'Cradle of Life' on Mars? Scientists Discover Evidence for Hydrothermal Deposits in Ancient Sea

Part of the Eridania basin, where ancient hydrothermal deposits have been surrounded by younger volcanic deposits in what was once a sea. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Does Mars, or did it ever, have life? We still don’t know the answer to that question, but scientists have found new evidence that at least one region had ancient sea-floor hydrothermal activity, a discovery that increases the chances that microbial life may have once existed, and could also provide clues as to how life started on Earth.

The new findings are based on observations by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) of a basin in the southern hemisphere called Eridania. The basin contains huge deposits which scientists think were formed by hot water which entered the bottom of a large sea about 3.7 billion years ago. The water was heated by volcanic activity, but today, the volcanoes are no longer active and the sea has long since evaporated.

Eridiani basin in the southern hemisphere of Mars. This basins now thought to have once contained an ancient sea. Image Credit: NASA

Diagram depicting how the hydrothermal deposits in the ancient sea are thought to have originated, as well as water depth estimates. Image Credit: NASA

“Even if we never find evidence that there’s been life on Mars, this site can tell us about the type of environment where life may have begun on Earth,” said Paul Niles of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “Volcanic activity combined with standing water provided conditions that were likely similar to conditions that existed on Earth at about the same time – when early life was evolving here.”

This undersea hydrothermal activity would likely have been similar to what still occurs on Earth today, and at about the same time when life is thought to have started here. As such, this sea could have been a “cradle for life” on Mars.

“This site gives us a compelling story for a deep, long-lived sea and a deep-sea hydrothermal environment,” Niles said. “It is evocative of the deep-sea hydrothermal environments on Earth, similar to environments where life might be found on other worlds – life that doesn’t need a nice atmosphere or temperate surface, but just rocks, heat and water.”

Cutaway view depicting the interior of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Water, salts, organics, and methane make their way from the hydrothermal vents on the ocean bottom to the surface through cracks in the icy crust, erupting as geysers. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Artist’s conception of what ancient Mars may have looked like with seas and oceans. Image Credit: Ittiz/Wikimedia Commons

There is still much debate as to whether Mars once had a larger ocean in the northern hemisphere, but even a smaller sea could have provided very habitable conditions. This sea is estimated to have contained 50,000 cubic miles (210,000 cubic kilometers) of water, nine times more than all of the Great Lakes on Earth. Minerals found in the deposits by MRO include serpentine, talc and carbonate.

“Ancient, deep-water hydrothermal deposits in Eridania basin represent a new category of astrobiological target on Mars,” according to the report. “Eridania seafloor deposits are not only of interest for Mars exploration, they represent a window into early Earth.”

There is also now evidence for current hydrothermal activity on the bottom of Enceladus’ global subsurface ocean, and perhaps Europa as well, which makes these moons prime targets in the search for life elsewhere in the Solar System.

The new hydrothermal findings add clue to the growing knowledge that Mars was once a very wet place, with rivers, lakes, deltas, seas, groundwater and hot springs.

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29 comments to ‘Cradle of Life’ on Mars? Scientists Discover Evidence for Hydrothermal Deposits in Ancient Sea

  • James

    Thank you Paul Scott Anderson for an interesting Mars science article!

    I like the pictures and especially the “Artist’s conception of what ancient Mars may have looked like with seas and oceans. Image Credit: Ittiz/Wikimedia Commons”!

    If we get serious about having many millions of humans living on Mars, we will need to recreate a Martian atmosphere and lots of lakes, seas, and oceans.

    How?

    Various types of nuclear propulsion spaceships could redirect comets and asteroids into a Mars orbit and then brake ‘chunks’ of the comets and asteroids into polar impact sites.

    “Nuclear reactions release about a million times as much energy, weight for weight, as chemical reactions.”

    From: ‘The Promise of Space’ Page 229 By Arthur C. Clarke 1968

    Thorium mined on the Moon and Mars could be used to make U-233 to power the large and powerful spaceships that could help enable the useful terraforming of Mars.

    Various types of other projects could also be useful in the short term.

    Note:

    “Mars’s CO2 atmosphere has about 1% the pressure of the Earth’s at sea level. It is estimated that there is sufficient CO2 ice in the regolith and the south polar cap to form a 30 to 60 kilopascals [kPa] (4.4 to 8.7 psi) atmosphere if it is released by planetary warming.[1]”

    And, “If Mars atmospheric pressure could rise above 19 kPa (2.8 psi) then a pressure suit would not be required. Visitors would only need to wear a mask that supplied 100% oxygen under positive pressure. A further increase to 24 kPa (3.5 psi) of atmospheric pressure would allow a simple mask supplying pure oxygen.[12]”

    And, “During the Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop[16] in late February 2017, NASA scientist Jim Green proposed a concept of placing a magnetic dipole field between the planet and the Sun to protect it from high-energy solar particles.”

    And, “The field would need to be ‘Earth comparable’ and sustain 50,000nT as measured at 1 Earth-radius. The paper abstract cites that this could be achieved by a magnet with a strength of 1-2 Tesla (or 10,000 to 20,000 Gauss) [45] If constructed, the shield may allow the planet to restore its atmosphere.”

    From: ‘Terraforming of Mars’ Wikipedia
    At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraforming_of_Mars

    See also:

    ‘A FUTURE MARS ENVIRONMENT FOR SCIENCE AND EXPLORATION.’ By J. L. Green, J. Hollingsworth, D. Brain, V. Airapetian, A. Glocer, A. Pulkkinen, C. Dong, and R. Bamford
    Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop 2017 (LPI Contrib. No. 1989)
    At: https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/V2050/pdf/8250.pdf

    • Thorium mined on the Moon and Mars could be used to make U-233 to power the large and powerful spaceships that could help enable the useful terraforming of Mars

      Oh please. This is like some prehistoric native American in 1000 BC, blathering on about building California’s Central Valley Project with its 400 mile long Aqueduct, using stone axes and sticks.
      Any excuse to proselytize those 1950s atomic bomb spaceships.

      Mars will be terraformed by swarms of billions of self-replicating AI controlled robots –or more likely something we early 21st century people can’t even imagine.

      • James

        “Plutonium-238, or Pu-238, has long been used by NASA in radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), which convert the heat produced by radioactive delay of the isotope into electrical power. The agency has used RTGs on many missions where solar power is not feasible, including those into the outer solar system.”

        And, “NASA’s projected demand for the isotope dropped from 5 to 1.5 kilograms a year after the end of the Constellation program, which forecast the need for power systems to support human lunar exploration, McNutt said.”

        And, “That could change if NASA’s human spaceflight program is redirected back to the Moon, as the Trump administration has directed.”

        From: ‘Plutonium supply for NASA missions faces long-term challenges’
        By Jeff Foust October 10, 2017
        At: http://spacenews.com/plutonium-supply-for-nasa-missions-faces-long-term-challenges/

        Nuclear power of various types has been useful for space activities for decades and will continue to be used for the long term.

        “Any excuse to proselytize those 1950s atomic bomb spaceships.” se jones

        That particular “1950’s” and 1960’s form of nuclear energy propulsion technology offers a 6,000 Isp to perhaps well over 50,000 Isp compared to the low 365 Isp of the weak chemical powered rockets based on 1930s and 1940s rocket technology and loudly promoted by the endless “blathering” of the ‘Mars Colonies Soon with SpaceX’s Mini BFR’ cult.

        Thousands of asteroids could be mined and Mars could be colonized and even terraformed by using various types of nuclear power and propulsion technologies.

        NASA wants to make smart use of highly efficient Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) technology that offers a 900 Isp, or even higher Isp levels, and this high 900+ Isp NTR technology endlessly annoys people like se jones who try to whine and snarl like attack dogs as part of an ongoing campaign against a NASA led international human Lunar base and NASA led human Mars missions.

