Author Topic: Dennis Tito's Inspiration Mars Foundation Pre Announcement Thread  (Read 85536 times)

Offline Afrocle

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 196
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #140 on: 02/22/2013 12:44 PM »
Welp, if they pull this off (I'll give it 10% chance, for what it's worth), EM-1 is going to look rather pathetic...

They could do better on the fund-raising side simply for the "new" factor: a company like Red Bull might pay a pretty penny to have their name on the first manned spacecraft to visit Mars... The nationality of the crew could be a factor too.

On a personal note, the trigger for me to get interested in orbital dynamics (to the point almost finishing a PhD in it) was a throwaway line in the "Case for Mars" where Zubrin claims that the delta v for Mars free-return is less than a lunar free-return. That's a bit of a stretch (it's technically true for very narrow windows), but the point is, this is not a delta v/propellant-limited mission. It is the systems (ECLSS, power, comm) that will really require the engineering work. I wonder how much of that SpaceX is willing to volunteer...

This old paper from NASA-JPL on Mars Free Return Trajectories seems to say that the Dennis Tito mission in 2018 could be accomplished with 8 km/s of delta V in 1.4 years (i.e. 500 days) versus the delta V and time of flight of other Mars free return trajectories of as low as 4 km/s that would take 3 years.
http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/22610/1/97-1121.pdf
This is in comparison to a lunar free return trajectory of 3 km/s to 4 km/s of delta V that would take up to 100X less time.

If 8 km/s is the delta V that they need from LEO, then they might need a second rocket to send them an additional upper stage or more fuel. This assumes that they are using conventional chemical engines.

The difficult part here is the long flight time, and you are correct in saying that this is not necessarily a delta-V/propellant-limited mission, so it would make sense if much of the non recurring engineering cost through 2018 was expended by Paragon on improving the ECLSS, etc.

Paragon has worked with (or around) SpaceX and Bigelow in the past, and Paragon has worked on others capsules and inflatables in the past, so this mission architecture is not limited to only the SpaceX Dragon and the Bigelow inflatable.
« Last Edit: 02/22/2013 12:47 PM by Afrocle »

Offline KelvinZero

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3467
  • Liked: 453
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #141 on: 02/22/2013 12:56 PM »
(a bunch of replies came in that might make this seem repetitive, sorry)

The infrastructure serves missions, so if the missions aren't intrinsically valuable, the infrastructure can't be either. The focus on missions is 100% correct, unnecessary infrastructure and technology development are a distraction. The proper time to develop infrastructure and to do technology development is when there is enough demand to justify it.
Responding to that in full would pull this to far off topic. Suffice it to say that I do not consider this mission intrinsically valuable. Thats why inspiration is in the title. It doesn't achieve those other things we would like.

I hate space projects that list inspiration as a primary goal. Be inspiring by achieving something worthwhile!
It has been mentioned already. If successful this mission would achieve something very important. It will prove it is possible and make it impossible to hide behind arguments that claim it is not.

Radiation, weightlessness and duration will be demonstrated as not being showstoppers.

We pretty much know that anyway. There are obvious reasons why this need not sway anyone not convinced by the existing evidence. A single success that may or may not encounter a significant flare, for which the life support may happen to function throughout does not prove much at all. They are not going to do mars-surface-like activity at the other end. It is a very small sample to prove anything about radiation. We could test all these things much more cheaply and safely and thoroughly sticking closer to home. Using an unrepeatable trajectory also reduces the value of the lesson and development. This is not an Apollo 8 in any sense.

Online Ben the Space Brit

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6957
  • A spaceflight fan
  • London, UK
  • Liked: 535
  • Likes Given: 609
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #142 on: 02/22/2013 12:57 PM »
half-way through the flight, you get to see and photograph a world and its moons that no human has ever seen with their unaided eyes before then that will be something that will make even the most jaded Joe Six-Pack sit up and say "Wow!" Then they'll be picking up their 'phone or opening an email form to ask their Congressman why NASA isn't doing something like this when that crazy Tito guy has done it.

There would be a few days of media hoopla during flyby, and then it will die off. Even during Apollos the public attention faded soon after first mission. 13 rekindled it, briefly. Good news is boring news, bad news make the headlines. Now there's even much greater amount of things fighting for Joe's attention, I'm afraid space would loose even faster now.

