Space Tourism and Industry to Get to Colonization Critical Mass

Could space tourism enable lunar and orbital colonization to reach critical mass? I view colonization critical mass to be over 300k people.

Around 1745, the American colonies passed a population of 1 million. This population had doubled twice from 250,000 people in 1700 and nearly tripled by 1780 to 2.7 million.

SpaceX Super Heavy Starship (SHS) needs to bring the cost of space tourism down to $2000-20,000 per trip to achieve a mass market. Elon Musk has talked about bringing the per flight cost down to $2-10 million. A SHS that lifts 120 tons to low earth orbit for $5 million could bring 1000 people to orbit every trip. This would be $5000 per person.

Theme park and amusement parks in the US had 210,000 staff in 2019. Disney properties had a staff of 77,000. The pre-COVID global cruise industry had a staff of 1.2 million and served 30 million passenger trips.

If 10% of those traveling were spending over $5000 and space theme parks and tourism was the hot new experience then getting to millions of passengers every year and having a staff of 200,000 people would be getting most of the way to critical colonization mass. If people were averaging 2-week trips, then 6 million annual passengers would be a rotating 220,000 people every 2 weeks.

The population levels could be boosted with permanent science expeditions, manned lunar space telescopes, orbital telescopes.

Adventure tourism was the fastest growing niche and grew 65 percent yearly from 2009-2013. The total value of outbound adventure tourism worldwide reached $263 billion (2013) up significantly from the $89 million (2009). Global adventure tourism was $587 billion in 2018.

Most of the “adventure tourism” is soft nature tourism. Hard adventure refers to activities with high levels of risk, requiring intense commitment and advanced skills. Hard tourism includes the activities like climbing mountains/rock/ice, trekking, caving etc.

Mountaineering and caving in the 1800s was an activity of the elite. About 2-3 million people in the US participate in climbing (traditional/ice/mountaineering). There is probably double that number in the world. There are similar numbers of scuba divers. The more hard-core participants are probably only 2-5% of those totals.

Space adventure expeditions would be separate from lunar and orbital theme parks. This could be another 50,000 to 200,000 people in staff and participants.

The biggest numbers could be in colonizing pioneers. The hardcore space believers who want to open the frontier like many of those who opened the American West.

The big draws would be living with greater freedom. How many would go to extremes for greater freedom and to perhaps own land on the moon or permanently reside in a space station?

There are an estimated 3 million survivalists in the US but only 2% have made long-term doomsday preparations. This is about 60,000.

The L5 society had a peak of about 10,000 members and 25000 were in the National Space Society. However, space travel never developed.

Government and Military Would Go As Well

Counter-freedom forces would go as well. Global governments and militaries would also establish bases. This would likely be staffed at 20% of the level of any tourism. The US Navy and Coast Guard probably has 100,000 people at sea on ships and submarines at all times.

Would there be a lunar or orbital gold rush?

There is improving capabilities in 3D manufacturing. There is also 3D printing of buildings. If an early lunar, Mars or asteroid colonist could take regolith and space materials and create far more living space and production capability then this could be a draw for entrepreneurial makers.

There are currently over 50 million creators on Youtube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, and other social media platforms. Two million of them are full-time, and they earn six-figure salaries by creating content daily or weekly. If space colonists could use their unique location to create social media followings then this could be a new space media gold rush. Social media creation will likely grow by five times over the next twenty years. Fully replicating earth-based social media creation in space would see ten million space-based content creating colonists.

Once Critical Mass Population is Achieved

Once critical mass population levels are achieved, then more industries would be created by and for the existing colonists.

SOURCES- Wikipedia, tripsavvy
Written by Brian Wang,

82 thoughts on “Space Tourism and Industry to Get to Colonization Critical Mass”

  1. You're probably right about the crowding. THat is a problem.

    I haven't gone to the toilet in zeroG myself.