        The Mars Colonies Soon cult’s ongoing demands for super large government subsidies for Mars Colonies Soon based on using the weak, low 365 Isp, and ‘super old’ chemical rocket technology powered SpaceX Mini BFR are not going to end with Mr. Elon Musk’s recent recognition of the priority of a human Lunar base over human Mars missions.

        Nonetheless, efficient and 900+ Isp Nuclear Thermal Rocket, or NTR, powered spaceships offer many benefits:

        “An additional beyond-LEO engine for interplanetary travel from Earth orbit to Mars orbit, and back, is being studied as of 2013 at Marshall Space Flight Center with a focus on nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) engines.[73] In historical ground testing, NTRs proved to be at least twice as efficient as the most advanced chemical engines, allowing quicker transfer time and increased cargo capacity.”

        And, “The shorter flight duration, estimated at 3–4 months with NTR engines,[74] compared to 6–9 months using chemical engines,[75] would reduce crew exposure to potentially harmful and difficult to shield cosmic rays.[76][77][78][79] NTR engines, such as the Pewee of Project Rover, were selected in the Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA).[77][80][81][82]”

        And, “In 2017 NASA continued research and development on NTRs, designing for space applications with civilian approved materials.[83]”

        From: ‘Space Launch System’ Wikipedia
        At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Launch_System

        • You pathetic clown, you know GD well that when I say “1950s atomic bomb spaceships” I’m referring to your ridiculous giant Orion “nuclear pulse” (aka atomic bomb) spaceships. RTGs & Nuclear Thermal have ZERO to do with your idiotic obsession with ORION.

          You lecture me on Nuclear Thermal Rockets? You cretin, I’ve been promoting NTRs for decades, I’ve forgotten more about nuclear engineering in the last 20 minutes than you are going to know in your entire miserable life. If BFR-V2 doesn’t pan out, I’ll continue to promote the new Marshall “low enrichment” NTR work.

          But even I must admit that NTRs have a lousy T/W, and are essentially a solution to the high traditional cost of launching propellant from earth. If successful, the SpaceX BFR-V2 AND lunar polar ice propellant, render expensive nuclear propulsion moot. Abundant, cheap LOX/O2 from the moon and/or abundant cheap CH4/O2 from earth changes the paradigm.

          Your bizarre paste fests are usually dripping with unintended irony (note: you’re not clever enough to write intentional irony) you waste bandwidth beating the drum for mining ice on the moon -then in the same breath you drone on (err, paste on) endlessly about nuclear propulsion, MHD thrusters and other exotic schemes. Why? (oh that’s rhetorical, the why is that you are clueless).
          If you have lots of cheap lunar ice LH2/LOX fuel, then J2s, RL10s & Rapters rule the day out there.

          Note:
          Specific impulse is just one parameter for engine performance. Astronautics is about system engineering, where there are trades between T/W, dry mass, flight profile, human factors, economics, budgets, schedules, and so on and on. You and your sibling Gary Church have an 8th grader grasp of this stuff (at best), yet you constantly paste a bunch of other people’s stuff (like a 10 grader doing his first term paper) because you guys are the epitome of the Dunning–Kruger effect.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

        • James

          se jones –

          Your using God’s name to curse and brag is indicative of both super foolishness and great ignorance.

          The real “idiotic obsession” and “pathetic clown” show is led by ‘Mars Colonies Soon’ cult members like yourself who have endlessly blathered on and on about how we were going to build Mars Colonies Soon with Mr. Elon Musk’s high risk, costly, weak, slow, low Isp, overly complex, and chemical powered Mini BFR while ignoring the resources, including various propellants, and many business opportunities offered by the nearby Moon.

          I and many other folks are open to human Lunar, asteroid, and Mars missions that use various types of super high Isp nuclear powered propulsion systems and nuclear electric power plants.

          Unfortunately for you and your nasty ‘Mars Colonies Soon’ cult, most folks on Earth are not blindly locked into weak and slow chemical rocket based Mars Colonies Soon with the low Isp Mini BFR.

          Because of your ongoing demonstrated great ignorance, attack dog mentality, and inability to read and respond intelligently and usefully to anything concerning Nuclear Thermal Rockets, or NTR, I will repeat the obvious truth which is clearly beyond your capability to understand and accept.

          “The shorter flight duration, estimated at 3–4 months with NTR engines,[74] compared to 6–9 months using chemical engines,[75] would reduce crew exposure to potentially harmful and difficult to shield cosmic rays.[76][77][78][79] NTR engines, such as the Pewee of Project Rover, were selected in the Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA).[77][80][81][82]”

          And, “In 2017 NASA continued research and development on NTRs, designing for space applications with civilian approved materials.[83]”

          From: ‘Space Launch System’ Wikipedia
          At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Launch_System

          I have repeatedly told killers, drug dealers, and many other confused and unhappy folks which way was up and which way was down. Ignorant curses and donkey braying sounds from you mean zip. The only thing I’m afraid of is not speaking or writing the truth as I understand it. Someone once said God is truth. I am afraid of God and only God can “rule the day out there”.

          Obviously ignorant clowns like you and your ‘Mars Colonies Soon’ cult members can curse, insult God, and hurl nasty insults all you want until someday cows are peacefully and happily grazing in O’Neill Cylinders. Then someone like me might ask you politely to be quiet because your endlessly loud cursing, bragging, and braying noise is bothering the happy cows.

          • @jamesmoonminerchurch

            truth as I understand it

            that’s the trouble, you don’t understand any of this -beyond an eight grade level.

            “The shorter flight duration, estimated at 3–4 months with NTR engines,[74] compared to 6–9 months using chemical engines”

            Compared to What chemical engines? Compared to NASA’s 1996 reference mission, not the SpaceX BFR-ITS V2 with it’s excellent raptor CH4 dV capability, that’s what. BFR-V2 offers a Mars transit time about the same as [83] NTR referenced (depending on launch window). Any shorter outbound transit time is dangerous because it eliminates the “abort once around” option. Details…which are way over your head.

            Details are always missing in your Jr. High level wikipedia copy/paste word salads. You’re such an expert that you feel justified in constantly slandering Elon Musk (who has accomplished more before breakfast than you have in your entire miserable life) and everyone in the Mars research community, yet you can’t just write a simple paragraph without endlessly pasting other people’s stuff…again like an 10th grader writing a “term paper”.

            Killers, drug dealers??…you are sick.
            I noticed you’re not on Spudis’s blog lately, get banned again?

    • James

      “James says:
      October 14, 2017 at 10:13 am

      LEO to GEO to Low Lunar Orbit and then back to a GEO space station seems like a possible useful role for future evolved reusable versions of the International Orion.”

      At: http://www.spudislunarresources.com/blog/flight-of-the-space-turkey/

      Whoops! I forgot! Foul-mouthed human attack dogs cannot think or read. Sorry! That’s always the big trouble with the ‘Mars Cult Colonies Soon with the weak and low Isp Mini BFR’ foul-mouthed human attack dogs.

      Forget Mars.

      Mr. Elon Musk has now placed a Moon base as a higher priority. Boy, that sure has got those ignorant and foul-mouthed ‘Mars Cult Colonies Soon with the energy weak and low Isp Mini BFR’ attack dogs super angry!

  • James

    Concering the mining or use of comets to increase the Martian atmosphere, it is worth noting:

    “C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is an Oort cloud comet discovered on 3 January 2013 by Robert H. McNaught at Siding Spring Observatory using the 0.5-meter (20 in) Uppsala Southern Schmidt Telescope.[1][6]”

    “C/2013 A1 passed the planet Mars very closely on 19 October 2014, at a distance of 140,496.6 ± 4.0 km (87,300.5 ± 2.5 mi; 0.000939162 ± 2.7×10−8 au)[7]. After its discovery, there was thought to be a chance of a collision with Mars, but this possibility was excluded when its orbit was determined more accurately.”

