SpaceX presses home their advantage.
From the look of it, SpaceX will launch some of its own people as astronauts in 2015. That would be ideal. I hope they can.
A great milestone in the broadening of spaceflight participation.
After SpaceX gets some experience taking people up and down they will have to realize they need different vehicles for different phases of flight. They have already realized Dragon is not right as a mars lander and are working on Dragon 2 which will have a greater diameter (Elon says the current Dragon could go to mars but would make a nice crater even with superdracos.)
The cost of migration will come down when they launch 7 times 7 at a time which they could easily do with the FH. This vehicle would return to earth empty. Those folks are going on to the orbit of their new home in multiple ships perhaps owned by multiple private companies. Dragon 2 landers or something similar will be prepositioned, waiting for them in orbit to take them the final leg of the voyage.
But even if Elon could transport colonists for free it isn’t going to happen. Most could not afford the spacesuit. So they need a plan that pays for that and provides sufficient resources once they arrive. I’ve heard of one.
Hrmmm… There’s another possible way (maybe) to make space colonization pay.
How much do we spend each year on prisons? Would that pay the bills?
The notion I have in mind is setting up prison colonies – perhaps on Mars.
This economic model has been tried before. It’s how Australia began.
I know it’s not feasible now, but in a few decades or so, who knows?
the President’s FY 2013 budget request for the BOP totals $6.9 billion
That’s four prisoners. What do we do with the rest?
That’s federal. State and local cost a lot, too.
Costs would have to come way the hell down, of course. It’s absolutely not feasible now.
What might be possible now is sending politicians up on “fact finding missions” in order to get more funding . Not to Mars though, too much Delta-v. I’m thinking that for political fact-finding missions, use all the spacecraft’s available Delta-v to do a very close pass by the moon, using it as a gravity handle to null out Earth’s orbital velocity (basically slingshotting them back along out velocity vector). That’s bring them to a standstill (a situation where a politician feels right at home) while giving them a chance to perceive the gravity of the situation, before becoming enlightened.
Tell them we plan to name a new crater after them, eh?
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