  2. The calculation of 1,000 onboard to divide the cost is the real issue. They don't cram people in like sardines in ships…at least they haven't since slavery. The rocket is big, just not cruiseliner big. And the toilets in zero g are dreadful. On a cruise, you probably have your own bathroom, and its operation is familiar.
    Also, most people know if they get seasick or not. And those particularly prone stay away from ships. How many know if they get space sick?

  3. ..and once you've built your wall round Louisiana and Mississippi, what are you doing about the Mississippi river ? Better get used to pumping it up 230 feet, or you've got a lake instead of a bit of ocean. The same applies to every other river.

  4. Ayn Rand was a halfwit, and so are you. You might build a two thousand mile wall to keep out Mexicans, but a 75,000 mile wall to keep out the sea ? For a start, Florida is sitting on limestone, which is porous.

  5. A large enough gravitron to have a cities worth of people (we are talking about colonizing – right?) is going to have to be gigantic and immune to mechanical failure otherwise you kill everyone. The hoop would not be wide enough to provide any kind of elbow room and all travel would be around the middle of the hoop. This is only possible for relatively smaller amounts of people, not what I would call true colonization. Sure we could build orbital stations around Mars but to me that is like saying that living on an ocean liner off the shore of America is the same as "colonizing" it.

  6. There is a company working towards making something like the 2021 spinning station. Making a spinning station can simulate 1G. Placing this is mid-low equator orbit can prevent any radiation issues. On the moon or Mars, we build large spinning structures (or transit pods on a loop track), Again 1G can be simulated. Cheap launch means you can move a lot of stuff and build big. Think like the Gravitron amusement ride but scaled larger for no motion sickness and where people stay in them all night and work in the day.

  7. I don't know about "com engineers" but I know some pretty eccentric and interesting software people, and I'm guessing other technical fields are similar.

  8. We actually don't know the long-term effects of low gravity. We know that zero gravity is terrible, but we have only short-term exposure to lunar and no exposure to Martian gravity. For all we know, 1/6 gravity is enough to avoid serious health concerns as long as you do some resistance exercise.

    For starters, we can put people on the Moon or Mars for a year or so, since we've done that in orbit. Then we can see how it goes for them and extend if they're do ok.

  9. I'm not convinced that a self-repairing robot is the exemplar, like going around the sun to get to the moon. The human body is already self-repairing and adaptable – its just that we need the constant flow of parts and means to integrate them. Several organs are very close to having suitable replacements/ upgrades available today. I would be surprised if we do not have 90% of all non-neural organs 'in stock' by 2050 with the means to increase endurance, energy, and survivability many times by then, while still enjoying a rich sensory experience. Its the genetics/ proteomics and molecular machinery to extend life span and reduce the 'in-between' deterioration which is likely far into the next half of the century – though that shouldn't limit generation ships, stations past Titan, or multi-year tours of duty at the asteroid belts.

  10. Man can overcome Nature, can overcome History, can overcome Adversity – and We should never be hesitant when called upon to do so. Some want to be Healthy, but All want to be Happy, as is facilitated by the greatest of all modern accomplishments: personal choice. If the US can build the Interstate System in a few generations they can build a beautiful, functional, energy-producing, park-like Sea Wall and tidal management system along all 75,000+ miles of likely affected coastline, as can every other semi-rich country in less than a half century. But that is unlikely and alarmist. We did not create post-WW2 technology, living standards, and the basis for ambitious self-determination on the back of fragile egos, risk-adverse tree huggers, and the complacent Class; and we will not realize improvement, personal achievement, and societal harmony on a path of regulation, slavishness to historical precedent, woke adherence, and failure to question the sacred. To look forward and up is to accept where we came from, yet not be burdened by below's past values nor be chained to its unending maintenance and dependence. More likely your grandchildren will rever and learn from an amibitious and choice-producing ancestor than one who did not venture to make things better and clung to sentimentality and memory.

