Author Topic: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?  (Read 21040 times)

Offline StarshipSLS

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Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« on: 05/24/2021 07:35 pm »
Poll: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
I love space very much. I like best NASA and SpaceX programs.

Offline electricdawn

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #1 on: 05/24/2021 07:47 pm »
I'm pretty sure that neither of them can get there without the help of the other. This should not be considered a race, rather an enterprise by a united humankind.

Offline ugordan

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #2 on: 05/24/2021 07:47 pm »
Given the low effort of the opening post I'll go along with an equally low-effort, but snarky reply.

NASA already got to Mars in 1965. and then went on to land on it in 1976 so... suck it, SpaceX?
« Last Edit: 05/24/2021 07:48 pm by ugordan »

Offline electricdawn

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #3 on: 05/24/2021 07:49 pm »
I'm pretty sure this is about a human landing on Mars. No snark necessary.

Offline JWarner

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #4 on: 05/24/2021 08:03 pm »
Given that there is no authorized let alone funded NASA program SpaceX will obviously get there there first with a human crew.
Of course NASA isn't stupid and as soon as SpaceX starts prepping the first flight NASA will pay to have their astronauts go along. In addition the astronauts will be the first ones on the surface.

Offline Slarty1080

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #5 on: 05/24/2021 09:06 pm »
Given that there is no authorized let alone funded NASA program SpaceX will obviously get there there first with a human crew.
Of course NASA isn't stupid and as soon as SpaceX starts prepping the first flight NASA will pay to have their astronauts go along. In addition the astronauts will be the first ones on the surface.
I would love to be a fly on the wall when the time comes for staff at NASA and SpaceX to start discussions about the first human landing on Mars (perhaps the discussions are already occurring?). Both seem to have a lot to offer. NASA would be a good political aid and could help ease some potentially sensitive issues such as planetary protection and nuclear power options. And SpaceX would presumably be rapidly gaining the ability to get humans to Mars.

But that said I can't imagine how it would work in detail. Presumably the key discussions would be between Musk, a few top SpaceX staff and key members of the US government? I would have thought lower level discussions would boil away at the lobbying level for years and key players in congress would be aware of the developing possibilities and policy would begin to form with dialogue with NASA acting as middleman.

I would be astonished if congress was taken by surprise by Musk as in - well we're off to Mars whether your coming or not. I would expect policies to be adapted well ahead of the time that smoothed the way with money for SpaceX and a place for NASA.
My optimistic hope is that it will become cool to really think about things... rather than just doing reactive bullsh*t based on no knowledge (Brian Cox)

Offline joek

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #6 on: 05/24/2021 09:22 pm »
Given that there is no authorized let alone funded NASA program SpaceX will obviously get there there first with a human crew.
Of course NASA isn't stupid and as soon as SpaceX starts prepping the first flight NASA will pay to have their astronauts go along. In addition the astronauts will be the first ones on the surface.

Expect they will get there together. Transport is only part of the problem. Assume SpaceX could provide that. Then what? What about all the stuff (payloads) needed to establish an outpost, do ISRU, etc? NASA will certainly have a role to play there.

Offline StarshipSLS

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #7 on: 05/25/2021 12:06 am »
But will Orion or Starship take people to Mars?
I love space very much. I like best NASA and SpaceX programs.

Offline Endeavour_01

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #8 on: 05/25/2021 12:42 am »
As has been stated above it will be a joint effort by NASA, SpaceX, and other commercial and international partners IMO.

I know there are some here who have this pipe dream that SpaceX will go it alone and thus give a giant you-know-what to NASA because such persons hate NASA for some reason.

Truth is SpaceX and NASA have been getting along great for a long time now. It is only natural that they will be partners on this endeavor. What exact form that partnership will take on a mission to Mars I don't know.

I do think though that NASA will be the "lead" or "facilitator" in a very similar way to what is happening now with Artemis (specifically HLS, Gateway, CLIPS, etc.).
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, SS/SH, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline VaBlue

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #9 on: 05/25/2021 01:19 am »
As far as any race is concerned, it'll be between SpaceX/NASA and China.  Can't see Russia throwing any real money at it, other than enough to be named on a team with China.  But the Chinese will do the heavy lifting on that 'partnership'.

Offline spacenut

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #10 on: 05/25/2021 01:32 am »
I think NASA knows they have a vested interest in getting SpaceX some help.  They gave SpaceX sole win on the Lunar Starship lander.  I think they want to be involved to show congress there are commercial players that are serious about space exploration and NASA needs to take a leadership role in that.  A full up Starship launch, orbit, and landing for reuse will open some eyes.  99% of congress and people in general are not paying attention. 

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #11 on: 05/25/2021 01:39 am »
The earliest time frame for a cargo starship landing on Mars is probably after launching in the 2024 window. If starship lands successfully - which there is a good chance it won't the first go - that might start something happening with NASA re: crew to Mars in earnest. There would still be a lot to solve and demonstrate to add in a return trip and go from cargo to crew, so you are probably not talking until 2030 at the earliest. Just consider how long the jump was from cargo dragon to crew dragon.

HLS is a gift for a possible crewed starship to mars timeline because it allows the crew aspects of starship to start development years earlier. It isn't clear that SpaceX has the current resources to fund crewed Starship right now (beyond dearmoon which could be relatively limited on crew commodities for a short trip around the moon - nothing like what you need for Mars).

