SpaceX Moon mission extends Elon Musk’s ambitions

Mar 1, 2017

By Jonathan Amos

Elon Musk, it seems, loves nothing more than to spin plates. When most of us might be looking to lighten the load, he’s piling on the ambition.

The serial entrepreneur’s latest gambit is to fly people around the Moon. Two wealthy individuals have apparently lodged significant deposits with his SpaceX company to make this journey.

We have no idea who they are, just that these space tourists include “nobody from Hollywood”.

That Mr Musk should announce his intention to carry out a Moon loop should not really be a surprise; such a venture is on the natural path to deep-space exploration and colonisation – his stated end goals.

What does take the breath away is the timeline.

He’s talking about doing this journey in late 2018, in hardware that has not yet even flown. That’s Elon for you.

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3 comments on “SpaceX Moon mission extends Elon Musk’s ambitions

  • @OP – He’s talking about doing this journey in late 2018, in hardware that has not yet even flown. That’s Elon for you.

    . . . . and his recent missions have not been noted for reliability!

    His launch vehicle is not even man-rated to transport astronauts to the ISS yet!



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  • Yep, but he also had a number of delays with the Tesla cars, they got there in the end but he is not afraid to delay when he can’t quite manage it.

    I think he pushes and pushes but if he played safe his Tesla cars would be no better than a Prius. I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t manage it, it also won’t surprise me if he does or does it the following year. The commercial operators have relied heavily on knowledge gained at great expense from NASA and of course their failures in the 60’s were legendary they had rockets blowing up every month at the beginning. I know quite a few home build aircraft enthusiasts over the years a couple I’ve met had built Rutan’s designs, very nice. I have great respect for Burt Rutan but I found a speech he gave just after the early successes of his first sub orbital flights arrogant. Yes he had innovated, yes the potential was there to do something cheaper than NASA, however what he achieved was really only what Al Shepard’s flight managed many decades before. And he was using the knowledge gained at the expense of NASA and its astronauts over decades. Musk seems to have the right mix of pragmatic engineering problem solving mixed with enough motivation to push himself. I reckon he is doing pretty well all considered. But a bloody difficult task ahead no doubt. Both have achieved something remarkable but it’s a dangerous tricky thing they are trying to do here, I won’t be surprised if they even loose a few astronauts to this. If you’d asked any of the Apollo astronauts though they’d have all said it was worth it. Won’t get me in one but they’d be plenty who would.



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  • Reckless Monkey #2
    Mar 2, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Musk seems to have the right mix of pragmatic engineering problem solving mixed with enough motivation to push himself. I reckon he is doing pretty well all considered. But a bloody difficult task ahead no doubt. Both have achieved something remarkable but it’s a dangerous tricky thing they are trying to do here, I won’t be surprised if they even loose a few astronauts to this.

    He does manage to fix problems – albeit sometimes at the second attempt!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2017/02/spacex-cargo-craft-fails-to-dock-with-space-station-will-try-again/



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