Author Topic: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.  (Read 11972 times)

Online Robotbeat

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #20 on: 04/25/2017 03:51 AM »
I don't know that FH will ever be a cash cow. F9 is the cash cow.

FH will already be "compromising" the upper stage to add whatever reuse mods are needed. Besides, the expendable upper stage is the one part that is least different from a F9's equivalent.

We only recently heard about the 1018 date from Red Dragon being pushed back. This whole idea of launching a mini-BFS could be the reason, actually.

Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline GWH

Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #21 on: 04/25/2017 03:54 AM »

Also the TEL would be limited to 3.66m stage and existing fairing which is non-ideal for any kind of mini-ITS. Anything in the fairing would be so compromised to not be worth it.

That being said I think a mini-ITS and dragon landers could support a Mars direct mission on a much shorter timeline than ITS (even without factoring the higher funding required for ITS). But the Falcon Heavy demo launch isn't going ro be that.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2017 04:26 AM by GWH »

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #22 on: 04/25/2017 04:03 AM »
Here's some evidence:
Quote
Trump, though, said he wanted a faster timeline. “Well, we want to try and do it during my first term or, at worst, during my second term,” he said. “So we’ll have to speed that up a little bit, okay?”

He reiterated an accelerated timeframe later in the discussion. “I’m very proud that I just signed a bill committing NASA to the aim of sending America astronauts to Mars,” he said, again referring to the authorization act. “So we’ll do that. I think we’ll do it a lot sooner than we’re even thinking.”

- See more at: http://spacenews.com/trumps-exuberance-for-mars-faces-technical-and-fiscal-challenges/#sthash.TeuqqfLY.dpuf

Nope.  You have three options 1) He got it wrong. 2) He was Incorrectting, 3) he misspoke.  You can pick more than one.  There is no way that SpaceX or anyone else can get us Mars in three years.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline GWH

Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #23 on: 04/25/2017 04:37 AM »
If they could get a mini-ITS up and running, I am thinking it could really on be feasible on a short time line if it was a cargo variant carrying a transit hab.
Could someone else pick up that task, who? 

Offline raketa

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #24 on: 04/25/2017 05:01 AM »
I have to laugh, several weeks ago, I was ban from the forum for "fake news". I actually just make a prediction, base on Trump desire to show USA is great, that he will order to go to Mars, not to Moon.
Now it is official and SpaceX is the way to go.For 2-3 billion a year, SpaceX will deliver us to Mars probably during the second term of  Trump's presidency.

Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #25 on: 04/25/2017 05:41 AM »
I have to laugh, several weeks ago, I was ban from the forum for "fake news". I actually just make a prediction, base on Trump desire to show USA is great, that he will order to go to Mars, not to Moon.
Now it is official and SpaceX is the way to go.For 2-3 billion a year, SpaceX will deliver us to Mars probably during the second term of  Trump's presidency.

It's official? There's been no indication that Congress wants to increase NASA's budget to fund SpaceX (like CC), so funding SpaceX would likely mean the termination of the SLS/Orion program. That's probably not going to happen anytime soon, so unless you know something I don't, Trump's claim that we'll get to Mars by the end of his second term should be taken with a grain of salt. 

Offline guckyfan

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #26 on: 04/25/2017 09:26 AM »
The best you could hope for by 2020 would be a flyby with a minimal crew.  And that would still be super damn hard.

A landing with a Dragon is easier. The hard part is keeping them alive until ITS can get them back. It would require to reactivate the 2018 unmanned RedDragon mission. Probably doable if they delay commercial crew and leave that first flight to Boeing. Not that I believe they will do that but it is possible. They would need to land 3 or 4 RedDragons with supplies in 2020.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #27 on: 04/25/2017 09:33 AM »
We know inaugural launch of Falcon Heavy is supposed to be with a reusable upper stage. Previous concept videos showed a VTVL upper stage that could basically function as a Mars lander, especially if it used subscale Raptors like the one SpaceX has been testing. Basically, we might see a prototype mini-BFS launch THIS YEAR.


With refueling, it could possibly be sent to Mars next year with some ground equipment for mining water and producing power. A big advantage of the mini-BFS concept is it means you only need a tenth as much power and water.

Crew launch in 2018.

