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Comment True or not but... (Score 3, Insightful) 90

There is a chance of slightly more than zero that something like that is going to happen and ignoring it may mean to miss it or to come too late. Of course there is a dream of tricking out the limits of growth by just growing out of Earth. Then someone else already is sitting on the juiciest resources out there.

Well, either that or we will be increasingly fighting over diminishing resources down here, sooner or later. In case you haven't noticed the world is becoming smaller and smaller.

Bezos is just spending some money on trying not to miss the ultimate growth opportunity in history. In the worst case he will just be selling engines to ULA (and he's is already developing the BE4 engine for them).

Comment Re:Really... (Score 5, Informative) 348

Mercury lacks water, which is the foremost thing you need, just for oxygen and propellants. Some of the Jovian and Saturnian moons are great, but they are so far away that getting there takes years, also solar power out there is sparse and radiation thick enough to kill you within hours. They are ignored for now with good reason.

Mars has loads of water, an atmosphere of CO2 (so you have oxygen, hydrogen and carbon) and is not too far away. The atmosphere also makes landing much easier, since you can use it to brake. Dragging enough fuel with you to slow down several km/s just by propulsion makes things much harder. If you have to also take the fuel with you (and brake and land it) to launch back again as with Mercury this gets just impossible.

Comment Re:I'd rather see (Score 1) 348

What for? There is hardly anything usable on the Moon (maybe some water ice dust in the regolith in a few areas in shaded craters on the poles) and landing on the Moon costs lots of fuel since there is no atmosphere to do the braking for you. And then you want to go there and launch again to somewhere else? Why?

Mars at least has an atmosphere and resources like water ice (and lots of it) and CO2. So landing there, staying and also and launching again is much easier (since you can use water ice and CO2 to produce fuel instead of bringing it all the way from Earth).

Comment Re:nice video, but the launch seems backwards (Score 1) 202

Boil-off of LOX and methane in space isn't an unsolvable problem and they have to solve it anyway, since they need fuel and LOX to land on Mars and if they can prevent boil-off for 6 months they also can prevent it for a few days or weeks more.

But I agree, this video just shows it the way people expect things to look. All the details will be very different.

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