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The above hypothesis I raised was a Red Dragon, launching on a falcon heavy a couple of years before, so the rover would be in the ton range, at most, to prepare the site for BFR landing in 2022.

But there is no Red Dragon. SpaceX decided it was inadequate or not needed for the purpose you're suggesting. Plus what you've suggested does nothing to help protect the surface from the rocket engine plume high pressure impingement that NASA has determined is a big risk for landers with landed mass greater than 20 metric tons, and the reason they've been looking at technologies to create landing/launch pads.

Maybe this isn't really an issue at all, but if it is, I'm highly doubtful one Red Dragon launched with a FH could deliver everything that's needed, but one BFS in Mars Orbit surely could. It also opens up the possibility of creating a lander with is much more mass and volume. A ten ton dozer on the surface would surely more valuable than a one ton rover trying to play the part. It might be a trade of developing and intermediate lander or risk those first BFS's tipping over and destroying themselves and all the valuable equipment on board.

As far as launching anything in 2020 to Mars, I don't see that happening at all. The 2022 is aspirational and dependent on the technology needed is ready to go. I don't see any reason to believe they wouldn't push it to the right to lower risk.
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SpaceX Mars / Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Last post by Cheapchips on Today at 05:53 PM »

Does anyone have an idea of how much the linings are going to cost for the tunnels they're currently building?  As far as I was aware, they aren't using compressed brick from extracted material yet.

(Unless they're keeping that quiet alongside stepping up the speed)
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They really don't want the SLS to fly do they with the never ending spec changes. The BO engines may be cheaper but how many billions will it cost to implement? Every day it doesn't go anywhere it still eats through NASA money. Cynical? Me! ::)
As I understand it, this potential engine change would affect Block IB missions with the Exploration Upper Stage (EM-2+). It would not affect EM-1 (Block I). In any case, I'm happy to hear that NASA is at least considering cost reduction efforts.

I know many people here would prefer to kill it all together but NASA doesn't have the power to do that. Therefore cost reduction efforts are welcomed.
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2017 is weird.  :o
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SpaceX Mars / Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Last post by Lar on Today at 05:40 PM »
Good analysis, Ludus.

Circling back to what TBC said they wanted to achieve with TBMs (namely 10x speed increase) and with costs overall (10 cost reduction) I am a bit surprised that they'd start tunneling seriously in DC/MA, which is far away from Hawthorne and the engineering team, so soon... That's real work, not just experimentation. Or have they already achieved 10x speed increase? Not sure how we'd know unless they said so.

Presumably they'd buy yet another machine on the used market for this work?
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They really don't want the SLS to fly do they with the never ending spec changes. The BO engines may be cheaper but how many billions will it cost to implement? Every day it doesn't go anywhere it still eats through NASA money. Cynical? Me! ::)
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I'm saying 20 I really hope they manage more but...
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Seeing a launch on NSF is fun.  Seeing it from the Banana River viewing area is amazing.  The having lunch after your launch by a Saturn V is priceless.
Nice Ron, is Shepard's Corvette still there?

I didn't see it, where is supposed to be?
It was to the right of the first stage by the main engines. Perhaps it's on display tour somewhere else... Looks like you had a great day just the same! Thanks for getting back to us Ron. :)

Edit to Add: Just checked and it's showing up on the Space Walk of Fame Museum in Titusville:
http://cnweb.cn.edu/corvette/Shepards/Page.html
http://spacewalkoffame.org/
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