colonization.

My interest is not the Moon. To me, the Moon is as dull as a ball of concrete, but were not going to have a research base on Mars until we can learn how to do it on the Moon first. The Moon provides a blueprint to Mars.

Introducing Elon Musk and Richard Branson to what was formerly NASAs territory has helped lower the projected cost of a Moon colony, space travel, and Mars colonization substantially. The first Moon landing cost NASA $150 billion dollars in todays money when adjusted for inflation.

Now NASA, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and others are looking at a price tag of only $10 billion to put humans into a small lunar outpost on the surface of the Moon. Chris McKay explains to Popular Science that seemingly unrelated technological advances account for most of the savings.

The big takeaway is that new technologies, some of which have nothing to do with spacelike self-driving cars and waste-recycling toiletsare going to be incredibly useful in space, and are driving down the cost of a Moon base to the point where it might be easy to do.

Elon Musk is paving the way to the Moon. Elon Musks Tesla Corporation pioneered self-driving cars. Further, Elon Musks lithium ion batteries, which are already making solar energy a viable alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear energy on earth, will make life possible on the Moon.

Lunar nights can last at least four days, even at the poles where nights are shortest. Elon Musks new batteries could make a huge difference in storing solar energy on the Moon.

Both Elon Musks Space X and Richard Bransons Virgin Galactic have plans to provide commercial space travel within a decade. They both want to build colonies in outer space, but they are not alone. Many companies and various nations of the world are cooperating to move human beings off the earth and into space.

Billionaires like Elon Musk and Richard Branson are heavily invested in space travel, and other corporations are eager to become involved. A German company called Part Time Scientists is currently planning to establish cell service on the Moon in 2018.

Part Time Scientists has a contract with Elon Musks Space X to establish LTE base stations on the Moon, according to Space. Communications both with earth and locally will be set up long before colonists arrive.

Elon Musks plan is to use cell phone technology at first with unmanned vehicles exploring the Moons surface. Later those systems will work for humans to communicate from the Moon. LTE technology uses far less energy than radio transmissions, according to Science Alert.

Richard Bransons Virgin and Elon Musks Space X and many other corporations are teaming with NASA to begin a gradual path to Moon colonization. At first, manned visits to the Moon will be relatively short in duration.

The life support technology used in the Space Station will be incorporated to house Moon visitors. Later though, the Moons inhabitants will increase the length of their visits and hopefully develop new technology for long term survival there.

Elon Musk and Richard Branson through Space X and Virgin will soon be offering space travel to paying passengers, first to the Moon and eventually to Mars. Eventually, passengers will be purchasing one-way flights to Mars for the purpose of colonization. Estimates for the time table vary, but Elon Musk is optimistic that he will see the Mars Colony in his lifetime.

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NASA, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson are committed to the colonization of the Moon, Mars, and perhaps other planets in the foreseeable future.

[Featured Image by Vadim Sadovski/NASA/Shutterstock]

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Elon Musk’s Space X And Richard Branson’s Virgin Will Use The … – The Inquisitr

Kickstarter Alert: Get to Mars With ‘Total Recall: The Official Tabletop Game’ – GeekDad (blog)

Whats the Schwarzenegger line from that action movie? Get to the choppa! No, wait. Hasta la vista, babee. No, wrong again. Oh yeah! Get your [self] to Mars! Thats it! Its now been 27 years (yikes!) since Total Recall thrilled audiences with hints of virtual realities and Mars colonization and rebellion. Now, you can play a part in a dream of Mars with Total Recall: The Official Tabletop Game, launching on Kickstarter today.

A game of bluffing and deduction for 4-8 players for players ages 12 and up. Total Recall is from Brian Henk and Clayton Skancke, who have also paired up to bring you New Salem, Good Cop, Bad Cop, and Leaders of Euphoria: Choose a Better Oppressor. Total Recall plays in 20-40 minutes and pits rebels against feds against Rekall scientists.

I played with a pre-launch print & play version of the game. Im told that, while the art is pretty close, it will change a bit so that the rebels and feds are easier to tall apart. Additionally, I had some spiffy player mats, which might not be part of the standard game. Additionally, there will likely be some upgrades that backers can pony up for: plastic minis instead of the cardboard gun standees, metal bars for Turbinium instead of the plastic gems, and more. Finally, like all pre-launch projects, components and art are subject to change!

That said, heres what youll find inside the box:

The artwork is original. That is, it doesnt feature the likenesses of any of the actors in either the Arnold Schwarzenegger or Colin Farrell versions. Im not going to try to understand the licensing that goes on with something like this, but Im sure its complicated and expensive, so I understand the reasons for original art.

While the standees and plastic gems do the job just fine, Ive seen renders of what the plastic minis and metal bars might look like and they are impressive and fun. In line with that, theres certainly no need for the play mats; the game will play the same without them, but adding them to the table definitely helps with the theme and are worth considering.

Each player gets a gun, a piece of Turbinium, and a Plot card. Character cards are sorted, depending on the number of players in the game, to create a deck. For instance, if playing with 5 players, remove the cards marked 6+, 7+, and 8+. The cards for Cohaagen and Kuato are removed, along enough cards from the deck to equal the total number of players. These are shuffled and dealt out, guaranteeing that no single player might be dealt both leaders. Next, the remaining deck is dealt until all players have exactly three face-down Character cards.

Players review their cards and determine if they are on the Fed team or the Rebel team, whether by simple majority of cards or possession of either leader. Next, players place the cards face-down in front of them. Players may look at their own cards at any time, but not move their positions after they have been placed. Bluffing then begins, trying to convince, persuade, or dissuade others of your true or false alliance. Rebels try to root out the Feds and kill their leader, Feds try to get the Rebels in the same way.

On a players turnplayers have four options for actionsthey may take one of the following:

If youre shot, you must reveal any face-down Character cards and return your gun to your side. If you have a leader, apply a Wounded token on that card. If the leader was already wounded, the game ends immediately. If you dont have a leader, you have woken from your dream about Mars and are now part of the Rekall team. Set all of your Character cards aside. Turn your reference card/player mat to the Rekall side. You get to keep the Turbinium you had, but you must give your Plot cards to the character who shot you. You have a new objective: to take all the Turbinium from the Fed and Rebel players.

Rekall Scientists, on their turns, may:

Play continues until one of four endgame conditions presents itself. If Kuato or Cohaagen receive two wounds, the game ends and the opposite team wins. If all the Turbinium is either in the Supply or in the hands of the Rekall Scientists, Rekall players win. Finally, if a player possesses both Cohaagen and Kuato at the same time, that player wins.

Total Recall was a movie that really captured a lot of imaginations back in the early 90s. It was great for geeks toohere was the worlds biggest action star in a sci-fi movie. What a great time! Total Recall: The Official Tabletop Game goes a long way toward capturing those feelings (without putting an oversized probe up your nose). The theme of unsuspected rebels walking among the devious feds is perfect for designers Henk & Skanckes brand of bluffing and deduction.

We liked Total Recall a lot; its wonderful. The tension at the table is often thick enough that you couldnt cut it with a Sharon Stone scissor kick. As long as cards are hidden, players are overly cautious and deceitful in revealing any information about their affiliations. However, with just three hidden characters, allegiances are soon revealed. One might think this would lead to a quick end game, however, plot cards and the role of the Rekall Scientists can lead to chaos; joyous, exciting, and wonderful chaos.

