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My whole point is that SpaceX has all the money it currently needs to develop the MCT and do the first demo flight. In fact my estimate is that SpaceX will spend 2.5X more on MCT ($2.5B) for an SLS 100mt class vehicle (Costs $13.5B) relative to the F9v1.0 costs to NASA estimates of an F9 development cost. The factor development cost difference between the NASA estimate and the SpaceX actual for F9v1.0 was 13.26x. So if you use that factor for what an initial version of BFR/BFS minimal capabilities would cost to develop you get a value of just over $1B.

It has been known for some time that except for some very narrow items (EDL and human factors), technology has not been the delaying item for a manned flight to Mars. It has been the funds to do so using a NASA managed project model for development. If you assume a NASA costs for a Manned flight to Mars total cost of $100B then for SpaceX to do the same it would be $7.5B, which includes the development and operations costs. If SpaceX's profit available to be applied to the Mars mission spending is an average of only $500M/yr (combined launch profits and comm services profits) then it will take them with this estimate 13 years to get to Mars (2029). This is probably the pessimistic (but not worst case) for when they would do a manned Mars landing. It would also include a total of up to 10 manned and cargo MCT flights to Mars (8 cargo over 1-3 previous synods and 2 simultaneous manned MCTs for the manned mission).

So yes the probable SpaceX manned flight would be NET 2024 best case, likelihood is seen as slim but still possible, but increases likelihood as 2029 approaches to being highly probable. Just like for NASA doing such a mission it is funds that are the controlling factor but at 1/13 the amount.
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Indian Launchers / Re: ISRO Air Breathing Propulsion developments
« Last post by input~2 on Today at 07:03 PM »
And here is NOTAM
See also the Indian sub-orbital launches thread where this NOTAM first appeared
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Commercialization and Standardization Progress towards an Optical Communications Earth Relay

Highlights:
"Several space agencies are currently working on space based optical communications. The primary motivation stems from the expectation that substantially higher (at least 10 times) data rates than Radio Frequency (RF) based solutions might be feasible with similar user spacecraft onboard terminal burden (mass, volume and power). In addition, optical communications can also be used at comparable RF data rates in order to lower the user communication system’s required mass, volume, and power. Finally available RF spectrum is also becoming an issue in high data rate applications."

"In order to enhance the use of optical communications worldwide and to allow the sharing of communications infrastructure such as optical ground stations and optical relay satellites, the world’s major space agencies are engaged in developing international standards for space optical communication systems as has been done with radio frequency (RF) communications"

"To facilitate the adoption of optical communications by NASA science and exploration missions, a commercial supplier of space terminals compatible with terminals on the next generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellites need to exist. Ideally, more than one commercial source should be developed and terminals from one source should be compatible with the terminals from another source."

"A set of standards for space optical communications needs to be developed to enable inoperability between terminals from different commercial sources. Ideally, an international standard will be developed and accepted by the major space agencies worldwide. An international standard will allow optical communications terminals built by one space agency to use the infrastructure of another. Collaboration in optical communications will lower mission cost and risk and likely enable missions which otherwise are unaffordable by one nation on their own. This is the evolutionary next step to today’s existing RF cross support."

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A Geosynchronous Orbit Optical Communications Relay Architecture

Highlights:
"There are currently three different generations of spacecraft in orbit and NASA is studying the requirements for a future generation to be launched around the 2025 timeframe."

"While the exact requirements are currently unknown, NASA is investing in communications technologies that could be deployed on the satellite to provide new communications services. One of those new technologies is optical communications."

"An optical space to ground link is particularly attractive as the downlink data rate from the relay increases. It is easy to envision Earth relays in the not-so-distant future with tens of Gb/s of downlink. However, the availability of an optical space to ground link would be impacted by clouds. To provide high availability, the Earth relay would have to use a combination of RF and optical space to ground links and onboard storage, or employ a number of optical communication ground stations to support the relay. For example, a future Earth relay could have onboard memory and an RF space to ground link at 1 or 2 Gbps, coupled with an optical space to ground link at 10 Gbps. Thus, some data could be transmitted to Earth via RF, even if all of the optical ground stations were covered by clouds. The RF space to ground link could be eliminated by increasing the amount of onboard storage or the number of available optical ground stations."

