Author Topic: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4  (Read 568554 times)

Offline TheTraveller

Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2200 on: 06/10/2016 06:49 PM »
a few more teasers before the september reveal:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/06/10/elon-musk-provides-new-details-on-his-mind-blowing-mission-to-mars/

1 red dragon in 2018, 'at least 2' in 2020, then first flight of MCT in 2022...
Bold mine.

That is first fight of MCT to Mars in 2022, which likely means that BFR/BFS first flight would need to be in 2021.

"Then in 2022, Musk said he hoped to launch what the company now sometimes refers to as the Mars Colonial Transporter, designed to bring a colony to Mars."

Says to me, first launch of MCT in 2022, NOT specifically TO Mars, just launch.

Launch 1st BFS into LEO, do heaps of checks, put in a bit of fuel, do a lunar loop & propulsive land on Earth.

Maybe next check flight is to land on Luna and rtn Earth.

No need to wait for Mars synods to do these and other pre TMI burn checkouts of the 1st BFS.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2016 06:50 PM by TheTraveller »
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2201 on: 06/10/2016 06:55 PM »
Mars EDL is different enough from Earth EDL that you're going to have to do a test of MCT on Mars before you send people.
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Offline TheTraveller

Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2202 on: 06/10/2016 07:06 PM »
Mars EDL is different enough from Earth EDL that you're going to have to do a test of MCT on Mars before you send people.

Well an landed and not refueled crewless BFS / MCT would make an excellent hab and start of a Mars base.

Imagine the workshops, repair and other facilities, heavy earth movers, cranes, rovers, power & ISRU plants etc that could be built into and delivered by a crewless BFS that never returned to Earth but became SpX Mars Base 1.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2016 07:07 PM by TheTraveller »
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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2203 on: 06/10/2016 07:07 PM »
Mars EDL is different enough from Earth EDL that you're going to have to do a test of MCT on Mars before you send people.

Well an landed and not refueled crewless BFS / MCT would make an excellent hab and start of a Mars base.

Imagine the workshops, repair and other facilities, heavy earth movers, cranes, rovers, etc that could be built into and delivered by a crewless BFS that never returned to Earth but became SpX Mars Base 1.
Maybe they'll send 2 BFSes the first time, one to return and one to stay.
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 TheTraveller

Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2204 on: 06/10/2016 07:09 PM »
Mars EDL is different enough from Earth EDL that you're going to have to do a test of MCT on Mars before you send people.

Well an landed and not refueled crewless BFS / MCT would make an excellent hab and start of a Mars base.

Imagine the workshops, repair and other facilities, heavy earth movers, cranes, rovers, etc that could be built into and delivered by a crewless BFS that never returned to Earth but became SpX Mars Base 1.
Maybe they'll send 2 BFSes the first time, one to return and one to stay.

That would generate excellent backup as the best could return. Much better than driving several thousand kms across Mars to get to a Ares 4 ascent module.
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Offline raketa

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2205 on: 06/10/2016 08:15 PM »
2022 is planned MCT flight to Mars, because he was talking about Spacex Mars sorties starting 2018 one dragon, 2020 2 dragons and 2022 MCT.
I am sure MCT will be test before on LEO, Luna orbit and luna Surface. My guess first BFR and MCT flight has to be 2020, be ready for 2022 Mars flight.

Offline llanitedave

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2206 on: 06/10/2016 08:51 PM »
I'm extremely curious about what kind of site selection process they'll be going through.
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Offline RonM

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2207 on: 06/10/2016 08:57 PM »
Think about this my friends. We're discussing unmanned MCT to Mars in 2022 and testing before that. We're halfway through 2016. First flight in 4 to 5 years! Wow.

How are they going to be able to build a pad, factory, and MCT in such a short time? MCT must be similar to F9 and Dragon 2 just to cut down on development and testing time. Can't wait until September when we find out what is really going on.

Offline IntoTheVoid

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2208 on: 06/10/2016 09:00 PM »
Launch 1st BFS into LEO, do heaps of checks, put in a bit of fuel, do a lunar loop & propulsive land on Earth.

Maybe next check flight is to land on Luna and rtn Earth.

No need to wait for Mars synods to do these and other pre TMI burn checkouts of the 1st BFS.
If this is the 1st BFS you don't have anything to put in a bit of fuel.

Perhaps Mission 2a & 2b:
  Relauch BFS 1; Launch BFS 2
  BFS 1 refuels BFS 2, or vice versa.
  BFS 1 lands; BFS 2 goes to moon, possibly landing if fuel levels permit return.
  BFS 2 returns and lands.

But certainly agree this is not tied to Mars synods, other than to be done beforehand.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2209 on: 06/10/2016 09:10 PM »
Musk quoted in the Washington Times article:

"At another point he said, “I’m so tempted to talk more about the details of it. But I have to restrain myself.”"

First a bit of irony is that Musk is talking about his plans in a publication that Jeff Bezos owns.

What caught my eye in the article also was this:

"Then in 2022, Musk said he hoped to launch what the company now sometimes refers to as the Mars Colonial Transporter, designed to bring a colony to Mars."