I'm not sure that I agree with that cynicism.  In any case, it does not need to be long-lasting.  The furore of a private spacecraft beating NASA to Mars would, IMO at least, last long enough to set off the politicians and that would be the key to getting things movment.
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

~*~*~*~

The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Offline apace

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 810
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #143 on: 02/22/2013 01:05 PM »
And so what? That's the risk of all explorers.
It's a pointless risk when similar mission testing the same things could be carried out with less risk. They'd just fly by Mars, not much exploring there.

What a luck, that explorers around the world have not the same mindset like you. And I don't mean this angry about you, but simply that I don't agree with you.

Offline R7

  • Propulsophile
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2738
    • Don't worry.. we can still be fans of OSC and SNC
  • Liked: 944
  • Likes Given: 663
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #144 on: 02/22/2013 01:08 PM »
I'm not sure that I agree with that cynicism.
It's not cynicism. I rather err towards realism than wishful thinking, despite my own interests in space flight.

Quote
In any case, it does not need to be long-lasting.  The furore of a private spacecraft beating NASA to Mars would, IMO at least, last long enough to set off the politicians

And ... then what? NASA informs that yes they could have done similar quasi-suicide mission long ago but the risks outweigh scientific/exploration returns.

@apace
Quote
simply that I don't agree with you
That's OK  :) mileages on what constitutes useful exploration and what not vary.
AD·ASTRA·ASTRORVM·GRATIA

Offline Afrocle

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 196
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #145 on: 02/22/2013 01:08 PM »
half-way through the flight, you get to see and photograph a world and its moons that no human has ever seen with their unaided eyes before then that will be something that will make even the most jaded Joe Six-Pack sit up and say "Wow!" Then they'll be picking up their 'phone or opening an email form to ask their Congressman why NASA isn't doing something like this when that crazy Tito guy has done it.

There would be a few days of media hoopla during flyby, and then it will die off. Even during Apollos the public attention faded soon after first mission. 13 rekindled it, briefly. Good news is boring news, bad news make the headlines. Now there's even much greater amount of things fighting for Joe's attention, I'm afraid space would loose even faster now.

Someone more sophisticated than "Joe Six Pack" might figure out how to lower the recurring costs of this mission to under $200 million, increase the number of passengers to 4 Astronauts, and increase the flight rate to every 2 years (i.e. every Mars launch window versus every 10 to 15 years). This would be a price of $50 million per person for 500 days in an inflatable going to Mars versus spending ~ $30 million per person to stay in LEO in a Bigelow commercial space station or over $500 million in NASA budget per NASA Astronaut on the ISS in LEO.

A 500 day journey to Mars at $50 million per person could find a market similar to what Bigelow, Boeing, and SpaceX are promoting for the Bigelow commercial space stations. The customers would be foreign government Astronauts, wealthy individuals, and corporate sponsored individuals just like Bigelow's potential customer base.

It took up to 10 years after Lindberg in 1927 before Trans-Atlantic air travel was readily available (on flying boats) and another 10 years after that for the runway infrastructure to be established (by World War 2) to open America-to-Europe air flights even further (in ~ 1947). There is a sustainable and repeatable path for this Mars flight that could prevent it from being just a 1-off stunt. Dennis Tito's 1st commercial ISS flight in 2001 ended up starting a new credible business model for Space Adventures.

Offline R7

  • Propulsophile
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2738
    • Don't worry.. we can still be fans of OSC and SNC
  • Liked: 944
  • Likes Given: 663
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #146 on: 02/22/2013 01:17 PM »
Someone more sophisticated than "Joe Six Pack" might figure out how to lower the recurring costs of this mission to under $200 million, increase the number of passengers to 4 Astronauts, and increase the flight rate to every 2 years (i.e. every Mars launch window versus every 10 to 15 years). This would be a price of $50 million per person for 500 days in an inflatable going to Mars versus spending ~ $30 million per person to stay in LEO in a Bigelow commercial space station

I doubt customers would pop up in scores even if such service would exist right now. 1.5yrs of your life to get a passing glimpse of Mars. Btw somebody has already promised much better service for just $500,000. ;)
AD·ASTRA·ASTRORVM·GRATIA

Offline rklaehn

  • telemetry plumber
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1205
  • germany
    • www.heavens-above.com
  • Liked: 88
  • Likes Given: 154
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #147 on: 02/22/2013 01:23 PM »
And so what? That's the risk of all explorers.

