Apropos of today's main blog, astronaut Hardfield tells it like it is: rockets, private or otherwise, won't get us there(thanks to Mr. T.M. for this article):
Let's face it, rockets won't do the job to get us to Mars, much less beyond it to mine the asteroid belt; heck, they barely worked to get us to the Moon, and if you follow my hypothesis that some sort of "deal" was struck with those Paperclip Nazis to gain access to their primitive kontrabary (anti-gravity) technology to get us off the Moon (and possibly even to it), then the inadequacy of rockets was known very early on. As I pointed out in Covert Wars and Breakaway Civilizations, even the late 1950s Brookings Report, instrumental in the early days of NASA, so often cited by space afficionados for its concentration on the possibility of contact with extra-terrestrials or their artifacts, mentioned something far more important (to my mind), in its extended treatment and review of exotic propulsion technologies; it even mentions, specifically, "magneto-hydrodynamic drives". That may sound like science fiction, but recall my blog from yesterday about the space-based experiments conference sponsored by Los Alamos, and my suspicion that the experiments being described were, in part, describing plasma drives (the plasma being the "hydro-dynamic" part), and plasma jets controlled by magnetic fields (that's obviously the magneto part), or lasers.
Hadfield lays it all out, but he does so in a fashion that should raise questions about why there is so much hype about the privatization of space and various private efforts to do "lunar space cruises" and Mars missions... with rockets:
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, known best for performing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” aboard the International Space Station back in 2013, spoke with Business Insider about the possibility of humans traveling to Mars. He thinks there are multiple issues impeding humans from reaching the red planet, with rockets being one of the key problems.
“Personally, I don’t think any of those three rockets are taking people to Mars,” Hadfield told Business Insider. “I don’t think those are a practical way to send people to Mars because they’re dangerous and it takes too long.”
His reasoning to focus on the rockets is the fuel used to launch them into space. NASA, SpaceX, and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin all use similar fuels that are not powerful or efficient enough to get to Mars. Hadfield also points out how dangerous the mission would be for humans and even suggest robots should be the first to travel to the planet in order to learn more. (Emphases added)
Hadfield is not speaking like an astronaut here, he's speaking like a businessman, for note that his concentration is on (1) the overhead costs, of inefficient fuels, and length of time, and (2) the risk of doing so.
So how to lower overhead, minimize risk, and optimize investment? The answer, which readers here all know, is that one needs an entirely different technology that is both faster, lowers risk, and is capable of efficient and reliable functioning.
Rockets are fine for launching satellites, and that, indeed, is where we've seen an explosion of private corporations with their own launch capability, and that will continue, But for tours to the Moon, or missions to Mars, or worse, to mine asteroids, it simply will not do.
And that raises an important question: why, then, is there so much attention being given to these corporations and their manned mission plans to other planets? As one might have guessed, this is the high octane speculation of the day, for I strongly suspect that part of the agenda is to keep people's minds focused on rocket technology, and not watching the much more significant developments and efforts to create "exotic" technologies, not just of propulsion, but for defense of those assets once they're "up there." The implication of that hypothesis should also not be missed, for most of that research, like it or not, traces back to government programs to do so, even if it is being conducted by private corporations such as Lockheed, Raytheon, or British Aerospace. Listen to the Hadfields, and not the Muilenbergs and Musks, because Hadfield is right.
Rockets won't do...
See you on the flip side...