Tuesday, April 12, 2016

When Does Musk Go To The Moon

The space race is back but on the private side. Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin launched and safely landed their rocket safely. Elon Musk's firm answered. If you know the early space race duels between the US and USSR the Russians would do something, the Americans would race to catch up, and then when the Americans caught up, the Russians would so something at a higher level. Nice cover for ICBM development. As Land writes, this makes the Bezos-Musk duel fun and great to witness.

I am torn on Musk. He is brilliant and he is also the most industrious welfare queen ever. Tesla cars are fantastic, but why don't they ramp up production if they have so many people signing up to buy them? it is fun to watch though, and I wonder when he gets to the moon. Musk standing in a moon base doing a press conference streamed online or on television is where I see this going. SpaceX will put men and material in space, and acts in the gambling, ambitious manner one would hope a billionaire would be.

In the comments section to the xenosystems post, I wondered when Musk would work with the Japanese. A criticism of Musk is that this is all being done with government money. Yes, but he is successful with what he uses. The Japanese had a program that they suspended of creating a robotic moon base. It had a $2 billion price tag. A robotic moon base has advantages for first, not needing to rely on human physical limitations for time on the moon and also as a base from which to build a base capable of supporting humans. It is a smart approach to anything permanent on the moon: send robots first to build for humans until you are ready for them.

The Japanese love to find new government spending programs. Elon Musk knows how to work government officials. When does this marriage take place, and Musk runs the Japanese program to build a moon base or get to the moon? Musk can use the Japanese for their money and motivation, and the Japanese can use him. It seems a good marriage. For a man who takes personal risks, it feels right. May humanity see it happen.


NZT said...

Not sure I'm as enthusiastic as you are to see Musk planting a rainbow flag on the moon (you know this would happen). In any case I agree with weev's take, that Musk comes across as a hyperactive kid who wants to be king of cars and spaceships and trains and who knows what else, even as he wheedles the government and hot money investors into paying for all these obsessions. He's a weird inversion of crusty old oil billionaires who decide to do something inspiring with their wealth and... donate $150 million to a college football program.

NZT said...

Shoot, just realized I was thinking of Peter Thiel (the gay dude), not Musk. Though with a face like that I hope I could be forgiven for assuming Musk was a homo.

Dan Kurt said...

Discovered your site by listing to Ascending or Descending the Tower. On first time here I am struck by your irony. First: see article "WW1: The Tsar Sealed His Fate" by firing his knowledgable (in War Fighting Doctrine) Grand Duke to run the war himself and thus relying on an amateur. Then I spy an article on Musk who you applaud and expect to make it to the moon. Musk defines the term amateur when it comes to rocketry as he is self taught and from reports calls the shots. An example is reusable stages, something that makes no sense from at least two valid reasons: 1) weight penalty of the stage recovered, and 2) risk of reusing a motor that will be structurally weakened by the use(s) as rocket engines are subject to incredible stresses in firing and the turbo pumps place violent stresses on the blades and bearings in use during a flight. Musk is asking for system failure in recovery and reuse of stages. Clearly false economy. Musk is replaying the Tsar but on the Taxpayer's dime.

Dan Kurt

p.s. Urge you to listen to this youTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY3GclS5VUQ

Son of Brock Landers said...

I have written about Musk become a Billionaire Welfare Queen and he has blocked me on Twitter.