Author Topic: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4  (Read 621406 times)

Offline kaoru

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1660 on: 02/15/2016 04:31 PM »
Here's an updated model with the nacelles.  I assume that the Raptors won't cant more of an angle than that of crew Dragon's Super Dracos.  The only thing missing is heat shielding and external gimbal bellows.  To make a better depiction, I'm going to work on modelling the Command & Control module (was auxiliary control; a better name), Consumables Carrier module, and the Passenger module.

Kaoru
« Last Edit: 02/15/2016 04:33 PM by kaoru »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1661 on: 02/15/2016 06:10 PM »
5 m^3 per person is reasonable if the trip lasted a couple of weeks, but this is going to be at least 3-4 months or more.

Based on diagrams of the original Mars Direct plan, I had calculated the volume of the Earth Return Vehicle crew cabin for each of the four astronauts: 36 m^3. And for 6 months, that was thought to be too small.

ISS total habitable volume is 388 m^3. For 6-7 people (permanent crew, living on the station for months at a time), that is 55-65 m^3 per person.
Musk keeps saying 3 months or 100 days. Some opportunities require a little more energy, but 120 days is fine. So not more than 4 months (except with reduced crew).
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1662 on: 02/15/2016 08:15 PM »
5 m^3 per person is reasonable if the trip lasted a couple of weeks, but this is going to be at least 3-4 months or more.

Based on diagrams of the original Mars Direct plan, I had calculated the volume of the Earth Return Vehicle crew cabin for each of the four astronauts: 36 m^3. And for 6 months, that was thought to be too small.

ISS total habitable volume is 388 m^3. For 6-7 people (permanent crew, living on the station for months at a time), that is 55-65 m^3 per person.
Musk keeps saying 3 months or 100 days. Some opportunities require a little more energy, but 120 days is fine. So not more than 4 months (except with reduced crew).
For a 100 crew size with a 15m diameter 50m^3 /person is a crew cabin of 30m tall. For 30m^3 it is 17m tall.
If it is such a short duration of travel then a crew cabin size of 3000m^3 may work. Even a possible 2000m^3 may work. But for the first missions the MCT crew cabin will be the on surface HAB module as well so if the volume is 2000m^3 then the crew numbers would need to be less than 40 for initial trips. Crew sizes of 25 has been batted around a lot for these missions.

Offline Pipcard

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1663 on: 02/15/2016 08:46 PM »
5 m^3 per person is reasonable if the trip lasted a couple of weeks, but this is going to be at least 3-4 months or more.

Based on diagrams of the original Mars Direct plan, I had calculated the volume of the Earth Return Vehicle crew cabin for each of the four astronauts: 36 m^3. And for 6 months, that was thought to be too small.

ISS total habitable volume is 388 m^3. For 6-7 people (permanent crew, living on the station for months at a time), that is 55-65 m^3 per person.
Musk keeps saying 3 months or 100 days. Some opportunities require a little more energy, but 120 days is fine. So not more than 4 months (except with reduced crew).
I'd like to know where and when did he actually say this. Because I'm not finding it.

Also, with that fast trajectory, what will the heating loads be as the vehicle gets aerocaptured by the Martian atmosphere? And can that thin atmosphere slow it down enough?
« Last Edit: 02/15/2016 08:50 PM by Pipcard »

Offline MikeAtkinson

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1664 on: 02/15/2016 08:58 PM »
5 m^3 per person is reasonable if the trip lasted a couple of weeks, but this is going to be at least 3-4 months or more.

Based on diagrams of the original Mars Direct plan, I had calculated the volume of the Earth Return Vehicle crew cabin for each of the four astronauts: 36 m^3. And for 6 months, that was thought to be too small.

ISS total habitable volume is 388 m^3. For 6-7 people (permanent crew, living on the station for months at a time), that is 55-65 m^3 per person.
Musk keeps saying 3 months or 100 days. Some opportunities require a little more energy, but 120 days is fine. So not more than 4 months (except with reduced crew).
I'd like to know where and when did he actually say this. Because I'm not finding it.