    “In addition, the comet nucleus was determined to be between 400 and 700 meters (0.2 and 0.4 mi),[4][5][15] much smaller than originally assumed. The nucleus rotates once every eight hours.[16]”

    From: ‘C/2013 A1’ Wikipedia
    At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C/2013_A1

    Thorium, for making the highly useful and powerful U-233 for use in nuclear spaceship propulsion and nuclear reactors for heat and electricity production, is available on both the Moon and Mars.

    Note:

    “Evidence exists that a large natural nuclear reactor formed and operated on Mars in the northern Mare Acidalium region of Mars. However, unlike its terrestrial analogs this natural nuclear reactor was apparently much larger, bred 233 U off of thorium, and apparently underwent explosive disassembly, ejecting large amounts of radioactive material over Mars surface[2].”

    And, “Evidence of a large scale nuclear activity on Mars comes from a variety of sources. It has been a long standing paradox that uranium, thorium and potassium, appear hyper-abundant on Mars surface when compared to Mars meteorites, which are believed to sample subsurface rocks.[3]

    And, “Because of the size of the ore body, and its burial at kilometer depth, the reaction was inertially confined or ‘tamped’ so that explosive disassembly was delayed until a high degree of fission burn-up was achieved. The resulting energy release was catastrophic and resulted in an explosive disassembly of the ore body as a dust and ash cloud similar to a large asteroid impact.”

    From: ‘EVIDENCE FOR A LARGE, NATURAL, PALEO-NUCLEAR REACTOR ON MARS.’
    By J. E. Brandenburg 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2011)
    At: https://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2011/pdf/1097.pdf

  • @Paul Anderson

    My colleagues and I have been combing through images of Eridania basin for some time, looking for clusters of “Tepee Buttes” (fossilized methane-seep ecosystems). It’s a long shot, but features looking like Tepee Buttes could be compelling macro-scale evidence of living organisms in the Martian Noachian epoch.

    One of the most stunning clusters on Earth of these rare geologic formations, can be seen just east of interstate 25 in Southern Colorado, from south of Colorado Springs into Pueblo county. Visitors to Schriever Air Force Base can see some beautiful examples just south of the base.

    Below is a link to Shapiro & Fricke’s paper on these fascinating features:
    Tepee Buttes: Fossilized methane-seep ecosystems
    http://homepages.gac.edu/~rshapiro/PDF/tepee_buttes.pdf

  • Tracy the Troll

    James,
    Yesterday the President eliminated the $7B “subsidy” to the insurance industry for their offset on their insurance plans, putting the entire healthcare industry into a reboot. I suspect that getting large amounts of R&D dollars from government to restart nuclear rockets is …unrealistic with a $20T national debt quickly going to $30T…just sayin you might want to come up with another pipe dream.

    • James

      Tracy the Troll –

      What is “pipe dream” and “unrealistic with a $20T national debt quickly going to $30T” has been Mr. Elon Musk’s loudly announced plan, or plans, for endless large government subsidies for his chemical powered low Isp Mini BFR based super risky and super costly ‘Mars Soon Fantasy Colonies’.

      It has been obvious for five decades that the Moon, and its many resources and opportunities, is the most affordable, risk lowering, cost reducing, and best human spaceflight deal we humans are going to get.

      The Moon’s resources and industries could help accelerate the development of Cislunar Space and eventually provide the American and international political, economic, and technological basis for mining dozens, or even thousands of asteroids, and doing something useful with Mars.

      ‘Mars Colonies Soon with weak and low Isp chemical rockets’ seems to be an ongoing and costly scam to continue to make a few rich and politically super connected individuals much richer while most folks are left with paying for much of the large costs of developing the privately owned Mini-BFR.

      The Dawn robotic spacecraft’s successful mission to study the asteroids Vesta and Ceres with a 10 km/s velocity change, or delta-v, capability has already proven the usefulness of electric propulsion systems with a super high Isp for high delta-v spaceflights.

      Nuclear electric power is going to be useful in space for powering super high Isp electric propulsion systems that can be used for many types of space missions and powering future mining and refining bases across our Solar System.

      Nuclear power can also be used directly to power various types of nuclear thermal rockets and even large, powerful, and super high Isp Orion nuclear pulse propulsion systems.

      Various types of nuclear power aren’t going away and will continue to be used in space far into the future.

      Actually, if you think about it for a second, solar power is just another name for nuclear fusion power ‘beamed’ as light from our Sun.

      Efficient and super high Isp electric propulsion systems for deep space mission spacecraft and various communication satellites have exhaust velocities that range from 10 km/s to 60 km/s and when you compare that to the weak 3 km/s to 4 km/s exhaust velocity of chemical rockets you understand the real advantages of solar and nuclear powered electric propulsion spacecraft.

      The magnetoplasmadynamic thruster (MPDT) is an upcoming electric propulsion system that could be very useful for many space missions.

      “A single MPD engine about the size of an average household pail can process about a million watts of electric power from a solar or nuclear source into thrust (enough to energize more than 10,000 standard lightbulbs), which is substantially larger than the maximum power limits of ion or Hall thrusters of the same size. An MPDT can produce exhaust velocities from 15 to 60 km/s. It truly is the little engine that could.”

      From: ‘New Dawn for Electric Rockets’ By Edgar Y. Choueiri 2009
      At: http://alfven.princeton.edu/publications/choueiri-sciam-2009,

    • James

      Tracy the Troll –

      “In theory, MPD thrusters could produce extremely high specific impulses (Isp) with an exhaust velocity of up to and beyond 110000 m/s, triple the value of current xenon-based ion thrusters, and about 25 times better than liquid rockets. MPD technology also has the potential for thrust levels of up to 200 newtons (N) (45 lbF ), by far the highest for any form of electric propulsion, and nearly as high as many interplanetary chemical rockets.[citation needed] This would allow use of electric propulsion on missions which require quick delta-v maneuvers (such as capturing into orbit around another planet), but with many times greater fuel efficiency.[3]”

      And, “Nuclear reactors supplying kilowatts of electrical power (of the order of ten times more than current RTG power supplies) have been orbited by the USSR: RORSAT;[5] and TOPAZ.[6]”

      And, “Plans to develop a megawatt-scale nuclear reactor for the use aboard a manned spaceship were announced in 2009 by Russian nuclear Kurchatov Institute,[7] national space agency Roskosmos,[8] and confirmed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in his November 2009 address to the Federal Assembly.[9]”

      And, “An MPD thruster was tested on board the Japanese Space Flyer Unit as part of EPEX (Electric Propulsion EXperiment) that was launched March 18, 1995 and retrieved by space shuttle mission STS-72 January 20, 1996.”

      From: ‘Magnetoplasmadynamic thruster’ Wikipedia
      At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetoplasmadynamic_thruster

      “Project Prometheus/Project Promethian was established in 2003 by NASA to develop nuclear-powered systems for long-duration space missions. This was NASA’s first serious foray into nuclear spacecraft propulsion since the cancellation of the SNTP project in 1995. The project was cancelled in 2005.[1]”

      And, “Unlike RTGs which rely on heat produced by the natural decay of radioactive isotopes, Project Prometheus called for the use of a small nuclear reactor as the primary power source.”

      And, “The primary advantages of this would have been:

      Increased power generation compared to RTGs, allowing scientists and engineers more flexibility in both mission design and operations.
      Increased spacecraft longevity.
      Increased range and propulsion power.
      High speed data links.”

      From: ‘Project Prometheus’ Wikipedia
      At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Prometheus

      Yep, obviously feeding endless subsidies to the foolish and private “pipe dream” of Fantasy Mars Colonies Soon with the low Isp chemical rocket powered Mini BFR to help Mr. Elon Musk and his close ‘friends’ get much richer is obviously a better investment for the American taxpayer than is investing in nuclear reactor power systems to produce the electricity needed for efficient and super high Isp electric propulsion systems.

      Russia, India, Canada, China, and Japan can provide the nuclear electric power for mining the Moon and asteroids and for their efficient and high Isp electric propulsion powered spaceships that can make some real money in space.

      America needs to ‘stay the course’ with expanding our “$20T national debt quickly going to $30T” by providing endless large government subsidies to Mr. Elon Musk and his Mars Colonies Soon Fantasy ‘enabled’ by his low delta-v, chemical powered, and low Isp Mini BFR.

      Obviously, making a “pipe dream” selling billionaire, and his ‘friends’, far richer is the highest priority in space for some American politicians.

      Making money mining the Moon and asteroids by using power from nuclear reactors apparently isn’t as politically useful as having billionaires contributing lots of money to foolish and sweet talking politicians that are busy trying to sell America’s future down the river.

  • @James Making money mining the Moon and asteroids by using power from nuclear reactors apparently isn’t as politically useful as having billionaires <>contributing lots of money to foolish and sweet talking politicians that are busy trying to sell America’s future down the river.

    You a-hole, if you had a ounce of integrity or brains (you have neither) you’d spend two minutes looking up Musk’s political contributions on one of the dozen or more web sites that post this public information (I use GuideStar), anything over $100 must be a check (no cash) so there is a public record. Most contributions go to charity events or tickets to “meet ‘n greet” shin digs.

    Boy, if I’d a known I could buy off the president of the free world for the cost of a used motorcycle, we’d have been headed to Mars a long long time ago. Bob Zubrin probably would’a split the cost with me. Sigh.

    Donator Date Amount Recipient
    Elon Musk 03/31/17 $33,900 GOP Cmte (R)
    Elon Musk 06/04/13 $32,400 GOP Cmte (R)
    Elon Musk 04/15/11 $30,800 DNC Services Corp (D)
    Elon Musk 04/29/10 $30,400 DNC Services Corp (D)
    Elon Musk 03/19/10 $25,400 Dem Senatorial Cmte (D)
    Elon Musk 03/24/06 $25,000 GOP Congressional Cmte (R)
    Elon Musk 02/27/07 $25,000 GOP Cmte (R)
    Elon Musk 09/29/14 $22,400 GOP Cmte (R)
    Elon Musk 03/28/09 $10,000 GOP Congressional Cmte (R)
    Elon Musk 03/31/17 $5,700 GOP Congressional Cmte ®
    Elon Musk 03/08/13 $5,200 Graham, Lindsey (R)
    Elon Musk 09/22/05 $5,000 SecureUS (D)
    Elon Musk 09/26/06 $5,000 Eureka PAC (R)
    Elon Musk 01/30/09 $5,000 Dem Senatorial Campaign Cmte (D)
    Elon Musk 08/26/09 $5,000 DNC Services Corp (D)
    Elon Musk 01/19/10 $5,000 Dem Senatorial Campaign Cmte (D)
    Elon Musk 02/15/11 $5,000 Majority Cmte PAC (R)
    Elon Musk 03/28/11 $5,000 SpaceX
    Elon Musk 09/18/12 $5,000 Solarcity Corp
    Elon Musk 12/17/15 $5,000 SpaceX
    Elon Musk 11/21/16 $5,000 SpaceX
    Elon Musk 03/31/17 $5,000 Majority Cmte PAC (R)
    Elon Musk 08/28/13 $4,800 Reclaim America PAC (R)
    Elon Musk 06/04/14 $4,800 Dem Senatorial Campaign Cmte (D)
    Elon Musk 03/31/17 $2,700 McCarthy, Kevin (R)
    Elon Musk 03/31/17 $2,700 McCarthy, Kevin (R)
    Elon Musk 03/08/13 $2,600 Graham, Lindsey (R)
    Elon Musk 06/30/13 $2,600 Ruppersberger, Dutch (D)
    Elon Musk 06/30/13 $2,600 Ruppersberger, Dutch (D)
    Elon Musk 09/24/13 $2,600 Booker, Cory (D)
    Elon Musk 06/30/14 $2,600 Walsh, John (D)
    Elon Musk 04/14/11 $2,500 Nelson, Ben (D)
    4/15/2010 (twothousandTEN) Obama KSC speech
    Elon Musk 04/15/11 $2,500 Obama, Barack (D)
    Elon Musk 06/22/11 $2,500 Fattah, Chaka (D)
    Elon Musk 06/30/11 $2,500 Rohrabacher, Dana (R)
    Elon Musk 06/30/11 $2,500 Rohrabacher, Dana (R)
    Elon Musk 09/12/11 $2,500 Rubio, Marco (R)
    Elon Musk 09/12/11 $2,500 Rubio, Marco (R)
    Elon Musk 10/01/11 $2,500 McCarthy, Kevin (R)
    Elon Musk 10/01/11 $2,500 McCarthy, Kevin (R)
    Elon Musk 06/25/09 $2,400 Dorgan, Byron L (D)
    Elon Musk 08/21/09 $2,400 Reid, Harry (D)
    Elon Musk 02/23/10 $2,400 Mikulski, Barbara A (D)
    Elon Musk 04/05/10 $2,400 Eshoo, Anna (D)
    Elon Musk 06/30/10 $2,400 Melancon, Charles (D)
    Elon Musk 06/18/07 $2,300 Harman, Jane (D)
    Elon Musk 06/29/07 $2,300 Pryor, Mark (D)
    Elon Musk 06/29/07 $2,300 Pryor, Mark (D)
    Elon Musk 09/17/07 $2,300 Polis, Jared (D)
    Elon Musk 09/17/07 $2,300 Polis, Jared (D)
    Elon Musk 09/20/07 $2,300 Boxer, Barbara (D)
    Elon Musk 09/26/07 $2,300 Nelson, Bill (D)
    Elon Musk 05/22/08 $2,300 Vitter, David (R)
    Elon Musk 05/01/15 $2,300 Clinton, Hillary (D)
    Elon Musk 06/19/09 $2,200 Harman, Jane (D)
    Elon Musk 10/18/06 $2,100 Edwards, Chet (D)
    1/14/2004 VSE “back to the moon” speech
    Elon Musk 06/23/03 $2,000 Bush, George W
    Elon Musk 07/11/03 $2,000 Rohrabacher, Dana (R)
    Elon Musk 12/31/03 $2,000 Clark, Wesley (D)
    Elon Musk 03/25/04 $2,000 Kerry, John (D)
    Elon Musk 05/31/05 $2,000 Rohrabacher, Dana (R)
    Elon Musk 09/05/08 $2,000 Schiff, Adam (D)
    Elon Musk 10/05/10 $2,000 Bingaman, Jeff (D)
    Elon Musk 06/15/09 $1,700 Boxer, Barbara (D)
    Elon Musk 07/02/14 $1,400 Rohrabacher, Dana (R)
    Elon Musk 07/09/04 $1,000 Smith, Gordon H (R)
    Elon Musk 10/06/04 $1,000 Edwards, Chet (D)
    Elon Musk 06/22/05 $1,000 Edwards, Chet (D)
    Elon Musk 06/30/06 $1,000 Stabenow, Debbie (D)
    Elon Musk 01/16/07 $1,000 Skelton, Ike (D)
    Elon Musk 03/19/07 $1,000 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte (D)
    Elon Musk 03/29/07 $1,000 Edwards, Chet (D)
    Elon Musk 05/31/07 $1,000 Sanchez, Loretta (D)
    Elon Musk 11/30/07 $1,000 Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte (D)
    Elon Musk 02/22/08 $1,000 Edwards, Chet (D)
    Elon Musk 02/28/09 $1,000 Dem Senate Campaign (D)
    Elon Musk 02/24/10 $1,000 Inouye, Daniel K (D)
    Elon Musk 09/30/10 $1,000 Schultz, Debbie (D)
    Elon Musk 09/30/10 $1,000 Leahy, Patrick (D)
    Elon Musk 09/30/10 $1,000 Schiff, Adam (D)
    Elon Musk 10/01/10 $1,000 Rohrabacher, Dana (R)
    Elon Musk 10/03/10 $1,000 Whitehouse, Sheldon (D)
    Elon Musk 10/05/10 $1,000 Hoeven, John (R)
    Elon Musk 10/06/10 $1,000 Thornberry, Mac (R)
    Elon Musk 10/13/10 $1,000 Calvert, Ken (R)
    Elon Musk 10/15/10 $1,000 Bennet, Michael F (D)
    Elon Musk 03/28/11 $1,000 Brown, Scott (R)
    Elon Musk 03/31/11 $1,000 Cantwell, Maria (D)
    Elon Musk 06/30/11 $1,000 Cantwell, Maria (D)
    Elon Musk 08/24/11 $1,000 Future Leaders PAC (R)
    Elon Musk 09/20/07 $700 Boxer, Barbara (D)
    Elon Musk 03/31/08 $500 Solis, Hilda L (D)
    Elon Musk 09/20/10 $500 Hall, Ralph M (R)
    Elon Musk 06/30/07 $250 Edwards, Chet (D)
    Elon Musk 06/18/07 $200 Harman, Jane (D)
    Elon Musk 08/18/11 $200 Nelson, Bill (D)