  11. Doubling CO2 in the air will lead to the unavoidable melting of Antarctica and Greenland. I know our grandchildren are supposed to be 10x richer than us, but will they just shrug off the drowning of the north China plain, Lombardy, the Netherlands, Bangla Desh, the Thames valley, Florida, Louisiana, California's Central Valley, Buenos Aires, Denmark…basically all our most fertile alluvial farm country, and all our port cities ? Not to mention weather systems rather more lively than what prevailed since farming began, and climate zones much further poleward and higher up. We can avoid that, and should. Nuclear instead of oil and coal is part of it, but nearly half of my country's emissions profile is from methane. Giving up meat is a minor sacrifice, and probably healthier too, all considered.
    I'd rather keep Venice and London than gain Mars. Even an ice-free Antarctica would be a much better place to live.

  12. Show me any robot that can self repair for 70+ years and I might consider it possible but don't expect it to happen quickly. At the moment we are stuck with the reality of our human requirements. Colonization is flat out impossible when you can't hang around for more than 6 months.

  13. Right on. Walk before you run. Why all this hoopla about Mars? It is just as deadly as the Moon and is a hell of a lot harder and more expensive to get to. NASA used to be run by people who knew what they are doing, now it is just an obsessive PR agency stuck like a broken record looking for signs of life that they aren't going to find.

  14. Let's recall Elon is approaching his 50s, and if ever, he would be going to Mars maybe 15-20 years after the first person arrives, when it's considered relatively safe to travel there.

    It's not certain an older chap would be so interesting to the social media loving youths, but it's certainly not impossible.

    If this happens, it will most likely be some new young faces the ones keeping the youngsters captivated.

  15. O'Neill agrees and proposes staying in the artificial g habs, as they can collectively grow to thousands of times the size of the Earth.

  16. It is far crazier than you can imagine. I've been talking up O'Neill for decades, and have come to call them "small world"ers. I would say a large % are actually addicted to the problems, as they would be in charge of the solutions. Such power! The world will be destroyed if you disobey me! O'Neill plan leaves them fleeing in terror, actually.

  17. Yes. I would point out that power addiction, the obvious problem here overall, goes back 7 million years in our *separate from Nature* evo. Started with natural chimp stuff, pretty intense already. But we go all out! Anyway, the various groups to be sensitive about are only 70,000 years old, at most. That is 1/100th of the power addiction run. The stuff we use as trigger for dominance BS is far less important than the power addiction itself, which is universal to all modern humans, usu called Africans in this perspective.

  18. That's why:
    "…Over-sensitivity in an imperfect world often leads to rationalizing moral indifference and presuming narrow conclusions. In these instances, sensitivity may double back on itself. Rather than serving as the framework for virtue, sensitivity may produce the opposite of the virtue of compassion, namely the vice of indifference and single-mindedness. This is but one example of Aristotle's notion that virtue is the golden mean between two extremes…" [sensitivity is not an absolute good nor an end in itself] — (also why the Ancient Greeks Rule)

  19. you're presuming that the human body is a desirable container and sensory apparatus which people will crave to retain for all time. I have my doubts.
    Which will occur faster? The pace of human body upgrade (or hibernation while our mind soars) -or- the distance from Earth and the time required to inhabit such vessels taking us away from Earth (or our desires to inhabit nearby ex-Earth) which would require such an upgrade (or massive assimilation to our fragile selves).
    I have my bets on better body before regular 6-month+ artificial- or zero-gravity experiences are availble to typical people.

  20. All of this colonization talk with mass numbers of people is pure nonsense until we discover some means of holding at bay the wastage of our body under the pernicious condition of low gravity. We first need to build a special purpose space station with a habitat section that we can raise or lower to different levels of artificial gravity. We need to determine what the decline rates are at different levels of gee and then determine what causes this and how to reverse it. Until this is achieved you aren't going to see any permanent colonists on the Moon or Mars.

  21. PERHAPS! He has been O'Neill almost as long as I, over 40 years. It is his most important work. Others may beat him in the long run, but hez da man!

  22. Musk is crazed by Mars delusions. He will only do orbital if paid, and even resists lunar resources, but how can he launch all that fuel from Earth w/o looking really stupid?