Also, with that fast trajectory, what will the heating loads be as the vehicle gets aerocaptured by the Martian atmosphere? And can that thin atmosphere slow it down enough?

http://shitelonsays.com/transcript/raw-science-elon-musk-on-mars-2013-12-09

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1665 on: 02/16/2016 12:03 AM »
5 m^3 per person is reasonable if the trip lasted a couple of weeks, but this is going to be at least 3-4 months or more.

Based on diagrams of the original Mars Direct plan, I had calculated the volume of the Earth Return Vehicle crew cabin for each of the four astronauts: 36 m^3. And for 6 months, that was thought to be too small.

ISS total habitable volume is 388 m^3. For 6-7 people (permanent crew, living on the station for months at a time), that is 55-65 m^3 per person.
Musk keeps saying 3 months or 100 days. Some opportunities require a little more energy, but 120 days is fine. So not more than 4 months (except with reduced crew).
For a 100 crew size with a 15m diameter 50m^3 /person is a crew cabin of 30m tall. For 30m^3 it is 17m tall.
If it is such a short duration of travel then a crew cabin size of 3000m^3 may work. Even a possible 2000m^3 may work. But for the first missions the MCT crew cabin will be the on surface HAB module as well so if the volume is 2000m^3 then the crew numbers would need to be less than 40 for initial trips. Crew sizes of 25 has been batted around a lot for these missions.
Right, I'm sure the crew size would be much less than 100 at first. And I used to be pretty sure 500m^3 was about the right size for cabin for MCT, squished, yes, but doable for the short trip. And I still stand by that as a possible minimum size per person, at least if you're really clever with how you utilize the space (with sleep schedules rotating, everyone having their own small personal space that they spend at least 12 hours a day in), but I no longer think SpaceX is thinking as small as 500m^3. Probably 1000m^3 or perhaps more. 2000m^3 is perhaps on the high end of what I think SpaceX is thinking of, but I wouldn't argue too much with it until we get more information.

3000m^3 is starting to get too big (IMHO) to be practical (at some point, you're better off lowering the price and sending more people if you have that much room).
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 Robotbeat

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1666 on: 02/16/2016 12:08 AM »
5 m^3 per person is reasonable if the trip lasted a couple of weeks, but this is going to be at least 3-4 months or more.

Based on diagrams of the original Mars Direct plan, I had calculated the volume of the Earth Return Vehicle crew cabin for each of the four astronauts: 36 m^3. And for 6 months, that was thought to be too small.

ISS total habitable volume is 388 m^3. For 6-7 people (permanent crew, living on the station for months at a time), that is 55-65 m^3 per person.
Musk keeps saying 3 months or 100 days. Some opportunities require a little more energy, but 120 days is fine. So not more than 4 months (except with reduced crew).
I'd like to know where and when did he actually say this. Because I'm not finding it.

Also, with that fast trajectory, what will the heating loads be as the vehicle gets aerocaptured by the Martian atmosphere? And can that thin atmosphere slow it down enough?
The heating loads can be dealt with using PICA-X, and yes the thin atmosphere is enough to slow it down since you can dive deeper in. You're right to mention aerocapture, though, as you likely would want to do an aerocapture pass (perhaps two, one to capture in a high orbit, then another to put you in low orbit before doing the final descent), not go straight in for a landing like most Mars probes have done (on a hyperbolic trajectory, it's harder to slow down in time).

...and to make things even easier for you, it'd probably make sense to restrict large payload landings to very low altitude sites (below -3 or -4 km altitude).