    • James

      se jones –

      You need to get a calculator and add up the money.

      The Democratic Party contributions total comes to much more bought influence in the Democratic Party than “the cost of a used motorcycle”.

      I have participated a bit in Democratic Party politics and understand the political money and favors ‘game’.

      It is embarasing to remember that a Vice President of America can sometimes be bought for 10,000 dollars in cash.

      “Matz was prepared to testify that he had met with Agnew at the White House and given him $10,000 in cash.[166] Another witness, Jerome B. Wolff, head of Maryland’s road commission, had extensive documentation that detailed, as Beall put it, ‘every corrupt payment he participated in with then-Governor Agnew’.[158]”

      And, “Agnew’s assertions of innocence were undermined when his former lawyer George White testified that his client had admitted statehouse bribery to him, saying it had been going on ‘for a thousand years.'[182]”

      From: ‘Spiro Agnew’ Wikipedia

      I also know that an imporant politician doing big favors for political ‘friends’ can have various nice payoffs long after that important politician is no longer in office. Yep, that is when the really lucrative payoffs occur and it is all perfectly legal and quite morally and politically corrupt.

      “Being president of the United States is perhaps the most powerful job on earth — and being a former US president can be one of the most lucrative.

      With book deals, speaking engagements, and a government pension, former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama stand to earn as much as $242.5 million in the next 15 years, according to data from the Kogod School of Business at American University.

      Considering that the couple was worth about $1.3 million when they entered the White House, they’re on track to substantially increase their net worth.”

      And, “Speaking engagements also hold enormous potential for the Obamas. The post reports (via CNN) that Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned an average $210,795 for each address they’ve given over the past 15 years since leaving the White House, so it follows that the Obamas could bring in the same, if not more.”

      From: ‘The Obamas could earn more than $200 million in the next 15 years’
      By Emmie Martin 2/28/2017,
      At: http://www.businessinsider.com/barack-and-michelle-obama-could-earn-over-200-million-in-the-next-15-years-2017-2

      Yep, if you want to make some real money and really ‘move up’ in the world, become the President of America.

      “Speaking fees accepted by former President Obama have political allies criticizing him and political opponents threatening his pension.”

      And, “Ex-presidents start cashing in almost immediately after leaving office. They rake in millions in book sales and private appearances. Bill Clinton can command up to half a million dollars for a speech, while President Ronald Reagan earned $2 million for two 20-minute speeches in 1989. So it makes sense that three months out of office, bazillionaires (ph) and banks are clamoring to pay top dollar to hear from former President Obama.

      Since stepping out of the Oval Office and into regular-shaped rooms, he’s inked a $60 million book deal and two $400,000 speaking fees. Republicans and Democrats are really upset by that, especially a check from Cantor Fitzgerald, an investment firm. I’ll just let Bernie Sanders say it for the Democrats.

      BERNIE SANDERS: It just does not look good.”

      And more by Vanessa Romo, “Because it undermines Democrats’ credibility when they’re pushing for more stringent regulations on Wall Street. Republicans argue that the problem with the speaking fees is that ex-presidents are already getting a presidential pension. In other words, they’re double-dipping. Congressman Jason Chaffetz got pretty close to changing that law. A bill he wrote landed on Obama’s desk last year, but it was vetoed.”

      From: ‘Obama Under Scrutiny For Paid Speeches’ By Vanessa Romo May 7, 2017
      At: http://www.npr.org/2017/05/07/527250396/obama-under-scrutiny-for-paid-speeches

      Yep, the amount of ‘easy money’ you ‘earn’ after you are no longer the President will amaze you and your family members. Just remember to take good care of your rich political ‘friends’ while you are the President.

    • James

      “What is true, and now documented, is that Hillary Clinton and her family foundation both benefited handsomely from Russian corruption.

      Citing federal officials and government documents, The Hill details the Russians’ nuclear-industry corruption here in the U.S., citing extensive evidence that ‘Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business’ in the U.S.

      But that’s just the beginning. Based on both an eyewitness account and documents, The Hill report goes on to say that federal agents found evidence ‘indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow.’

      Isn’t that called bribery?

      Strangely, the Department of Justice first discovered the Russian racketeering scheme and the links to Clinton in 2009.”

      And, “Nor was this just a Russian thing. It was a much-broader pay-for-play scheme by Hillary Clinton. Consider this: Of the 154 private interests that were given official access to Hillary Clinton during her tenure at the State Department, at least 85 donated to the Clinton Foundation or a program affiliated with it. The secretary of state’s office in Foggy Bottom might as well have had ‘For Sale’ painted on it.

      That the Clintons and their eponymous foundation got away with their corrupt arrangement for so many years without interference or censure speaks to a deep political corruption in the Obama administration. It’s strange that an investigation continues into the inconsequential ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian officials, while solid evidence of bribery of the Clinton family by the Russians and many others is completely ignored.”

      From: ‘Yes, The Russia Scandal Is Real — And It Involves Hillary Clinton’
      At: http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/russia-scandal-is-real-involves-hillary-clinton/

      We were foolish because we trusted the Obama administration with its “deep political corruption” to run a national space program and our nation.

    • James

      “Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.”

      And, “Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.”

      And, “‘The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,’ a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.

      And, “The final court case also made no mention of any connection to the influence peddling conversations the FBI undercover informant witnessed about the Russian nuclear officials trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons even though agents had gathered documents showing the transmission of millions of dollars from Russia’s nuclear industry to an American entity that had provided assistance to Bill Clinton’s foundation, sources confirmed to The Hill.”

      And, “Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee during the time the FBI probe was being conducted, told The Hill that he had never been told anything about the Russian nuclear corruption case even though many fellow lawmakers had serious concerns about the Obama administration’s approval of the Uranium One deal.

      ‘Not providing information on a corruption scheme before the Russian uranium deal was approved by U.S. regulators and engage appropriate congressional committees has served to undermine U.S. national security interests by the very people charged with protecting them,’ he said. ‘The Russian efforts to manipulate our American political enterprise is breathtaking.'”