It's a pointless risk when similar mission testing the same things could be carried out with less risk. They'd just fly by Mars, not much exploring there.

If somebody spends his own money and risks his own life for such a mission, who are you to decide if it is pointless?

What's the point of climbing a mountain? What was the point of the flight over the Atlantic by Charles Lindbergh? It would have been much less risky to cover the same distance by flying circles over the airport for 30 hours.

As an example on how this would benefit further mars missions:

People have been debating the risks of cosmic radiation and solar particle events on a mars journey for several decades now. They are running radiation experiments on the ISS right now with torso-shaped dummys and active and passive radiation sensors to figure out the risk. Such a mission would provide extremely valuable data.
Try the ISS 3D visualization at http://www.heavens-above.com/ISS_3D.aspx

Offline Drkskywxlt

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 152
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #148 on: 02/22/2013 01:34 PM »
A 500 day journey to Mars at $50 million per person could find a market similar to what Bigelow, Boeing, and SpaceX are promoting for the Bigelow commercial space stations. The customers would be foreign government Astronauts, wealthy individuals, and corporate sponsored individuals just like Bigelow's potential customer base.

It's not a 500 day mission though except for certain launch windows.  Hence why they said only 2031 if not 2018.  Not to mention the cost would go up in other windows just because 2018 is a very good launch window energy-wise. 

Offline R7

  • Propulsophile
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2738
    • Don't worry.. we can still be fans of OSC and SNC
  • Liked: 944
  • Likes Given: 663
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #149 on: 02/22/2013 01:41 PM »
If somebody spends his own money and risks his own life for such a mission, who are you to decide if it is pointless?

Decision on opinion. I fear the possible failure/fatalities of this private shoestring budget (last I heard Tito is in the low hundreds of millions in net worth, not much for Mars mission even if he liquidates everything) effort would backlash on future manned space exploration efforts in general. Dying/dead people on failing/failed capsule far far away beyond rescue would make and stay in the headlines, making Joe question the need for HSF even more. Sorry for bringing up the gloomy picture but it is definite possibility in here and would have an negative impact. If the goal was even just quick boots and flags on actual Martian soil then the acceptable risk would be much higher.
AD·ASTRA·ASTRORVM·GRATIA

Offline Afrocle

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 196
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #150 on: 02/22/2013 01:44 PM »
Someone more sophisticated than "Joe Six Pack" might figure out how to lower the recurring costs of this mission to under $200 million, increase the number of passengers to 4 Astronauts, and increase the flight rate to every 2 years (i.e. every Mars launch window versus every 10 to 15 years). This would be a price of $50 million per person for 500 days in an inflatable going to Mars versus spending ~ $30 million per person to stay in LEO in a Bigelow commercial space station

I doubt customers would pop up in scores even if such service would exist right now. 1.5yrs of your life to get a passing glimpse of Mars. Btw somebody has already promised much better service for just $500,000. ;)

I think that they would only have the supply in rockets and spaceships to initially only serve the demand of a "robust" market of only 4 customers every 2 years. They do not need "scores of customers", and they probably actually could only initially serve a market that is 10 times smaller than this "scores of customers". If there really are "scores of customers" for this Mars flight, then Musk could argue to future investors that he has more demand than supply, which is what he consistently tells investors about Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

The $500,000 roundtrip service to Mars from Musk and SpaceX is the optimized version of a service that Musk thinks that he could start in 2028 at a higher price point (of maybe $50 million to start in 2028??). If this lower quality Mars flyby service started in 2018 at a price point in the $50 million range, then it will be that much easier for Musk and Bigelow (or others) to attract the ~ $6 Billion in capital and customers needed for a dramatically more ambitious Mars Colony efforts starting in 2028.

Dennis Tito will probably be gone by 2028, but he could be remembered as the person who started human Mars colony efforts if he is successful with this Mars flyby in 2018, just like Tito is currently most remembered for being the "1st commercial space tourist" and kicking-off Billions of dollars$ in new commercial human spaceflight development after his commercial ISS flight in 2001.

