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Thursday, April 27, 2017

The partnership between the state and business in space is hindered by the mentality

If the first flight into space and reaching the moon was a competition it States, that the colonization of Mars with the construction of the cities that has threatened to carry out private business, and not only the company Ilona Mask. However, in the West and in Russia this project has a different perspective, and the main problem is the mentality of the Russian entrepreneurs.

At the end of September, the head of the company SpaceX Elon Musk has announced plans to build on Mars within the next 40-100 years “someonespecial city.” SpaceX has already developed plans to create a rocket-space technology to implement this project. A carrier that takes people and equipment to the Red planet, is the height of over 130 meters, surpassing the famous lunar “Saturn-5” on 20 meters, while its capacity will be more than 3-5 times. This rocket will take into space the ship on Board of which will be for up to 100 people. Refuel in earth orbit, “the ark” will continue the flight to the red planet.

“Russian experts are very dismissive attitude as the Mask, and to his ideas, considering them as the fantasies of a man who knows little in space”

As previously reported the newspaper VIEW, such flights should become regular, for, as suggested by Musk to Mars city was able to operate successfully, its population is expected to reach at least a million people. So many people, according to his forecast, will be living on Mars by 2060.

Of course, we are not talking about using conventional rocket-space systems, which grew in mass and volume. On this technique the flight to Mars would take an average of about 8 months, whereas SpaceX is developing the Raptor engine type, able to bring the vehicle to Mars first, over 80, and subsequently, for 30 days. Will also have to dramatically improve the reliability of the carrier and vehicle for a safe flight on the route Earth – Mars and landing on the Red planet. Because of the 43 automatic machines, from the beginning of the space age sent to Mars to Mars four countries (including USSR/Russia), only 18 successfully completed their tasks.

But all this, according to the Mask, not the main problem that must be solved to build a Martian city (where he, incidentally, is going to permanently relocate after retirement). In the first place it puts the production of propellant from Martian resources to ensure transport links with the Land. For the second – price reduction flight to Mars from 10 billion to 200 thousand dollars per person. Start of the practical implementation plans of the Martian Mask is scheduled for 2018 when the red planet is supposed to start unmanned “Dragon”, whose task will include landing on the surface.

Russian roots SpaceX


The Martian community was created in 1998. At the founding Congress at the University of Colorado in boulder was attended by more than 700 people. Declaration of community, says: “Mars is of interest not only for scientists; its surface is as diverse as the continents of the Earth”the Fundamental mistake is to assume that Musk announced intentions to build a city on Mars is nothing more than a PR campaign designed to draw attention to the company SpaceX, and also to mitigate the negative impression left by the explosion on the launch pad of the launch vehicle “Falcon-9” at the beginning of September. Musk was originally included in the space activities with the idea to arrange a flight to Mars and colonize the planet in the future. In 2001, before the creation of SpaceX, he put forward the idea of the so-called Mars oasis. The project involved the construction of something like a greenhouse, where the Martian soil (of course, after pre-processing) were grown human culture.

The Mask knew that without major breakthroughs in the field of rocket-space technology, this idea is not implemented. To acquire the necessary experience in the field of rocketry in October 2001, he arrived in Moscow with the intention to procure conversion media of type “Dnepr”, where he met with representatives of NPO Lavochkin and the company “Kosmotras”. However, (according to the memoirs of those who accompanied the Mask) Russian experts are very dismissive attitude as the guest and his ideas, considering them as the fantasies of a man who has little understanding of space. Despite this, the Musk re-arrived in Moscow in February 2002 with the desire to purchase three “Dnipro”. During the negotiations of the company “Kosmotras” him instead of three was offered one for $ 8 million. Considering that the price is overly inflated, discouraged, Musk realized that to implement his ideas of the Martian he will have to create a private space company. “The need to accelerate the development of missile technology with the aim to build a permanent, someonespecial base on Mars and was the reason SpaceX was created”, – he explained later. The circumstances that prompted the Mask is not to rely on outside help, unwittingly evoke the words of Mao Zedong, praising Khrushchev that the Soviet leader refused to supply China with ballistic missiles and in General to share space technology, as a consequence of this failure was the development in China’s own missile and space programs.