      From: ‘FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow’ By John Solomon and Alison Spann 10/17/17
      At: http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/355749-fbi-uncovered-russian-bribery-plot-before-obama-administration

      What is perhaps equally “breathtaking” is a former President politically supporting a de facto ‘Mars Colonies Soon cult space policy’ as part of his political destruction of our broad and Congressional bipartisan supported national space policy of returning humans to the Moon.

      Who benefited the most from our former President’s political destruction of our broad and Congressional bipartisan supported national space policy of returning humans to the Moon?

      • Tracy the Troll

        James,
        Yes I agree that the corruption in DC is amazing and that is why we have Trump in office to drain the swamp.

        James two different articles below…

        http://www.ulalaunch.com/bigelow-aerospace-and-ula-lunar-depot.aspx?title=Bigelow+Aerospace+and+United+Launch+Alliance+Announce+Agreement+to+Place+a+B330+Habitat+in+Low+Lunar+Orbit

        How much will this cost US taxpayers? I am thinking $10-$12 Billion

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-16/u-s-air-force-general-endorses-elon-musk-s-reusable-rockets

        SpaceX is now self funding their R&D for BFR…

        Now for every dollar that was given to Musk I believe that 10 dollars has been given to the Legacy Space companies in one form or another.

        That has always been an issue that you have not admitted too. Why?

        • James

          “How much will this cost US taxpayers? I am thinking $10-$12 Billion” – Tracy the Troll

          The stable low Lunar polar orbit is the place to be if you want to help support the building of a Moon Village and the mining of Lunar resources.

          Cost? Good question. Don’t know.

          “SpaceX is now self funding their R&D for BFR” – Tracy the Troll

          Maybe. Maybe not.

          Last I read the Raptor rocket engine which powers the Mini BFR was getting Air Force money. The rocket engine of a launcher is often the hardest part to design, build, and test.

          SpaceX still controls the enormous Launch Pad 39A which we need for a robust, risk minimized, and NASA led human Lunar program. Why? Who decided on that crazy rental plan?

          Mr. Elon Musk may have to wait a bit for an election or two to gain some additional Democratic Party Congressional seats and a Presidential win to allow him and his Silicon Valley Democratic Party supporting friends to get fully back in the game of sucking hard on government space and other subsidies and contracts and maybe even getting to ‘help’ the next President decide what our nation’s new human space program is going to consist of.

          “Now for every dollar that was given to Musk I believe that 10 dollars has been given to the Legacy Space companies in one form or another.” – Tracy the Troll

          Tracy the Troll, you or anyone else can go and buy a piece of the “Legacy Space companies”, but you really cannot get in on the secretive ‘deals’ that created and maintain SpaceX.

          Those wonderful secretive ‘deals’ stuff were reserved for the wealthy insiders club that apparently is also quite friendly with the CIA folks.

          Clearly, the CIA and its extensive spy capabilities and rich and secretive ‘friends and supporters’ should not be intimately involved in our American space launch business activities.

          SpaceX is supposedly going to eventually be worth 50 billion dollars. If owning part of 50 billion dollars does not tempt any rich political insider to be corrupt, then what would tempt him or her?

          Anytime the government crawls into a money loaded bed with an exclusive and secretive group of rich folks, the end result is often bad for the common folks who are not rich, secretive, and political insiders.

          SpaceX has been receiving really sweet government subsidies and lots of help of various sorts from almost its very beginning or perhaps even before it began. Ask yourself, “Why?”

          You as a taxpayer have endlessly subsidized in many ways the growth of a secretive business that you cannot own a part of and that fact is pretty strange and maybe quite immoral.

          Ask yourself, “Do the rich folks care if America has “$20T national debt quickly going to $30T” Nahh. They have their money spread around the world.

          You get the hard part, providing them with lots of money and help, and they end up with the fun part of owning everything you paid for in various ways. Sweet for them, but not for you.

          You decide for yourself.

          Remember that “the Legacy Space companies” got humans into LEO and on the Moon long prior to the birth of the ‘brilliant’ Mr. Elon Musk.

          If you want a real space business person, look at what Jeff Bezos is doing and has been doing for quite some time.

          Most likely you would enjoy living in a very large and lovely Bezos built O’Neill Cylinder Garden Home in a high Earth orbit far more than you would enjoy living and dying in a small cave on that far distant, cold, backward, isolated, fourth-rate, and radiation hellish place called Mars.

          If someone can sell the Home World nasty, death filled, ugly, and brutal Mars colonies loaded with unhappy, snarling, and confused cult folks like se jones, that individual could also sell billions of tons of snake oil to snakes living in huge sea of snake oil.

          Oh well.

          • Tracy the Troll

            James,
            You are upset that you cannot invest in SpaceX because it is a private company? Well that does pretty much say it all then…Apparently you think it a stable company that has products and services that will serve the market. Enough that you are wanting to invest your own money…Me on the other hand… No Thanks…Too much risk for my taste. I mean just when a solid program emerges from the F9, F9H, Dragon, Musk says…

            “Nope these are just Beta versions … I will use this as a goby to build the BFR”

            Which is betting the entire company again on a future production model. You can’t do that in a public company the investors would kick him out of the company in a second and say you idiot you have a rocket system that works now just get cash flow under control and expenses under control…

            And then the Risk involved…What if he can’t get the Fiber Composite bonding to work on the BFR? Or any of a billion other things…Its like starting from scratch.

            But wait Musk has always said “We need to get off Earth…Bad things are coming”
            And what he really means is…Just look at the Corruption of the Clintons, Obamas and Bushes that got us to the point as the Globalists try to take over and consolidate everything… You do realize that going to Mars is an …Escape Plan because the Moon…Is Not far enough away from the reaches of the (Google AI) er ..Globalists…At least according to Musk.

            As for the sweet deal on the Apollo Pad…It was open to all bidders.. Where was LM and Boeing (ULA)? Or any other other company? BO put in a bid..for part time use…But SpaceX got the deal for full time use and then had to put $100M into “renovations” to use it. Because Musk always had a plan for BFR

            Now is Musk crazy? I don’t know but at least if does get the BFR built…I or my children might have a shot at getting off Earth before the Globalists finish the great “Consolidation”. Without Musk ..We all remain serfs!

          • James

            Tracy the Troll –

            With “Musk ..We all remain” Martian “serfs!”

            Maybe we can do better than that!

            NASA, working with other space agencies and businesses across the Home Planet, can develop various types of large, powerful, and reusable nuclear powered spaceships that could help us mine thousands of asteroids, build O’Neill Cylinders, and minimize risk for flying missions out to the thousands of dwarf planets and comets beyond Pluto.

            Or we could just wait a few years and then have our politicians start giving all of NASA’s human spaceflight budget to Mr. Elon Musk for his Mini BFR and fantasy colonies so we can become Martian “serfs” with foul-mouthed folks like se jones telling us what and how to think the politically correct and Elon Musk way about everything.

            Jeff Bezos on the other hand isn’t playing that very odd political game and doesn’t want to destroy a NASA led international Moon resources mining program so he can suck up NASA human spaceflight money for his large launchers and super risky and costly fantasy Mars colonies.

            Instead, Jeff Bezos spends a billion dollars a year of his own money to help humans get ready for gaining access to the resources of the Moon and all of the rest of our Solar System. Wow!

            “We need to get off Earth…Bad things are coming” and the bad things are often devised and supported by some off the wall Silicon Valley billionaires and their political friends trying to suck on government money like movie vampires going after your blood.

            “As for the sweet deal on the Apollo Pad”

            Was it really “open to all bidders”?

            Why open it to bidders at all when we will need it for risk minimized human Lunar missions?

