I, Brian Wang, make the case and projects out what a hugely impactful development it would be for SpaceX and Tesla to develop a complete gigafactory with its supply chain and sending those to the moon and Mars and elsewhere.
Those systems could have a one to two-year duplicating time. 40 years and two year duplication means 1 million gigafactories instead of the starting one.
Summary of the Concept
Tesla SpaceX Singularity
Gigafactories with integrated supply chain
Raw Materials gathered and Gigafactories out
Teslabots and Boring Company Mining Capable
SpaceX Starships Mass Produced
Factories and that build the factories transportable in a few thousand Starships (600,000 tons or less)
Tesla and SpaceX are Creating Complete Vertical Integration with a Simplified Civilization Supply Chain
Solar and Batteries scale completely
Self driving cars and self driving construction machines
More automated factories
Tesla bots able to do mining and factory work
Boring tunnels for mining and habitat construction
Speed of Gigafactory Replication?
Currently about one to two years.
No Mars regulatory delays
Replication needs to include the entire supply chain
Currently 8 hours to build a Tesla car
Assembly and other robots are similar mass as car
Replicated Gigafactories at 1 Billion tons per year
The world is at
1 Billion tons per year of steel now
Assume 100,000 tons for all machines, mines for complete GF/mines
10k Gigafactories per billion tons
1M Starships per year
100 Billion Teslabots per year
Industrialize the Solar System Based Upon Doubling Time
Industrializing Solar System with 26 Doublings
Double Every 25 Years – 650 Years
Double Every Five Years -140 Years
Double Every Two Years – 52 Years
1 Million Complete Factories
100 Million Starships Per year
10 Trillion Bots per year
1000 Terawatts of solar per year
1% Industrializing Solar System with 26 Doublings
Orbit, Cis lunar, Mars, Asteroid belt
Time Delays to Travel Out to Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud
This singularity kicks off when
Thousand Starships to launch one Gigafactory and its supply chain that can make more solar, batteries, bots, mining, processing, Starships and other gigafactories.
Background of Brian Wang
I have lectured four times at Singularity University. The Singularity University was created by Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis. Ray wrote the Singularity is near. I have spoken a few times with Ray and Peter. They were interviews where I was performing the role of reporter for his website Nextbigfuture. Ray Kurzweil wrote the book the Singularity is Near.
I have given lectures on the nanotechnology track for four years in a row. They were annual updates on the developments in nanotechnology. This was done because I have written over 30,000 articles on science, technology and the future and stay up to date on all highly impactful science and technology. Ralph Merkle and Robert Freitas were the Singularity University nanotechnology track leads. I have met and spoken Robert Freitas and Ralph Merkle have met and spoken with a couple dozens of times.
Robert Freitas performed a 1981 study for NASA on self-replicating factories on the moon. This would be including and transporting all mining and the factory machines for a complete closed or mostly closed-loop system.
I need to provide my background, technical background ont he concept of self-replicating factories so that you, the reader, understand that this is a well thought out and researched concept.
I am a SpaceX investor and is a member of angel investment groups including Space Angels and Allocations which each make many space investments. I have lectured at Singularity University and spoken at TEDX. He has been a speaker at various technology and business conferences. He was the keynote for an MJAA annual event. I have written over 30,000 articles on science and technology for his website Nextbigfuture.com.
Brian Wang: https://twitter.com/nextbigfuture
NextBigFuture: https://www.nextbigfuture.com/ &
I have been interviewed by Warren Redlich and Emmet Peppers to discuss Tesla, EVs and batteries. This is just to indicate that I have deeply researched Tesla, it technology and processes.
I worked for several years for a $50 billion corporation to create annual and quarterly enterprise reports, analysis and projections for the office of the CFO and board. I am head of research for the Allocations investment group. I am a top-ranking forecaster at the prediction site Metaculus.
Out of hundreds of resolved predictions, I have been correct over 80% of the time.
