Elon’s vision is regular flights to the moon that regular people could afford

SpaceX is currently spending 5% of its resources on the BFR development. This will change and increase over time.

Dragon 2 is scheduled for an uncrewed launch in December.
The crewed flight is targeted for the second quarter of 2019.

SpaceX will develop closed-loop oxygen CO2 and closed-loop water for the Mars missions.

The shorter moon missions will be able to leverage the crewed Dragon and Space station missions.

Assuming the crewed mission is successful and goes well, then the new engineering and development would swing to BFR around the end of 2019.

Elon Musk is expecting to spend $5 billion to develop the BFR. This is large for SpaceX but small for a project of this nature. It will not be more than $10 billion and will not be less than $2 billion.

Elon said “There should be a base on the moon”. There should be one there and we should go there a lot. The vision would be that it could be so inexpensive that regular people could save up and make a trip to the moon.

Elon’s vision is regular flights to moon that regular people could afford.

They want the BFR to land anywhere in the solar system.

135 thoughts on “Elon’s vision is regular flights to the moon that regular people could afford”

  1. Hard to say, but probably. The money will have to be in constant dollars, if they still exist. Thinking in terms of ounces of precious metals might work better.

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  2. Hard to say but probably. The money will have to be in constant dollars if they still exist. Thinking in terms of ounces of precious metals might work better.

    Reply
  3. SpaceX will develop closed-loop oxygen CO2 and closed-loop water for the Mars missions.” I should hope so! Mind, as you’re consuming food, you’re consuming O2, and generating both CO2 and water. Coincidentally, the plan borrows from Zubrin’s Mars Direct, in that it is intended to bring reactors to Mars that take in CO2 and water, and generate O2 and CH4. Is there a reason one of these reactors couldn’t be used on the trip, gradually transforming stored food into stored propellant?

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  4. Sorry Marcus but my best guess is that the most likely way to get to the moon with $100k starting at 49 right now is to go to a casino and put the money on a 200:1 bet. You’ve now got a 1/200 chance of getting $20 million. THAT looks like being a straight forward pay-the-money-and-get-onboard type deal within a decade. Just waiting will probably decrease the odds of the insurance companies signing off on your survival faster than the price drops. Also, you know, do both anaerobic and aerobic exercise, eat lots of lean meat, fish and vegetables, wear a seatbelt and sunscreen, etc. etc. to maintain good health for as long as possible. Disclaimer: I am not a financial or space travel advisor. Nor am I licensed to practice medicine in your locality. Your milage may vary. Void where prohibited by law. Do not remove the tags. Not to be taken internally.

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  5. SpaceX will develop closed-loop oxygen CO2 and closed-loop water for the Mars missions.””I should hope so! Mind”” as you’re consuming food you’re consuming O2 and generating both CO2 and water. Coincidentally the plan borrows from Zubrin’s Mars Direct in that it is intended to bring reactors to Mars that take in CO2 and water and generate O2 and CH4.Is there a reason one of these reactors couldn’t be used on the trip”” gradually transforming stored food into stored propellant?”””

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  6. Sorry Marcus but my best guess is that the most likely way to get to the moon with $100k starting at 49 right now is to go to a casino and put the money on a 200:1 bet.You’ve now got a 1/200 chance of getting $20 million. THAT looks like being a straight forward pay-the-money-and-get-onboard type deal within a decade. Just waiting will probably decrease the odds of the insurance companies signing off on your survival faster than the price drops.Also you know do both anaerobic and aerobic exercise eat lots of lean meat fish and vegetables wear a seatbelt and sunscreen etc. etc. to maintain good health for as long as possible.Disclaimer: I am not a financial or space travel advisor. Nor am I licensed to practice medicine in your locality. Your milage may vary. Void where prohibited by law. Do not remove the tags. Not to be taken internally.

    Reply
  7. IMO, it is a *good idea* that Elon and Crew have come up with to go to the moon first and perfect that set of maneuvers and tech before going to Mars… -kind of like a “preliminary camping trip” on the way to colonizing Mars… -make sure all the tech you are going to require on Mars works on the moon first before going there… -anyway, good stuff!

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  8. The Moon base should include methalox production facilities for refueling. That would significantly increase the payload capacity to/from the Moon as well as to Mars and elsewhere. Without refueling at the Moon, a fully fueled BFS with the full 150 ton cargo will have 30 tons of fuel left after landing on the Moon from LEO. It’ll need at least 94 tons to return to LEO (empty; more if they want to bring back a payload, such as people and life support). That means at least 64 tons of the cargo will have to be fuel for the return trip, leaving at most 86 tons of other payload. If they land and return the same payload, the maximum payload is ~25 tons (if allowing for some safety margin). With refueling, it’ll need to carry ~10-35 tons of carbon, depending on the return payload, leaving 140-115 tons of other payload delivered to the Moon surface. Similarly for Mars: without refueling near the Moon, a fully-fueled BFS can deliver ~75-100 tons of payload to Mars from LEO, depending on how much it can slow down with aerobraking at Mars. With refueling near the Moon (at least in LLO, but ideally in EML2), it can deliver the full 150 tons (the carbon for making the fuel will need to be delivered to the Moon separately in this scenario). In theory, the first cargo BFS to the Moon could probably land all the equipment needed to make methalox there, plus the carbon it needs to refuel for the return trip.

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  9. IMO it is a *good idea* that Elon and Crew have come up with to go to the moon first and perfect that set of maneuvers and tech before going to Mars… -kind of like a preliminary camping trip”” on the way to colonizing Mars… -make sure all the tech you are going to require on Mars works on the moon first before going there… -anyway”””” good stuff!”””

    Reply
  10. The Moon base should include methalox production facilities for refueling. That would significantly increase the payload capacity to/from the Moon as well as to Mars and elsewhere.Without refueling at the Moon a fully fueled BFS with the full 150 ton cargo will have 30 tons of fuel left after landing on the Moon from LEO. It’ll need at least 94 tons to return to LEO (empty; more if they want to bring back a payload such as people and life support). That means at least 64 tons of the cargo will have to be fuel for the return trip leaving at most 86 tons of other payload.If they land and return the same payload the maximum payload is ~25 tons (if allowing for some safety margin).With refueling it’ll need to carry ~10-35 tons of carbon depending on the return payload leaving 140-115 tons of other payload delivered to the Moon surface.Similarly for Mars: without refueling near the Moon a fully-fueled BFS can deliver ~75-100 tons of payload to Mars from LEO depending on how much it can slow down with aerobraking at Mars. With refueling near the Moon (at least in LLO but ideally in EML2) it can deliver the full 150 tons (the carbon for making the fuel will need to be delivered to the Moon separately in this scenario).In theory the first cargo BFS to the Moon could probably land all the equipment needed to make methalox there plus the carbon it needs to refuel for the return trip.