Being a product scheduling professional, my mind started backing off that date all of the physical tasks that needed to happen in just 6 short years.  Including:

- Launch and manufacturing site selection, development, and building and staffing of the factory (assumed to be co-located).

- Production of the first test vehicle, which may not go to Mars but is used only for test purposes.

- Production and testing of the first vehicle to go to Mars in 2022, with test flights to validate it's ready.

- Sources of funding, i.e. money, and lots of it.  Sure SpaceX and Musk will be supplying some part of that, but I would imagine that Musk is working on getting BOMC's (Believers Of Mars Colonization) to contribute too.

And if we're talking MCT, we have to assume the BFR will also be under development.  That is a lot.  I would imagine we'll get a sense of the schedule of events when Musk unveils more details in September, and as he says in the article:

"And he acknowledged that the company would have to “get lucky and things go according to plan” to hit a launch window for manned flight in late 2024, with a landing in 2025."

I'm already crossing my fingers for luck...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline TheTraveller

Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2210 on: 06/10/2016 09:30 PM »
Launch 1st BFS into LEO, do heaps of checks, put in a bit of fuel, do a lunar loop & propulsive land on Earth.

Maybe next check flight is to land on Luna and rtn Earth.

No need to wait for Mars synods to do these and other pre TMI burn checkouts of the 1st BFS.
If this is the 1st BFS you don't have anything to put in a bit of fuel.

Perhaps Mission 2a & 2b:
  Relauch BFS 1; Launch BFS 2
  BFS 1 refuels BFS 2, or vice versa.
  BFS 1 lands; BFS 2 goes to moon, possibly landing if fuel levels permit return.
  BFS 2 returns and lands.

But certainly agree this is not tied to Mars synods, other than to be done beforehand.

BFR, without a BFS load can put a lot of fuel into LEO. So launch BFS on BFR which lands, is refueled and launch into LEO, then transfers fuel to BFS for moon loop around or later Luna landing and return (will need to be a very light BFS or maybe put a BFR tanker in LLO)

For sure SpX will have solved how to maintain methlox in space for a very long time or Mars landing of BFS using methlox Raptors will never happen.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2016 09:33 PM by TheTraveller »
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Offline IntoTheVoid

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2211 on: 06/10/2016 09:39 PM »
Launch 1st BFS into LEO, do heaps of checks, put in a bit of fuel, do a lunar loop & propulsive land on Earth.

Maybe next check flight is to land on Luna and rtn Earth.

No need to wait for Mars synods to do these and other pre TMI burn checkouts of the 1st BFS.
If this is the 1st BFS you don't have anything to put in a bit of fuel.

Perhaps Mission 2a & 2b:
  Relauch BFS 1; Launch BFS 2
  BFS 1 refuels BFS 2, or vice versa.
  BFS 1 lands; BFS 2 goes to moon, possibly landing if fuel levels permit return.
  BFS 2 returns and lands.

But certainly agree this is not tied to Mars synods, other than to be done beforehand.

BFR, without a BFS load can put a lot of fuel into LEO. So launch BFS on BFR which lands, is refueled and launch into LEO, then transfers fuel to BFS for moon loop around or later Luna landing and return (will need to be a very light BFS or maybe put a BFR tanker in LLO)

For sure SpX will have solved how to maintain methlox in space for a very long time or Mars landing of BFS using methlox Raptors will never happen.

BFR doesn't go to orbit; it stages low and slow by all estimations of the professionals on this forum. The only thing conceived that would potentially be able to refuel BFS 1, is a raptor upper stage for FH, but a refueling capability on that, would have a very short product lifetime if you're already launching BFS which will be vastly larger.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2212 on: 06/10/2016 09:49 PM »
It will need two orbiting vehicles. One that gets refuelled and one that does the fuelling run. An ability that needs to be tested early. The tanker may not qualify as MCT.

Offline IntoTheVoid

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2213 on: 06/10/2016 10:07 PM »
It will need two orbiting vehicles. One that gets refuelled and one that does the fuelling run. An ability that needs to be tested early. The tanker may not qualify as MCT.

Well, util the recent article the MCT term had seemed to be in retirement, replaced by the BFR/BFS terminology, and purposefully or not Elon seems to keep the terms 'muddy'.
My point was/is that the first space vehicle boosted to orbit by a raptor powered first stage is highly unlikely to be refueled by anything. It is far more likely that that space vehicle will be the thing expected to do the refueling in the future. If there is a specific tanker version, I would expect it to be the first version launched because none of the others go too far without it. It's also likely to be the simplest version (if in fact there are different versions).

Offline philw1776

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2214 on: 06/10/2016 10:34 PM »
I'm extremely curious about what kind of site selection process they'll be going through.

It will be ISRU driven.  Access to subsurface water if the site selection is for the putative Mars colony.
It will differ from NASA interests to find evidence of past or present Mars biology.
Of course as a transportation company, SX will be happy to sell seats & tonnage to Mars for NASA's quest.
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Offline philw1776

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2215 on: 06/10/2016 10:54 PM »
Musk quoted in the Washington Times article:

"At another point he said, “I’m so tempted to talk more about the details of it. But I have to restrain myself.”"