By swapping out cards of the dreamers (Rebels and Feds), Rekall Scientists can cause players to switch sides multiple times in a round and tip the balance of the majority. It is insane. Plot cards can also cause players to swap cards, divert shots, protect hidden cards, and more. (Note: This project will also include some NSFW cards, which are marked NSFW for language, specifically, lines from the film. The language, in my opinion, isnt overly objectionableno f-bombsbut if you want to play without these cards, it wont affect gameplay.) Having the Rekall Scientists is a great touch because if you get shot early, you are still in the game to the end (a nice improvement over Good Cop, Bad Cop).

However, the game is not without faults. Twice, during an afternoon of play, a leader was exposed on a very early turn and the game was over before the third round ended. Maybe that was just bad luck on our part, but it did feel weird. Another complaint is that the Turbinium is limited and, while the Plot deck is rich with great effects and adds greatly to the theme, I felt like we didnt get to experience enough of them in the game because players need to have Turbinium to play a Plot card. Maybe that was due to the play style of some of our players, a bit more aggressive than the others, but it was within the rules.

Still, Total Recall: The Official Tabletop Game is a really good time. Games move quickly enough that even if you have bad luck, like we did, were on the losing side, or just didnt get to shoot anyone, the next game is just around the corner. Like most bluffing/deduction games, Total Recall works best when played with a larger group. It can be played with a smaller group, but isnt as much fun, in my opinion. In a bigger crowd, theres more interaction, more deceit, more chance that the Rekall Scientists get involved, and its just better.

So get to Mars, jump in a Johnny Cab, start the reactor, back the game, and start having a blast!

I work. I play games. Sometimes I work at playing games.

The rest is here:

Kickstarter Alert: Get to Mars With ‘Total Recall: The Official Tabletop Game’ – GeekDad (blog)

human Mars: Mars Colonization Timeline

Inspired from FutureTimeline.net and the Integrated Space Plan we have created a speculated timeline of human exploration and colonization of Mars. Predictions are based on a reasonably optimistic evaluation of technological and social progress of humanity. Only the most important and innovative events are mentioned. Timeline is regularly updated taking into account latest developments. Last update was made on 30th July, 2017.

The timeline will get a major update when SpaceX will reveal its updated plan for Mars later this year.

2036 The ISRU capabilities of Mars Base Alphaare extended not only to produce air, water and rocket fuel, but also steel, bricks, cement and basic fertilizers, plastics and silica products (as glass). Some industrial size 3D printers are also assembled, as well as equipment to make Martian soil usable in the greenhouse. First reality show on Mars is transmitted to Earth and called “Mars One” 🙂 2037 First child is born on Mars atMars Base Alpha. His voyage to Earth later in his life would be dangerous because of his bones and organs not being fit for Earth’s gravity. 2037 NASA’s 1st crew leaves Mars. 2037 Blue Origin’s 1st crew leaves Mars. 2037 Second full-crew ITS spaceship with 100 human colonists and workers lands at Mars Base Alpha, which now has a population of more than 200. Among them is SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk.

2040 Two moreITSspaceships with 200 human colonists, workers and somewealthy tourists landatMars Base Alpha.

2040 3rd Blue Origin’s crew lands at Blue Mars base, which now has a population of ~50.

Mars becomes practically self-sufficient, having to import only the most complex goods and intellectual property.

The self-sufficiency results in Mars becoming an independent nation-state. The Martian government has to buy up the non-Martian governmental assets located on Mars.

As a technologically advanced frontier society Mars and orbital stations around it become the primary source of specialists and workers needed for human bases and missions further in Main asteroid belt and outer Solar system.

Air pressure and temperature on Mars is increased to the level where there is flowing water on the surface and simple plants can be introduced into newly created biosphere of the planet.

As one of the lower regions on Mars close to the equator Valles Marineris is seeing the most benefits from terraformation activities and Phobos space elevator; cities and farming communities are spreading throughout the valleys and at the end of the 22nd century there are nearly 5 million people living in Valles Marineris. It’s the most populous urban area on Mars.

In the 22nd century the total human population on Mars increases 30-fold – to more than 30 million.

More here:

human Mars: Mars Colonization Timeline

Mars colonization – Android Marvel (blog)


Android Marvel (blog)
Mars colonization
Android Marvel (blog)
Mars would be a boring place to live according to Physicist Brian Cox · July 29, 2017 Abhin Mahipal 0 Comments Brian Cox, Mars, Mars colonization. According to popular physicist Brian Cox, humans will live in cities on Mars within the next 50 to 100 years.

and more »

Originally posted here:

Mars colonization – Android Marvel (blog)

Elon Musk’s Mars rocket may be about to lose half of its engines – Ars Technica

Enlarge / SpaceX may be dumping the outer ring of 21 engines for its new Mars vehicle.

SpaceX

Last year, SpaceX founder Elon Musk shared plans for his transportation system to send humans to Mars in the 2020s. But the fantastically huge rocket, with 42 Raptor engines and enormous technical challenges, seemed more like science fiction than reality. Then there was the small matter of who would pay the tens of billions of dollars to develop a rocket that had fewif anycommercial prospects beyond sending 100 people to Mars at a time.

Musk seems to have realized that his ambitions were a tad too ambitious in recent months, and has said he will release a “revised” plan for Mars colonization that addresses some of these technical and fiscal questions. Now, we know this discussion will come duringthe 2017 International Astronautical Conference in Adelaide, Australia, on September 29. And this weekend, Musk dropped a big hint about the change.

In response to a question on Twitter, Musk wrote, “A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories …” And this is actually quite a substantial hint, because the original “Interplanetary Transport System” had a massive 12-meter diameter. By scaling back to 9 meters, this suggests that Musk plans to remove the outer ring of 21 Raptor engines, leaving a vehicle with 21 engines instead of the original 42. While still complicated to manage during launch and flight, 21 engines seems more reasonable. Such a vehicle would also have about 50 percent less mass.

At 9 meters the revised Mars rocket would still be considerably larger than SpaceX’s current booster, the 3.7-meter Falcon 9 rocket. But it would be smaller than the most powerful rocket ever flown, the 10-meter Saturn V booster that launched the Apollo crews to the Moon.

Downscaling the Mars booster suggests that Musk may be bending toward reality. A 9-meter rocket means that it could be produced in SpaceX’s existing facilities, saving the company the expense of building a much larger factory. (Pragmatically, it could also be produced in NASA’s rocket factory in Michoud, La., without major renovations). A smaller, but still powerful rocket also opens the door to commercial opportunities and military contracts.

Most notably, the US Air Force is in the midst of soliciting bids for the second phase of a $2 billion competition to develop new launch vehicles that can meet the government’s space mission needs. This is part of the Air Force’s efforts to end US reliance on the Russian-made RD-180 engine, and this competition is for development contracts to build launch systems capable of flying missions by the early- to mid-2020s. It is possible, then, that SpaceX may bid for some of these funds to help develop the Mars rocket, perhaps for the Raptor engine, or the entire vehicle.

A successful Air Force bid would answer one important question Musk faceshow to pay for the Mars rocket. An answer to another key question could come later this year, whether SpaceX can really manage to control dozens of rocket engines during flight. Although the Falcon Heavy rocket has a different configuration from the Mars rocket, it requires the coordination of 27 Merlin engines during launch. If SpaceX can do that during the Falcon Heavy’s maiden launchpossibly later this yearthen controlling 21 engines on the Mars rocket doesn’t seem to be that great of a stretch.

More:

Elon Musk’s Mars rocket may be about to lose half of its engines – Ars Technica

Buzz Aldrin Says Humans Need To Get Off Earth ASAP – The Fresh Toast

There are two types of people in this world: those who walk on Mars if given the chance, and those who would not. Buzz Aldrin recently helped create a virtual reality experience that will help humans experience what it might be like to walk on Mars, if youre so inclined.