Offline spacenut

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #12 on: 05/25/2021 02:29 am »
SpaceX is depending on Starlink to bring in the money for Mars colonization. 

Offline su27k

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #13 on: 05/25/2021 02:40 am »
But will Orion or Starship take people to Mars?

Orion won't take people to Mars even without SpaceX, it'll just take people to the Mars Transfer Vehicle (MTV) parked in LEO or NRHO in an all NASA architecture.

To answer the original question: A joint NASA/SpaceX mission would be the best outcome for everybody, agree with Endeavour_01 that Artemis HLS is a preview of this partnership (including the single source award, protests and fight over it in Congress).

I hope once Starship proves itself, NASA can release a new Mars DRM (Design Reference Mission) to make using Starship for human Mars mission official. The impression I got from listening to Chris on NSF Live is that Starship is already in the revised DRM but maybe it's only used for cargo?
« Last Edit: 05/25/2021 06:12 am by su27k »

Offline RoadWithoutEnd

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #14 on: 05/25/2021 05:22 am »
Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?

Yes.
Walk the road without end, and all tomorrows unfold like music.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #15 on: 05/25/2021 05:48 am »
As has been stated above it will be a joint effort by NASA, SpaceX, and other commercial and international partners IMO.

OK.

Quote
I know there are some here who have this pipe dream that SpaceX will go it alone and thus give a giant you-know-what to NASA because such persons hate NASA for some reason.

Whoa! Wow, that is packed with all sorts of weird stuff.

It is NOT a pipe dream that SpaceX would go it alone. Elon Musk started SpaceX to colonize Mars, and not to partner with NASA to do whatever the U.S. Government wants. And Elon Musk has not waited for NASA to get approved for going to Mars, yet SpaceX is proceeding forward with the intent to reach Mars as soon as 2024 with a uncrewed Starship.

And if SpaceX didn't partner with NASA that would NOT be SpaceX giving NASA the finger, since NASA doesn't determine what it does, NASA works for the President and is funded by Congress, so if those two entities don't care about Mars, then NASA isn't going to Mars. So if SpaceX goes to Mars without NASA, it won't be because of SpaceX.

Quote
Truth is SpaceX and NASA have been getting along great for a long time now. It is only natural that they will be partners on this endeavor. What exact form that partnership will take on a mission to Mars I don't know.

It is true that SpaceX and NASA have a GREAT working relationship. And SpaceX understands that NASA is a customer that offers a lot of benefits. But I also think that NASA knows that Elon Musk built SpaceX to colonize Mars, and they will understand if SpaceX decides to not partner with NASA on that endeavor.

Quote
I do think though that NASA will be the "lead" or "facilitator" in a very similar way to what is happening now with Artemis (specifically HLS, Gateway, CLIPS, etc.).

I doubt that, since Congress will be in the middle of funding Artemis (i.e. returning to the Moon) when SpaceX is ready to send humans to Mars. So Congress would have to fund both Artemis and a brand new Mars program in order to make SpaceX a vendor. I don't see that happening.

The reality is that SpaceX is leading the drive to Mars, and NASA is likely to come along as a minor partner, giving the U.S. Government bragging rights, but not enough influence to slow down what SpaceX is doing.
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 raketa

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #16 on: 05/25/2021 06:20 am »
Spacex

Offline VaBlue

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #17 on: 05/25/2021 01:13 pm »
And if SpaceX didn't partner with NASA that would NOT be SpaceX giving NASA the finger, since NASA doesn't determine what it does, NASA works for the President and is funded by Congress, so if those two entities don't care about Mars, then NASA isn't going to Mars. So if SpaceX goes to Mars without NASA, it won't be because of SpaceX.

It is true that SpaceX and NASA have a GREAT working relationship. And SpaceX understands that NASA is a customer that offers a lot of benefits. But I also think that NASA knows that Elon Musk built SpaceX to colonize Mars, and they will understand if SpaceX decides to not partner with NASA on that endeavor.

The reality is that SpaceX is leading the drive to Mars, and NASA is likely to come along as a minor partner, giving the U.S. Government bragging rights, but not enough influence to slow down what SpaceX is doing.

I can agree with this.  I can't see Congress throwing a lot of money at Mars because we just landed InSight and are currently looking at a mission to collect samples.  But I do think Musk will find a way for NASA to attach its name to any manned mission, if even as second or third billing.  NASA will do something to earn it, though - like provide a crapload of systems/insight into maintaining long term space living conditions, and lots of helpful tracking stations.

There is almost zero chance that NASA assistance won't arrive through the HLS program, in some form, with a knowing wink.  Mars will be a shared goal, even if Congress doesn't allow NASA to pay for it.

Offline savantu

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #18 on: 05/25/2021 01:36 pm »
But will Orion or Starship take people to Mars?
Orion will not take any people besides its manned trip around the moon.

Offline deadman1204

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Re: Will NASA or SpaceX get to Mars first?
« Reply #19 on: 05/25/2021 02:15 pm »
I think the obvious answer is - both!

Its gonna take way more than just the bus to get to mars. SpaceX would be foolish to not coordinate with NASA expertise and such when planning. And this is assuming an unmanned trip.

 

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