I see no way the methane architecture would launch this year with Falcon Heavy. I see it much more likely, in fact I believe that is what it will be, the reusable upper stage announced for next year, will be a methane architecture. 4m diameter is just fine to optimize capabilities and should be within what can be put on the TEL with only running methane propellant pipes up. But in time to do a launch to Mars in the 2018 window? It will need at least an unmanned landing before they send people relying on it. Even if they land with RedDragon, they need the supplies for survival, so fully depend on that stage landing on Mars.

Online Jarnis

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #28 on: 04/25/2017 09:58 AM »
Have none of you considered that Trump was joking? That seemed obvious to me.

To me the underlying message was "ya NASA guys should probably pick up the pace a bit, your stuff is taking hilariously long".

Online Robotbeat

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #29 on: 04/25/2017 12:02 PM »
He repeated it three times. Trump is not a space but. Someone must have told him something. Doesn't mean it will happen, of course.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online wes_wilson

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #30 on: 04/25/2017 12:10 PM »
Assuming a working and fully reusable 2nd stage I wonder if there's an option for limited missions using just the F9 and FH architecture and some staging events.   

1st FH launches a manned Dragon to land at Mars.
2nd FH launches a reusable 2nd stage to land at Mars.  (yup, issues there too)
(or another variation might be re-fueling the 2nd stage in orbit and flying them there together)

On Mars Dragon gets put back on the 2nd stage which provides the trip home. 

One big obvious gotcha is existing 2nd stage using Kerlox and Mars ISRU should be Methalox; but maybe that's an argument for seeing Methalox on the 2nd stage eventually. 

Love the topic of the thread but I struggle to grok that if someone goes to Mars by 2020 it could be on anything but some variation of an F9/FH architecture.  SpaceX takes risks, but it would seem cavalier to send people on something without some degree of flight history.   



@SpaceX "When can I buy my ticket to Mars?"

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #31 on: 04/25/2017 12:41 PM »
Elon is more willing to take risk than many others in the industry. However, a crewed Red Dragon is simply too risky. SpaceX is making the bet on ITS for crewed missions to Mars (and beyond). They don't want to de-rail ITS by a failed crewed Red Dragon.

If the Trump administration came to Elon and asked how to get people on Mars faster, I expect he'd say fund ITS at 1 Billion for 10 years and we'll launch by a crewed 2024.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #32 on: 04/25/2017 12:50 PM »
I'm not saying a crewed Red Dragon. I'm suggesting the reusable upper stage of Falcon Heavy may be a kind of prototype for a subscale BFS.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online envy887

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #33 on: 04/25/2017 01:17 PM »
Here's some evidence:
Quote
Trump, though, said he wanted a faster timeline. “Well, we want to try and do it during my first term or, at worst, during my second term,” he said. “So we’ll have to speed that up a little bit, okay?”

He reiterated an accelerated timeframe later in the discussion. “I’m very proud that I just signed a bill committing NASA to the aim of sending America astronauts to Mars,” he said, again referring to the authorization act. “So we’ll do that. I think we’ll do it a lot sooner than we’re even thinking.”

- See more at: http://spacenews.com/trumps-exuberance-for-mars-faces-technical-and-fiscal-challenges/#sthash.TeuqqfLY.dpuf

Nope.  You have three options 1) He got it wrong. 2) He was Incorrectting, 3) he misspoke.  You can pick more than one.  There is no way that SpaceX or anyone else can get us Mars in three years.

Getting to Mars is easy. Getting BACK is the hard part, by far.

Online envy887

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #34 on: 04/25/2017 01:30 PM »
Elon is more willing to take risk than many others in the industry. However, a crewed Red Dragon is simply too risky. SpaceX is making the bet on ITS for crewed missions to Mars (and beyond). They don't want to de-rail ITS by a failed crewed Red Dragon.

If the Trump administration came to Elon and asked how to get people on Mars faster, I expect he'd say fund ITS at 1 Billion for 10 years and we'll launch by a crewed 2024.

The fastest way is definitely a subscale BFS on FH. Perhaps even with an Al-Li LOX tank. That still has many tech barriers (Raptor, cryo refueling, cryo storage, long-term ECLSS, ISRU props, etc...) but at least they don't need to 2-3 years building a whole new factory, test facility, and launch pad before they can even START building and testing hardware.