Buzz Aldrin famously is the second man to walk on the moon. An acclaimed astronaut and engineer, Aldrin has long been a spokesman in explaining humans journey into the cosmos. He has dedicated his life to furthering our scientific understanding and inspiring more into a path among the stars.

Aldrin doesnt want walking on Mars to be limited to a VR program, however. As he stated in an interview with Futurism, he believes that humans should be interested beyond simple exploration.

One of the things that makes space exploration so exciting is that the possibilities are endless, he told Futurism. Mars is the next actionable step for uswe have never been closer to knowing and exploring another planet. Plus, I believe that Mars has realistic potential for colonization.

That colonization may come sooner than you think. As Aldrin later added, Now is the time to start thinking seriously about what life on Mars might look like in the future. I believe we can have the first Human Martians at Mars by 2040.

With worries rising from the scientific community over climate change, a Mars colonization could prove advantageous. Though Aldrin acknowledges not everyone will be able to step on Mars anytime soon, he does hope these VR and AR programs will stimulate national interest in supporting our nautical journeys.

It is in our nature to explore, Aldrin said. We, as a species, are curious and want to see whats over the next hill, see how fast we can go. It was only 66 years from the point that the Wright brothers flew to us flying rockets to the Moon.

See the original post here:

Buzz Aldrin Says Humans Need To Get Off Earth ASAP – The Fresh Toast

Interplanetary Transport System – Wikipedia

The Interplanetary Transport System (ITS),[1] formerly known as the Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT), is SpaceX’s privately funded development project to design and build a system[2] of spaceflight technology and remote human settlements on Marsincluding reusable launch vehicles and spacecraft; Earth infrastructure for rapid launch and relaunch; low Earth orbit, zero-gravity propellant transfer technology; and extraterrestrial technology to enable human colonization of Mars. The technology is also envisioned to eventually support exploration missions to other locations in the Solar System including the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.[3]

Development work began in earnest before 2012 when SpaceX began design work for the large Raptor rocket engine to be used for both the ITS launch vehicle and spacecraft (ITS tanker and Interplanetary Spaceship). New rocket engine designs are typically considered one of the longest of the development subprocesses for new launch vehicles and spacecraft. By June 2016, the company publicly announced conceptual plans[4] that included the first Mars-bound cargo flight of ITS launching no earlier than 2022, followed by the first ITS Mars flight with passengers one synodic period later in 2024,[5] following two preparatory research launches of Mars probes in 2018 and 2020 on Dragon/Falcon Heavy equipment.[6] SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled details of the system architecture at the 67th International Astronautical Congress on September 27, 2016.[7]

As publicly discussed, SpaceX is concentrating its resources on the transportation part of the project including a propellant plant that could be deployed on Mars to make methalox rocket propellant from local resources. However, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is championing a much larger set of long-term interplanetary settlement objectives, ones that go far beyond what SpaceX will build and that will ultimately involve many more economic actorswhether individual, company, or governmentto facilitate the settlement to build out over many decades.[8][9][10]

As early as 2007, Elon Musk stated a personal goal of eventually enabling human exploration and settlement of Mars,[11][12] although his personal public interest in Mars goes back at least to 2001.[10] Bits of additional information about the mission architecture were released in 20112015, including a 2014 statement that initial colonists would arrive at Mars no earlier than the middle of the 2020s.[13] Company plans as of mid-2016 continue to call for the arrival of the first humans on Mars no earlier than 2025.[5][14]

Musk stated in a 2011 interview that he hoped to send humans to Mars’s surface within 1020 years,[12] and in late 2012 he stated that he envisioned a Mars colony of tens of thousands with the first colonists arriving no earlier than the middle of the 2020s.[13][15][16]

In October 2012, Musk articulated a high-level plan to build a second reusable rocket system with capabilities substantially beyond the Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy launch vehicles on which SpaceX had by then spent several billion US dollars.[17] This new vehicle was to be “an evolution of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster … much bigger [than Falcon 9].” But Musk indicated that SpaceX would not be speaking publicly about it until 2013.[13][18] In June 2013, Musk stated that he intended to hold off any potential IPO of SpaceX shares on the stock market until after the “Mars Colonial Transporter is flying regularly.”[19][20]

In August 2014, media sources speculated that the initial flight test of the Raptor-driven super-heavy launch vehicle could occur as early as 2020, in order to fully test the engines under orbital spaceflight conditions; however, any colonization effort was reported to continue to be “deep into the future”.[21][22]

In January 2015, Musk said that he hoped to release details in late 2015 of the “completely new architecture” for the system that would enable the colonization of Mars. but those plans changed and, by December 2015, the plan to publicly release additional specifics had moved to 2016.[23] In January 2016, Musk indicated that he hoped to describe the architecture for the Mars missions with the next generation SpaceX rocket and spacecraft later in 2016, at the 67th International Astronautical Congress conference,[7] in September 2016.[24][25] Musk stated in June 2016 that the first unmanned MCT Mars flight was planned for departure in 2022, to be followed by the first manned MCT Mars flight departing in 2024.[5][6] By mid-September 2016, Musk noted that the MCT name would not continue, as the system would be able to “go well beyond Mars”, and that a new name would be needed: Interplanetary Transport System (ITS).[1]

On 27 September 2016, at the 67th annual meeting of the International Astronautical Congress, Musk unveiled substantial details of the design for the transport vehiclesincluding size, construction material, number and type of engines, thrust, cargo and passenger payload capabilities, on-orbit propellant-tanker refills, representative transit times, etc.as well as a few details of portions of the Mars-side and Earth-side infrastructure that SpaceX intends to build to support the flight vehicles. In addition, Musk championed a larger systemic vision, a vision for a bottom-up emergent order of other interested partieswhether companies, individuals, or governmentsto utilize the new and radically lower-cost transport infrastructure to build up a sustainable human civilization on Mars, potentially, on numerous other locations around the Solar System, by innovating and meeting the demand that such a growing venture would occasion.[8][9]

The Interplanetary Transport System consists of a combination of several elements that are keyaccording to Muskto making long-duration beyond Earth orbit (BEO) spaceflights possible by reducing the cost per ton delivered to Mars:[26][27][28]

The super-heavy lift launch vehicle[30] for the Interplanetary Transport System will place up to 300 tonnes (660,000lb) (reusable-mode) or 550 tonnes (1,210,000lb) (expendable-mode)or carry 380 tonnes (840,000lb) of propellant on an ITS tankerto low Earth orbit.[29]

The ITS launch vehicle will be powered by the Raptor bipropellant liquid rocket engines on both stages, using exclusively densified liquid methane fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer on both stages.[29][30] The tanks will be autogenously pressurized, eliminating the need for the problematic helium gas pressurization.[29]

The ITS launch vehicle is reusable, making use of the SpaceX reusable technology that was developed during 20112016 for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.[29][2]

On all Earth-away launches, the long-duration spacecraft (tanker or spaceship) will also play a role briefly as the second stage of the launch vehicle to provide acceleration to orbital velocity, a design approach not used in other launch vehicles.

The Interplanetary Spaceship is an interplanetary ship with a carbon-fiber primary structure propelled by nine Raptor engines operating on densified methane/oxygen propellants. It is 49.5m (162ft)-long, has a maximum hull diameter of 12 m, and is 17m (56ft)-diameter at its widest point, and is capable of transporting up to 450 tonnes (990,000lb) of cargo and passengers per trip to Mars, with on-orbit propellant refill before the interplanetary part of the journey.[27][29] Early flights are expected to carry mostly equipment and few people.[13]

As of September 2016, there is no name for the class of spacecraft beyond the descriptor Interplanetary Spaceship. Musk did indicate however that the first of those ships to make the Mars journey might be named Heart of Gold[1] in reference to the ship carrying the Infinite Improbability Drive, from the novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.[31] Although it was noted that the number of first-stage engines seemed to be inspired by The Answer,[32] Musk didn’t allude to such a connection.

The transport capacity of the spaceship from low Earth orbit to a Mars trajectorywith a trans-Mars trajectory insertion energy gain of 6km/s (3.7mi/s) and full propellant tanksis 450 tonnes (500 tons) to Mars orbit, or 300 tonnes (330 tons) landed on the surface with retropropulsive landing. Estimated Earth-Mars transit times vary between 80150 days, depending on particular planetary alignments during the nine discrete 20202037 mission opportunities, assuming 6 km/s delta-v added at trans-Mars injection.[27]

The spaceship is designed to enter the Martian atmosphere at entry velocities in excess of 8.5 km/s and allow aerodynamic forces to provide the major part of the deceleration before the three center Raptor engines perform the final landing burn. The heat shield material protecting the ship on descent is PICA 3.0, and is reusable. Entry g-forces at Mars are expected to be in order of 46 g during the descent.[27] The spaceship design g-load would be in the range of 5 g nominal, but able to withstand peak loads 2 to 3 times higher without breaking up.[33]

Energy for the journey is produced by two large solar panel arrays, generating approximately 200kW of power while at the distance of Earth from the Sun, and less as the journey progresses and the Sun is farther away as the ship nears Mars.[26]:19:38

The spaceship may use a large internal water layer to help shield occupants from space radiation, and may have a cabin oxygen content that is up to two times that which is found in Earth’s atmosphere.[13] The initial tests of the spaceship are not expected prior to 2020, with the ITS booster to follow only later.[14]

According to Musk, the spaceship would effectively become the first human habitat on Mars.[34]

A key feature of the system is a propellant-cargo-only tanker: the ITS tanker. Just as the spaceship, the tanker would serve as the upper stage of the ITS launch vehicle during the launch from Earth. The vehicle is designed exclusively for the launch and short-term holding of propellants to be transported to low Earth orbit for re-filling propellants in the interplanetary ships. Once on orbit, a rendezvous operation is effected with one of the Interplanetary Spaceships, plumbing connections are made, and a maximum of 380 tonnes (840,000lb) of liquid methane and liquid oxygen propellants are transferred in one load to the spaceship. To fully fuel an Interplanetary Spaceship for a long-duration interplanetary flight, it is expected that up to five tankers would be required to launch from Earth, carrying and transferring a total of nearly 1,900 tonnes (4,200,000lb) of propellant to fully load the spaceship for the journey.[27]

The ITS tanker is the same physical dimensions as the Interplanetary Spacecraft: 49.5m (162ft)-long, maximum hull diameter of 12 m, and is 17m (56ft) at its widest point. It will also be powered by six vacuum-optimized Raptor engines, each producing 3.5MN (790,000lbf) thrust, and will have three lower-expansion-ratio Raptor engines for flight maneuvering and Earth-return landings.[35][29] Following completion of the on-orbit propellant offloading, the reusable tanker will reenter the Earth’s atmosphere, land, and be prepared for another tanker flight.[27] The tanker could also be used for cargo missions.[citation needed]

A key part of the system Musk is conceptualizing to radically decrease the cost of spaceflight to interplanetary destinations is the placement and operation of a physical plant on Mars to handle production and storage of the propellant components necessary to launch and fly the Interplanetary Spaceships back to Earth, or perhaps to increase the mass that can be transported onward to destinations in the outer Solar System. Coupled with the Earth-orbit tank filling prior to the journey to Mars, and the fully reusable launch vehicles and spacecraft, all three elements are needed to reduce the transport cost by the multiple orders of magnitude that Musk sees as necessary to support sustainable colonization of Mars.[27]

The first Interplanetary Spaceship to Mars will carry a small propellant plant as a part of its cargo load. The plant will be expanded over multiple synods as more equipment arrives, is installed, and placed into mostly-autonomous production.[27]

The propellant plant will take advantage of the large supplies of carbon dioxide and water resources on Mars, mining the water (H2O) from subsurface ice and collecting CO2 from the atmosphere. A chemical plant will process the raw materials by means of electrolysis and the Sabatier process to produce molecular oxygen (O2) and methane (CH4), and then liquefy it to facilitate long-term storage and ultimate use.[27]

The initial launch site for the launch and rapid reuse of the ITS launch vehicle will be the SpaceX leased facility at historic Launch Pad 39A along the Florida space coast. While originally thought to be too small to handle the ITS launch vehicle, the final optimized size of the Raptor engine is fairly close to the physical size of the Merlin 1D, although each engine will have approximately three times the thrust. Falcon Heavy will launch from 39A with 27 Merlin engines; ITS LV will launch with 42 Raptor engines.[29]

Musk indicated on September 27, 2016 that the ITS launch vehicle would launch from more than one site. A prime candidate for the second launch site is somewhere along the south Texas coast.

As of March 2014[update], no launch site had yet been selected for the super-heavy lift rocket and the then-named “Mars Colonial Transporter.” SpaceX indicated at the time that their leased facility in Florida at Launch Pad 39A would not be large enough to accommodate the vehicle as it was understood conceptually in 2014, and that therefore a new site would need to be built in order to launch the >10-meter diameter rocket.[36]

In September 2014, Elon Musk indicated that the first person to go to another planet could possibly launch from the SpaceX South Texas Launch Site,[37] but did not indicate at the time what launch vehicle might be used to carry humans to orbit.

Musk has indicated that the earliest SpaceX-sponsored missions would have a smaller crew and use much of the pressurized space for cargo. The first cargo mission of the Interplanetary Spaceship would be named “Heart of Gold” and would be loaded with equipment to build the propellant plant.[33]

The first crewed Mars mission would be expected to have approximately 12 people, with the primary goal to “build out and troubleshoot the propellant plant and Mars Base Alpha power system” as well as a “rudimentary base.” In the event of an emergency, the spaceship would be able to return to Earth without having to wait a full 26 months for the next synodic period.[33]

Before any people are transported to Mars, some number of cargo missions would be undertaken first in order to transport the requisite equipment, habitats and supplies.[38] Equipment that would accompany the early groups would include “machines to produce fertilizer, methane and oxygen from Mars’ atmospheric nitrogen and carbon dioxide and the planet’s subsurface water ice” as well as construction materials to build transparent domes for crop growth.[13]

The early concepts for “green living space” habitats include glass panes with a carbon-fiber-frame geodesic domes, and “a lot of miner/tunneling droids [for building] out a huge amount of pressurized space for industrial operations.” But these are merely conceptual and not a detailed design plan.[33]

As of 2016 when publically discussed, SpaceX the company is concentrating its resources on the transportation part of the overall ITS project as well as an autonomous propellant plant that could be deployed on Mars to produce methane and oxygen rocket propellants from local resources. If built, and if planned objectives are achieved, then the transport cost of getting material and people to space, and across interplanetary space, will be reduced by several orders of magnitude. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is championing a much larger set of long-term interplanetary settlement objectives, ones that take advantage of these lower transport costs to go far beyond what the company SpaceX will build and that will ultimately involve many more economic actorswhether individual, company, or governmentto build out the settlement over many decades.[8][9]

In addition to explicit SpaceX plans and concepts for a transportation system and early missions, Musk has personally been a very public exponent of a large systemic vision for building a sustainable human presence on Mars over the very long term, a vision well beyond what his company or he personally can effect. The growth of such a system over decades cannot be planned in every detail, but is rather a complex adaptive system that will come about only as others make their own independent choices as to how they might, or might not, connect with the broader “system” of an incipient (and later, growing) Mars settlement. Musk sees the new and radically lower-cost transport infrastructure facilitating the build up of a bottom-up economic order of other interested partieswhether companies, individuals, or governmentswho will innovate and supply the demand that such a growing venture would occasion.[8][9]

While the initial SpaceX Mars settlement would start very small, with an initial group of about a dozen people,[33] with time, Musk hopes that such an outpost would grow into something much larger and become self-sustaining, at least 1 million people. According to Musk,

Even at a million people youre assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars. You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth. There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil.

Excluding organic growth, if you could take 100 people at a time, you would need 10,000 trips to get to a million people. But you would also need a lot of cargo to support those people. In fact, your cargo to person ratio is going to be quite high. It would probably be 10 cargo trips for every human trip, so more like 100,000 trips. And were talking 100,000 trips of a giant spaceship.[39]

The notional journeys outlined in the November 2016 talk would require 80 to 150 days of transit time,[40] with an average trip time to Mars of approximately 115 days (for the nine synodic periods occurring between 2020 and 2037).[27] In 2012, Musk stated an aspirational price goal for such a trip might be on the order of US$500,000 per person,[13] but in 2016 he mentioned that long-term costs might become as low as US$200,000.[40]

As of September 2016[update], the complex project has financial commitments only from SpaceX and Musk’s personal capital. The Washington Post pointed out that “The [US] government doesn’t have the budget for Mars colonization. Thus, the private sector would have to see Mars as an attractive business environment. Musk is willing to pour his wealth into the project” but it will not be enough to build the colony he envisions.[41]

The overview presentation on the Interplanetary Transport System given by Musk on 27 September 2016 included concept slides outlining missions to the Saturnian moon Enceladus, the Jovian moon Europa, Kuiper belt objects, a fuel depot on Pluto and even the uses to take payloads to the Oort Cloud.[29] “Musk said … the system can open up the entire Solar System to people. If fuel depots based on this design were put on asteroids or other areas around the Solar System, people could go anywhere they wanted just by planet or moon hopping. ‘The goal of SpaceX is to build the transport system … Once that transport system is built, then there is a tremendous opportunity for anyone that wants to go to Mars to create something new or build a new planet.'”[10] Outer planet trips would likely require propellant refills at Mars, and perhaps other locations in the outer Solar System.[40]

The extensive development and manufacture of much of the space transport technology has been to date (through 2016), and is being, privately funded by SpaceX. The entire project is even possible only as a result of SpaceX multi-faceted approach focusing on the reduction of launch costs.[29]

As of 2016[update], SpaceX is expending “a few tens of millions of dollars annually on development of the Mars transport concept, which amounts to well under 5 percent of the companys total expenses”,[40] but expects that figure to rise to some US$300 million per year by around 2018. The cost of all work leading up to the first Mars launch is expected to be “on the order of US$10 billion”[40] and SpaceX expects to expend that much before it generates any transport revenue.[9]

Musk indicated in September 2016 that the full build-out of the Mars colonialization plans will likely be funded by both private and public funds. The speed of commercially available Mars transport for both cargo and humans will be driven, in large part, by market demand as well as constrained by the technology development and development funding.[9][40]

Elon Musk has said that there is no expectation of receiving NASA contracts for any of the ITS system work. He also indicated that such contracts, if received, would be good.[42]

In September 2016, Musk presented the following high-level, forward-looking, fabrication cost projections, given a set of assumptions. Those assumptions include: Cost of propellant: US$168/tonne; Launch site costs: US$200,000/launch; Discount rate: 5%; Cargo delivered: 450 tonne per single Interplanetary Spaceship; and full reuse. All assumptions are about a single mission once thousands of launches and hundreds of flights to Mars are a realistic prospect. They do not apply to costs for the much smaller number of early missions envisioned for the 2020s. Given these assumptions, Musk presented the following long-term mission cost projections:[31][27]

Calculated result: total average cost (based on the life cycle of the system, included costs of the initial fabrication, propellant, maintenance and company’s amortization) of one Interplanetary Spaceship transported to Mars: US$62 million; or less than US$140,000 cost per tonne of mass transported to Mars.

SpaceX plans to fly its earliest missions to Mars using its Falcon Heavy launch vehicle prior to the completion, and first launch, of any ITS vehicle. Later missions utilizing ITS technologythe ITS launch vehicle and Interplanetary Spaceship with on-orbit propellant refill via ITS tankerwould begin no earlier than 2022. The company is planning for launches of research spacecraft to Mars using Falcon Heavy launch vehicles and specialized modified Dragon spacecraft. Due to planetary alignment in the inner Solar System, the launches are typically limited to a window of approximately every 26 months. Originally (in June 2016), the first launch was planned for Spring 2018, with an announced intent to launch again in every Mars launch window thereafter. In February 2017, however, the first launch to Mars was pushed back to 2020.[43] The early missions will collect essential data to refine the design of the ITS, and better select landing locations based on the availability of extraterrestrial resources such as water and building materials.[6]

The original tentative mission manifest in November 2016 (now outdated) included two Falcon Heavy missions to Mars prior to the first possible flight of an ITS to Mars in 2022:[6]

As of February 2017[update], the first launch is planned for 2020 and it’s unclear whether the overall schedule is kept intact, but pushed back by 26 months. However, in May 2017, NASA and sources in the industry claimed SpaceX was considering sending two Dragon spacecraft to Mars during the 2020 window; one very early and one very late, although SpaceX did not concurrently confirm that.[45]

Italics indicate unflown vehicles and future missions or sites. denotes failed missions, destroyed vehicles and abandoned sites.

Link:

Interplanetary Transport System – Wikipedia

Adam Savage explains why space suits are his happy place – The … – The Verge

Adam Savage loves space suits. When I interviewed him in March, he spoke about how safety equipment appealed to him, whether it was firefighter gear, the protective armor that bomb disposal personnels wear, or space suits of the fictional variety.

For the last several years, Savage would attend San Diego Comic-Con dressed up in a costume that hides his identity, something he calls Adam Incognito. This year, one of the costumes he suited up in was one used in the production of Alien: Covenant.

After he returned from the floor, I spoke with him about why hes so attracted to these galactic wear.

This interview has been condensed for clarity.

Looking back to how you said youre attracted to safety equipment, how did you find wearing the Alien space suit while walking around the floor today? Were you impervious to the crowds?

Well, I’m not impervious to the crowds, because about 75 people came up to me and said you must be Adam. I’ve definitely spoiled my own thing because Ive done so much cosplay now that any time people see an elaborate, full suit, they ask if its me.

However, the guys at FBFX did a nice job [with this suit]. This fabric looks heavy duty. It looks like ballistic nylon, but it breathes quite well.

To you, what makes up a good space suit costume? What components do you look for?

The stuff that I really like in a space suit is the detail. In a NASA suit, I love the high-level details that tell the story that this was made by people. If you look at NASA hardware really close up you really can sense that these arent production-made items. They’re one-offs, each one handmade by a machinist, designed by engineers. And, the best movie space suits are the ones that also communicate that same kind of hand-hewn attention to detail.

What’s an example of a detail that you found stands out in a real or fictional suit?

Right now, I’m totally obsessed with the [Alien] Covenant stuff. They have a number of things like little brass tags and tiny markers, and even things like pressure readings that are based off of what the real pressure of that suit would probably be.

So what can cosplayers learn from real suits, and what can real suit makers learn from science fictional suits?

It’s funny because real space suits almost never have lights in the helmet. [Theyre] a totally a movie trope because you have to see the actors. There are almost no lights on any NASA suit.