And yes, I've calculated that it can be done with a simple 2D simulation I whipped up in Python, so I'm not COMPLETELY just pulling that out of my butt (not that there's any kind of real hardcore fidelity in the simulation, it uses an exponential atmosphere and many other oversimplifications, but it is a /tiny/ bit better than a hand-wave).
« Last Edit: 02/16/2016 12:10 AM by Robotbeat »
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Offline Umbrella

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1667 on: 02/16/2016 03:18 AM »
Some far out speculation.... Everything points to Brownsville for the MCT launch site.  But could the VAB and pad 39a at KSC do the job, at least as a backup option ?  The shuttle fuel tank and SRBs were 15.8 m wide.  So, the VAB doors are about 16m wide and 139m tall (Wikipedia).  Unless there is some reason 39a could not handle 2x Saturn V thrust, it seems doable.  The factory would have to be close to the VAB.  If SLS is cancelled could VAB itself be converted into an MCT factory? One problem might be that VAB is designed for vertical integration and Spacex is geared  to horizontal integration with an erector transporter.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1668 on: 02/16/2016 03:28 AM »
Too high thrust for LC39A. also, SpaceX filled in one of the two flame trenches at LC39a with cement, a difficult action to reverse. a kind of "burn the ships" approach, maybe.

And no way in heck will BFR be built/assembled/etc in the VAB.
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Offline guckyfan

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1669 on: 02/16/2016 03:56 AM »
3000m^3 is starting to get too big (IMHO) to be practical (at some point, you're better off lowering the price and sending more people if you have that much room).

I am quite sure Elon Musk recently said just that. That 100 people may not be the upper limit forever and they may offer "economy class" trips with more. My guess is that they would need some advances in ECLSS to pull that off.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1670 on: 02/16/2016 04:51 AM »
3000m^3 is starting to get too big (IMHO) to be practical (at some point, you're better off lowering the price and sending more people if you have that much room).

I am quite sure Elon Musk recently said just that. That 100 people may not be the upper limit forever and they may offer "economy class" trips with more. My guess is that they would need some advances in ECLSS to pull that off.
I think they may start at trips less than 100. Musk originally gave a range for # of passengers, like 50-100 or something like that. So start with 50, say, and grow to 100 as you become more efficient.
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Online Lampyridae

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1671 on: 02/16/2016 06:32 AM »
5 m^3 per person is reasonable if the trip lasted a couple of weeks, but this is going to be at least 3-4 months or more.

Based on diagrams of the original Mars Direct plan, I had calculated the volume of the Earth Return Vehicle crew cabin for each of the four astronauts: 36 m^3. And for 6 months, that was thought to be too small.

ISS total habitable volume is 388 m^3. For 6-7 people (permanent crew, living on the station for months at a time), that is 55-65 m^3 per person.
Musk keeps saying 3 months or 100 days. Some opportunities require a little more energy, but 120 days is fine. So not more than 4 months (except with reduced crew).
For a 100 crew size with a 15m diameter 50m^3 /person is a crew cabin of 30m tall. For 30m^3 it is 17m tall.
If it is such a short duration of travel then a crew cabin size of 3000m^3 may work. Even a possible 2000m^3 may work. But for the first missions the MCT crew cabin will be the on surface HAB module as well so if the volume is 2000m^3 then the crew numbers would need to be less than 40 for initial trips. Crew sizes of 25 has been batted around a lot for these missions.
Right, I'm sure the crew size would be much less than 100 at first. And I used to be pretty sure 500m^3 was about the right size for cabin for MCT, squished, yes, but doable for the short trip. And I still stand by that as a possible minimum size per person, at least if you're really clever with how you utilize the space (with sleep schedules rotating, everyone having their own small personal space that they spend at least 12 hours a day in), but I no longer think SpaceX is thinking as small as 500m^3. Probably 1000m^3 or perhaps more. 2000m^3 is perhaps on the high end of what I think SpaceX is thinking of, but I wouldn't argue too much with it until we get more information.

3000m^3 is starting to get too big (IMHO) to be practical (at some point, you're better off lowering the price and sending more people if you have that much room).

According to NASA, 5m^3 over a few months is about the size volume where trained astronauts will go bonkers and kill each other, the survivors turning into Reavers who will prey on hapless interplanetary vessels. I've stayed in a capsule hotel before - that's 2.7m^3 of space per capsule, and that's really not a lot.