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  11. Make it so affordable that Flat Earthers can go to the Moon. Once they arrive there, make an automated speaker system say “Welcome to the Moon. The cabin will despressurize in 5 minutes. You can either doubt you really are on the Moon and experience in first hand hard vacuum… or you can buy our pressurized astronaut suits. $10 million a piece.

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  12. Make it so affordable that Flat Earthers can go to the Moon. Once they arrive there make an automated speaker system say Welcome to the Moon. The cabin will despressurize in 5 minutes. You can either doubt you really are on the Moon and experience in first hand hard vacuum… or you can buy our pressurized astronaut suits. $10 million a piece.”

    Reply
  13. I would be shocked if the new Space Force didn’t want one or more of these owned, or at least contract to have one dedicated to their use at all times so that they can launch on short notice. They’re certainly going to be putting up some serious tonnage if they plan on making the Space Force a reality, especially with both China and Russia experimenting with attacking satellites in orbit.

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  14. Then maybe the Air Force/Space Force can step up and put in an order for 5 BFRs for say 5-10 Billion? Then they put in small nuclear reactors and weapon systems. The nuclearized BFS would be like a submarine in space, a true proper spaceship.

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  15. I would be shocked if the new Space Force didn’t want one or more of these owned or at least contract to have one dedicated to their use at all times so that they can launch on short notice. They’re certainly going to be putting up some serious tonnage if they plan on making the Space Force a reality especially with both China and Russia experimenting with attacking satellites in orbit.

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  16. Then maybe the Air Force/Space Force can step up and put in an order for 5 BFRs for say 5-10 Billion? Then they put in small nuclear reactors and weapon systems. The nuclearized BFS would be like a submarine in space a true proper spaceship.

    Reply
  17. We are not being “seriously” challenged. The only peer assets out there, the country in question will have like… 12… in 2025.

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  18. I would guess one in Earth orbit or one on the Moon when they get fuel manufacturing up and running. On the Moon would be preferable because you are then landing with less fuel which is less hazardous.I believe they could do it with none (at the very least they can orbit the Moon and return) but it would greatly reduce the payload. They will probably do that at first. Maybe a dozen people rather than hundreds.

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  19. We are not being seriously”” challenged. The only peer assets out there”””” the country in question will have like… 12… in 2025.”””

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  20. If they are sending several hundred people at a time, $500,000 might be enough. Though with several hundred passengers there are always going to be very nasty people wanting to be waited on hand and foot and noisily having tizzy fits…and vomit floating around everywhere…that will spoil the trip for everyone…

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  21. Dude, we do not need to have military enough to take over half the planet. That is just government waste. We have 20 Aircraft carriers in service, no one else even has 5. And the vast majority of the other 22 carriers out there are small. China has one. Russia has one. Who exactly are we supposed to be shaking in our boots about?

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  22. I would guess one in Earth orbit, or one on the Moon when they get fuel manufacturing up and running. On the Moon would be preferable, because you are then landing with less fuel which is less hazardous. I believe they could do it with none (at the very least they can orbit the Moon and return), but it would greatly reduce the payload. They will probably do that at first. Maybe a dozen people rather than hundreds.

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  23. If they are sending several hundred people at a time $500000 might be enough. Though with several hundred passengers there are always going to be very nasty people wanting to be waited on hand and foot and noisily having tizzy fits…and vomit floating around everywhere…that will spoil the trip for everyone…

    Reply
  24. Dude we do not need to have military enough to take over half the planet. That is just government waste.We have 20 Aircraft carriers in service no one else even has 5. And the vast majority of the other 22 carriers out there are small. China has one. Russia has one. Who exactly are we supposed to be shaking in our boots about?

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  25. Good, because we couldn’t begin to afford that. But we do need to be able to crush two regional powers independently — or chose which set of allies to sacrifice.

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  26. They need to refill the tanks completely for a landing and returning lunar mission. A cislunar one would require significantly less (nothing for landing, just the initial thrust and course correction), but at least one or two tankers would be needed, given BFS arrives nearly empty of fuel to orbit with a full payload, which I assume is the case of a crewed ship.

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  27. Good because we couldn’t begin to afford that. But we do need to be able to crush two regional powers independently — or chose which set of allies to sacrifice.

    Reply
  28. They need to refill the tanks completely for a landing and returning lunar mission. A cislunar one would require significantly less (nothing for landing just the initial thrust and course correction) but at least one or two tankers would be needed given BFS arrives nearly empty of fuel to orbit with a full payload which I assume is the case of a crewed ship.

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  29. Why? Why do we have to defend the entire free world? We are not going to take on China or Russia and they are the only ones capable and likely to try to take one of our allies over. No one wants to risk a nuclear war. Maybe we would help defend Australia or Japan…to a point. Some Baltic state? Unlikely. We are not going to risk nuclear war with Russia. Defend Israel? Sure. But that does not take a dozen aircraft carriers. And it is much cheaper to just give/sell them the means to defend themselves, as we have been doing. Maybe give them an old aircraft carrier. They don’t even have to move it much, just park it. Far safer for us to give/sell our close allies weapons to defend themselves than to try to defend everyone ourselves. North Korea? Honestly, I don’t think we would even risk nuclear war with them. We have effectively claimed all of the Americas. We have a policy of not allowing any powers outside the Americas to invade. I am ok with maintaining that. In my opinion, we should spend more money helping the Americas build their economies, strengthen their infrastructure, eliminate tropical diseases and drop all the ideological strutting.

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  30. Part of the problem with SpaceX now is they could be “captured” by the military. NASA is seen as being a civilian organization, that might not be so with SpaceX, whether it likes it or not. Truth be told, SpaceX provides ideal weapons delivery systems. America is going backward in terms of its naval capability, and its air force is being seriously challenged. The one area where America can maintain a cutting edge is in space with new technology. This is where SpaceX comes in with its cheap, reliable, heavy lifting and rapid re-usability rockets

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  31. Why? Why do we have to defend the entire free world? We are not going to take on China or Russia and they are the only ones capable and likely to try to take one of our allies over. No one wants to risk a nuclear war. Maybe we would help defend Australia or Japan…to a point. Some Baltic state? Unlikely. We are not going to risk nuclear war with Russia.Defend Israel? Sure. But that does not take a dozen aircraft carriers. And it is much cheaper to just give/sell them the means to defend themselves as we have been doing. Maybe give them an old aircraft carrier. They don’t even have to move it much just park it.Far safer for us to give/sell our close allies weapons to defend themselves than to try to defend everyone ourselves.North Korea? Honestly I don’t think we would even risk nuclear war with them. We have effectively claimed all of the Americas. We have a policy of not allowing any powers outside the Americas to invade. I am ok with maintaining that.In my opinion we should spend more money helping the Americas build their economies strengthen their infrastructure eliminate tropical diseases and drop all the ideological strutting.