There is a simplicity to NASA hardware and it’s required: you need that simplicity. A film like Alien: Covenant is layering in [details] because theyre thinking of a future where these aren’t one-off items: they are [mass-produced.]

With its reveal of the latest Z-2 backpack entry suit, NASA is definitely trying to sexy it up to garner a bit more public excitement. They gave it some color, called it the Mars Colonization Suit. I think that’s a reasonable thing for an organization like NASA to do, and the positive benefits from The Martian, I think, led if not directly then were at least partially responsible for the increase in NASA’s budget a couple of years later. These things capture the public’s imagination.

NASAs running out of space suits.

NASA is behind in their space suit production. Its over a million dollars to make a space suit. They now have a set of replacement parts where they can fit together a suit that fits an astronaut by adjusting the arms and the legs and the various geometries.

But yeah, NASA uses a ludicrously complex set of procedures to make this the multilayer, air-proof suits it uses.

What what trends are you seeing in costume manufacturing that has changed how people are making suits?

There’s two major leaps. One is from cosplayers: the advancement of foam building technology using camping mats, hot glue, and contact cement to make really elaborate costumes. Its unparalleled: this is a really exciting time, and budgets are going lower because the materials are more easy to come by. It’s just about the sweat equity of making sure the forms look great and curves are good.

The other major advancement that I’m really excited about is screen-printing dimension and texture onto lightweight fabrics, so that they look heavy-duty. Captain Americas Winter Soldier costume was an early, excellent harbinger of what’s coming. They took four-way stretch dance fabric, which is really light and easy to wear for the actor, and they printed it with texture that made it look like the old ballistic nylon, which is much heavier and harder for the actor to wear, so its much more comfortable.

It turns out that a primary cost on making feature films is just getting the actors out and back into their costumes so they can eat lunch. No actor wants to sit in some giant space suit and try to eat a burrito. It sometimes takes an entire special effects team half an hour or maybe more to get an actor out of a cumbersome costume.

So, working with lighter-weight materials that breathe more definitely increases the the length of time the actors can spend in those suits, and then increases the amount the production can get done.

How about 3D printing and rapid prototyping? I know for some productions, they end up printing up a number of components or props.

3D printing has totally revolutionized both cosplay and costuming for movies. I know that neck rings that FBFX effects made for The Martian and for this suit were 3D printed. [Even] when you machine something and then cast it, trying to get the parts to couple back together is difficult, with the shrinkage inherent in casting and the shrinkage is dependent upon the volume of the material you’re trying to cast. That means that some of these are straight 3D printed high strength resins, and that’s kind of the only way you can do stuff like this.

[Pointing to the Alien Covenant Helmet on the table] How about this helmet in particular?

I think this helmet is largely 3D printed. Some of the forms for the carbon fiber pressure panels… the neck rings are totally 3D printed, and then there’s all this brass etching and all this custom detail. FBFX and companies like it all around the world are using this to radically increase the shapes and the stuff they can produce, lowering the amount of time they need to make it.

Do you see this trickling into the cosplay consumer market?

It’s totally trickling in the consumer market, because you can now buy an Ultimaker printer for a couple of grand, and get really impressive resolution for effectively a prosumer model 3D printer.

Last question: right now, whats your favorite space suit?

Currently right now, it’s both of the suits from Alien: Covenant: the hard suit that Tennessee wears, which has all 3D printed bearings. It’s an absolute masterpiece of engineering. Those were not off-the-shelf components. That suit would have cost tens of thousands of dollars if they were. That was a completely wearable hard suit. That’s simply because those guys wanted to push the envelope of what was possible in movie costumes.

Photography by Andrew Liptak / The Verge

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Adam Savage explains why space suits are his happy place – The … – The Verge

SpaceX may scrap plans to land Dragon spacecrafts on Mars by end of 2020s – SYFY WIRE (blog)

With NASA still trying to figure out how itll pay for plans to land humans on Mars, it seemed SpaceX could be our best option to get people up there in the next decade. Well, that may not be the case anymore at least not on that accelerated timeline.

While speaking at the ISS R&D Conference, Musk revealed SpaceX will likely scrap plans to use propulsive landing gear (the little engines that blast out from the lower sides of the capsule) to put Dragon capsules on Mars for supply drops and eventual manned missions.

He said the company now believes theres a better way to land there, and the companys next round of rockets and spacecraft would reflect that. Musk, umm, didnt actually give any details of what this figure might look like, though. Despite that, Musk later clarified they still want to use propulsive landing tech just on much bigger ships. You know, when Musk claims Mars as the sovereign nation of Tesla, and all that. Sadly, no timeline on anything yet.

There was a time when I thought that the Dragon approach to landing on Mars… would be the right way to land on Mars. But now I’m pretty confident that is not the right way. There’s a far better approach. That’s what the next generation of SpaceX rockets and spacecraft is going to do.

Though SpaceX has been working on propulsive landing tech for a while (and its a key part of the emergency escape system for Dragon 2, designed to thrust the capsule away from a potential explosion), Dragon capsules have mostly been using parachutes to land back on Earth anyway. So that wont change. The company had run into some safety concerns with adding landing legs to the Dragon 2, and its not clear if that also played a role in scrapping the tech for wider use on these craft, but it stands to reason it was a factor.

So what is SpaceX cooking up? Something big-ish, surely. Musk wouldnt have dropped this news or made this decision without having a new plan in the works, and he at least seems to think this next generation system is a much better option. Theres also buzz Musk could update his Mars colonization plan later this year, and this could certainly be a part of that. Heres hoping, because we really dont want to wait another 20+ years to reach Mars.

(Via The Verge)

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SpaceX may scrap plans to land Dragon spacecrafts on Mars by end of 2020s – SYFY WIRE (blog)

Elon Musk Calls for Moon Base – Space.com

Elon Musk (left) talks to NASA International Space Station (ISS) program manager Kirk Shireman on July 19, 2017, at the ISS Research and Development conference in Washington, D.C.

Elon Musk may be focused primarily on Mars, but he’d also like to see a human outpost on a world much closer to home.

“To really get the public real fired up, I think we’ve got to have a base on the moon,” the billionaire founder and CEO of SpaceX said today (July 19) at the 2017 International Space Station Research and Development (ISSR&D) conference in Washington, D.C.

“Having some permanent presence on another heavenly body, which would be the kind of moon base, and then getting people to Mars and beyond that’s the continuance of the dream of Apollo that I think people are really looking for,” Musk told NASA ISS program manager Kirk Shireman, who interviewed him onstage at the conference. [Moon Base Visions: How to Build a Lunar Colony (Photos)]

Musk and SpaceX are working to make the latter part of that vision a reality within the next 50 years or so. Last September, at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) meeting in Mexico, the entrepreneur unveiled plans for a reusable rocket-spaceship combo called the Interplanetary Transport System. The ITS would help colonize Mars and, potentially, allow humanity to explore more distant worlds, such as the Jupiter moon Europa and the Saturn satellite Enceladus.

Musk has been relatively quiet about the ITS since then, but he said he plans to give an update about the architecture at the next IAC conference, which will be held this September in Adelaide, Australia. And he teased an ITS tweak that SpaceX has been working on.

Downsizing the ITS spaceship a bit the originally unveiled version would carry at least 100 people and using it for some profit-generating “Earth-orbit activity” could help make Mars colonization economically feasible, Musk said at the ISSR&D conference today.

“That’s one of the key elements in the new architecture,” Musk said. “It’s similar to what was [unveiled] at IAC, but it’s a little bit smaller still big. I think this one’s got a shot at being real on the economic front. You know, that’s the trick.”

Musk also said today that another one of his ventures, The Boring Company, could aid in Mars colonization as well. The Boring Company’s main goal is to construct tunnel networks beneath (and, eventually, between) traffic-choked cities such as Los Angeles, enabling speedier travel.