In 2011, Musk said the intention to deliver humans to Mars within the next 10 years, with the first 10 of the colonists must be willing to travel one-way in order to keep the cost of the flight in the area of 500 thousand dollars per person. Subsequently, it became more realistic to look at the implementation schedule of the enterprise, and ceased to consider the option of non-repayable missions, including the cost of the “ticket” the opportunity to return to Earth. According to Musk, by the time when the Earth’s population will reach the number of 8 billion people (and this, according to UN forecasts, will happen by 2025), at least 100 thousand of them will be ready to change permanent place of residence from Earth to the Red planet. Before the arrival of the first colonists to Mars will arrive setup for receiving air from the local atmosphere consisted mainly of carbon dioxide, apparatus for producing fertilizer from the soil and extraction of water from subsurface ice. The pioneers bring with them the materials from which the homes will be built and the greenhouse where they will grow fresh vegetables and fruits. Musk insists that “pioneers” should be vegetarian, but it does so not so much because of personal food preferences, how much for quite good reason – to grow lettuce and beets on another planet is much easier than cows and sheep.

More of a Scam than a serious project

But there are those who are from the idea of “one way ticket” decided not to refuse. Because Mars is considered not simply as an achievement that in itself is a prize in the verification of scientific-technical and psychophysiological possibilities of the person and as the object of colonization, then why the colonizers to go back? So reasoned the founders of Mars One, created in 2011 in the Netherlands. The initial schedule was as follows: in 2013 was to begin the selection of candidates for the immigrants (this list could get virtually anyone to pay Mars One a small amount for consideration of his candidature), and in 2014 was to begin building a communications satellite and training “missions support”. The objective of the satellite is to establish reliable relations of the colonists with the Land, and the “mission support” is to deliver to Mars 2,5 tons of cargo, including different kinds of spare parts, solar panels and “a thousand little things” necessary for life on the red planet. Special hope the founders of Mars One pinned on 3D printers, with which the colonists were to provide themselves with necessary items and tools.

After Sputnik went into Martian orbit and on the surface of Mars landed cargo module with the “mission support”, on the Red planet was supposed to arrive a Rover scout, whose task is to find the most suitable for the landing of the colonists place. A few years preparing for the establishment of the first colony on Mars should come into its final phase: the planet will affect six landing “trucks”: two residential compartments, two with life support modules, one with another “thousand little things”, another with the second Rover on Board. These two Rover robot in the literal sense of the word “deceive” on Mars “the village”, for residential sections are inflatable structures, and produce in the village, all work to bring plants for the production of water and air to full readiness. Then in earth orbit will begin Assembly of manned flight to Mars, which was to be launched to the red planet in 2022 with four colonists on Board. Two years later, the expected arrival of four colonists, and then every two years until, while on Mars would not have been 40 earthlings.


Such glass deposits formed as a result of the fall of a large celestial bodies onto the planet’s surface. Studies on Earth have shown that in such collisions in the glass can be kept organic molecules and even particles of plants. Therefore scientists suggest that similar processes on Mars could “preserve” in a frozen glass biomolecules, of course, if any, present on the surface of the planet at the time vzryvchatosti of the project was estimated at $ 6 billion. The necessary amount was expected to raise through sponsors, trade of Souvenirs with symbols of the c Mars One and exclusive rights to filming and reporting on the preparation and implementation of the mission’s media companies. To date, however, the company managed to collect only about $ 1 million, and the statement Mars One that is over two hundred thousand people have expressed a desire to become colonists, proved to be false. One of the participants called the number in 2761 man (later confirmed the company’s management), were selected 100 finalists. It is not one of the world’s major aerospace firms had expressed a willingness to cooperate with Mars One. It was planned, for example, the use of equipment designed and built by SpaceX (in particular carrier rockets of type “Falcon”), but, as noted by the representatives of the company, cooperation with Mars One will require to make some changes in the production of SpaceX, which is currently not included in her plans.

So little progress in the implementation of the original plans forced the leadership of Mars One to postpone the date of the landing of the first colonists from 2023 to 2027, and the head of the Bass Lanstrop stated that “the goal of Mars One is not to send people to Mars in 2027 for $ 6 billion and with 14 missile launches, and generally to send people to Mars – and the point”. This development was summarized by some experts (in particular, the leading American specialist in the field of space policy John Logsdon) to the conclusion that the whole thing with the Mars expedition in one end is more of a Scam, created with the purpose of getting money than a serious project.

Just one billion dollars


“From the highest volcanoes to the deepest canyons to the fiery craters to ancient river beds”, describing the virtual route creators alikely the leaders of Mars One else could be suspected of a desire to cash in on the enthusiastic exploration of the red planet, to assume such in relation to the American businessman and in combination the first space tourist Dennis Tito. In 2013, he released a project under the romantic name Inspiration Mars, which is translated as “Inspiration Mars”. The essence of it was to launch to the red planet in 2018 or 2021 (when the relative positions of Earth and Mars will be most favorable for flying) ship with a man and a woman on Board, preferably a married couple.

Tito hoped to carry out his project for a billion dollars, at least two. 300 million he was going to get from sponsors, another 700 from the US government. To this end, Tito addressed the Congress where he outlined the essence of his ideas and hopes pinned on super-heavy carrier NASA SLS, whose first flight is planned for 2018. He was willing to take the risk of using for your project is almost tested a missile, but for NASA it was acceptable: if something went wrong, the Agency would be accused of promoting obviously disastrous adventure.

Don’t rule out Tito and cooperation with Russia. And even informally addressed to RSC “Energia” with a proposal that the Corporation responded positively. However, this attempt of interaction coincided with the beginning of aggravation of Russian-American relations because of the events in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. The U.S. government began to restrict any form of cooperation with Russia in the field of dual-use technologies, and after a while Tito was forced to admit: “given the nature of the project I’m not currently trying to establish partnership with Russia.” The status of the plan are currently unclear. The Inspiration Mars website is no longer operational.

“Camping” in orbit


Made on Mars by Curiosity robot picture American astronomers and ufologists discovered the skull of a dinosaur. His jaw submerged in the sand, but clearly defined nostril, the authors claim “discovery”. Paleontologists believe that, judging by the shape and size of the teeth, the skull belong to a herbivore dinosauruses this year, the American Corporation Lockheed Martin has announced plans to build a manned Mars station called Mars Base Camp, which translates as “the Martian base camp”. True, it probably is not about the camp, and on the interplanetary “camping”, because this station before reaching Mars, there will be some time to work on his orbit, and then return home, landing on the Red planet is not provided. It’s probably just a coincidence, but a similar project was proposed in Russia for more than 10 years ago.

Specifically, it proposed to create a multi-module ship with a length of about 80 meters (8 meters more than the length ISS), which will take people to the vicinity of Mars in 2028. In 2033 the Mars Base Camp can arrive to the red planet with the lander. Such plans are broadly consistent with those which already have with NASA. Apparently, adjusting its proposal under the Agency’s vision, Lockheed Martin wants to increase his chances to become the main contractor for the implementation of the upcoming Mars mission of the United States, the more that already is a key contractor for NASA’s creation of a new manned spacecraft Orion. By the way, Mars Base Camp must include two ships of this type, which will save time and money on the development and building of the complex.

The interest of private business to Mars resembles the one that they already have to the moon. However, there is a noticeable difference. If companies like Excalibur Almaz and Golden Spike or have, or are already building equipment for tourist flights to the moon and to the moon, the plans of entrepreneurs to begin development of Mars are still under conceptual development and their implementation in significantly more dependent on state support than the flights to the natural satellite of the Earth.

Leaders do not want

The question of questions: can Russia be the same situation when private business is actively moving forward a national space program like we did in the US? Theoretically, Yes. Russia remains a great space power (though mostly thanks to the Soviet scientific-technical heritage), and in the Russian list “Forbs” for 2016, there are almost 80 billionaires (Elon Musk with its us $ 11.7 billion would be in this list only on the fifth place) and 200 people, whose fortune reaches $ 350 million. So that those who could invest in the development of domestic space industry in the country.

But, as practice shows that the participation of the private sector in space activities has become a reality, two conditions are necessary. The first is the support of the state. In Russia, it technically is. The state, for example, did not prevent the purchase by the consortium S7 floating cosmodrome “Sea launch”, which for several years idle due to bankruptcy. Promising start: S7 intends not only to revive the “Sea launch”, but even in the long term to build in the near-earth space orbital spaceport. Inspired by this rush of private business, RSC Energia has already hinted that may accelerate under the Federal space program developing rockets “Sunkar” for “Sea launch” with additional extrabudgetary financing of the project by the consortium of S7.

However, the state, represented by Roscosmos has not yet entered into any contract with any private person or company to create a truly significant (as for its innovativeness and scale of solved problems) of space technology. Recall that in the U.S. at least three private companies – SpaceX, Boeing and Sierra Nevada Corporation is working on new types of manned spacecraft, the introduction of which into operation is already included in the plans of NASA and financially supported by the Agency.

But whether the state is guilty in this situation? Here we come to the second key condition of the participation of the private sector in space activities, namely his desire to do so. The American owners of large States, like Elon musk, Jeff Bezos, Paul Allen or Robert Bigelow, invest their own funds in the development of the space industry, and in a broader sense, the science and technology of his country, because I believe in its future and want their children to live in a prosperous and competitive state. Accordingly, in order to do so, as these overseas entrepreneurs, the Russian owners of large fortunes should see the life and work of their children is not in Germany, England or Switzerland, but in Russia and its design Bureau. To develop such a vision the members of the Russian list “Forbs” can be harder than creating the ship for flight to Mars.


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