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20070023306_2007019854.pdf

The only way 5m^3 will work is if the passengers are in hibernation or some advanced form of VR or other disruptive future tech. 10m^3 *might* be doable. Nuclear submarines have 10m^3 per person with hot bunking. Certainly you will want shifts so the passengers don't get in each other's faces too much.
« Last Edit: 02/16/2016 06:41 AM by Lampyridae »
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Offline guckyfan

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1672 on: 02/16/2016 06:53 AM »
According to NASA, 5m^3 over a few months is about the size volume where trained astronauts will go bonkers and kill each other, the survivors turning into Reavers who will prey on hapless interplanetary vessels. I've stayed in a capsule hotel before - that's 2.7m^3 of space per capsule, and that's really not a lot.

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20070023306_2007019854.pdf

The only way 5m^3 will work is if the passengers are in hibernation or some advanced form of VR or other disruptive future tech. 10m^3 *might* be doable. Nuclear submarines have 10m^3 per person with hot bunking. Certainly you will want shifts so the passengers don't get in each other's faces too much.

Much of the stress factor would be the small number of 4 Astronauts. Yes, 4 Astronauts in 20m is a no go. Or 3 in an Orion capsule, which would give slightly over 5m per person.

But 20 in 100m would be a totally different situation, especially if almost always at least half of them would be in their private 2m space. But we are not talking about such a small space. MCT will give much more space, the only question is how much more. Low estimates were ~800m, but now with a diameter of 15m 1500m seem reasonable which is 15m per person.


Offline john smith 19

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1673 on: 02/16/2016 08:14 AM »
A horizontally manufactured large diameter tank would be differently designed and possibly weigh more than a vertically manufactured tank like the SLS. Given the problems with getting the vertical manufacturing setup to stay in alignment it may be easier to do the manufacturing horizontally (lower floor weight support required, easier to maintain alignment).
I always suspected a big part of NASA's vertical tank mfg approach was the tank sections would "sag" under their own weight in different ways and NASA (during Saturn/Apollo) did not feel it had the time to investigate and decided to side step the problem altogether (and continue to do so).

That said given the much lower cost of non high bay work area and ease of movement I wonder if it would have really been that hard to devise a set of movable, adjustable bracing struts to get it back into a circle for the welding.

Incidentally on another thread it was noted that you could move a 10m dia structure around Texas fairly easily.  On that basis a build and fly out of Texas for a 10m MCT design would seem quite feasible, not easy, but feasible.
The only way 5m^3 will work is if the passengers are in hibernation or some advanced form of VR or other disruptive future tech. 10m^3 *might* be doable. Nuclear submarines have 10m^3 per person with hot bunking. Certainly you will want shifts so the passengers don't get in each other's faces too much.
I thought only the British did hot bunking on nuclear submarines, and they'd abandoned it as well in their latest generation boats
[EDIT I've just looked through the study, reading the the firs section in full and skimming the appendices and I can't find the section about metal well being. Could you give a  page number ]
That finding about astronauts (after extensive psychological screening) not being able to cope is pretty worrying.  :(

Not exactly the approach that most shipping companies to the New World operated is it?
There's was more on the lines of "If you have the fare, we do not care."
« Last Edit: 02/16/2016 09:07 AM by john smith 19 »
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Online Lampyridae

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1674 on: 02/16/2016 10:56 AM »
Sorry, wrong link.

http://msis.jsc.nasa.gov/sections/section08.htm#Figure 8.6.2.1-1

http://ston.jsc.nasa.gov/collections/trs/_techrep/TM-2011-217352.pdf

http://ston.jsc.nasa.gov/collections/trs/_techrep/TM-2015-218564.pdf

I'm being flippant when I talk about the passengers/crew wigging out, but this is something crews on nuclear subs have to be carefully screened for. The British still do hot bunking - it's just the junior crew who have to suffer through it. About 1/3 of submariners are discharged for psychological reasons after their first tour. It may be lower (I didn't check the figures) but it's still a terrible psychological toll. Put your average hipster in there and you may find a gibbering mess coming out.