But advanced tunneling technology will also be in high demand on Mars, Musk said, citing the likely need to mine large amounts of ice and other natural resources. And Red Planet colonists may want to live underground, at least part of the time, to shield themselves from the relatively high radiation fluxes encountered on the Martian surface, he added.

“You can build a tremendous amount underground with the right boring technology on Mars, so I do think there’s some overlap in that technology-development arena,” Musk said.

But Earth-optimized tunneling machines won’t do the job on Mars, he stressed.

“The Earth ones are really heavy. Like, really heavy,” Musk said. “You’re not worried about weight for an Earth tunneling machine; actually, you want one that’s nice and heavy. But a Mars one,you’d have to redesign it to be superlight that’s a tricky one and then just take into account the different conditions on Mars and everything else.”

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter@michaeldwallandGoogle+.Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebookor Google+. Originally published onSpace.com.

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Elon Musk Calls for Moon Base – Space.com

Six Volunteer ‘Astronauts’ Are About to Lock Themselves Inside a Simulated Mars Colony – Futurism

Simulated Mars Mission

Next to an old nuclear bomber hangar in western Poland, a mission to the surfaces of both the moon and Mars is about to begin.

The two-week mission is just a simulation, of course, since no entity on Earth is prepared toinhabit deep space. But the experiment called the Poland Mars Analogue Simulation 2017 will study a group of six volunteer analogue astronauts as they work through a realistic schedule of space exploration, then provide those findings to anyone whos drawing up crewed missions beyond Earth.

This mission will be one of the most comprehensive Mars analogue missions ever conducted in Europe, Mina Takla, spokesperson for thePMAS 2017 mission, told Business Insider in an email.

The experiment, which Business Insider first learned about through theDawn of Private Space Science Symposiumon June 4, is being spearheaded by theSpace Exploration Project Group, or SEPG. (The group is part of the Space Generation Advisory Council and works with the United Nations on its space exploration research and support efforts.)

Many other partners are involved in the mission, too, including The Mars Society, European Space Agency, and European Space Foundation.

The projects central feature is a U-shaped habitat thats connected to a nuclear fighter [plane] hangar near Pila, Poland, Takla said.

To make the mission possible, PMAS 2017 rounded up money from corporate sponsors, and also raised tens of thousands of dollars throughcrowdfundingsites. To create the habitat, the Space Garden Company a partner to the project secured material donations and also did some fundraising.

Organizers have dubbed their faux habitat project the Martian Modular Analog Research Station, orM.A.R.S.

As Marta Bellon of Business Insider Polandreported in May 2016, a previous design for the base, created by British architect Scott Porter, called for four arms and a domed headquarters built by Freedomes (the same company that built the fictional Mars habitats for the blockbuster movie The Martian).

However, organizers have since dropped the four-armed design for a U-shaped one. The habitats planned location in southern Poland also moved to western Poland in the past year.

The new, U-shaped M.A.R.S. facility will have six units, each with its own dedicated purpose, such as scientific research, crew quarters (including a gym), habitation, hygienic facilities, kitchen area, and storage and systems, Takla said. The entry and exit to the habitat will be via an airlock.

Takla did not provide Business Insider with any sketches or photos of the facility in time for publication, nor could he confirm if and when its construction was completed.

Assuming M.A.R.S. is finished in time, sixanalogue astronautswill land in the habitat on July 31, then work and live and work inside it through August 13.

The volunteers hail from Puerto Rico, Israel, Spain, France, India, the US, Nigeria, and other locations. Meanwhile, a larger support team will operate as mission control in the northern Polish city of Torun, including psychologists tomonitor the astronauts.

[PMAS 2017] will be one of the most international, multicultural, and interdisciplinary analogue missions ever conducted, with members from over 28 different countries and representing scientific disciplines ranging from engineering to astrophysics, psychology, geology, and biology, Takla said.

In addition to following a strict schedule of experiments, maintenance, and personal time, mission managers will simulate other realities for a far-off planetary mission, including spacesuits to leave M.A.R.S., and annoying communications delays.

[T]he first three days of the 14 days of the simulation will be in Lunar mode with a real-time communication between habitat and Mission Control, before we go for the remaining 11 days into the Martian mode, Tajana Lui, co-leader of SEPG, told Business Insider in an email.

When the Martian mode starts, Lui said, the time delay will be 15 minutes, and simulates the long distance between Earth and Mars and the related communication delay.

The PMAS 2017 mission isnt the only project trying to figure out how to run a tightly operated lunar or Martian base.

HI-SEAS in Hawaii, for example which former Business Insider reporter Kelly Dickerson visited has astronauts who live and work inside a habitatbuilt on the side of a barren volcano.

Russia, China, and the ESA have also run six willing astronauts through a psychological gauntlet with its $15 millionMars500 experiment.

That project, which ended a few years ago, had the astronauts stay inside for 520 days, or nearly a year and a half, to see what challenges they faced and how to prevent or solve them when real Mars colonization missions actually begin. (Boredom, concludedan exhaustive studyof the project, is one of the greatest hurdles to overcome.)

Such information could prove extremely valuable to the first nation (or private company,like SpaceX) to land people on Mars. Whoever is spending tens of billions of dollars to get the job done, theyll not only want a crew to survive to tell the tale, but also make the best use of their time some 140 million miles from Earth.

Correction (July 10, 2017): Business Insider was initially given and directed to outdated information about M.A.R.S. We have since corrected and updated this story to reflect the projects current details.

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Six Volunteer ‘Astronauts’ Are About to Lock Themselves Inside a Simulated Mars Colony – Futurism

The 2016 Spacex Mars Colonization plan has been published …

Spacex is estimating they wil be able to achieve $140,000 per ton for the trips to Mars. If a person plus their luggage is less than that, taking into account food consumption and life support, the cost of moving to Mars could ultimately drop below $100,000.

Cost will be brought down 5 million percent with * fully reusable rocket * orbital refueling * Propellent production on Mars * CH4 / O2 DEEP-CRYO Methalox fuel

The Spacex ITS (Interplanetary Transport Systme) rocket booster is really a scaled-up version of the Falcon 9 booster. There are a lot of similarities, such as the grid fins and clustering a lot of engines at the base. The big differences are that the primary structure is an advanced form of carbon fiber as opposed to aluminum lithium, we use autogenous pressurization, and we get rid of the helium and the nitrogen.

Spcex has been able to optimize the propellant needed for boost back and landing to get it down to about 7% of the lift-off propellant load. With some optimization, maybe we can get it down to about 6%.

Spacex is now getting quite comfortable with the accuracy of the landing of rockets. With the addition of maneuvering thrusters, they think they can actually put the booster right back on the launch stand. Then, those fins at the base are essentially centering features to take out any minor position mismatch at the launch site.

The Raptor engine is going to be the highest chamber pressure engine of any kind ever built, and probably the highest thrust-to-weight. It is a full-flow staged combustion engine, which maximizes the theoretical momentum that you can get out of a given source fuel and oxidizer. We subcool the oxygen and methane to densify it. Compared with when used close to their boiling points in most rockets, in our case, we load the propellants close to their freezing point. That can result in a density improvement of around 10%12%, which makes an enormous difference in the actual result of the rocket. It gets rid of any cavitation risk for the turbo pumps, and it makes it easier to feed a high-pressure turbo pump if you have very cold propellant.

One of the keys here, though, is the vacuum version of the Raptor having a 382-second ISP. This is critical to the whole Mars mission and we are confident we can get to that number or at least within a few seconds of that number, ultimately maybe even exceeding it slightly.