            Why open it to bidders at that particular time when lots of other folks were not really ready to bid and thus there really hadn’t yet developed a real marketplace for renting enormous government owned launch pads?

            If there is no real and vibrant marketplace with lots of bidders trying to rent an enormous launch pad product, then maybe it just becomes a friend taking care of a friend situation.

            Why not also just sell or rent out rooms in the White House to the President’s political ‘friends’?

            Or maybe we could sell lots and lots of American Ambassadorships as well. Whoops! I forgot! That was already being done! Friends taking care of friends.

            With crony capitalism at it its best there are probably a dozen insider ways to rig a bidding process…

            “Enough that you are wanting to invest your own money…”

            Nope. But the option for the general public to invest in a company should be required by law if that company is getting an endless supply of government assets, contracts, and subsidies for products that the company can then cancel whenever it wants to do so.

            Perhaps ‘private-public partnerships’ shouldn’t just be another way to rip off taxpayer money and government assets.

            ‘Friends taking care of friends.’ Our politicians and CIA in bed with some of our billionaires! Whoops! We really don’t want to think about that! Media! Please quickly show us something else!

            “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to pass through the gates of paradise.”

            We future Martian “serfs” shouldn’t say such things publicly. However, it is an old story just repeated endlessly with new variations.

            “I don’t know but at least if” NASA “does get” large and robust nuclear spaceships built, “I or my children might have a shot at getting off Earth” and going everywhere in our Solar System “before the” off the wall billionaire “Globalists finish the great ‘Consolidation’.”

            Yep. If we have millions and eventually billions of tough and smart folks dispersed across our Solar System, it might be difficult or impossible for the Earth’s off the wall billionaire “Globalists” to consolidate their control.

            • Tracy the Troll

              James,
              are you afraid that Musk will succeed and get to Mars before anyone gets back to the Moon? Your thinking Musk will just end up with the NASA budget… And you will have to go work for him? I understand your pain….But change is good.

        • James

          In northern Arizona a “small” 50 meter (or 160 foot) diameter iron NEO created the 1.186 kilometers or 0.737 mile diameter Barringer crater (also known as Meteor Crater) when it impacted 50,000 years ago.

          See: ‘Meteor Crater’ Wikipedia

          I’ve been to Meteor Crater twice and I’ll probably go some more times to remind myself that we couldn’t stop a similar or larger or smaller sized NEO and its impact event even if we knew minutes, hours, days, or weeks in advance that it was going to hit New York City, Chicago, Mumbai, Paris, Moscow, Tokyo, Seoul, Berlin, Singapore, or London.

          And we might not even have any warning at all.

          We have been ignoring the real need for serious and in depth NEO detection, tracking, and deflection and destruction capabilities for far too many decades.

          Our extensive NEO shield for detection, tracking, and deflection and destruction capabilities should extend at least out as far as Pluto because comets can come in fast from far away.

          I am “afraid that” too few people understand that hitting with large nuclear warheads, or even ramming, a large and dangerous incoming NEO, and thus deflecting or destroying it, requires large, powerful, and fast high delta-v capable nuclear powered spaceships to get to that NEO early enough to be effective, and those large Orion nuclear pulse powered spaceships are not going to get built as long as the crazy Mars Colonies Soon Cult continues to promote Internet fantasy discussions and national political space policies based on ‘what great things the small and energy weak chemical powered BFR and Mini BFR are going to do in colonizing Mars’.

          The real and robust capability to carefully defend the Home Planet with super fast high delta-v robotic or human and AI robot crewed spaceships is enabled by mining Lunar thorium, making U-233 on the Moon, and building lots of far traveling and super fast Orion nuclear pulse mining spaceships and super large cargo hauling Orion spaceships.

          Lunar thorium made into U-233 can power useful nuclear reactors for electricity and various types of large and ultra high Isp Orion nuclear pulse spaceships that could be home based in a high Lunar orbit and routinely travel across our Solar System.

          If they had understood the situation, the dinosaurs would have happily spent all the gold, platinum, silver, and diamonds on Earth to build enormous Orion nuclear pulse powered cargo hauling spaceships and O’Neill Cylinders that were fully capable of reaching over 10% of the speed of light to travel fast and far to ram and thus deflect the super large asteroid that destroyed their lovely environment and quickly ended their total dominance on the planet Earth.

          Mr. Elon Musk and his secretive billionaire Mini BFR supporters are not really any smarter than the dinosaurs were.

          If a large city or other populated chunk of the Home Planet suddenly turns into an asteroid impact created fireball with various small and large partially melted flying fragments of what had been there, the truth will be that Mr. Elon Musk, with his small, low Isp, low delta-v, and weak chemical powered Mini BFR, the noisy and ignorant and nasty Mars Colonies Soon mob that robs NASA budgets, and the foolish politicians that ‘sold and ushered folks’ into the NEO impact fireball by supporting the fragile, slow, low delta-v, energy weak, and grossly underpowered BFR and Mini BFR will have to come up with lots of beyond stupid excuses as to why they all loudly led America and the world away from building a Lunar base, mining Lunar thorium, making U-233 on the Moon, and building the super fast and capable Orion nuclear pulse powered spaceships that were needed to be able to detect, track, and deflect or destroy an incoming large NEO a very long time, and at an extreme distance, before if it hit our Earth.

          Forget about Mars.

          Protect the Earth, our real and lovely cradle of an immense diversity of life and where folks can learn to peacefully live and play and grow.

        • James

          “It is estimated that if this asteroid struck Earth, the resulting impact would be as powerful as a 400 megatonne blast. To put that in perspective, the most powerful thermonuclear device ever built – the Soviet Tsar Bomba – had a yield of 50 megatonnes. Hence, the smaller companion of this binary asteroid, if it struck Earth, would have an impact 80 times greater than the most powerful bomb ever built by humans.”

          And, ‘It is important for humanity, as a species we have the means today to deflect an asteroid. We know it will happen, one day sooner or later. It’s not a question of if, but when.’”

          From: “Scientists Urge Europe to Stick With ‘Armageddon’-style Asteroid Mission”
          By Matt Williams September 24, 2017
          At: https://www.universetoday.com/137266/scientists-urge-europe-stick-armageddon-style-asteroid-mission/

          “Tsar Bomba (Russian: Царь-бомба; “Tsar-bomb”) was the Western nickname for the Soviet RDS-220 hydrogen bomb (code name Ivan[3] or Vanya), the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated. Its test on 30 October 1961 remains the most powerful man-made explosion in history.”

          And, “All buildings in the village of Severny (both wooden and brick), located 55 km (34 mi) from ground zero within the Sukhoy Nos test range, were destroyed. In districts hundreds of kilometers from ground zero wooden houses were destroyed, stone ones lost their roofs, windows, doors, and radio communications were interrupted for almost one hour. One participant in the test saw a bright flash through dark goggles and felt the effects of a thermal pulse even at a distance of 270 kilometres (170 mi). The heat from the explosion could have caused third-degree burns 100 km (62 mi) away from ground zero.”

          From: ‘Tsar Bomba’ Wikipedia
          At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsar_Bomba

        • James

          Note:

          “Recent astronomical events—such as the Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts on Jupiter and the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor along with the growing number of objects on the Sentry Risk Table—have drawn renewed attention to such threats. NASA warns that the Earth is unprepared for such an event.”

