Author Topic: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017  (Read 5603 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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SpaceX’s Tom Mueller to Address 2017 Mars Society Convention
 
The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Tom Mueller, Propulsion Chief Technology Officer for SpaceX, will speak about his company’s ongoing development and plans for travel to the Red Planet at the 20th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for September 7-10 at the University of California Irvine.
 
A founding employee of SpaceX, Mr. Mueller focuses on new technology developments for propulsion, including Mars main propulsion and surface power. Prior to becoming SpaceX CTO  in 2014, he served as the company’s Vice President of Propulsion Engineering for 12 years, helping with design and development of propulsion systems for the Falcon launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft.
 
Mr. Mueller received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Idaho and later graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Master of Science degree in the same field of engineering. He also holds several U.S. patents for propulsion technology.
 
For additional information about the 2017 Mars Society Convention, including registration details for the four-day convention and evening banquet as well as a list of confirmed speakers, please visit our web site (www.marssociety.org). The full 2017 program itinerary will be posted online in the near future.

http://mailchi.mp/marssociety/48wet1x6jk-1101909?e=66242eccde
« Last Edit: 06/10/2017 06:46 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online AncientU

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #1 on: 06/10/2017 11:52 PM »
Quote
Mr. Mueller focuses on new technology developments for propulsion, including Mars main propulsion and surface power.

!!!
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #2 on: 06/11/2017 01:04 AM »
Quote
Mr. Mueller focuses on new technology developments for propulsion, including Mars main propulsion and surface power.

!!!
I never understood people who thought SpaceX hadn't been thinking of surface power (even though Musk has publicly talked about them doing research on it).
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Online Lar

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #3 on: 06/11/2017 01:14 AM »
Quote
Mr. Mueller focuses on new technology developments for propulsion, including Mars main propulsion and surface power.

!!!
I never understood people who thought SpaceX hadn't been thinking of surface power (even though Musk has publicly talked about them doing research on it).

I think the !!! is for the chance to hear more details, not that AU didn't think they were working on it... I'm excited to hear more too. Did they do the Lockheed reactor thing? Or are they planning a big solar installation with lots of batteries?
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline meekGee

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #4 on: 06/11/2017 04:04 AM »
Quote
Mr. Mueller focuses on new technology developments for propulsion, including Mars main propulsion and surface power.

!!!
I never understood people who thought SpaceX hadn't been thinking of surface power (even though Musk has publicly talked about them doing research on it).

I think the !!! is for the chance to hear more details, not that AU didn't think they were working on it... I'm excited to hear more too. Did they do the Lockheed reactor thing? Or are they planning a big solar installation with lots of batteries?

True, but RB's point is that every time something like this comes up, you get the gripe that "SpaceX will only built transportation and wait for everyone else to do everything else".

So good to have confirmation and details.  I think anyone that thought through a Mars colony realizes that power is the #1 problem - even more so than transportation.

Plain and simple - without a power solution there is no colony.
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #5 on: 06/11/2017 05:07 AM »
Without surface power (and ISRU), there isn't even a complete transportation system.

SpaceX has talked about solar power for Mars surface before. Musk has mentioned it multiple times. Mueller recently also mentioned it'd be used for the first missions (at least), not likely nuclear (at least at first).
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Online guckyfan

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #6 on: 06/11/2017 07:58 AM »
Without surface power (and ISRU), there isn't even a complete transportation system.

Elon Musk has even mentioned it very explicitly. Propellant production is part of the ITS "system". ITS to Mars does not work without it.

Online AncientU

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #7 on: 06/11/2017 10:44 AM »
Tom Mueller is such a great details guy that he'll be able to provide hardware parameters.  The !!! was not only because we'd get the detail*, but also that TM has a second hat -- as if his engine work wasn't enough.

Surface power, plus water collection, are keys to ISRU propellant production at needed scale.  This has long been understood.  To date, who, what, where, and when have all been unanswered.  I'm ready to move past speculation...

* As Lar correctly interpreted above
« Last Edit: 06/11/2017 10:51 AM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Online AncientU

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #8 on: 06/11/2017 11:17 AM »
September is a long way off... ;)

TM is a fluid dynamics guy -- turbo-pumps, injectors, reaction chamber mixing, nozzles, etc. -- why put him in charge of a white bread solar/battery installation that has no fluids and no dynamics?  Maybe there are 'interesting' pieces of the surface power equation that we really don't know. 

ISRU equipment will include compressors which are fluid dynamics-based components... but where does this fit in surface power systems?
« Last Edit: 06/11/2017 11:18 AM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline meekGee

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #9 on: 06/11/2017 02:33 PM »
September is a long way off... ;)

TM is a fluid dynamics guy -- turbo-pumps, injectors, reaction chamber mixing, nozzles, etc. -- why put him in charge of a white bread solar/battery installation that has no fluids and no dynamics?  Maybe there are 'interesting' pieces of the surface power equation that we really don't know. 

ISRU equipment will include compressors which are fluid dynamics-based components... but where does this fit in surface power systems?
Hadn't thought about it that way. (Except for the "we have to wait till September?!” part)

It's a hint.

Maybe put more generically - Engine people want to "make power on their own terms", not "scavenge it".  A bit vague, I know...

I'm really interested in knowing SpaceX's estimate for how much power they need per person, excluding fuel generation for BFS.



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Offline CapitalistOppressor

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #10 on: 06/16/2017 12:55 AM »
September is a long way off... ;)

TM is a fluid dynamics guy -- turbo-pumps, injectors, reaction chamber mixing, nozzles, etc. -- why put him in charge of a white bread solar/battery installation that has no fluids and no dynamics?  Maybe there are 'interesting' pieces of the surface power equation that we really don't know. 

ISRU equipment will include compressors which are fluid dynamics-based components... but where does this fit in surface power systems?
Hadn't thought about it that way. (Except for the "we have to wait till September?!” part)

It's a hint.

Maybe put more generically - Engine people want to "make power on their own terms", not "scavenge it".  A bit vague, I know...

I'm really interested in knowing SpaceX's estimate for how much power they need per person, excluding fuel generation for BFS.

I don't think we need to overthink it.  Mueller is the CTO at SpaceX now, so he is responsible for all technology development. 

That doesn't imply some novel Mueller derived power system.  The teams working on power (or anything else) report to him, which is exactly as we should expect.

That said, he probably is thinking about talking about surface power, or else it likely wouldn't be in the announcement.

Offline meekGee

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #11 on: 06/16/2017 02:10 AM »
September is a long way off... ;)

TM is a fluid dynamics guy -- turbo-pumps, injectors, reaction chamber mixing, nozzles, etc. -- why put him in charge of a white bread solar/battery installation that has no fluids and no dynamics?  Maybe there are 'interesting' pieces of the surface power equation that we really don't know. 

ISRU equipment will include compressors which are fluid dynamics-based components... but where does this fit in surface power systems?
Hadn't thought about it that way. (Except for the "we have to wait till September?!” part)

It's a hint.

Maybe put more generically - Engine people want to "make power on their own terms", not "scavenge it".  A bit vague, I know...

I'm really interested in knowing SpaceX's estimate for how much power they need per person, excluding fuel generation for BFS.

I don't think we need to overthink it.  Mueller is the CTO at SpaceX now, so he is responsible for all technology development. 

That doesn't imply some novel Mueller derived power system.  The teams working on power (or anything else) report to him, which is exactly as we should expect.

That said, he probably is thinking about talking about surface power, or else it likely wouldn't be in the announcement.
No such system implied or even conceived.

It's solar, nuclear, or a mix.

I'm interested in that number since it is very difficult to guesstimate without detailed modeling of what a colony will be doing.
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #12 on: 07/08/2017 07:24 AM »
Hmm, Tom Mueller is not listed on the convention’s speakers page:
http://www.marssociety.org/conventions-2017-speakers/

Has he pulled out? Up staging Elon?

Offline flyright

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #13 on: 07/08/2017 07:57 PM »
Hmm, Tom Mueller is not listed on the convention’s speakers page:
http://www.marssociety.org/conventions-2017-speakers/

Has he pulled out? Up staging Elon?

The Mars Society has not yet published the full list of speakers and the convention schedule, so hopefully, Tom Mueller will still be speaking. This is a little surprising, though.