Over time, there were would be many spaceships. You would ultimately have upwards of 1,000 or more spaceships waiting in orbit. Hence, the Mars Colonial fleet would depart en masse.

It makes sense to load the spaceships into orbit because you have got 2 years to do so, and then you can make frequent use of the booster and the tanker to get really heavy reuse out of those. With the spaceship, you get less reuse because you have to consider how long it is going to lastmaybe 30 years, which might be perhaps 1215 flights of the spaceship at most. Therefore, you really want to maximize the cargo of the spaceship and reuse the booster and the tanker as much as possible. Hence, the ship goes to Mars, gets replenished, and then returns to Earth.

This ship will be relatively small compared with the Mars interplanetary ships of the future. However, it needs to fit 100 people or thereabouts in the pressurized section, carry the luggage and all of the unpressurized cargo to build propellant plants, and to build everything from iron foundries to pizza joints to you name itwe need to carry a lot of cargo.

The threshold for a self-sustaining city on Mars or a civilization would be a million people. If you can only go every 2 years and if you have 100 people per ship, that is 10,000 trips. Therefore, at least 100 people per trip is the right order of magnitude, and we may end up expanding the crew section and ultimately taking more like 200 or more people per flight in order to reduce the cost per person.

However, 10,000 flights is a lot of flights, so ultimately you would really want in the order of 1,000 ships. It would take a while to build up to 1,000 ships. How long it would take to reach that million-person threshold, from the point at which the first ship goes to Mars would probably be somewhere between 20 and 50 total Mars rendezvousso it would take 40100 years to achieve a fully self-sustaining civilization on Mars.

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The 2016 Spacex Mars Colonization plan has been published …

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Students attend STEM camp at Piedmont College – Gwinnettdailypost.com

Rising seventh- through 10th-graders from Lilburn, Radloff and Osborne middle schools, and Meadowcreek and North Hall high schools have spent part of their summer at a STEM camp at Piedmont College.

The goal is to work collaboratively to determine how to create a sustainable colony on Mars.

The Piedmont College Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellowship STEM Camp seeks to foster and enhance education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

We seek to inspire the next generation of STEM leaders through learning experiences that promote inquiry and critical thinking, said Bill Nye, the camps director and a science department chair at Meadowcreek High. Moreover, we seek to provide high quality, rigorous and authentic opportunities which promote outstanding academic achievement for all students.

The camp aims to increase campers understanding of survival and sustainability on Mars within activities related to environmental science, biotechnology and engineering robotics.

We believe that through collaborative and well-coordinated efforts, students in secondary schools can find solutions to not only the problems of today, but of the future, Nye said. Students must be challenged to explore possibilities for existence beyond Earth. As Mars is the next most inhabitable planet in the solar system, the exploration of a sustainable life on Mars is warranted.

Nye added that students increased their understanding of biotechnology through DNA extraction and completing a genetic transformation lab by transferring a jellyfish gene into bacteria to witness bioluminescence. The campers applied engineering and coding skills to use a drone to explore a mock Mars landscape, and to program robots to explore regions of interest and extract needed resources. Their further exploration of alternative energy sources will apply their content to energy limitations on Earth as well as Mars.

The field of environmental science has also been explored as students work with simulated Martian soil to determine how to grow crops on Mars and create a sustainable colony. Further explorations into urban agriculture tie directly into the need for locally developed produce and community gardens at Meadowcreek cluster schools and across the community, Nye said.

The instructors for the Piedmont STEM Camp are Woodrow Wilson Fellows in a pre-service teacher graduate program at Piedmont College. These STEM-specialized educators have experience in STEM fields. Theyve been embedded for the past year in math and science courses as intern-partners with a certified teacher and will be experiencing their first year as a classroom teacher in just a few weeks.

This model allows new teachers to develop their craft prior to flying solo and consequently are immediate contributors to their respective departments and colleagues bringing new instructional techniques to the classroom with an emphasis on the application of learning to ensure students are college and career ready upon graduation, Nye said.

The final project for the Piedmont STEM campers was to create a plan for a sustainable Mars colony. Students will have the opportunity to submit their Mars colonization proposal to several NASA competitions including the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest.

Keith Farner writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.

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GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Students attend STEM camp at Piedmont College – Gwinnettdailypost.com

Now Is the Time to Colonize Mars, Elon Musk Says

Artists illustration showing SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft landing on Mars.

SAN FRANCISCO Humanity shouldn’t dally in its quest to colonize Mars, SpaceX’s billionaire founder and CEO Elon Musk says.

“Now is the first time in the history of Earth that the window is open, where it’s possible for us to extend life to another planet,” Musk told a huge crowd here Tuesday (Dec. 15) at the annual winter meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

“That window may be open for a long time and hopefully it is but it also may be open for a short time,” he added. “I think the wise move is to make life multiplanetary while we can.” [SpaceX’s Plan for Mars & Reusable Rockets (Video)]

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk talks to Margaret Leinen, the director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, on Dec. 15, 2015, at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

Colonizing Mars has long been a passion of Musk’s. Indeed, the entrepreneur has repeatedly said that he founded SpaceX in 2002 primarily to help make humanity a multiplanet species. Having a self-sustaining outpost on the Red Planet would serve as an insurance policy, making humanity’s extinction unlikely even if something goes terribly awry here on Earth, Musk said Tuesday.

Colonizing Mars would have other benefits as well, he added; the effort would greatly advance science discoveries and technological capabilities, and it would help inspire and excite people from all walks of life and from all around the globe.

Mars settlement “would be a great adventure,” Musk said. “There need to be things that people look forward to when we wake up in the morning.”

Colonizing Mars won’t be easy, but humanity can do it with a few key technological advances, Elon Musk said. Chief among them are fully and rapidly reusable rockets, and the ability to produce rocket propellant from local materials on the Red Planet.

Currently, rockets are used just once and then ditched into the ocean. That means a lot of money is sinking to the ocean floor after every launch.

For example, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket costs about $16 million to build, but the fuel for each of the booster’s liftoffs costs just $200,000, Musk said Tuesday. So finding a way to fly rockets again and again has the potential to slash the cost of spaceflight by a factor of 100, he added.

SpaceX is working hard to do just that. The company has tried twice this year to land a Falcon 9 first stage on an “autonomous drone ship” in the Atlantic Ocean during orbital launches. Both attempts, which occurred in January and April, were near misses; the rocket stage hit the target but ended up toppling and exploding on the ship’s deck.

SpaceX will try again soon to bring a Falcon 9 first stage back down for a soft landing this time, perhaps on land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Musk said recently.

Mars colonization could be complicated by the discovery of indigenous life forms on the surface, Musk said Tuesday; in such a case, scientists and decision makers would have to make sure Red Planet pioneers tread as carefully as possible.

But Musk doesn’t think such planetary-protection concerns will end up being a major issue.

“It really doesn’t seem like there’s any life on Mars, on the surface at least,” Musk said here Tuesday. “We’re not seeing any sign of that.”

The Martian underground is more hospitable, since any life forms there would be protected from the harsh radiation environment and cold temperatures encountered on the surface, he added. But Musk doesnt think subsurface life would or should derail Red Planet colonization.

“I think anything we do on the surface is really not going to have a big impact on the subterranean life,” he said.

Musk hopes to be a key player in the spread of humanity to another planet, but he doesn’t expect to be around to see the full fruits of his labor.

“It will be superhard to do this, and it will take a long time,” he said of Mars colonization. “I suspect I won’t live to see it become self-sustaining.”

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter@michaeldwallandGoogle+.Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebookor Google+. Originally published onSpace.com.

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Now Is the Time to Colonize Mars, Elon Musk Says


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