Author Topic: Dennis Tito's Inspiration Mars Foundation Pre Announcement Thread  (Read 45690 times)

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #15 on: 02/21/2013 10:30 AM »
Think of 2x Dragons docked to a central 'Node' module (aluminium or kevlar) that has a life support system, at least 1000 cubic feet of habitable volume, internal 'walls' lined with water tanks and high-density polyethylene, lots of spare parts for the life support system, lots of rehydratable and canned goods... The back end of one or both Dragons is attached to a large storable-fueled propulsion module with extra solar panels. Keep the crew down to two Astronauts and launch the stack of modules out of low Earth orbit with a 'ganged' set of LOX/kerosene propulsion stages - perhaps based on the Falcon 9 second stage.

The above list of hardware would be good enough for a flyby Mars mission - perhaps quite close to the surface during at least a partial daylight pass to relay back high-definition television pictures and commentary from the crew. When the module stack nears Earth, the crew casts off for a high-speed Earth direct re-entry with the rest of the hardware discarded into solar orbit...

Such a mission could be perceived as a stunt, yes. But it would also be a very bold and exciting mission, at least the historical equal of Apollo 8. To Mr Tito and his partners - GO!! Give this a shot. If it fails at least it will be a MAGNIFICENT failure.

Note: My drawings for the mission elements - anyone wanna have a go at linking them together in Photoshop into a 'train' of mission modules? I don't have Photoshop...
« Last Edit: 02/21/2013 10:32 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline thomson

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #16 on: 02/21/2013 11:02 AM »
What if that is one way one person mission? It would decrease the weight budget a lot and make it easier to pull off.

Think about a multi-millionaire that is diagnosed with a a cancer (or other terminal illness) and has only couple years left. There are couple of reasons one would decide to do such a thing.

First would be to fulfill a childhood dream.

Second, you can't take your money to your grave, so you may spend it on something.

Third would be ego based. You managed to have multi-million fortune? Thousands other folks did that as well, you're not special. You want to be remembered forever and have your name in every history book? Here's a trip for you.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #17 on: 02/21/2013 11:06 AM »
A one-person mission might not even need the Node Module I mentioned above - maybe just two Dragons (for redundancy) docked nose-to-nose or maybe one Dragon and one Node/supply module, along with a couple of propulsion stages using hypergolic propellants. Elon's engineers could engine them with pairs of multi-restart Super Dracos.
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Offline aquanaut99

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #18 on: 02/21/2013 11:44 AM »
A one-person flyby mission is certainly doable. Incredibly dangerous, yes, but doable. But if you are a billionaire with a huge ego and maybe not much left to live for on Earth, then why not. Either way, your name in the history books forever; in essence it would be today's version of buying your way to immortality. Heck, if I had billions and knew that I only have a few years left to live, I'd probably do it myself. As noted, I can't take my money into the Afterlife anway. But to be the first human to fly past Mars! Ego trip if there ever was one.

Biggest issue and difficulty would probably be to not go insane out there all by myself during the loooooong trip...
« Last Edit: 02/21/2013 11:47 AM by aquanaut99 »

Offline R7

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #19 on: 02/21/2013 12:09 PM »
* Bigelow hab module;
* Hydrolox kick stage (maybe a dual-engine Centaur as per Golden Spike's idea);
* SEP sustainer;
* Remote assembly at EML-2;
* CST-100 or Dragon CRV, launched to EML-2 by Falcon Heavy.

...  it's their lives and money to risk.

Can Tito afford even one item from that list? Rich man but IIRC not a billionaire.

inspirationmarsfoundation.org and .com were registered .. today .. by a norwegian fellow. Member of Mars expedition or fast domain name entrepreneurship?
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Offline apace

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #20 on: 02/21/2013 12:18 PM »
inspirationmarsfoundation.org and .com were registered .. today .. by a norwegian fellow. Member of Mars expedition or fast domain name entrepreneurship?