Assuming 18 people can use the same communal space as 6, then 15m^3 looks possible.
« Last Edit: 02/16/2016 11:13 AM by Lampyridae »
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Offline JamesH

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1675 on: 02/16/2016 11:10 AM »
Sorry, wrong link.

http://msis.jsc.nasa.gov/sections/section08.htm#Figure 8.6.2.1-1

http://ston.jsc.nasa.gov/collections/trs/_techrep/TM-2011-217352.pdf

http://ston.jsc.nasa.gov/collections/trs/_techrep/TM-2015-218564.pdf

I'm being flippant when I talk about the passengers/crew wigging out, but this is something crews on nuclear subs have to be carefully screened for. The British still do hot bunking - it's just the junior crew who have to suffer through it. About 1/3 of submariners are discharged for psychological reasons after their first tour. It may be lower (I didn't check the figures) but it's still a terrible psychological toll. Put your average hipster in there and you may find a gibbering mess coming out.

I suspect the average hipster is already a gibbering mess. Putting on in a spaceship will just make him/her gibberouser.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1676 on: 02/16/2016 12:22 PM »
Well too bad, Boomers. The young folk are going to be the ones going to Mars.

Maybe you would've gotten the chance if you hadn't been messing around with drugs in your youth (then racking up a big national debt and environmental damage in your adult lives) instead of building spaceships like these fantastically hard-working and bright young engineers at SpaceX (and other Newspace companies), you would've been able to go. You can just deal with it. :P

(You aren't all bad, Boomers, but if you're going to dish it out, you better be able to take it...)
« Last Edit: 02/16/2016 12:32 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1677 on: 02/16/2016 01:37 PM »
Well too bad, Boomers. The young folk are going to be the ones going to Mars.

Maybe you would've gotten the chance if you hadn't been messing around with drugs in your youth (then racking up a big national debt and environmental damage in your adult lives)
At those prices it sounds like Mars will be the first new territory by trust fund beneficiaries,retirees and ex caregivers.

Which will make for an interesting experience all round.  :(
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1678 on: 02/16/2016 01:48 PM »
To return to MCT..

When you do the really broad brush analysis of this stuff you see what really matters.

Firstly for any chemical (and I think most nuclear) missions propellant is the #1. Almost anything that reduces this is good. I think most people here have no issues about spitting the load by various propellant depot/drop tank architectures.

Perhaps surprisingly #2 is consumables.  A person on a 100 day flight would consume 500Kg of water, air and food open loop.  So say a 100 people are 9 tonnes, their consumables are 50 tonnes.

This suggests ISS grade recycling at a minimum is a good idea as the mass per passenger for the systems is charged once and does not rise on a daily basis. Of course you've got to power that but PV cell & radiator designs have improved since ISS was implemented.

An interesting thought would be what if you launch with the Mars landing vehicle tanks dry and mfg the propellant on route from a stream in the ECLSS?

You've got to take it anyway, why not use it multiple times first?
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Offline RonM

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #1679 on: 02/16/2016 02:01 PM »
Well too bad, Boomers. The young folk are going to be the ones going to Mars.

Maybe you would've gotten the chance if you hadn't been messing around with drugs in your youth (then racking up a big national debt and environmental damage in your adult lives) instead of building spaceships like these fantastically hard-working and bright young engineers at SpaceX (and other Newspace companies), you would've been able to go. You can just deal with it. :P

(You aren't all bad, Boomers, but if you're going to dish it out, you better be able to take it...)

You got a point, but don't count your chickens before they hatch. Elon and SpaceX still have to raise the money for MCT. That's not guaranteed. Thirty to forty years from now you might be in the same boat as us boomers, wondering what happened to our dream.

I wish you luck. I'd love to see a Mars landing during my life.

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