Vonnegut, Kurt - The Sirens of Titan 02
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Wikipedia - The Sirens of Titan
The Sirens of Titan (1959) features a Martian invasion of Earth, as experienced by a bored billionaire, Malachi Constant. He meets Winston Rumfoord, an aristocratic space traveller, who is virtually omniscient but stuck in a time warp that allows him to appear on Earth every 59 days. The billionaire learns that his actions and the events of all of history are determined by a race of robotic aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, who need a replacement part that can only be produced by an advanced civilization in order to repair their spaceship and return home—human history has been manipulated to produce it. As Wikipedia says “ Reviewers were uncertain what to think of the book”.
Elon is the CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors and the CEO/CTO of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). Elon Musk discusses his new project digging tunnels under LA, the latest from Tesla and SpaceX and his motivation for building a future on Mars in conversation with TED's Head Curator, Chris Anderson…..
CA: So you've started a new company to do this called The Boring Company. Very nice. Very funny.
10:35 EM: What's funny about that?
10:39 CA: How much of your time is this?
10:42 EM: It's maybe ... two or three percent.
10:48 CA: You've bought a hobby. This is what an Elon Musk hobby looks like.
…………………………………………………… NOW MARS
CA: And for the first time, you've actually reflown one of the rockets that landed.
31:35 EM: Yeah, so we landed the rocket booster and then prepped it for flight again and flew it again, so it's the first reflight of an orbital booster where that reflight is relevant. So it's important to appreciate that reusability is only relevant if it is rapid and complete. So like an aircraft or a car, the reusability is rapid and complete. You do not send your aircraft to Boeing in-between flights.
32:07 CA: Right. So this is allowing you to dream of this really ambitious idea of sending many, many, many people to Mars in, what, 10 or 20 years time, I guess.
32:17 EM: Yeah.
32:19 CA: And you've designed this outrageous rocket to do it. Help us understand the scale of this thing.
32:24 EM: Well, visually you can see that's a person. Yeah, and that's the vehicle.
32:35 CA: So if that was a skyscraper, that's like, did I read that, a 40-story skyscraper?
32:40 EM: Probably a little more, yeah. The thrust level of this is really — This configuration is about four times the thrust of the Saturn V moon rocket.
32:55 CA: Four times the thrust of the biggest rocket humanity ever created before.
33:00 EM: Yeah. Yeah.
33:03 CA: As one does. EM: Yeah.
33:08 In units of 747, a 747 is only about a quarter of a million pounds of thrust, so for every 10 million pounds of thrust, there's 40 747s. So this would be the thrust equivalent of 120 747s, with all engines blazing.
33:25 CA: And so even with a machine designed to escape Earth's gravity, I think you told me last time this thing could actually take a fully loaded 747, people, cargo, everything, into orbit.
33:37 EM: Exactly. This can take a fully loaded 747 with maximum fuel, maximum passengers, maximum cargo on the 747 — this can take it as cargo.
33:51 CA: So based on this, you presented recently this Interplanetary Transport System which is visualized this way. This is a scene you picture in, what, 30 years time? 20 years time? People walking into this rocket.
34:08 EM: I'm hopeful it's sort of an eight- to 10-year time frame. Aspirationally, that's our target. Our internal targets are more aggressive, but I think —
34:22 CA: OK.
34:23 EM: While vehicle seems quite large and is large by comparison with other rockets, I think the future spacecraft will make this look like a rowboat. The future spaceships will be truly enormous.
34:42 CA: Why, Elon? Why do we need to build a city on Mars with a million people on it in your lifetime, which I think is kind of what you've said you'd love to do?
34:55 EM: I think it's important to have a future that is inspiring and appealing. I just think there have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Like, why do you want to live? What's the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future? And if we're not out there, if the future does not include being out there among the stars and being a multiplanet species, I find that it's incredibly depressing if that's not the future that we're going to have.