Foundation was registered in Delaware end of january this year. So it looks like more like a domain grabber than someone involved. I'm sure, the foundation has already the domains they wanted.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #21 on: 02/21/2013 12:27 PM »
* Bigelow hab module;
* Hydrolox kick stage (maybe a dual-engine Centaur as per Golden Spike's idea);
* SEP sustainer;
* Remote assembly at EML-2;
* CST-100 or Dragon CRV, launched to EML-2 by Falcon Heavy.

...  it's their lives and money to risk.

Can Tito afford even one item from that list? Rich man but IIRC not a billionaire.

A super-cheap free-return flyby mission with one or two crew involves just a dual Dragon (Dragonrider and Dragon-lab), the Dragonrider having the SEP sustainer motors in its trunk and the initial impulse being provided by a series of stacked metholox Falcon Heavy upper stages.

Naturally, this would be even riskier as there would be less margin for contingency supplies and weight/cost limits might mean there is no effective abort-during-escape burn option.
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Offline daj24

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #22 on: 02/21/2013 01:39 PM »
  Sure it's dangerous.  But come on, what isn't?  Now don't jump on me as being insensitive but lets get real.  Last year in the US alone over 32000 people died just commuting in their autos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year).  Thatís about 90 people per day.  And we are going to get all angsty if one or two don't make it in a LOC on a very adventurist mission?  If the chances of success were good I would give it a go!  We have become very risk adverse as a nation.  Yet we still do mountain climbing, skydiving, base jumping, etc. so what is wrong with a little bit of Mars fly-bying? 
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Offline ChileVerde

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #23 on: 02/21/2013 01:46 PM »
May I ask one of our gurus here to make some calculations how a voyage of 501 days looks like with a start in 2018? Fly-by? Mars orbit? Anything else?

There's what looks to be a relevant set of tables at http://clowder.net/hop/railroad/sched.html but I haven't looked at them closely yet.
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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #24 on: 02/21/2013 01:53 PM »
I think it is a trip for some mice or something.
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Online Blackstar

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #25 on: 02/21/2013 01:53 PM »
  Sure it's dangerous.  But come on, what isn't?  Now don't jump on me as being insensitive but lets get real.  Last year in the US alone over 32000 people died just commuting in their autos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year).  Thatís about 90 people per day. 

This is a lousy way to make an argument. Yeah, maybe 90 people per day die in auto accidents, but what is the death rate per journey? If somebody told you that there was a 50% chance that you would be killed every time you got behind the wheel of your car would you ever drive? At what point is that accident rate low enough for you to do it? Would you do it if there was only a 1% fatality rate? (Work it out in your head. You'll realize that even at 1%, there's a pretty good chance you'll be dead in a few years.)

You're making an absolutist comparison when a relative comparison is called for.

Offline ChefPat

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #26 on: 02/21/2013 02:12 PM »
May I ask one of our gurus here to make some calculations how a voyage of 501 days looks like with a start in 2018? Fly-by? Mars orbit? Anything else?

There's what looks to be a relevant set of tables at http://clowder.net/hop/railroad/sched.html but I haven't looked at them closely yet.
According to this it can't be done in 501 days.
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Offline jongoff

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #27 on: 02/21/2013 02:14 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.)

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« Last Edit: 02/21/2013 02:16 PM by jongoff »

Online yg1968

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #28 on: 02/21/2013 02:24 PM »
No habitat module?

Offline DLR

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Re: Inspiration Mars Foundation Press Conference
« Reply #29 on: 02/21/2013 02:29 PM »
If it's a flyby with a single Dragon spacecraft, I give this a greater chance of becoming a reality than the Golden Spike Lunar proposal. All you need is a Falcon Heavy and a modified Dragon with a beefed-up ECLSS and TPS.

It could fly, if they find sponsors and if Falcon Heavy is ready till 2018. Otherwise they'll have to try again in 2031.
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