October 25, 2017


12 Responses to “Musk-o-nomics”

  1. He does not seem to understand or comprehend the risks posed by space radiation to plants and humans.

    Space Radiation; Health Threats Posed To Astronauts And ISS By Cosmic Rays And Solar Energetic Particles, Radiation Shielding Methods – Exposure Technically Limited to 100 Millisieverts a Year

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    Musk is an egomaniac who is more concerned with PR and image than with doing real good for mankind. Anyone with any science understanding at all knows that thoughts of going to Mars (or even the Moon) are deranged.

    A sampling from a recent and excellent opinion piece in the WashPost by David Von Drehle

    “…For all the troubles in our current home, they are small compared with the problems of living in a terrarium on a frozen rock under skies composed of 95 percent carbon dioxide. If we have money and energy and brainpower enough to build settlements on distant wastelands, we are better off deploying those resources to preserve the bountiful planet we already have.

    “The vast and murderous universe has conspired to maroon the human race — but what a wonderful island we’re on. Rather than go in search of dust bowls to die in, let us send our robot eyes and ears to explore the lifeless seas of space, marveling at their findings while giving thanks that we’re not with them”.

    PS If anyone is keeping up, Musk has once again dropped far behind on his production schedule for the model 3. AND, he has gotten necessary permissions to start boring a tunnel for the hyperloop system he wants to build from Washington to Baltimore, eventually reaching to NYC and allowing the DC-NYC trip to be completed in 1/2 hour! Sell your Solar Roadway stock, folks, and send your money to Elon!

  3. BL Brown Says:

    I’ve got a more nuanced view: the hype around colonizing Mars is way too fantastical for me, but Musk has a number of impressive accomplishments including the Falcon series and landing and re-using first stage boosters and the Tesla S; the 3 is still up in the air, but if the production does begin to ramp up in the coming months (over-ambitious targets seem to be a recurrent thing), it too will be a big success: the Bolt is a nice electric economy car, but the Tesla 3 is something considerably more impressive (at least according to the reviews).

  4. indy222 Says:

    Got to agree with DOG on the ‘deranged’ comment. I actually admire Musk’s efforts in solar energy and electric cars, though. But it’s a real puzzle why Musk thinks we need to try to settle Mars. It’s got no magnetic field, and we can’t change that (that means its atmosphere is continually assaulted by the solar wind’s ionizing high speed nuclei, knocking it away). It has no ozone layer like Earth, so UV is brutal and killer. It’s got no oceans, no water to speak of, so daily temperature range is crippling, and we can’t change that. It’s got a dramatically elliptical orbit so climate again is doomed to dramatic instability. It’s moons are so pathetically puny they provide NO axial stabilizing effect such as Earth’s moon accomplishes, so Mars’ axis tilt wanders all over the place from near zero (which induced Martian Ice Ages because BOTH poles are cold enough to freeze CO2 right out of the atmosphere) to as much as 45 degrees, when seasons then become so dramatic that winters are unendurable. Studies show that trying to impact comets on Mars to bring water, have such a huge impedence mis-match that most of the water is vaporized so badly as to escape to space (and make a mess of any colonies there, of course). By the time we had the technology to terraform Mars (likely never), we’d easily have the technology to re-hab the Earth no matter how badly we cripple it with climate chaos. It’s a complete waste of time and money to do anything except scientific small scale missions to understand Mars better. This “manifest destiny” lunacy of the Republicans is Napoleonic to infinity, and beyond. The smaller the mind, the more grandiose the compensation in such lunatic notions as “moving to Mars”. I’m an astronomer, by the way.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Well said! indy222 didn’t need to tell us he was an astronomer—-it is obvious from this comment that he has an excellent understanding of planetary science.

      It goes well with the information in the link provided by A Green Road Daily News about how difficult it will be to even survive the trip TO Mars. I can remember reading back in the ’90’s (in SciAm?) about how much shielding would be needed to protect space travelers from radiation.

      It would take many tons of lead, and the cost of getting all that lead into orbit would have been prohibitive. So someone got the bright idea of using water as a shield because it could be “mined” on the moon and loaded into the spacecraft in orbit there—-much less energy intensive (and an excuse for going back to the moon?). Since the degree of shielding is dependent on density, the amount of water needed would weigh the same as the lead but would take up a LOT more space—I seem to remember that they calculated that the living quarters would have to be enclosed in a tank of water hundreds of feet in diameter to equal the shielding provided by the lead. (They then went back to the drawing board).

      Musk says he wants to die on Mars? If he and his fellow Marsonauts should be unlucky enough to get hit with high solar activity while traveling, they might be near dying when they get there.