  23. Yes, but the resources of Earth are tiny. O'Neill/Bezos is straight to T pop without looking back. Have you read "The High Frontier"? The overall plan involves non Earth resources and In Space Mfg, ISM. The possibilities compared to planets are overwhelming. Enjoy!

  24. the nice thing about places with alleged free markets and low-regulation is the reduced likelihood of anti-Tech Cults' filibuster-like, maybe even enviro-terrorism type activities. For the life of me, I don't understand their end-game, maybe:
    – Eliminate Earth Poverty before Space? – impossible – there are not enough resources in the world to redistribute to all the poor people and it is unlikely that ANY amount of intervention will long-term 'fix' all these people. Endless charity is a losing battle with a high likelihood of simply reducing the net worth (and thus opportunity) of the World in doing so.
    – Disrupt life or near-life or pristine environments in space or worlds? All life, near-life, and pristine spaces are simply that way in a moment of time — 99.999999% of all life, near-life, and related configurations went extinct with minimal likelihood of discovery, understanding, etc., since BB and will ALL likely change into unrecognizable configurations for eternity going forward. To think our one moment in time is sacred is a mentally-ill version of sentimentality, thoroughly unproductive and utterly non-life-affirming.
    – And on, and on… like the anti-animal eating cults (as differing from pure vegans), just bizarre, purposeless, rebels without a cause, Irrational Sideshows.

  25. SpaceX is going to have to create its own market and start churning out stainless steel space stations too. If you can make the ride 6 hours or less, then you can away with economy style seats and cramming in 1000 people. Maybe include diapers and barf bags, or a few toilets and 900 people.

  26. If you can fit 1000 people on a stainless steel Starship with economy class seating, then you could create a large mass produced stainless steel space station for them to go to in orbit.

  27. The counter-argument is that EVERYTHING is ammo to people who feel entitled to be outraged by words. You can't deny them ammo, you can only refuse to submit. The only purpose the "ammo" has, after all, is to bully you into submission. It's totally wasted if people refuse to submit.

  28. There's also a couple specialist types that can really strut their stuff extra in low G. Martial artists, dancers, and players of various sports come to mind.

  29. Why would companies on Earth pay someone to repair moisture vaporators to support themselves? Can I get a job that will pay me to clean my own house?

  30. Had not considered this as such a big deal to people, but necessity is a mother, so tourists will have vessels that split apart and rotate on cables almost the whole time. The rest will be more like a roller coaster. The 0 g is supposed to be a different thing, not just quick reaction, I think.

  31. So, would you raise a question if someone wanted to sell a car in South Americas called the "Nova"?

  32. Well, the argument from the "settlement" side is that *we* the space people can initiate our choice of label, and starting with the word "colony" just hands the people who are against Space Migration ammo. "They are going to screw up Space just like the Earth was exploited". Now, prohibiting the word goes too far, but I don't see an advantage to "colony", only baggage.

  33. If we don't eventually challenge that sort of thinking, we'll be trapped here forever.

    That outcome won't displease central power lovers.

    They have got wind that it will be hard to force everyone to comply with their rules when humans are several light minutes and millions of kilometers away. They can't have that, so they are doing their best to prevent anyone escaping.

    Funny that space settlements can end up growing their own brand of oppressive rulers and systems, but only if they are allowed to exist by the local brand of freedom haters.

  34. I'll give Mars a second look when Six Senses opens a resort there. Until then, I'll keep an eye out for a vacation trip closer to earth where there is just enough gravity to keep someone's explosive diarrhea on the floor, and not floating around the cabins for all to inhale.

    Never forget the perils of Frank Borman and Apollo 8.

  35. It will also incur the wrath of the "No Borders!" types. BTW, it's "reality-adjacent" not "crazy". Prepare to lose everything you value for your hate speech.

  36. Everything you've listed, from the transport needing to be comfortable itself to the risks of vomit, also apply to cruise ships. And they were a huge and growing business (albeit in "the before times")

  37. The reason they prohibited the word, is that they meant to prohibit the reality. Just like Antarctica, the great powers could not agree how to divvy up space, so they agreed nobody would get it.