Offline Drkskywxlt

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 152
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #151 on: 02/22/2013 01:47 PM »
I'm sure there will be plenty of people who would volunteer for this.  It really is no different than the first polar explorers or people who attempted to summit Everest.  People died on those expeditions and it didn't stop people from trying.  If the astronauts (and this organization) were good at the Sagan-esque/Tyson-esque motivation for this mission, I think this mission would be a motivator to continue to explore whether the astronauts live or die. 

That said, a "noble" death (e.g., doing an MCO-like plunge into the Martian atmosphere) would be preferable to dying because the oxygen runs out or the ECLSS system fails and there's no where to dump waste, etc...

Offline rklaehn

  • telemetry plumber
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1205
  • germany
    • www.heavens-above.com
  • Liked: 88
  • Likes Given: 154
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #152 on: 02/22/2013 02:06 PM »
If somebody spends his own money and risks his own life for such a mission, who are you to decide if it is pointless?

Decision on opinion. I fear the possible failure/fatalities of this private shoestring budget (last I heard Tito is in the low hundreds of millions in net worth, not much for Mars mission even if he liquidates everything) effort would backlash on future manned space exploration efforts in general.

OK. Fair enough.

But that is a risk that we are going to have to take. The probability of a meaningful traditional government mission beyond LEO in my lifetime or even in my childrens lifetime is basically zero. So I don't see how a dying millionaire could make things any worse.

It's either something like this (a space enthusiast billionaire like musk, bezos, ...) or nothing.

Quote
Dying/dead people on failing/failed capsule far far away beyond rescue would make and stay in the headlines, making Joe question the need for HSF even more. Sorry for bringing up the gloomy picture but it is definite possibility in here and would have an negative impact. If the goal was even just quick boots and flags on actual Martian soil then the acceptable risk would be much higher.

Of course death is a definite possibility. Depending on the funding level I would say that the chances of dying on a shoestring mission like this are pretty high. But so what? People die all the time when skydiving, wingsuit flying, mountain climbing, etc. You don't see a huge public movement to outlaw these activities. Why should space be any different?
Try the ISS 3D visualization at http://www.heavens-above.com/ISS_3D.aspx

Online Ben the Space Brit

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6957
  • A spaceflight fan
  • London, UK
  • Liked: 535
  • Likes Given: 609
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #153 on: 02/22/2013 02:11 PM »
Why should space be any different?

Simply because the media would make a huge spectacle of it, particularly if it is photogenic (launch vehicle or EDS explosion) or prolonged (ECLSS failure).  People die in BASE jumping accidents so regularly that it's routine - not news.  Space deaths are incredibly rare and the media would like to make something of it; they would make something of it and facts wouldn't automatically be an issue in that story.
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

~*~*~*~

The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Online guckyfan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6310
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1577
  • Likes Given: 1380
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #154 on: 02/22/2013 02:15 PM »
As an example on how this would benefit further mars missions:

People have been debating the risks of cosmic radiation and solar particle events on a mars journey for several decades now. They are running radiation experiments on the ISS right now with torso-shaped dummys and active and passive radiation sensors to figure out the risk. Such a mission would provide extremely valuable data.

Radiation experiments on dummys are totally nonsensical. The point of acceptable radiation is the ability of the living body to repair the damage. That ability is being ignored when setting limits. That this method is false can only be proven by sending living people.

Flares or no flares during the mission are of no consequence at all. It is alredy consensual that flares are not the problem and can be shielded quite easily. It is the CBR that is the issue.

Offline muomega0

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 855
  • Liked: 64
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #155 on: 02/22/2013 02:29 PM »
As I've mentioned to a few people offline, there's going to be an IEEE paper discussing the mission that will be presented in about two weeks at their aerospace conference. Jeff Foust was able to dig that out and get a copy, and provides some details here:

http://www.newspacejournal.com/2013/02/21/new-insights-on-that-private-crewed-mars-mission/

Key points (that I feel ok sharing since Jeff made them public):

* Two person mission
* Free-return trajectory that flies by Mars
* Launched on a Falcon Heavy
* Modified Dragon spacecraft
* Privately funded, but leveraging NASA expertise in a few key technical areas (TPS and ECLSS)

While I'm not a manned spacecraft guru by any stretch of the imagination, my read of the paper left me feeling pretty confident that the idea was technically feasible (ambitious? yes. balsy? yes. aggressive mass targets? yes. achievable? probably.)