Most of the required tech are things SpaceX could have (and almost certainly has) been working on behind the scenes to some extent. Not to the extent of flight-ready hardware, but at least proof-of-concept level.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #35 on: 04/25/2017 01:31 PM »
If what I'm proposing here is Musk's idea, then the plan IS to get the crew back, but it's possible the return trip might not happen until the next window.

With ITS, the plan was to send the propellant plant and robots on a previous uncrewed ITS, then finish any necessary assembly or fix any problems with crew when the crew arrives. This accelerates the timescale,  as you don't need to perfect automation in a provable way before sending the ITSes. Proving automation could take a decade or more.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Warren Platts

Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #36 on: 04/25/2017 01:33 PM »
Quote from: Robotbeat
I think SpaceX has been trying to solve the water mining problem for years. Why does everyone assume SpaceX has no secrets?

But what secrets could they possibly have? What the planetary science folks have discovered about Mars is pretty much open source--all people have equal access to the data, and there's no obvious, easy way to get a bunch of water. Attempts to use ground penetrating radar to find shallow aquifers has pretty much had negative results, so far. Part of the problem is that Mars is actually quite a bit colder than the Moon, so its cryosphere extends much deeper.

NASA has been doing a lot of research on mining techniques for Mars lately. The overall strategy seems to be to design for average conditions in order to be guaranteed of success. The main discovery so far is that it's going to be a harder, more mass intensive process than people have previously speculated.

Humans on Mars by the end of President Trump's term? No way, even by 2024. We would be lucky to see a human on the Moon's surface in that time.
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Online Robotbeat

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #37 on: 04/25/2017 01:36 PM »
"What the planetary science folks have discovered about Mars is pretty much open source--all people have equal access to the data, and there's no obvious, easy way to get a bunch of water."

False. The planetary science folks I've talked to think there are easy methods to get water.

Yes there is. We've fairly recently come to the conclusion that virtually the entire surface of Mars is covered by regolith with at least 2% absorbed water, with some sites having far more. SpaceX may have been testing mining robots in simulated Martian conditions.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2017 01:38 PM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online envy887

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Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #38 on: 04/25/2017 01:44 PM »
If what I'm proposing here is Musk's idea, then the plan IS to get the crew back, but it's possible the return trip might not happen until the next window.

With ITS, the plan was to send the propellant plant and robots on a previous uncrewed ITS, then finish any necessary assembly or fix any problems with crew when the crew arrives. This accelerates the timescale,  as you don't need to perfect automation in a provable way before sending the ITSes. Proving automation could take a decade or more.
The return trip being later is plausible, but I can't envision Musk being willing to send crew ahead of the ISRU propellant production equipment. And I can't envision that equipment fitting on one or even 5 Red Dragons - the mass and volume requirements likely dictate at least a fairing-sized volume and 10x the mass that Red Dragon can land, just to make fuel for a mini-BFS.

IMO that precludes any crewed mission without a vehicle at least 5 meters in diameter capable of landing on, and once refueled, returning from Mars.

Offline Warren Platts

Re: How SpaceX may get crew to Mars by 2020.
« Reply #39 on: 04/25/2017 02:17 PM »
"What the planetary science folks have discovered about Mars is pretty much open source--all people have equal access to the data, and there's no obvious, easy way to get a bunch of water."

False. The planetary science folks I've talked to think there are easy methods to get water.

Yes there is. We've fairly recently come to the conclusion that virtually the entire surface of Mars is covered by regolith with at least 2% absorbed water, with some sites having far more. SpaceX may have been testing mining robots in simulated Martian conditions.

My point exactly: getting a few percent water out of dirt does not fit the standard English definition of "easy". Easy would be pulling up to a Martian lake and pumping out water, or at least sinking a shallow well and pumping up liquid water.

Anyways, even if SpaceX is working on autonomous mining rovers, I can see why they might want to keep some design details proprietary, but why keep the very idea that they're working on such rovers a secret?

IOW, it's unlikely that President Trump let slip some inside information. Much more likely that he can't even keep the difference between the Moon and Mars straight in his head.

Does Donald Trump actually know where Mars is?
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

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