    Reply
  32. Part of the problem with SpaceX now is they could be captured”” by the military.NASA is seen as being a civilian organization”” that might not be so with SpaceXwhether it likes it or not.Truth be told SpaceX provides ideal weapons delivery systems. America is going backward in terms of its naval capability and its air force is beingseriously challenged. The one area where America can maintain a cuttingedge is in space with new technology. This is where SpaceX comes in with itscheap reliable”” heavy lifting and rapid re-usability rockets”””

    Reply
  33. Why? Why do we have to defend the entire free world? ” As a first order of magnitude answer, because we want it to be defended, we are part of it, and we are by far best positioned to do it. ” We are not going to take on China or Russia

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  34. By “one” do you mean one refueling, or one tanker? Refueling on the Moon does increase the payload significantly (see my longer post), but I doubt it’ll be done with tankers, except maybe in early missions. Once you have methalox production on the Moon, you bring 10-35 tons of carbon, and that converts to enough methalox for one return trip. The carbon can be brought in separately in larger batches. Starting from LEO, the amount of refueling depends on the payload size and whether you want to land. If you want to land with a payload of 150 tons, then you need full tanks in LEO. That should take 7-8 tankers, and would leave 30 tons of fuel remaining after landing. BFS needs 94 tons of fuel to return from the Moon surface to LEO empty, or 260 tons to return with 150 tons of payload. So without refueling on the Moon, the maximum payload is much smaller.

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  35. Why? Why do we have to defend the entire free world? “”As a first order of magnitude answer”” because we want it to be defended we are part of it”” and we are by far best positioned to do it.”””” We are not going to take on China or Russia “””” “””

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  36. By one”” do you mean one refueling”” or one tanker?Refueling on the Moon does increase the payload significantly (see my longer post) but I doubt it’ll be done with tankers except maybe in early missions. Once you have methalox production on the Moon you bring 10-35 tons of carbon and that converts to enough methalox for one return trip. The carbon can be brought in separately in larger batches.Starting from LEO the amount of refueling depends on the payload size and whether you want to land. If you want to land with a payload of 150 tons then you need full tanks in LEO. That should take 7-8 tankers and would leave 30 tons of fuel remaining after landing.BFS needs 94 tons of fuel to return from the Moon surface to LEO empty or 260 tons to return with 150 tons of payload. So without refueling on the Moon”” the maximum payload is much smaller.”””

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  37. Lookup the Monroe Doctrine. We have made it well known for over a hundred years that we will not allow other world powers to take any country in the Americas. So, yes, we have claimed it as our turf but not in the usual way, because we are not imperial. If Russia tried to grow beyond its means, it would collapse yet again. China would have similar problems trying to maintain acquisitions and the trade embargoes that would surly follow would quickly bankrupt them. If they tried to take Japan for example. Suddenly all the Japanese would have weapons. I am sure they have millions of small arms safely put away just in case. China then trying to maintain control would be at a cost a lot of Chinese lives…probably several thousand a day. And there are no natural resources, so what would be the point? That is why they are not doing invasions left and right, nothing to do with our military. The Ukraine was a special case, as it is very productive and the influence was already strong. Most of Russia’s former possessions costed more than they contributed. Empires are expensive. They cost a lot of lives to maintain. A thousand years ago, most of the populations were defenseless against armed soldiers. But now, even a scrawny 10 year old can shoot and kill your best warrior with a handgun. And they stand a better chance of getting away because they are a harder target. Your thinking is antiquated.

    Reply
  38. Lookup the Monroe Doctrine. We have made it well known for over a hundred years that we will not allow other world powers to take any country in the Americas. So yes we have claimed it as our turf but not in the usual way because we are not imperial.If Russia tried to grow beyond its means it would collapse yet again. China would have similar problems trying to maintain acquisitions and the trade embargoes that would surly follow would quickly bankrupt them. If they tried to take Japan for example. Suddenly all the Japanese would have weapons. I am sure they have millions of small arms safely put away just in case. China then trying to maintain control would be at a cost a lot of Chinese lives…probably several thousand a day. And there are no natural resources so what would be the point? That is why they are not doing invasions left and right nothing to do with our military. The Ukraine was a special case as it is very productive and the influence was already strong. Most of Russia’s former possessions costed more than they contributed.Empires are expensive. They cost a lot of lives to maintain. A thousand years ago most of the populations were defenseless against armed soldiers. But now even a scrawny 10 year old can shoot and kill your best warrior with a handgun. And they stand a better chance of getting away because they are a harder target.Your thinking is antiquated.

    Reply
  39. Lookup the Monroe Doctrine. We have made it well known for over a hundred years that we will not allow other world powers to take any country in the Americas.

    Reply
  40. Lookup the Monroe Doctrine. We have made it well known for over a hundred years that we will not allow other world powers to take any country in the Americas. “” “””

    Reply
  41. With no refueling, all you can manage is a free-return trajectory, which is what the Maezawa mission is. By my model (see my comment above), you can get 20 tonnes to LLO with a total of 4 launches. That would probably handle 30 passengers, with enough consumables to spend quite a while in lunar orbit.

    Reply
  42. Until you’ve got lunar ISRU up and running, there’s not refueling from the the Moon, so everything has to go with the BFS once it’s sent to TLI. To get 20 tonnes of payload (which would probably handle 30-ish people per flight) to low lunar orbit, I get a total of 4 launches, using the Adelaide numbers for BFR/BFS: 1) Launch a tanker. 2) Refuel the tanker with 2 additional launches. 3) Boost tanker to highly elliptical earth orbit (HEEO). I SWAGged this as a delta-v of 2500 m/s more than what’s needed to get to LEO. 4) Launch passenger BFS to HEEO to rendezvous and refuel with the tanker. 5) Passenger BFS does TLI and LOI, loitering in LLO for as long as it wants before doing TEI back to Earth. To get the same 20 tonnes to the lunar surface and back takes 11 launches: 1) Launch tanker. 2) Refuel tanker with 7 additional launches. 3) Boost tanker to HEEO. 4) Launch passenger BFS to LEO. 5) Refuel passenger BFS with 2 launches in LEO. 6) Boost passenger BFS to HEEO to rendezvous with tanker and refuel. 7) Passenger BFS does TLI, LOI, and lunar descent. It then stays on the Moon for a while, and then boost back to TEI and Earth reentry. Things get better if you make LOX on the lunar surface, but note that you’re not going to make LCH4 on the lunar surface–it’ll have to be shipped from Earth for a long, long time.

    Reply
  43. With no refueling all you can manage is a free-return trajectory which is what the Maezawa mission is. By my model (see my comment above) you can get 20 tonnes to LLO with a total of 4 launches. That would probably handle 30 passengers with enough consumables to spend quite a while in lunar orbit.

    Reply
  44. Until you’ve got lunar ISRU up and running there’s not refueling from the the Moon so everything has to go with the BFS once it’s sent to TLI.To get 20 tonnes of payload (which would probably handle 30-ish people per flight) to low lunar orbit I get a total of 4 launches using the Adelaide numbers for BFR/BFS:1) Launch a tanker.2) Refuel the tanker with 2 additional launches.3) Boost tanker to highly elliptical earth orbit (HEEO). I SWAGged this as a delta-v of 2500 m/s more than what’s needed to get to LEO.4) Launch passenger BFS to HEEO to rendezvous and refuel with the tanker.5) Passenger BFS does TLI and LOI loitering in LLO for as long as it wants before doing TEI back to Earth.To get the same 20 tonnes to the lunar surface and back takes 11 launches:1) Launch tanker.2) Refuel tanker with 7 additional launches.3) Boost tanker to HEEO.4) Launch passenger BFS to LEO.5) Refuel passenger BFS with 2 launches in LEO.6) Boost passenger BFS to HEEO to rendezvous with tanker and refuel.7) Passenger BFS does TLI LOI and lunar descent. It then stays on the Moon for a while and then boost back to TEI and Earth reentry.Things get better if you make LOX on the lunar surface but note that you’re not going to make LCH4 on the lunar surface–it’ll have to be shipped from Earth for a long long time.

    Reply
  45. With no refueling, all you can manage is a free-return trajectory, which is what the Maezawa mission is. By my model (see my comment above), you can get 20 tonnes to LLO with a total of 4 launches. That would probably handle 30 passengers, with enough consumables to spend quite a while in lunar orbit.

    Reply
  46. With no refueling all you can manage is a free-return trajectory which is what the Maezawa mission is. By my model (see my comment above) you can get 20 tonnes to LLO with a total of 4 launches. That would probably handle 30 passengers with enough consumables to spend quite a while in lunar orbit.

    Reply
  47. Until you’ve got lunar ISRU up and running, there’s not refueling from the the Moon, so everything has to go with the BFS once it’s sent to TLI. To get 20 tonnes of payload (which would probably handle 30-ish people per flight) to low lunar orbit, I get a total of 4 launches, using the Adelaide numbers for BFR/BFS: 1) Launch a tanker. 2) Refuel the tanker with 2 additional launches. 3) Boost tanker to highly elliptical earth orbit (HEEO). I SWAGged this as a delta-v of 2500 m/s more than what’s needed to get to LEO. 4) Launch passenger BFS to HEEO to rendezvous and refuel with the tanker. 5) Passenger BFS does TLI and LOI, loitering in LLO for as long as it wants before doing TEI back to Earth. To get the same 20 tonnes to the lunar surface and back takes 11 launches: 1) Launch tanker. 2) Refuel tanker with 7 additional launches. 3) Boost tanker to HEEO. 4) Launch passenger BFS to LEO. 5) Refuel passenger BFS with 2 launches in LEO. 6) Boost passenger BFS to HEEO to rendezvous with tanker and refuel. 7) Passenger BFS does TLI, LOI, and lunar descent. It then stays on the Moon for a while, and then boost back to TEI and Earth reentry. Things get better if you make LOX on the lunar surface, but note that you’re not going to make LCH4 on the lunar surface–it’ll have to be shipped from Earth for a long, long time.

    Reply
  48. Until you’ve got lunar ISRU up and running there’s not refueling from the the Moon so everything has to go with the BFS once it’s sent to TLI.To get 20 tonnes of payload (which would probably handle 30-ish people per flight) to low lunar orbit I get a total of 4 launches using the Adelaide numbers for BFR/BFS:1) Launch a tanker.2) Refuel the tanker with 2 additional launches.3) Boost tanker to highly elliptical earth orbit (HEEO). I SWAGged this as a delta-v of 2500 m/s more than what’s needed to get to LEO.4) Launch passenger BFS to HEEO to rendezvous and refuel with the tanker.5) Passenger BFS does TLI and LOI loitering in LLO for as long as it wants before doing TEI back to Earth.To get the same 20 tonnes to the lunar surface and back takes 11 launches:1) Launch tanker.2) Refuel tanker with 7 additional launches.3) Boost tanker to HEEO.4) Launch passenger BFS to LEO.5) Refuel passenger BFS with 2 launches in LEO.6) Boost passenger BFS to HEEO to rendezvous with tanker and refuel.7) Passenger BFS does TLI LOI and lunar descent. It then stays on the Moon for a while and then boost back to TEI and Earth reentry.Things get better if you make LOX on the lunar surface but note that you’re not going to make LCH4 on the lunar surface–it’ll have to be shipped from Earth for a long long time.

    Reply
  49. With no refueling, all you can manage is a free-return trajectory, which is what the Maezawa mission is. By my model (see my comment above), you can get 20 tonnes to LLO with a total of 4 launches. That would probably handle 30 passengers, with enough consumables to spend quite a while in lunar orbit.

    Reply
  50. Until you’ve got lunar ISRU up and running, there’s not refueling from the the Moon, so everything has to go with the BFS once it’s sent to TLI.

    To get 20 tonnes of payload (which would probably handle 30-ish people per flight) to low lunar orbit, I get a total of 4 launches, using the Adelaide numbers for BFR/BFS:

    1) Launch a tanker.
    2) Refuel the tanker with 2 additional launches.
    3) Boost tanker to highly elliptical earth orbit (HEEO). I SWAGged this as a delta-v of 2500 m/s more than what’s needed to get to LEO.
    4) Launch passenger BFS to HEEO to rendezvous and refuel with the tanker.
    5) Passenger BFS does TLI and LOI, loitering in LLO for as long as it wants before doing TEI back to Earth.

    To get the same 20 tonnes to the lunar surface and back takes 11 launches:

    1) Launch tanker.
    2) Refuel tanker with 7 additional launches.
    3) Boost tanker to HEEO.
    4) Launch passenger BFS to LEO.
    5) Refuel passenger BFS with 2 launches in LEO.
    6) Boost passenger BFS to HEEO to rendezvous with tanker and refuel.
    7) Passenger BFS does TLI, LOI, and lunar descent. It then stays on the Moon for a while, and then boost back to TEI and Earth reentry.

    Things get better if you make LOX on the lunar surface, but note that you’re not going to make LCH4 on the lunar surface–it’ll have to be shipped from Earth for a long, long time.

    Reply
  51. Lookup the Monroe Doctrine. We have made it well known for over a hundred years that we will not allow other world powers to take any country in the Americas.

    Reply
  52. Lookup the Monroe Doctrine. We have made it well known for over a hundred years that we will not allow other world powers to take any country in the Americas. “” “””

    Reply
  53. Lookup the Monroe Doctrine. We have made it well known for over a hundred years that we will not allow other world powers to take any country in the Americas. So, yes, we have claimed it as our turf but not in the usual way, because we are not imperial. If Russia tried to grow beyond its means, it would collapse yet again. China would have similar problems trying to maintain acquisitions and the trade embargoes that would surly follow would quickly bankrupt them. If they tried to take Japan for example. Suddenly all the Japanese would have weapons. I am sure they have millions of small arms safely put away just in case. China then trying to maintain control would be at a cost a lot of Chinese lives…probably several thousand a day. And there are no natural resources, so what would be the point? That is why they are not doing invasions left and right, nothing to do with our military. The Ukraine was a special case, as it is very productive and the influence was already strong. Most of Russia’s former possessions costed more than they contributed. Empires are expensive. They cost a lot of lives to maintain. A thousand years ago, most of the populations were defenseless against armed soldiers. But now, even a scrawny 10 year old can shoot and kill your best warrior with a handgun. And they stand a better chance of getting away because they are a harder target. Your thinking is antiquated.

    Reply
  54. Lookup the Monroe Doctrine. We have made it well known for over a hundred years that we will not allow other world powers to take any country in the Americas. So yes we have claimed it as our turf but not in the usual way because we are not imperial.If Russia tried to grow beyond its means it would collapse yet again. China would have similar problems trying to maintain acquisitions and the trade embargoes that would surly follow would quickly bankrupt them. If they tried to take Japan for example. Suddenly all the Japanese would have weapons. I am sure they have millions of small arms safely put away just in case. China then trying to maintain control would be at a cost a lot of Chinese lives…probably several thousand a day. And there are no natural resources so what would be the point? That is why they are not doing invasions left and right nothing to do with our military. The Ukraine was a special case as it is very productive and the influence was already strong. Most of Russia’s former possessions costed more than they contributed.Empires are expensive. They cost a lot of lives to maintain. A thousand years ago most of the populations were defenseless against armed soldiers. But now even a scrawny 10 year old can shoot and kill your best warrior with a handgun. And they stand a better chance of getting away because they are a harder target.Your thinking is antiquated.

    Reply
  55. ” Lookup the Monroe Doctrine. We have made it well known for over a hundred years that we will not allow other world powers to take any country in the Americas. ” <-- Which is not the same as us taking them, we have claimed them as our turf not at all. " If Russia tried to grow beyond its means, it would collapse yet again. " <-- Only if it were effectively opposed, same for China. " But now, even a scrawny 10 year old can shoot and kill your best warrior with a handgun. " <-- No, not usually. " Your thinking is antiquated. " <-- You aren't thinking, at best you are emoting, when in fact you are not spouting what is counterfactual.

    Reply
  56. Why? Why do we have to defend the entire free world? ” As a first order of magnitude answer, because we want it to be defended, we are part of it, and we are by far best positioned to do it. ” We are not going to take on China or Russia

    Reply
  57. Why? Why do we have to defend the entire free world? “”As a first order of magnitude answer”” because we want it to be defended we are part of it”” and we are by far best positioned to do it.”””” We are not going to take on China or Russia “””” “””

    Reply
  58. Lookup the Monroe Doctrine. We have made it well known for over a hundred years that we will not allow other world powers to take any country in the Americas. So, yes, we have claimed it as our turf but not in the usual way, because we are not imperial.

    If Russia tried to grow beyond its means, it would collapse yet again. China would have similar problems trying to maintain acquisitions and the trade embargoes that would surly follow would quickly bankrupt them. If they tried to take Japan for example. Suddenly all the Japanese would have weapons. I am sure they have millions of small arms safely put away just in case. China then trying to maintain control would be at a cost a lot of Chinese lives…probably several thousand a day. And there are no natural resources, so what would be the point?

    That is why they are not doing invasions left and right, nothing to do with our military. The Ukraine was a special case, as it is very productive and the influence was already strong. Most of Russia’s former possessions costed more than they contributed.

    Empires are expensive. They cost a lot of lives to maintain. A thousand years ago, most of the populations were defenseless against armed soldiers. But now, even a scrawny 10 year old can shoot and kill your best warrior with a handgun. And they stand a better chance of getting away because they are a harder target.

    Your thinking is antiquated.

    Reply
  59. By “one” do you mean one refueling, or one tanker? Refueling on the Moon does increase the payload significantly (see my longer post), but I doubt it’ll be done with tankers, except maybe in early missions. Once you have methalox production on the Moon, you bring 10-35 tons of carbon, and that converts to enough methalox for one return trip. The carbon can be brought in separately in larger batches. Starting from LEO, the amount of refueling depends on the payload size and whether you want to land. If you want to land with a payload of 150 tons, then you need full tanks in LEO. That should take 7-8 tankers, and would leave 30 tons of fuel remaining after landing. BFS needs 94 tons of fuel to return from the Moon surface to LEO empty, or 260 tons to return with 150 tons of payload. So without refueling on the Moon, the maximum payload is much smaller.

    Reply
  60. By one”” do you mean one refueling”” or one tanker?Refueling on the Moon does increase the payload significantly (see my longer post) but I doubt it’ll be done with tankers except maybe in early missions. Once you have methalox production on the Moon you bring 10-35 tons of carbon and that converts to enough methalox for one return trip. The carbon can be brought in separately in larger batches.Starting from LEO the amount of refueling depends on the payload size and whether you want to land. If you want to land with a payload of 150 tons then you need full tanks in LEO. That should take 7-8 tankers and would leave 30 tons of fuel remaining after landing.BFS needs 94 tons of fuel to return from the Moon surface to LEO empty or 260 tons to return with 150 tons of payload. So without refueling on the Moon”” the maximum payload is much smaller.”””

    Reply
  61. Part of the problem with SpaceX now is they could be “captured” by the military. NASA is seen as being a civilian organization, that might not be so with SpaceX, whether it likes it or not. Truth be told, SpaceX provides ideal weapons delivery systems. America is going backward in terms of its naval capability, and its air force is being seriously challenged. The one area where America can maintain a cutting edge is in space with new technology. This is where SpaceX comes in with its cheap, reliable, heavy lifting and rapid re-usability rockets

    Reply
  62. Part of the problem with SpaceX now is they could be captured”” by the military.NASA is seen as being a civilian organization”” that might not be so with SpaceXwhether it likes it or not.Truth be told SpaceX provides ideal weapons delivery systems. America is going backward in terms of its naval capability and its air force is beingseriously challenged. The one area where America can maintain a cuttingedge is in space with new technology. This is where SpaceX comes in with itscheap reliable”” heavy lifting and rapid re-usability rockets”””

    Reply
  63. Why? Why do we have to defend the entire free world? We are not going to take on China or Russia and they are the only ones capable and likely to try to take one of our allies over. No one wants to risk a nuclear war. Maybe we would help defend Australia or Japan…to a point. Some Baltic state? Unlikely. We are not going to risk nuclear war with Russia. Defend Israel? Sure. But that does not take a dozen aircraft carriers. And it is much cheaper to just give/sell them the means to defend themselves, as we have been doing. Maybe give them an old aircraft carrier. They don’t even have to move it much, just park it. Far safer for us to give/sell our close allies weapons to defend themselves than to try to defend everyone ourselves. North Korea? Honestly, I don’t think we would even risk nuclear war with them. We have effectively claimed all of the Americas. We have a policy of not allowing any powers outside the Americas to invade. I am ok with maintaining that. In my opinion, we should spend more money helping the Americas build their economies, strengthen their infrastructure, eliminate tropical diseases and drop all the ideological strutting.

    Reply
  64. Why? Why do we have to defend the entire free world? We are not going to take on China or Russia and they are the only ones capable and likely to try to take one of our allies over. No one wants to risk a nuclear war. Maybe we would help defend Australia or Japan…to a point. Some Baltic state? Unlikely. We are not going to risk nuclear war with Russia.Defend Israel? Sure. But that does not take a dozen aircraft carriers. And it is much cheaper to just give/sell them the means to defend themselves as we have been doing. Maybe give them an old aircraft carrier. They don’t even have to move it much just park it.Far safer for us to give/sell our close allies weapons to defend themselves than to try to defend everyone ourselves.North Korea? Honestly I don’t think we would even risk nuclear war with them. We have effectively claimed all of the Americas. We have a policy of not allowing any powers outside the Americas to invade. I am ok with maintaining that.In my opinion we should spend more money helping the Americas build their economies strengthen their infrastructure eliminate tropical diseases and drop all the ideological strutting.

    Reply
  65. ” Why? Why do we have to defend the entire free world? ”

    As a first order of magnitude answer, because we want it to be defended, we are part of it, and we are by far best positioned to do it.

    ” We are not going to take on China or Russia ” <-- Yes we will, and we must be able to credibly say that or they will A) try and fail to grab as much as they think they can get away with or far worse B) they get and keep it for quite a while. That first one is far more expensive than maintaining the force and ally structure that dissuades them, the at second far more expensive still. That's reality whether you like it or not. " We have effectively claimed all of the Americas. " <- That would be news to the people in the other countries in the Americas. Hell, it would be news to anyone with a brain.

    Reply
  66. Good, because we couldn’t begin to afford that. But we do need to be able to crush two regional powers independently — or chose which set of allies to sacrifice.

    Reply
  67. Good because we couldn’t begin to afford that. But we do need to be able to crush two regional powers independently — or chose which set of allies to sacrifice.

    Reply
  68. They need to refill the tanks completely for a landing and returning lunar mission. A cislunar one would require significantly less (nothing for landing, just the initial thrust and course correction), but at least one or two tankers would be needed, given BFS arrives nearly empty of fuel to orbit with a full payload, which I assume is the case of a crewed ship.

    Reply
  69. They need to refill the tanks completely for a landing and returning lunar mission. A cislunar one would require significantly less (nothing for landing just the initial thrust and course correction) but at least one or two tankers would be needed given BFS arrives nearly empty of fuel to orbit with a full payload which I assume is the case of a crewed ship.

    Reply
  70. If they are sending several hundred people at a time, $500,000 might be enough. Though with several hundred passengers there are always going to be very nasty people wanting to be waited on hand and foot and noisily having tizzy fits…and vomit floating around everywhere…that will spoil the trip for everyone…

    Reply
  71. If they are sending several hundred people at a time $500000 might be enough. Though with several hundred passengers there are always going to be very nasty people wanting to be waited on hand and foot and noisily having tizzy fits…and vomit floating around everywhere…that will spoil the trip for everyone…

    Reply
  72. Dude, we do not need to have military enough to take over half the planet. That is just government waste. We have 20 Aircraft carriers in service, no one else even has 5. And the vast majority of the other 22 carriers out there are small. China has one. Russia has one. Who exactly are we supposed to be shaking in our boots about?

    Reply
  73. Dude we do not need to have military enough to take over half the planet. That is just government waste.We have 20 Aircraft carriers in service no one else even has 5. And the vast majority of the other 22 carriers out there are small. China has one. Russia has one. Who exactly are we supposed to be shaking in our boots about?

    Reply
  74. I would guess one in Earth orbit, or one on the Moon when they get fuel manufacturing up and running. On the Moon would be preferable, because you are then landing with less fuel which is less hazardous. I believe they could do it with none (at the very least they can orbit the Moon and return), but it would greatly reduce the payload. They will probably do that at first. Maybe a dozen people rather than hundreds.

    Reply
  75. I would guess one in Earth orbit or one on the Moon when they get fuel manufacturing up and running. On the Moon would be preferable because you are then landing with less fuel which is less hazardous.I believe they could do it with none (at the very least they can orbit the Moon and return) but it would greatly reduce the payload. They will probably do that at first. Maybe a dozen people rather than hundreds.

    Reply
  76. We are not being “seriously” challenged. The only peer assets out there, the country in question will have like… 12… in 2025.

    Reply
  77. We are not being seriously”” challenged. The only peer assets out there”””” the country in question will have like… 12… in 2025.”””

    Reply
  78. By “one” do you mean one refueling, or one tanker?

    Refueling on the Moon does increase the payload significantly (see my longer post), but I doubt it’ll be done with tankers, except maybe in early missions. Once you have methalox production on the Moon, you bring 10-35 tons of carbon, and that converts to enough methalox for one return trip. The carbon can be brought in separately in larger batches.

    Starting from LEO, the amount of refueling depends on the payload size and whether you want to land. If you want to land with a payload of 150 tons, then you need full tanks in LEO. That should take 7-8 tankers, and would leave 30 tons of fuel remaining after landing.

    BFS needs 94 tons of fuel to return from the Moon surface to LEO empty, or 260 tons to return with 150 tons of payload. So without refueling on the Moon, the maximum payload is much smaller.

    Reply
  79. I would be shocked if the new Space Force didn’t want one or more of these owned, or at least contract to have one dedicated to their use at all times so that they can launch on short notice. They’re certainly going to be putting up some serious tonnage if they plan on making the Space Force a reality, especially with both China and Russia experimenting with attacking satellites in orbit.

    Reply
  80. I would be shocked if the new Space Force didn’t want one or more of these owned or at least contract to have one dedicated to their use at all times so that they can launch on short notice. They’re certainly going to be putting up some serious tonnage if they plan on making the Space Force a reality especially with both China and Russia experimenting with attacking satellites in orbit.

    Reply
  81. Then maybe the Air Force/Space Force can step up and put in an order for 5 BFRs for say 5-10 Billion? Then they put in small nuclear reactors and weapon systems. The nuclearized BFS would be like a submarine in space, a true proper spaceship.

    Reply
  82. Then maybe the Air Force/Space Force can step up and put in an order for 5 BFRs for say 5-10 Billion? Then they put in small nuclear reactors and weapon systems. The nuclearized BFS would be like a submarine in space a true proper spaceship.

    Reply
  83. Part of the problem with SpaceX now is they could be “captured” by the military.
    NASA is seen as being a civilian organization, that might not be so with SpaceX,
    whether it likes it or not.
    Truth be told, SpaceX provides ideal weapons delivery systems. America is
    going backward in terms of its naval capability, and its air force is being
    seriously challenged. The one area where America can maintain a cutting
    edge is in space with new technology. This is where SpaceX comes in with its
    cheap, reliable, heavy lifting and rapid re-usability rockets

    Reply
  84. Why? Why do we have to defend the entire free world? We are not going to take on China or Russia and they are the only ones capable and likely to try to take one of our allies over. No one wants to risk a nuclear war. Maybe we would help defend Australia or Japan…to a point. Some Baltic state? Unlikely. We are not going to risk nuclear war with Russia.

    Defend Israel? Sure. But that does not take a dozen aircraft carriers. And it is much cheaper to just give/sell them the means to defend themselves, as we have been doing. Maybe give them an old aircraft carrier. They don’t even have to move it much, just park it.

    Far safer for us to give/sell our close allies weapons to defend themselves than to try to defend everyone ourselves.

    North Korea? Honestly, I don’t think we would even risk nuclear war with them.

    We have effectively claimed all of the Americas. We have a policy of not allowing any powers outside the Americas to invade. I am ok with maintaining that.

    In my opinion, we should spend more money helping the Americas build their economies, strengthen their infrastructure, eliminate tropical diseases and drop all the ideological strutting.

    Reply
  85. Make it so affordable that Flat Earthers can go to the Moon. Once they arrive there, make an automated speaker system say “Welcome to the Moon. The cabin will despressurize in 5 minutes. You can either doubt you really are on the Moon and experience in first hand hard vacuum… or you can buy our pressurized astronaut suits. $10 million a piece.

    Reply
  86. Make it so affordable that Flat Earthers can go to the Moon. Once they arrive there make an automated speaker system say Welcome to the Moon. The cabin will despressurize in 5 minutes. You can either doubt you really are on the Moon and experience in first hand hard vacuum… or you can buy our pressurized astronaut suits. $10 million a piece.”

    Reply
  87. IMO, it is a *good idea* that Elon and Crew have come up with to go to the moon first and perfect that set of maneuvers and tech before going to Mars… -kind of like a “preliminary camping trip” on the way to colonizing Mars… -make sure all the tech you are going to require on Mars works on the moon first before going there… -anyway, good stuff!

    Reply
  88. IMO it is a *good idea* that Elon and Crew have come up with to go to the moon first and perfect that set of maneuvers and tech before going to Mars… -kind of like a preliminary camping trip”” on the way to colonizing Mars… -make sure all the tech you are going to require on Mars works on the moon first before going there… -anyway”””” good stuff!”””

    Reply
  89. They need to refill the tanks completely for a landing and returning lunar mission. A cislunar one would require significantly less (nothing for landing, just the initial thrust and course correction), but at least one or two tankers would be needed, given BFS arrives nearly empty of fuel to orbit with a full payload, which I assume is the case of a crewed ship.

    Reply
  90. The Moon base should include methalox production facilities for refueling. That would significantly increase the payload capacity to/from the Moon as well as to Mars and elsewhere. Without refueling at the Moon, a fully fueled BFS with the full 150 ton cargo will have 30 tons of fuel left after landing on the Moon from LEO. It’ll need at least 94 tons to return to LEO (empty; more if they want to bring back a payload, such as people and life support). That means at least 64 tons of the cargo will have to be fuel for the return trip, leaving at most 86 tons of other payload. If they land and return the same payload, the maximum payload is ~25 tons (if allowing for some safety margin). With refueling, it’ll need to carry ~10-35 tons of carbon, depending on the return payload, leaving 140-115 tons of other payload delivered to the Moon surface. Similarly for Mars: without refueling near the Moon, a fully-fueled BFS can deliver ~75-100 tons of payload to Mars from LEO, depending on how much it can slow down with aerobraking at Mars. With refueling near the Moon (at least in LLO, but ideally in EML2), it can deliver the full 150 tons (the carbon for making the fuel will need to be delivered to the Moon separately in this scenario). In theory, the first cargo BFS to the Moon could probably land all the equipment needed to make methalox there, plus the carbon it needs to refuel for the return trip.

    Reply
  91. The Moon base should include methalox production facilities for refueling. That would significantly increase the payload capacity to/from the Moon as well as to Mars and elsewhere.Without refueling at the Moon a fully fueled BFS with the full 150 ton cargo will have 30 tons of fuel left after landing on the Moon from LEO. It’ll need at least 94 tons to return to LEO (empty; more if they want to bring back a payload such as people and life support). That means at least 64 tons of the cargo will have to be fuel for the return trip leaving at most 86 tons of other payload.If they land and return the same payload the maximum payload is ~25 tons (if allowing for some safety margin).With refueling it’ll need to carry ~10-35 tons of carbon depending on the return payload leaving 140-115 tons of other payload delivered to the Moon surface.Similarly for Mars: without refueling near the Moon a fully-fueled BFS can deliver ~75-100 tons of payload to Mars from LEO depending on how much it can slow down with aerobraking at Mars. With refueling near the Moon (at least in LLO but ideally in EML2) it can deliver the full 150 tons (the carbon for making the fuel will need to be delivered to the Moon separately in this scenario).In theory the first cargo BFS to the Moon could probably land all the equipment needed to make methalox there plus the carbon it needs to refuel for the return trip.

    Reply
  92. SpaceX will develop closed-loop oxygen CO2 and closed-loop water for the Mars missions.” I should hope so! Mind, as you’re consuming food, you’re consuming O2, and generating both CO2 and water. Coincidentally, the plan borrows from Zubrin’s Mars Direct, in that it is intended to bring reactors to Mars that take in CO2 and water, and generate O2 and CH4. Is there a reason one of these reactors couldn’t be used on the trip, gradually transforming stored food into stored propellant?

    Reply
  93. SpaceX will develop closed-loop oxygen CO2 and closed-loop water for the Mars missions.””I should hope so! Mind”” as you’re consuming food you’re consuming O2 and generating both CO2 and water. Coincidentally the plan borrows from Zubrin’s Mars Direct in that it is intended to bring reactors to Mars that take in CO2 and water and generate O2 and CH4.Is there a reason one of these reactors couldn’t be used on the trip”” gradually transforming stored food into stored propellant?”””

    Reply
  94. Sorry Marcus but my best guess is that the most likely way to get to the moon with $100k starting at 49 right now is to go to a casino and put the money on a 200:1 bet. You’ve now got a 1/200 chance of getting $20 million. THAT looks like being a straight forward pay-the-money-and-get-onboard type deal within a decade. Just waiting will probably decrease the odds of the insurance companies signing off on your survival faster than the price drops. Also, you know, do both anaerobic and aerobic exercise, eat lots of lean meat, fish and vegetables, wear a seatbelt and sunscreen, etc. etc. to maintain good health for as long as possible. Disclaimer: I am not a financial or space travel advisor. Nor am I licensed to practice medicine in your locality. Your milage may vary. Void where prohibited by law. Do not remove the tags. Not to be taken internally.

    Reply
  95. Sorry Marcus but my best guess is that the most likely way to get to the moon with $100k starting at 49 right now is to go to a casino and put the money on a 200:1 bet.You’ve now got a 1/200 chance of getting $20 million. THAT looks like being a straight forward pay-the-money-and-get-onboard type deal within a decade. Just waiting will probably decrease the odds of the insurance companies signing off on your survival faster than the price drops.Also you know do both anaerobic and aerobic exercise eat lots of lean meat fish and vegetables wear a seatbelt and sunscreen etc. etc. to maintain good health for as long as possible.Disclaimer: I am not a financial or space travel advisor. Nor am I licensed to practice medicine in your locality. Your milage may vary. Void where prohibited by law. Do not remove the tags. Not to be taken internally.

    Reply
  96. If they are sending several hundred people at a time, $500,000 might be enough. Though with several hundred passengers there are always going to be very nasty people wanting to be waited on hand and foot and noisily having tizzy fits…and vomit floating around everywhere…that will spoil the trip for everyone…

    Reply
  97. Dude, we do not need to have military enough to take over half the planet. That is just government waste.

    We have 20 Aircraft carriers in service, no one else even has 5. And the vast majority of the other 22 carriers out there are small. China has one. Russia has one. Who exactly are we supposed to be shaking in our boots about?

    Reply
  98. I would guess one in Earth orbit, or one on the Moon when they get fuel manufacturing up and running. On the Moon would be preferable, because you are then landing with less fuel which is less hazardous.

    I believe they could do it with none (at the very least they can orbit the Moon and return), but it would greatly reduce the payload. They will probably do that at first. Maybe a dozen people rather than hundreds.

    Reply
  99. Hard to say, but probably. The money will have to be in constant dollars, if they still exist. Thinking in terms of ounces of precious metals might work better.

    Reply
  100. Hard to say but probably. The money will have to be in constant dollars if they still exist. Thinking in terms of ounces of precious metals might work better.

    Reply
  101. I would be shocked if the new Space Force didn’t want one or more of these owned, or at least contract to have one dedicated to their use at all times so that they can launch on short notice.

    They’re certainly going to be putting up some serious tonnage if they plan on making the Space Force a reality, especially with both China and Russia experimenting with attacking satellites in orbit.

    Reply
  102. Then maybe the Air Force/Space Force can step up and put in an order for 5 BFRs for say 5-10 Billion? Then they put in small nuclear reactors and weapon systems. The nuclearized BFS would be like a submarine in space, a true proper spaceship.

    Reply
  103. Make it so affordable that Flat Earthers can go to the Moon. Once they arrive there, make an automated speaker system say “Welcome to the Moon. The cabin will despressurize in 5 minutes. You can either doubt you really are on the Moon and experience in first hand hard vacuum… or you can buy our pressurized astronaut suits. $10 million a piece.

    Reply
  104. IMO, it is a *good idea* that Elon and Crew have come up with to go to the moon first and perfect that set of maneuvers and tech before going to Mars… -kind of like a “preliminary camping trip” on the way to colonizing Mars… -make sure all the tech you are going to require on Mars works on the moon first before going there… -anyway, good stuff!

    Reply
  105. The Moon base should include methalox production facilities for refueling. That would significantly increase the payload capacity to/from the Moon as well as to Mars and elsewhere.

    Without refueling at the Moon, a fully fueled BFS with the full 150 ton cargo will have 30 tons of fuel left after landing on the Moon from LEO. It’ll need at least 94 tons to return to LEO (empty; more if they want to bring back a payload, such as people and life support). That means at least 64 tons of the cargo will have to be fuel for the return trip, leaving at most 86 tons of other payload.

    If they land and return the same payload, the maximum payload is ~25 tons (if allowing for some safety margin).

    With refueling, it’ll need to carry ~10-35 tons of carbon, depending on the return payload, leaving 140-115 tons of other payload delivered to the Moon surface.

    Similarly for Mars: without refueling near the Moon, a fully-fueled BFS can deliver ~75-100 tons of payload to Mars from LEO, depending on how much it can slow down with aerobraking at Mars. With refueling near the Moon (at least in LLO, but ideally in EML2), it can deliver the full 150 tons (the carbon for making the fuel will need to be delivered to the Moon separately in this scenario).

    In theory, the first cargo BFS to the Moon could probably land all the equipment needed to make methalox there, plus the carbon it needs to refuel for the return trip.

    Reply
  106. “SpaceX will develop closed-loop oxygen CO2 and closed-loop water for the Mars missions.”

    I should hope so! Mind, as you’re consuming food, you’re consuming O2, and generating both CO2 and water.

    Coincidentally, the plan borrows from Zubrin’s Mars Direct, in that it is intended to bring reactors to Mars that take in CO2 and water, and generate O2 and CH4.

    Is there a reason one of these reactors couldn’t be used on the trip, gradually transforming stored food into stored propellant?

    Reply
  107. Sorry Marcus but my best guess is that the most likely way to get to the moon with $100k starting at 49 right now is to go to a casino and put the money on a 200:1 bet.

    You’ve now got a 1/200 chance of getting $20 million. THAT looks like being a straight forward pay-the-money-and-get-onboard type deal within a decade. Just waiting will probably decrease the odds of the insurance companies signing off on your survival faster than the price drops.

    Also, you know, do both anaerobic and aerobic exercise, eat lots of lean meat, fish and vegetables, wear a seatbelt and sunscreen, etc. etc. to maintain good health for as long as possible.

    Disclaimer: I am not a financial or space travel advisor. Nor am I licensed to practice medicine in your locality. Your milage may vary. Void where prohibited by law. Do not remove the tags. Not to be taken internally.

    Reply

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