First a bit of irony is that Musk is talking about his plans in a publication that Jeff Bezos owns.

What caught my eye in the article also was this:

"Then in 2022, Musk said he hoped to launch what the company now sometimes refers to as the Mars Colonial Transporter, designed to bring a colony to Mars."

Being a product scheduling professional, my mind started backing off that date all of the physical tasks that needed to happen in just 6 short years.  Including:

- Launch and manufacturing site selection, development, and building and staffing of the factory (assumed to be co-located).

- Production of the first test vehicle, which may not go to Mars but is used only for test purposes.

- Production and testing of the first vehicle to go to Mars in 2022, with test flights to validate it's ready.

- Sources of funding, i.e. money, and lots of it.  Sure SpaceX and Musk will be supplying some part of that, but I would imagine that Musk is working on getting BOMC's (Believers Of Mars Colonization) to contribute too.

And if we're talking MCT, we have to assume the BFR will also be under development.  That is a lot.  I would imagine we'll get a sense of the schedule of events when Musk unveils more details in September, and as he says in the article:

"And he acknowledged that the company would have to “get lucky and things go according to plan” to hit a launch window for manned flight in late 2024, with a landing in 2025."

I'm already crossing my fingers for luck...

Great post.
My career was hardware/software systems new next state of the art telecom product development. 
When I enumerate the myriad serious steps and when I look at the cash needed, I am very skeptical of Musk's admitted "everything goes right" schedule. But unlike myself as a former VP Engineering/CTO, he won't fire himself when he seriously misses the best case schedule.
When you own the whole thing you can set best case schedules and not suffer the consequences of missing them....unless you run out of cash!  I also have an MBA in finance and do worry about sufficient cash to fund all this.  On top of everything SX is doing, they gotta fund BFR/BFS development, a BFR/BFS factory, a launch complex, a likely off shore launch complex... the list goes on. 
As someone who had to nickel & dime product cost as well as product performance to be competitive, I have industry experience based respect for Elon's product cost management and life cycle cost management.  The guy is a true polymath.
Bottom Line: even if he's years late as I believe he will be, it is civilization changing.
Good health, Elon!
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Offline a_langwich

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2216 on: 06/10/2016 11:32 PM »
Can't wait until September when we find out what is really going on.

Surely the most anticipated speech about space this year, maybe in quite a few years.


Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2217 on: 06/11/2016 12:47 AM »
When I enumerate the myriad serious steps and when I look at the cash needed, I am very skeptical of Musk's admitted "everything goes right" schedule. But unlike myself as a former VP Engineering/CTO, he won't fire himself when he seriously misses the best case schedule.

It's hard to know when he makes schedule proclamations how much detailed work has been done vs gut feel.

Quote
When you own the whole thing you can set best case schedules and not suffer the consequences of missing them....unless you run out of cash!  I also have an MBA in finance and do worry about sufficient cash to fund all this.

I share your concerns.  Certainly he can leverage the SpaceX organization as it exists today, and just add onto it, but there is a lot to do.

Quote
On top of everything SX is doing, they gotta fund BFR/BFS development, a BFR/BFS factory, a launch complex, a likely off shore launch complex... the list goes on.

I've always been on the scheduling side, and haven't had to worry about the money going out (I was responsible for money coming back in through shipping product).  And even with the capabilities that SpaceX has developed, I see schedule challenges.

Quote
As someone who had to nickel & dime product cost as well as product performance to be competitive, I have industry experience based respect for Elon's product cost management and life cycle cost management.  The guy is a true polymath.
Bottom Line: even if he's years late as I believe he will be, it is civilization changing.
Good health, Elon!

Yeah, if he's later than he planned he's still far earlier than anyone else.  I won't complain.  And the entertainment value of it all...   :)
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline RonM

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2218 on: 06/11/2016 01:25 AM »
It will need two orbiting vehicles. One that gets refuelled and one that does the fuelling run. An ability that needs to be tested early. The tanker may not qualify as MCT.

Well, util the recent article the MCT term had seemed to be in retirement, replaced by the BFR/BFS terminology, and purposefully or not Elon seems to keep the terms 'muddy'.
My point was/is that the first space vehicle boosted to orbit by a raptor powered first stage is highly unlikely to be refueled by anything. It is far more likely that that space vehicle will be the thing expected to do the refueling in the future. If there is a specific tanker version, I would expect it to be the first version launched because none of the others go too far without it. It's also likely to be the simplest version (if in fact there are different versions).

I believe Elon called MCT a system. So BFR, BFS, a tanker, etc. would be part of the MCT system.

Offline envy887

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Re: MCT Speculation and Discussion Thread 4
« Reply #2219 on: 06/11/2016 03:33 AM »
BFS without refueling should able to a free return circumlunar mission with a small payload. No need for a tanker version or even a second spacecraft for that.

I think BFS will only have a payload adapter (passenger hab or cargo hold integrated as needed), so a tanker would only differ in tank size and might not be necessary at all.

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