    If we don't eventually challenge that sort of thinking, we'll be trapped here forever.

  38. Please don't use the term borderline. That refers to a particular type of crazy person and so it's ableist.

  39. Nope, bad idea: You eliminate language that's borderline, something new becomes borderline, in a never ending process.

    Best to just refuse to start what has no stopping condition.

  40. NIMMs (Not In My Moon/Mars) and NIMOs (Not In My Orbit) loons are already moving, trying to get satellite constellations banned, and any human mission also banned.

    This nonsense can be opportunistically exploited by those affected by private space's velocity, and made into law indeed.

    It will really depend if the powers that be find use and benefit from the likes of E. Musk, or if they are happy to keep things as they are.

    But let's notice, any such hypothetical bans will mostly affect the USA. China and others won't give a damn if human spaceflight and satellite constellations get outlawed in the USA to protect dead rocks and empty space.

  41. I think it is more relevant and important to develop the moon as a resource and construction site before we tackle Mars or Venus, for multiple reasons.

  42. Elon will be there. He can cover/ entertain all the social fluff and direct the colony's vision. I doubt it will bring in the cash to sustain – but he will keep it interesting.

  43. Yes, or we could have started in the 80s with the rockets that launched Mars rovers, as they surely can reach the Moon. I'm not against people with rational plans purchasing Starship rides, but Musk will not do that himself, his Mars plans are not rational. The rocket is not what we have been waiting for. We have been waiting for people to wake up to O'Neill. It is starting!

  44. The new Starship will also allow actual space manufacturing. Launch a mostly robotic factory taking advantage of microgravity and vacuum, keep launching 100 tons+ of raw materials there and get the processed stuff back on Starship as well.

    If people are needed for repairs, they can be launched in a Starship, do their work and return.

    Some space made materials can be made and sold profitably that way, and a market of ferrying cargo and people for work can emerge.

  45. We start with $$$, such as Space Solar, O'Neill's recommendation long ago, still good, as is typical of O'Neill plans. Only *as needed* should humans be the focus, otherwise too expensive, clearly. Tourists an exception, but few will be able to pay for that w/o something needed being done on the trip. Then, as ISM is going, the Settlements will improve from construction camps. Much variety, many settlements. You have seen an ugly truth about Mars, a hole to dump money into.

  46. SpaceX is totally planet chauvinist. Direct launch from Earth, launch fuel from Earth to go direct to Mars. Get fuel at Mars then come direct back. Get nothing useful done for infrastructure. Why I argued against Mars Direct/First/Only for decades before winning only a few years ago. Now, most will forget Mars as we think about Moon resources and ISM. My secret plan all along.

    I suspect a suction hose to a mask will take care of the womit that does happen. Don't know the actual number, given that they try the Comet first, prob those who lose it bad there will reconsider.

  47. SpaceX doesn't want to settle orbit. Someone needs to take the mantle of building actual space stations for people to go.

    That disconnect exists, though, because as long as there isn't someone making a plan with a budget, and following it, we won't be getting any space stations.

    We assume them, because they are required, but currently any other space stations than ISS and whatever China is preparing are just wishful thinking and speculation.

    Probably because investors are still doubtful that SpaceX can make things work.

  48. You want Al Globus ELEO, which may not be quite 600 miles, but the ISS is too low, perhaps, BUT a high inclination is very needed too to avoid seeing only the Equatorial region. I go with the max inclination with greater height. A variety would be ideal!

  49. The first def of "settlement" is "colony", so they are very similar. A failure of colonies in history is where they succeeded in crushing natives, a fact you don't mention. The main reason NASA and treaties forbid the word. Why create negative image of the thing I am selling, altho you may not be. The settlement of the West was not small, but colonies are often where the mine is that you visit before returning to the English Manor you own. And, relative to the total in all O'Neill Settlements, each one is small, perhaps only the size of a continent.

  50. The Lunar Halo orbit is ideal for what you say. GEO is crowded and has very difficult station keeping. But you certainly have the correct idea, getting further out! Halo also ideal for lunar materials and lunar support, as well as L5 connect. And, we are already going there.

  51. 3 things.
    – training and conditioning and minimum health requirements for those wanting to launch – what is it 4G for 90 secs – 70% of people 18 – 45 with little health effects but half that over 60? Space elevator any more or less likely?
    – first major investment in getting that toehold on Moon – the civil infrastructure for which all civilization depends – requires a breakthrough to get it done with minimal human contact or supervision
    – NIML(unar)Yism and international Agreements and NGO interference – envisioning Greenpeacer disrupting/ destroying launches

  52. The reality is that we are the foreigners, and that we come from Earth. That makes it a colony of humans. There is no size component to the definition either. "Settlement" has the feature of being small.

    I think colony is very apt, as we are likely going to have to live underground like insects or rodents if we want to avoid radiation, flying rocks or nutters popping bubbles. And I think it has a biological aspect. I think it is nice to have that, as we are representative or extension of life from earth.

    I don't think itinerant or ephemeral when I think "colony". Sure there have been failed colonies that met with disaster. But that is reality, and accurate. The dangers are real.

  53. Just nausea and space toilets will be a big hindrance for space tourism, as people will quickly realize to their expense.

    Not everyone is ready for tolerating such inconveniences.

    That's why I think they will come up with spinning stations relatively quickly after we have a cheap, easy way to put a lot of cargo up there. Even a partial gravity field would do wonders to mitigate out of control fluids.

    We are planet bound creatures, limited by our bodily functions, and we will need to bring our planetary environment or something as close to it as we can, when we go up there.

  54. Not a fan of going to Geostationary orbit. You are down to 1/10 the payload if you go all the way to Geostationary orbit. Plus, people don't want to see just one part of the Earth when they are up there. 
    I like 600 miles. It is far enough up that orbital decay is not a concern. And you are out of the way of most of the thousands of satellites zipping around. At 600 miles you should also have a fantastic view as well.

  55. I think that space tourism may have to wait until we have a cure for the norovirus. Can you imagine the fate of cruise ship passengers—everyone squirting from both ends, complaining about being confined to quarters—but in weightlessness?

  56. Seems to me that a big station in geostationary orbit would be the way to go for this. It takes a lot of energy to reach GEO, but once there, it's easy to get farther out. It would also be good for recovering faster ships coming from deep space.

    L4 and L5 for recovering asteroid gold/platinum.

  57. Many of them will be famous for being boring engineers who do problem solving there, or the Mars foodie or the first painter on another planet or the first Sikh or Stock Market guy or Farmer. Everybody will be the first and only something on another world with an automatic audience that’s large on a global basis. It has a social soap opera layer of people under pressure but it’s thousands of other specialized content niches (much like current successful YouTube influencers). The essential difference is they’re not on Mars as employees of a government or corporation that dictates their actions and they are free to use their potential celebrity themselves as they please.

  58. We agree that we need a spinning space station/hab as a destination. However, it generally takes 6-36 hours in orbit before you can dock. 
    The 2,000 people scenario looks dubious to me. More like 500 with many separate compartments to minimize the psychological contagion that barfing would cause.
    It may be possible to waste some fuel and get to a station more quickly…and I suspect they would have to do that…if they wanted to transport 2,000 people.

    As far as I know, SpaceX hasn't proposed any Space Station, spinning or otherwise. So there is a bit of disconnect between what is being built and what is needed.

  59. Agreed. Mars is simply too far away for the foreseeable future. At best we're talking 4 month transit time. That could mean a year or more away from Earth.

    The Moon is still kinda far, but doable. A couple days.
    LEO would be much more realistic. You can get there in a few hours.

    Once the Solomon Epstein Drive is perfected, that's another story. You might have tourism farther out.

  60. The way I was reading it, low Earth orbit tourism was proposed or assumed to be a path to further places later.
    But if that does not work, you need a different link for that chain.

  61. How many of the current SpaceStation “participants” are government employee astronauts vs free agents? 100%. Check out YouTube sometime. There are literally millions of people who do this now, including Engineers. You’ll see the difference with the first purely commercial Spaceflight this year. The opportunity to make money being a celebrity is a wonderful tutor.

  62. Meh. 10.000 permanent Mars residents earning a 100.000 Dollar salary paid by companies/organizations on Earth will do it.

  63. Mars colonists will be boring engineers not eccentric "interesting" big brother participates.
    How many follows current space station astronauts?

  64. Settlewomant! The episode of Star Trek where women ruled the planet, I'll take that, please. But, let's not forget to look at the origins of the suffix "ment":

    That said, I also get the thing about the use of the word colony. However, while colonization does have a negative connotation, it's also a useful word. Both "colony" and "settlement" will have theor naysayers. Why not just call it a hive? The Mars Hive has a nice ring. So does Lunar Have 1, etc.

  65. Tourism can kickstart things in near Earth space.

    If SpaceX reaches its planned costs per launch/person, a real tourist industry of orbital trips will emerge.

    First the Starships could do it by staying for more time in space on purpose, to allow the passengers some hours experiencing space and to earn them a legit astronaut badge, then returning them to the same place or in another attractive destination abroad.

    Later, to tin cans or inflatable hotels in orbit allowing several days stays, for the more intrepid and with stronger stomachs.

    And shortly thereafter, to the first legit rotating stations. Once these start to be made and their problems of stability are solved, they will become the normal way to do orbital facilities and unofficial settlements. Once some people get the taste of controllable gravity a few minutes from Earth, they won't go back.

    Same for the Moon. If lunar hotels start appearing after the first scientific bases are made, they will receive workers and semi permanent staff, who may want to stay in the long term.

  66. Yep. This matters. A settlement is a different thing from a colony or a base. Labels matter. It’s not just about historical references, it’s about the nature of the group there. A base or outpost is generally a government or military project. Something that’s the extension of a single authority. A colony carries the single national authority implication too. A settlement doesn’t imply any unified external authority. It’s a community of people there for their own business or reasons.

  67. I think social media revenue will be a critical part of the early Mars settlement. Most old SciFi assumed Mars would be isolated from the earth in the same sense colonies on earth were. It won’t be. SpaceX will create a Mars Starlink very early. There will be high bandwidth internet everywhere on Mars with local caching. Lightspeed delays mean no simultaneous conversation but texting, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram will all work fine. Everybody on Mars will be a famous influencer to some group on earth for a long time. The value of the collective content created by the first settlers adventures surviving on Mars will be in the billions/year.

    The process starts this year with the first all commercial Dragon mission and the buildup to Dear Moon. Government SpaceAgencies never created content the way these launches will.

  68. Tsk, tsk. You aren't keeping up. "SettleMENt" is also problematic as it is obviously patriarchal, sexist and excludes womxn of all genders, femininities and sexualities. Your toxic masculinity will NOT be permitted to invade and dominate the universe!

  69. Mars is too far for tourism unless you can get there in cruise line times (a few days). So the Moon is good for tourism but Mars not so much.

  70. A place to go to is implicit, rotating habs very easy, most structure is for air pressure, literally *Space bubbles*. Also, you have to stay several days to get over the initial strange feelings if 0g, or you waste the trip perhaps, if bad reaction. But that is first ones only, unless they choose.

  71. I don't think tourism is the right angle. People tolerate aircraft because they want to get to the destination and do things. If people stay in the rocket and it just goes back home…it needs to be a truly enjoyable rocket or there needs to be a space station or something. Weightlessness is all fine and dandy but if you are stuck in a seat…on a rocket with 2,000 other people, with a quarter throwing up and everyone irritated at the gross toilet facilities…this would not my idea of a fun ride. Barf in zero G? Things are going to get ugly. It won't just be a quarter barfing for long.

  72. I know it is standard, but please consider the word "settlement" instead of "colony". It is both more evocative of the notion of staying, and has no baggage. Thanx!

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