Note: This video not a prediction but it does show the power and scaling of this approach to solar system colonization and development. However, I think a great deal of this will and should happen.
Background on Self-Replicating Factories
An Architecture for Self-Replicating Lunar Factories by Gregory S. Chirikjian
Department of Mechanical Engineering Johns Hopkins University
NIAC Phase I Award: October 1, 2003 – March 31, 2004
Final Report, April 26 2004
Steel Making on Mars
Steel can be made in several ways on Mars.
Aluminum can be made.
Glass can be made.
Rocket fuel (methane) can be made easily from the Mars atmosphere.
Cement can be made.
Oxygen, water, hydrogen can all be made.
These are all of the heavy parts of SpaceX Starship and Cybertruck.
There are several likely options for solar panels and batteries and fuel cells.
The above list and other items can be sorted out with early larger scale unmanned missions by sending large and fast Cybertruck sized rovers then better prospecting can be done. 100-300 ton missions delivered to Mars in 2026 could perform more prospecting and test production. Slower portable production systems should be sent o start producing and stockpiling materials for later colonization.
The above list would be 95% of the finished product by mass. Localizing on Mars at 95% would mean 20 times more for overall colonization production. Starships could still ferry unlocalized needs of the Mars factories and colonies.
Steel can be made on Mars from local ingredients, various options.
Concentrated carbonate deposits will be valuable – must search for them beneath Martian dust.
Methane Method has merit.
Uses well-understood and developed technology: Direct Reduction.
Methane probably manufactured in large quantities anyway.
Hydrogen Method attractive due to low cost of ingredients. Method and equipment needs to be verified and tested.
Carbonyl Method could be best. Effective for pure Fe, does not require flux. Need to verify processes for adding carbon.
Glass on Mars
Silicon dioxide is the most common material on Mars. (per Viking space probes). Silicon dioxide is the basic ingredient of glass. Glass products, including fiberglass, and structures could be constructed on Mars in much the same way as they are on Earth.
Cement on Mars
Magnesium oxychloride cement is the preferred solution. Low energy input is needed and the raw materials are all over Mars.
Production of Water, O2, Fuel and Many Other Products on Mars Have NASA, Academic and Mars Society Studies
Known Materials on Mars
It has for some time been accepted by the scientific community that a group of meteorites came from Mars. They are actual samples of the planet and have been analyzed on Earth by the best equipment available. In these meteorites, called SNCs, many important elements have been detected. Magnesium, Aluminium, Titanium, Iron, and Chromium are relatively common in them. In addition, lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, niobium, molybdenum, lanthanum, europium, tungsten, and gold have been found in trace amounts. It is quite possible that in some places these materials may be concentrated enough to be mined economically.
The Mars landers Viking I, Viking II, Pathfinder, Opportunity Rover, and Spirit Rover identified aluminium, iron, magnesium, and titanium in the Martian soil. Opportunity found small structures, named “blueberries” which were found to be rich in hematite, a major ore of iron. These blueberries could easily be gathered up and reduced to metallic iron that could be used to make steel.
In December 2011, Opportunity Rover discovered a vein of gypsum sticking out of the soil. Tests confirmed that it contained calcium, sulfur, and water.
Using Local Resources on Mars and the Moon
Most Prospecting, Excavation, and Consumable Production technologies, systems, and technologies have been shown to be feasible at subscale and for limited test durations.
‒ Hardware simplicity and life are as important as minimizing mass and power
‒ Hardware commonality with other systems (propulsion, power, life support, thermal) can significantly reduce costs and logistics
* Work still required to:
‒ Scale up production and processing rates to human mission needs (lab and pilot scale for terrestrial industry)
‒ Operate hardware and systems under relevant mission environments; Understand how to take advantage of the environment and day/night cycle
‒ Perform long-duration testing to understand hardware life, maintenance, and logistics needs
‒ Add autonomy to operations, especially for mining operations
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.