From the latest announcement:
"For more details about the 2017 Mars Society Convention, including the confirmed speaker list and the full convention schedule (due out later this month), please visit our web site (www.marssociety.org)."

http://www.marssociety.org/two-months-2017-international-mars-society-convention/

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #14 on: 07/08/2017 07:59 PM »
Hmm, Tom Mueller is not listed on the convention’s speakers page:
http://www.marssociety.org/conventions-2017-speakers/

Has he pulled out? Up staging Elon?

I just looked at that page the other day (yesterday?) and Mueller was on that page.  Good catch.

Offline flyright

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #15 on: 07/08/2017 08:01 PM »
Hmm, Tom Mueller is not listed on the convention’s speakers page:
http://www.marssociety.org/conventions-2017-speakers/

Has he pulled out? Up staging Elon?

I just looked at that page the other day (yesterday?) and Mueller was on that page.  Good catch.

Not a good sign.  :(

Offline Aussie_Space_Nut

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #16 on: 07/09/2017 01:11 AM »
My hunch is the surface power issue will be Solar or some type of methane powered electric generator or a combination of both. Nuclear is just too hard from a people accepting it point of view, I accept that the nuclear engineering is not that difficult.

Mars has practically unlimited space for solar panels. You cant live on the surface due to radiation. So covering the surface in solar panels is no problem. They can be lightweight due to conditions on the surface of mars, dont need heavy panels like here on Earth due to wind & rain, etc. So, cheap, light and acceptable to people.

But. Batteries are heavy! How do you store the power? You make methane and store it instead. Which you are already doing anyway for rocket fuel.

There is synergy between these three, Solar Power, Methane Fuel for Rockets and Methane powered GenSets.

So my hunch if Tom shows will be an anouncement somewhere along those lines.

Offline philw1776

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #17 on: 07/09/2017 01:15 AM »
Hmm, Tom Mueller is not listed on the convention’s speakers page:
http://www.marssociety.org/conventions-2017-speakers/

Has he pulled out? Up staging Elon?

I just looked at that page the other day (yesterday?) and Mueller was on that page.  Good catch.

Probably Elon just getting ahead of himself timeline wise yet again.  Despite his tweet months ago about a fiscal reality based real soon now update to last September's ITS reveal, it's likely the new plan was not ready to be revealed when expected.  Elon would be the guy for the very first reveal, not Tom.  Tesla events q.v. Model 3 launch and production issues are probably consuming much of Elon's time now and thru the summer.

It would not help SpaceX's campaign to be the focal point for Mars efforts and possible government funding to have an annual event where the Mars plan changes substantively each year.  One well thought out fiscal driven revision is fine.  It just can't keep happening to be taken seriously.

“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

Online AncientU

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Re: Tom Mueller speech at Mars Society Convention : Sep 2017
« Reply #18 on: 07/09/2017 10:41 AM »
Hmm, Tom Mueller is not listed on the convention’s speakers page:
http://www.marssociety.org/conventions-2017-speakers/

Has he pulled out? Up staging Elon?

I just looked at that page the other day (yesterday?) and Mueller was on that page.  Good catch.

Probably Elon just getting ahead of himself timeline wise yet again.  Despite his tweet months ago about a fiscal reality based real soon now update to last September's ITS reveal, it's likely the new plan was not ready to be revealed when expected.  Elon would be the guy for the very first reveal, not Tom.  Tesla events q.v. Model 3 launch and production issues are probably consuming much of Elon's time now and thru the summer.

It would not help SpaceX's campaign to be the focal point for Mars efforts and possible government funding to have an annual event where the Mars plan changes substantively each year.  One well thought out fiscal driven revision is fine.  It just can't keep happening to be taken seriously.

Unless it is converging and there is maturing hardware to support it.  The first reveal was full colonization hardware; this one could be how to get there.  A couple hours worth of PowerPoint seems tame for a program that dwarfs Constellation and APOLLO combined.

Few people took ITS as introduced at IAC 2016 seriously anyway -- its scale was too grand to get heads around -- we'll see if IAC 2017 produces a more favorable (or hostile*) reaction.

* Senator Shelby's reaction should be the litmus test of whether the system is 'converging'
« Last Edit: 07/09/2017 11:10 AM by AncientU »
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