      • lesliegraham1 Says:

        “It would take many tons of lead,…”

        LOL. Yeah – and a huuuuge steam engine no doubt.
        What century are you in dumboldguy?
        The latest technology, already proven, is miniature magnetospheres to protect crews coupled with body-vests that are far more effective than in the past.

        This new research is coming about due to the application of full plasma physics codes and laboratory experiments. In the future it is quite possible that an ‘inflatable’ structure can generate a magnetic dipole field at a level of perhaps 1 or 2 Tesla (or 10,000 to 20,000 Gauss) as an active shield against the solar wind even on Mars.

        Musk isn’t like Newton – he is more like the Wright brothers – who were also widely ridiculed by the ignorati at the time.

        By the way – Solar Roadways are gearing up for mass production. Looks like airports might be their first customers. Just thought I’d keep you up to date on the progress of your pet hate.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          What Leslie G has actually done here is keep us up to date on the hard-on he has had for me ever since I shot down one of his comments some time ago. That need to strike back has unfortunately led him to lose some reading comprehension skills, abandon logic, and ignore scientific truths.

          His snide “what century are you in?” fails to recognize that I was speaking of what state of the art shielding ideas were as discussed in a magazine article some 25 years ago (that’s late 20th. century, Leslie, and throwing “steam engine” in there is really not very clever and proof only of YOUR “hate”).

          Have you got some citations for us to look at about the wonders of miniature magnetospheres and the “new research”? It is not “quite” possible that these will be developed any time soon, and IMO only BARELY possible that they will prove of any utility in the “let’s go into deep space ASAP” program that Trump, Pence, and the rest of the deranged planet destroyers want to implement.

          For those who may not have the science background (as Leslie seems to lack), here’s a recent piece that will put protective magnetospheres on perspective:

          And I REALLY want to see a link to information about “body-vests that are far more effective than in the past”.

          I won’t waste time explaining why Musk is not like the Wright brothers other than to say that being the FIRST to design and fly an airplane is a far greater achievement than being WAY down the list of the many dozens of folks who have come up with electric cars, batteries, and rockets—-they are just improving existing technology.

          Lastly, Solar Roadway is not my “pet hate”—-what I hate is the gullibility and stupidity (and/or science ignorance) of any humans who think that SR is anything other than a scam. Again, making a statement like “Solar Roadways are gearing up for mass production. Looks like airports might be their first customers” DEMANDS a citation or it’s just wishful thinking. Got a link? Again, for those like Leslie who don’t understand what a half-assed idea SR is, here are some good links explaining why—the first from Musk, interestingly, and the others in a separate message to stay within WordPress limits

  5. toddinnorway Says:

    Sir Isaac Newton had an obsession with alchemy, and truly believed it would enable transforming junk into treasure, if only he had the Philosophers Stone. He spent most of his later years in the alchemy lab.

    So let us throw out all those irritating Newtonian laws of motion! Newton was a actually a deranged hack and quack! Those laws of his must be bogus and repealed!

    Ironically, Newton’s work on alchemy may have actually inspired the real chemistry that followed the next 350 years, performed using strict laboratory experimental controls and protocols that can be repeated by anyone willing to read the scientific publication. This is in fact the basis of our modern culture of the scientific method.

    Nutters indeed. But from them come perhaps the most useful insights, knowledge and breakthroughs.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      I have to smile when replying to this huge “nutter” of a non sequitur. I smile at how ludicrous it is to conflate Newton with Musk.

      Newton was a pioneer who made basic discoveries in a time of ignorance and pushed science forward, and, as you point out, even his alchemy efforts helped form the basis of modern chemistry (and science in general). Musk has made no such contributions—-making a better (cheaper) rocket and producing electric cars (way behind schedule and with little profit) are merely applications of the basic science put forth by Newton and the pioneers.

      Musk has degrees in physics, but he is much better at applying what he learned for his first degree, which was in the field of economics. His “knowledge, insights. and breakthroughs” are mainly in the area of using other people’s money to promote his own self-serving goals. Musk “wants to die on Mars, but not while landing”? Please!

      Musk, to say it again. is an egomaniac and self-promoter who actually does damage to the work of science and the future of the planet. His high profile push on MARS-MARS-MARS flies in the face of science and gives shelter to those in our government like Trump and Pence and Cruz who would have us waste resources and TIME on the deranged idea that going to the Moon and Mars is a better thing to do than working to heal the ONLY planet we will ever have to live on.

      • lesliegraham1 Says:

        We can do both. And we will.
        Stop being such a drama queen.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          We can do “both”? As in colonizing Mars and repairing our planet? Lord love a duck!

          Stop being a bright-sided, science-ignorant, and gulible wishful thinker. You asked what century I was in? What century are YOU in and on which planet to you reside?

          The real drama queens are those like you that would make such bald assertions in the face of science.

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