          And, “Following the 1994 Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet impacts with Jupiter, Edward Teller proposed to a collective of U.S. and Russian ex-Cold War weapons designers in a 1995 planetary defense workshop meeting at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), that they collaborate to design a 1 gigaton nuclear explosive device, which would be equivalent to the kinetic energy of a 1 km diameter asteroid.[66][67][68] The theoretical 1 Gt device would weigh about 25–30 tons, light enough to be lifted on the Energia rocket and it could be used to instantaneously vaporize a 1 km asteroid, divert the paths of extinction event class asteroids (greater than 10 km in diameter) within a few months of short notice, while with 1-year notice, at an interception location no closer than Jupiter, it would also be capable of dealing with the even rarer short period comets which can come out of the Kuiper belt and transit past Earth orbit within 2 years. For comets of this class, with a maximum estimated 100 km diameter, Charon served as the hypothetical threat.”

          From: ‘Asteroid impact avoidance’ Wikipedia
          At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid_impact_avoidance

          Is our cradle of life Earth important to us or not important?

          That is the question.

        • James

          “In 1990, Vice President Dan Quayle and the NASA leadership asked Stafford to chair a committee to create a plan for a new moonshot. Eighteen years had passed since the final Apollo mission, and this time NASA’s goal was to stay. President George H.W. Bush wanted a plan to go to the moon, then Mars. The study, called America at the Threshold, was a 30-year roadmap that detailed the steps to a lunar colony and Martian exploration.”

          And, “But Obama was the one who killed Constellation, and that still irks Stafford and other Apollo veterans. Many expressed it at the time. Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, and Jim Lovell released a letter decrying the administration’s plan, writing that it “destines our nation to become one of second- or even third-rate stature.” More than two dozen astronauts from the Apollo era signed another letter calling the plan a ‘misguided proposal that forces NASA out of human space operations for the foreseeable future.'”

          And, “Stafford did not sign that letter. But he certainly is not shy about voicing his opinion about what political whipsawing has done to NASA’s lunar plans. “Obama came in and said, ‘stop.’ You couldn’t even talk about going to the moon.'”

          From: An Apollo Astronaut’s Anger at NASA’s Lost Decades Why one of NASA’s original astronauts says we’ve wasted the last 16 years of crewed spaceflight.’
          At: http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/news/a28715/apollo-astronauts-tom-stafford/

          Instead of listening to our brave astronauts who want us permanently on the Moon, we now listen attentively to a cowardly billionaire who doesn’t want to fly to Mars on his flimsy, risky, and energy weak chemical powered rockets, that he wants us to pay for him to build, because he is afraid of dying on Mars.

          And we listen attentively to a former President who led an intellectually and morally corrupt administration that banned folks from even planning or talking about a Moon base because he apparently thought such a Lunar resource mining facility was a Republican idea that wouldn’t funnel enough money to his highly partisan political friends.

          In following such ‘great leaders’ that cannot think past their cowardly and narrow self interests we have zip effective space NEO defenses, our astronauts going nowhere on American rockets, and endless smelly political partisan human spaceflight policies and ‘space leaders’ that spout nonsense and stagger around and often fall down like very drunk skunks.

          Anyone who even talks about our need for efficient, super fast, risk minimized, and highly capable nuclear powered spaceships that use made on the Moon U-233 is attacked by vicious, ignorant, and science ignoring drunk wannabe Martian hogs.

          A serious NEO defense system isn’t even on the far distant political horizon because a strong NEO defense system for the Home Planet probably cannot be built by very drunk skunks and even drunker wannabe Martian hogs.

        • James

          Tracy the Troll –

          If you want to really think about space costs, ask yourself, “What are today’s real world costs of our ongoing 45 year gross failure to mine and use nearby Lunar resources to industrialize our Moon and Cislunar Space?”

          “NEW DELHI (AP) — Environmental pollution — from filthy air to contaminated water — is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

          One out of every six premature deaths in the world in 2015 — about 9 million — could be attributed to disease from toxic exposure, according to a major study released Thursday in the Lancet medical journal. The financial cost from pollution-related death, sickness and welfare is equally massive, the report says, costing some $4.6 trillion in annual losses — or about 6.2 percent of the global economy.”

          From: Study: Pollution kills 9 million a year, costs $4.6 trillion
          By Katy Daigle, Associated Press October 21, 2017
          At: https://www.yahoo.com/news/study-world-pollution-deadlier-wars-disasters-hunger-003053909.html

          Note:

          “Potential advantages of collecting solar energy in space include a higher collection rate and a longer collection period due to the lack of a diffusing atmosphere, and the possibility of placing a solar collector in an orbiting location where there is no night. A considerable fraction of incoming solar energy (55–60%) is lost on its way through the Earth’s atmosphere by the effects of reflection and absorption. Space-based solar power systems convert sunlight to microwaves outside the atmosphere, avoiding these losses, and the downtime due to the Earth’s rotation, but at great cost due to the expense of launching material into orbit. SBSP is considered a form of sustainable or green energy, renewable energy, and is occasionally considered among climate engineering proposals.”

          And, “Various SBSP proposals have been researched since the early 1970s,[1][2] but none are economically viable with present-day space launch infrastructure. A modest Gigawatt-range microwave system, comparable to a large commercial power plant, would require launching some 80,000 tons of material to orbit, making the cost of energy from such a system vastly more expensive than even present day nuclear plants. Some technologists speculate that this may change in the distant future if an off-world industrial base were to be developed that could manufacture solar power satellites out of asteroids or lunar material, or if radical new space launch technologies other than rocketry should become available in the future.”

          From: ‘Space-based solar power’ Wikipedia
          At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-based_solar_power

          We need rapid, clean, and sustainable economic growth to lift many hundreds of millions of folks out of deep poverty.

          We need to mine Lunar resources to enable us to industrialize the Moon and the rest of Cislunar Space.

          With the industrialized Moon we can use Lunar thorium to produce U-233 that can be used to power highly efficient and capable mining ships that could quickly go anywhere in our Solar System.

          We need to use Lunar resources and industrial capabilities to build space based solar power systems to help us keep the Earth clean and green while providing needed energy for everyone.

          Or we can go on ego trips to Mars and when the Mars fervor dies down we will still need to mine Lunar resources and industrialize the Moon and the rest of Cislunar Space. However, trillions of dollars will have been wasted and many millions of more people will have needlessly died because our super risky and costly Mars Colonies Now foolishness using energy weak chemical rockets will delay us from doing what we should be doing ASAP on the Moon and in Cislunar Space to help in cleaning up the Home Planet while also accelerating our economic growth.

          How many hundreds of millions of people will needlessly die on Earth because of pollution and how many tens or hundreds of trillions of dollars will be thrown away here on Earth because of our dirty environment and because we would rather try to do high risk and super costly mining, industrialization, and non-profitable colonies on far distant Mars with weak, slow, and grossly inefficient chemical based rockets instead of mining and industrializing the nearby Moon and using its resources, including water and thorium, to help us industrialize Cislunar Space and mine thousands of asteroids with highly capable nuclear powered spaceships in order to accelerate and ensure the cleanliness and greenness of the Home Planet’s economic growth?

          That is the correct question, right?

  • James

    Who got us to the Moon? JFK and LBJ.

    Lyndon B. Johnson did many good and wonderful things.

    “In domestic policy, Johnson designed the ‘Great Society’ legislation by expanding civil rights, public broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, aid to education, the arts, urban and rural development, public services, and his ‘War on Poverty’. Assisted in part by a growing economy, the War on Poverty helped millions of Americans rise above the poverty line during his administration.[1] Civil rights bills that he signed into law banned racial discrimination in public facilities, interstate commerce, the workplace, and housing; the Voting Rights Act prohibited certain requirements in southern states used to disenfranchise African Americans. With the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the country’s immigration system was reformed, encouraging greater immigration from regions other than Europe.”

    However: “Johnson steered the projects towards contractors that he personally knew, such as the Brown Brothers, Herman and George, who would finance much of Johnson’s future career.[17]”

    Quotes from: ‘Lyndon B. Johnson’ Wikipedia
    At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyndon_B._Johnson

    What does it all mean?

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