SummaryIn this thread four different types of outer coverings and one type of multipurpose end cap were presented as options for the MCT Propellant Depot. Further analyses will determine the specific surface areas allocated for reflective shield material, solar panels and heat radiators.
Why is a shell needed and why would there be more than one MCT's at the depot at a time?
As to why more than one vehicle at a time might dock at the depot, the premise for a large depot is that there will eventually be a large volume of traffic to Mars, as indicated by SpaceX.
Quote from: Ionmars on 02/10/2016 10:24 pmAs to why more than one vehicle at a time might dock at the depot, the premise for a large depot is that there will eventually be a large volume of traffic to Mars, as indicated by SpaceX. They haven't said anything close to that volume. You realize that would be around 600 people per day and associated depot support launches.
My guess is that a depot will simplify operations for SpaceX or any other company or country using MCT-like vehicles. It just requires enough vehicle traffic to LEO whereby a structure in space will be convenient and will speed up their operation.This structure is pretty simple compared to the ISS. No pressure vessels because it is remote controlled from Earth. Just a framework and an end cap heat shield. As indicated in the "assembly" thread, the framework can be put together with materials lifted to LEO inside one cargo MCT. Probably an efficient project.