"The spacecraft design concept consists of the current TDRS-like spacecraft augmented with: (1) a 2 m telescope aperture for Deep Space optical communications and (2) a smaller 10 to 30 cm telescope for high rate LEO optical communications and support out to the Sun-Earth Libration points L1 and L2 (~ 1 million miles from earth)."
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Barber landing is 15% lower.

Don't get Elon mad again. It's a "drone ship," not a barber.  ;)

Hmmm -- wonder if a red-and-white-spiral-striped pole would help those marginal landings succeed?  Just might be the thing that shaves the day ... ;D

Falcon does always come back with a severe haircut.
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Indian Launchers / Re: ISRO Air Breathing Propulsion developments
« Last post by Ohsin on Today at 06:18 PM »
Quote
ISRO ready for air-breathing propulsion experiment

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is looking forward to performing “an experiment” before July-end aboard its RH-560 rocket fitted with a supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) engine for demonstrating air-breathing propulsion technology.

At three tonnes, the two-stage RH-560, christened Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), is the heaviest sounding rocket built by the ISRO. It will lift off from a launch pad built for sounding rockets at Sriharikota. The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, has developed the engine.

“The ignition of the scramjet engine in flight and holding the flame steadily for five seconds” — when the air from the atmosphere is being rammed into the engine through an inlet at a supersonic speed of six Mach — “is the objective of the experiment,” said VSSC Director K. Sivan.

<snip>

The entire mission will last 260 seconds.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/isro-ready-for-airbreathing-propulsion-experiment/article8891367.ece

And here is NOTAM

Quote
A1571/16 - ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY VEHICLE (ATV-D02)SOUNDING ROCKET LAUNCH FM SHAR RANGE,SRIHARIKOTA WILL TAKE PLACE AS PER FLW DETAILS. LAUNCH PAD COORD : 13 41 44 N 080 14 05 E. NO FLT IS PERMITTED OVER THE DNG ZONE. I)DANGER ZONE- 1 IS A CIRCLE OF 10NM AROUND THE LAUNCHER II)DANGER ZONE-2 IS A SECTOR BTN RADII OF 50NM AND 250NM FM THE LAUNCH PAD AND BTN AZIMUTH ANGLES 080 DEG AND 120 DEG FM TRUE NORTH ROUTES AFFECTED IN CHENNAI FIR ARE: W20,A465,N571,P761,P574,B466,L518,Q10,Q11,V3,V4,V6,V8,V9,V11,Q23 AND Q24 CLOSURE/ALTERNATE ROUTINGS: A) W20 NOT AVBL BTN MMV VOR AND BODEL ALTN ROUTE: MMV VOR-TR319/139DEG-53NM-TTP VOR-TR357/177DEG-81NM-BODEL -W20 (BIDIRECTIONAL) B) A465 NOT AVBL BTN MMV VOR AND DOCKET ALTN ROUTE:MMV VOR-TR319/139DEG-DIST 53NM-TTP VOR-VT034/214 DEG -DIST 53NM-POINT 'A'(142225N 0800303E)-TR055/235DEG-126NM-DOCKET-A465 (BIDIRECTIONAL) END PART 1 OF 2. BTN 0130-0530, 28 JUL 01:30 2016 UNTIL 11 AUG 05:30 2016. CREATED: 22 JUL 08:15 2016

Search operations for IAF's AN-32 with 29 personnel is still underway...
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By that point, maybe we can just grow meat in a vat on a trellis.

Maybe. But I think seriously, that a colony with only humans does not feel right. Humans need pets. Cats, maybe some birds. Probably dogs, because many people love them. But they really need space, they are running animals.
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Was this the first launch of a rocket with an electric fuel pump system?
possibly. I haven't found anything yet that would make that a no.
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Neat picture from the inside showing waveguide launcher and VNA monopole antenna.
I've built a contraption to polish the inside of the cavity and will test it out tonight. If it works, I'll do a quick video. If it doesn't, I'll delete this post  ;)

After several weeks of testing and oxidation, it might be something you'll need down the road.
One thing that might help is a rouge cloth.  They are really meant for Silver but might work for Copper.  Your dilemma reminds me of Sir Joseph Porter's song in HMS Pinafore:

When I was a lad I served a term
As office boy to an Attorney's firm.
I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor,
And I polished up the handle of the big front door.
I polished up that handle so carefullee
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!
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