Elon Musk

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Its name will be “Red Dragon.” And if the latest partnership between SpaceX and NASA works out, the privately funded craft will land on Mars to collect scientific data — possibly within the next two years. The plan is to use the Dragon capsule, but without a human crew.

“SpaceX is planning to send Dragons to Mars as early as 2018,” the companysaid via Facebook Wednesday. “These missions will help demonstrate the technologies needed to land large payloads propulsively on Mars.”

A propulsive landing, we’ll remind you, is the use of powerful rockets to lower the spacecraft in a stable — and, if all goes well, reusable — position.

“You can’t land on Mars using parachutes like you would on Earth,” NPR’s Geoff Brumfiel tells us, “because the atmosphere isn’t thick enough.”

The Dragon craft is meant to carry astronauts, but SpaceX founder Elon Musk says the SUV-sized interior of the craft would make it difficult for humans to endure any trips longer than from the Earth to the moon.

  1. NewFormatSux says:

    Looks like HMeyers nailed it, this is just a scheme to get more government money.

    • Hmeyers says:

      I would never make a comment about money.

      Money is imaginary and can correlate to real things, but itself is not real.

      Resources, people, efficiency, motivations, hope, effectiveness are real.

      Sending a rocket to Mars is something real. I would like to see it happen in the next 5 years. Part of me doubts it will happen even in the 15 years.

      While I am not an Elon “fan”, he is very intelligent, very scientific and gets real results. We are very lucky to have him.

      • NewFormatSux says:

        Oops, I thought it was you that described it as a scheme to get NASA contracts.

        • Hmeyers says:

          The government ought to fund space research, especially effective space research.

          It has been demonstrated that only a government has the long-term stability to care for space missions.

          It may be the one branch of science and engineering that has no other viable caretaker than government.

          • ± says:

            While it is true that governments have legitimate value as the overseers of defense, infrastructure, and other issues related to the collective weal, when they venture out of this narrow band, they almost always fuck it up. This is out of the narrow band.

            NASA getting Wernher von Braun was a fluke. There is no other way our early successes would have happened. The government is incapable of doing something equivalent ever again.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            Tell me once why the gubment should engage in “non-viable” enterprises?

            What would our society/world look like if all such money/effort/thinking was put into viable projects?

            Who benefits and who loses under each scenario?

          • When words get in the way says:

            Google says: “viable – capable of working successfully; feasible.”

            Government IS a non-viable enterprise.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            The word/concept/issue/idea in contest is “non-viable.”

            I hesitate to post not wanting to take you away from perusing the dictionary. Always a good sign.

          • Sam says:

            You never hesitate to post!

  2. Mr Diesel - Trump or Cruz is Fine with Me says:

    Poll – Do we send:

    A. Matt Damon
    B. Marc Perkel

  3. Ah_Yea says:

    Reading this fantastic article about Must. Really good, highly recommended.


    • Hmeyers says:

      Very high quality article! A story of ups, downs, overcoming loss of a 10-month old son, divorce, expectations, failures, struggles.

      Very humanizing article.

      I think many people forget that most people who succeed at that scale often had endured a roller coaster and also rolled the dice.

      Helps to have a bit of obsession too (Mars).

  4. Ah_Yea says:

    Isn’t that a great article?

    Fascinating things like SpaceX happened because the Russians were creeps?

    How SpaceX’s lucrative NASA contracts came through Mike Griffin,

    VantagePoint trying to take over Tesla to break up it up,

    And both Tesla and SpaceX were days away from bankruptcy.

    What a story!

  5. Cgpnz says:

    It’s always great to read about the jackals that didn’t get to eat the baby! that guy is going to mars. Believe it, and get off the stupid rant about public money. If just a few of these characters throughout history were given the funds needed for their dreams, what a different world we would have. Mankind was suffered 80 years of financial baby eating.

  6. A Culture Mind says:

    Fuck Mars. Since at least the 70s, they should’ve been developing a space platform for going out to the asteroid belt and bringing those things in for resources. Ditto comets that come by.


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