Yes, I expect that Musk has already acquired one of these islands near the landing area that has a preexisting harbor.
Nah. It's just going to stay with using the ASDS barges. Plus E.Musk is so not the type of guy to buy a island in some tropical paradise. His workers would want time off. His style is more like buying his own Stratovolcano, or at lease a fair size cinder cone on the flanks of a Stratovolcano somewhere that's dark, cold, & nothing to do for the employees but to work 16 hours a day.
He could buy a cinder cone property on the Snaefellsjokull penninsula, and have them name it something like "Risastórhelvítiseldflaugheimfyrirríkastamannheims-jökul".
edit: That's mouthful, and most Icelandic people know English, so "loosely" translated, it's just "Elon's big rocket house"
One mostly straightforward change that could help with FH center core recovery would be to stretch the upper stage - allowing for the center core to stage slower. The lower T/W ratio for the upper stage could be somewhat offset by flying a more lofted trajectory, which would also help keep the boosters closer to land.
It already stages lower than others. Lofting means higher abort loads on crew.
Is there a simple explanation/reason for higher abort loads to a higher lofted trajectory with an earlier staging event? Is the higher abort load biased to the booster burn or the upper stage burn for example?
Sorry, abort entry loads. Steeper ascent means steeper descent
So the premise of a second stage stretch precludes human rating due to abort entry loads, but for cargo flights, that limitation isn't present. That does sorta imply that crew Dragon will not do anything other than station runs in LEO with no more trunk capability than is currently present (which has implications on long term trunk cargo size/mass on crewed flights).
It does end up being a manufacturing issue as you have two similar but different second stages to deal with, with the attendant added complexity on the GSE side of things.
If starship wasn't in the wings, having a locked in booster+v5 second stage for manned certification, and the same booster with stretch upper stage for cargo is an interesting scenario, especially if the stretch really doesn't involve much more than adding barrel segments.
Not quite sure what to say about this... Ignoring how it looks...let's think about WHAT it is! Water tank? Has to be, right? For the new flame trench? Can't think what else this size might be needed at Masseys...
Photo Credit: Lab Padre (on Twitter post - fair use)
It might be new as one of the typical purchase options is where you order the base product and have it shipped where a contractor finishes it out at the job site. This is a common method of purchase for special purpose railway tank cars such as those used to transport refrigerants, cryogenics, hypergols, and commodities such as Phosphorus.
fwiw, an optimal 29 km/s impulsive departure burn gives Mars arrival in 30 days with Vinf magnitude (entry speed) of ~ 32 km/s.
29 km/s + 32 km/s = Total mission delta-v 63 km/s. If you can use aerobraking/entry for say 8 km/s of the deceleration, that becomes more like 55 km/s.
If we accept a mass ratio of 6, we need an effective exhaust velocity of 30.7 km/s, or Isp 3130.
If we need a mass ratio of 3 (far less than an interplanetary Starship would have) we instead need ~50.6 km/s or Isp ~5160.
That's way more achievable.
And some of the VASIMR articles were talking about 39 days to Mars, so using electric propulsion for fast transits isn't just me being crazy. The power source is challenging, but I think very thin film solar is less development risk than fusion drive. Also, if you don't quite make it, 50-60 days to Mars is still useful, but if the fusion drive doesn't work you have nothing.