~Jon
Looks possible, and only just /slightly/ outside of current long-duration spaceflight experience (current max is 438 days, and the cosmonaut was still able to walk afterwards). If you can get people who don't mind being cramped for a year and a half... Maybe pick really small people? ;)

But seriously, this is within the realm of the possible.

Thanks for highlighting the key assumptions, which highlights the apples to oranges comparison of missions to mars and a few questions on the approach.

Free return--do not expect trips every 2 to 4 years.

Significant radiation exposure-interested in mass fractions and total mass versus the 400 tons estimated by NASA with passive absorbers.  For those willing to take the risk, is it still true that 1/3 of the crew's DNA would be hit by ions for each year in deep space?  Is it still true that broken DNA does not repair itself in most instances?

What if one sent crew to the L2 gateway for 2, 6, 12, 24 months prior to this trip to study radiation effects?

Modified Dragon.  It is not even clear why one would send Orion to Mars, so what is the rationale for sending Dragon versus an inflatable?

If the mission is ~ 5years from now, the SOA in TPS (earth return) and ECLSS is already well known, so how does leveraging NASA or industry expertise provide any advantage?  is it to justify the Orion flyby and return missions?   

What would be the advantages/disadvantages of delaying this mission to the next free return?

Online Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10836
  • Liked: 2343
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #156 on: 02/22/2013 02:30 PM »
Question is will children be able to be taken along and, if so, what is the age cut off for travel? Could I be the first young mom space traveler with my son subsequently growing up on Mars?

I believe that they have announced that the minimum age for children allowed on this flight is 5. However, you could probably negotiate that. For instance, if you wanted to bring two 2-year-olds that might be allowable, although they would have to calculate the volume and mass required for diapers. However, as somebody else helpfully suggested here, one way to increase the available room inside the spacecraft is to tie things on the outside, so that might work too!

As for your second question, unfortunately, this mission will not land. But it would be a great way for kids to see Mars, which would inspire them to want to live on the planet when they are older. So why not contact the group and tell them about your situation and see what they say?

Online Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10836
  • Liked: 2343
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #157 on: 02/22/2013 02:33 PM »
For those willing to take the risk, is it still true that 1/3 of the crew's DNA would be hit by ions for each year in deep space?  Is it still true that broken DNA does not repair itself in most instances?

No, neither of these things are true. These are myths that have been created in order to justify Orion, as you wrote. Radiation cannot be seen or smelled, and is therefore not real.

Offline Afrocle

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 196
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #158 on: 02/22/2013 02:36 PM »
A 500 day journey to Mars at $50 million per person could find a market similar to what Bigelow, Boeing, and SpaceX are promoting for the Bigelow commercial space stations. The customers would be foreign government Astronauts, wealthy individuals, and corporate sponsored individuals just like Bigelow's potential customer base.

It's not a 500 day mission though except for certain launch windows.  Hence why they said only 2031 if not 2018.  Not to mention the cost would go up in other windows just because 2018 is a very good launch window energy-wise. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, there are ways to do this every launch window every 2 years versus having to wait until 2031.

They would have to spend more money in non recurring engineering costs on solar electric propulsion ( a ~ 300 kw SEP stage might do it after a chemical upper stage pushes the Mars flyby vehicle and SEP stage rapidly through the Van Allen belts) or other technical options, but these additional NRE costs might be commercially financeable (for missions after 2018 and before 2031) if investors can see that the initial mission in 2018 is credible and has customers.

Offline simonbp

Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #159 on: 02/22/2013 02:54 PM »
Free return--do not expect trips every 2 to 4 years.

Yes, this is almost certainly a one-off stunt, just to prove that it can be done.

The best comparison is maybe SpaceShipOne. It only flew to space a few times, the minimum number it needed to win the X Prize. But in the process, it proved that it could be done, and elevated commercial spaceflight from dreams to reality. Now, they sell tickets to space in Superbowl commercials, and SpaceShipOne hangs from the Smithsonian's ceiling.

Inspiration Mars has a chance to do something similar, but in an even more dramatic fashion. Unlike SpaceShipOne, this isn't just rehashing the 1960s, this is genuinely going where noone has gone before. Engage!
« Last Edit: 02/22/2013 02:56 PM by simonbp »

Tags: