Is that the best way to colonize mars?


We all know the Musk BFR plan to colonise Mars.

  1. send 2 BFR with supplies - Land and setup as much as possible.
  2. 2 years later - send 4 BFR 2 crewed 2 cargo - Land and start building.
  3. another 2 years later - send more BFR!

But is that the best way to do it? lets say you are the mission designer … Would you do it differently?

Additionally the “Secret Meeting” may be a think tank on what are the best options ( from “our” Mike )


And of course… That method works only if you don’t decide to switch to a different site after landing the first salvo. I could imagine some reasons to switch. eg: better water or resources discovered elsewhere, etc.

But… to answer your question, no; I would not do it differently. We need to stop cogitating and do this. Full steam ahead!


You need to get a critical mass of people and equipment to start effectively using the resources that are there so you don’t have to send as much cargo to Mars and can devote more space to people.

This also creates a reasonable safety buffer so if something breaks you have a spare or can make a new one yourself… The biggest thing I think will be generating consumables there so they aren’t reliant on Earth resupply.

Lets not forget that the First English settlement in North America after Columbus… Roanoke disappeared between resupply missions. Getting self sufficiency should be one of the highest priorities.

So… the only thing I’d change to Musks plan… is More of everything. I wish all of humanity pored support into this so… 20 BFRs went on the first mission… and 40 or more on the second…


@FITorion : So you are saying to send people on the first batch?


Since we’re unlikely to get that level of world engagement… no. If we did then there would be plenty of redundancy to enable that.

As it stands sending supplies and robots to set things up ahead of the humans is the best we can do with current funding levels.


I have thought about this a bit more :slight_smile: (i seem to be saying this a lot on this forum Haha ! )

I think the plan as is, is good and it would get the job done. However, There are a few things I would modify and a few things that may or may not have been done outside this. Let me explain.

  1. Modify -
    1.1) First batch of 2 automated duplicate ships. I would land one immediately, and keep one in orbit. for a bit. just in case there is an error in the landing protocol that needs to be modified.
    1.2) second batch of 4, Land the 2 cargo ships immediately. but keep the crewed ship in orbit to direct the unloading and setup of the materials from orbit using Avatars or robots for a few weeks / months till the habitats are built. then land one, then the other just in case the worst happens.

  2. Other test missions.
    2.1) Since it takes 26 months between Mars Mission batches, there should be a Moon mission preferably before the first batch to test the system. You can send moon missions any time! Would be cool to have BFR land on the moon and deliver a Tesla :smile: (and have Starman drive around a bit :slight_smile: ) to the surface and have some automated collection of moon samples.Then come back with some moon samples and science results. ie, there may be some real science payloads delivered there too !! It would test the automated unloading of materials ! and habitats, Starman needs a home :slight_smile:

  3. @FITorion I think, like you, if there is anyway of increasing the number of BFR sent in any of the batches it should be done. Maybe there can be an extra ship dedicated to the MarsOne guys or the other Mars colonization projects. Even if its just cargo !! Maybe a crowd source project to fund a BFR shipload to provide more redundancy cargo or “nice to have” cargo, for the second batch. or provide space for corporations to land experiments for the “crew” to execute.

  4. Test out the Ballistic Capture,aka Low energy transfer(LET) to Mars. Which takes longer but can be done at anytime. The test BFR can deliver satellites to Lagrange points that can be used as signal relays between earth and Mars. (Note:The LET uses Lagrange points). Maybe one of the “Nice to Have” Cargo BFR can be tasked to do this. Note using the LET it can be sent at anytime not only during the 26 month windows.

Thats all I have for now :slight_smile: besides the BFCoif /Coat I outlined in another post :slight_smile:


My idea of the best way to colonize Mars is the anti-Zubrin method: toss everything we’ve got in the first few launch windows before tossing a lot as well when we finally send people along. None of this “Mars DIRECT” barebones plan from 1990, we’re beyond that. And no need for a 400 slide powerpoint to explain it.


@jaredhead I also think sending as much stuff as possible is a good idea. Thats why in my [point 4] I advocate testing and refining the LET ASAP. Which would allow a continuous flow of cargo between the planets. Or “emergency” human transport (though transit times will be longer :slight_smile:) .

Wonder what would occupy the time of people in the long transit times …


Lots of books, binge watching, experiments and imterplanetary baby making?


Since the LET transit times are more than a year. That would be an intriguing experiment, conceive and birth a baby in space. Financed by a reality TV network… !! Bet it will happen…


on that note we have been sending crews up for over 50 years … as far as i know no space agency has admited to it … but are you seriously going to tell me that these crews of intelgent inquisitive pepole there hasnt already been the first coupling in micro gravity.


That is a high probability of course :-)… but i am talking about conceive AND BIRTH of a child while in transit to Mars. since the BFR is large enough they could have 4-10 couples on that trip :slight_smile: could be a popular reality TV show :slight_smile: I am sure some of the Mars One people will be up for it !!

Extra radiation padding for the Cabin areas and lots of cameras. Specially outfitted BFR. (True to its name too LOL! )


Possibly. NASA has a policy against sending up married couples on or to live on the same vessel. But two astronauts got married after been scheduled and before the launch of the shuttle they were to go on. The shuttle isn’t exactly a private place to engage in such activities… but it’s possible the rest of the crew gave them room… We’ll never know.

But for this discussion one must make some distinctions. Conceiving and carrying to term are two different things. Also simply saying in space… for now means in microgravity… but I for one expect rotating stations and transport ships to Mars to be the Norm in short order once regular shipments between worlds are established. There should be no issue conceiving and carrying to term in a rotating ship… and conceiving should be fine in microgravity… but planning to carry to term in microgravity would be highly irresponsible possibly criminally negligent as the consequences for the health of the baby could be quite severe.


so no Belters then ? :slight_smile:


For long duration missions, suppression of menstruation cycles is often used for female astronauts. Mostly, this is to forestall any medical or waste processing problems a menstruation might cause. Since suppression stops the luteinizing hormones, viable eggs are not released. Thus, even if a pair of astronauts did er… “enjoy each other’s company” the encounter would not be likely to cause pregnancy.


I would eventually like to see a system of Cyclers put into a Earth-Mars orbit. Since they need very little fuel (just minor course corrections), a cycler could be made larger, could bring more radiation shielding material, and could have a rotating section with gravity and spacious crew quarters. As an additional benefit, the Earth to Mars transfer times are around 3 months, so they’re quite fast too. The best part is, they’re reusable, potentially returning to Earth every other conjunction (every 4y 4m). It’s basically a cruise liner to Mars… you just have to hope the last crew took care to clean up after themselves before leaving it to its 4 year journey back to Earth (or that they left a custodian).


Make full scale Mars mission simulation somewhere in Earth - Moon system or at least in LEO. It will be the best way to prepare for the real one and figured out what is needed. And if someone wish to say it will be to costly or even waste of resources I must to say there are no such thing as waste. Especially when we are talking about development of new technologies, testing current technologies etc etc. Because one or another way it will be affecting our every day life and valuable returns.
So lets make Mars mission simulation as real as possible first. :slight_smile:


@ Simon : Not sure what you mean. “Make full scale Mars mission simulation somewhere in Earth - Moon system or at least in LEO.” Are you saying that a spinning space station should be implemented.?


It’s happening now …


A bit outdated but some good points… which we also discussed.