Author Topic: Development of a Martian export economy  (Read 15951 times)

Offline DanielW

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 464
  • L-22
  • Liked: 323
  • Likes Given: 61
Re: Development of a Martian export economy
« Reply #160 on: 01/31/2018 04:23 AM »
One Item to note is that initially exports will merely act as a multiplier for philanthropic spending. As such you don't have to completely recapture the cost of shipping. The fact that you have to return the ships to earth acts as a kind of subsidy. So maybe all your export economy does is allow the philanthropist to send 11 ships instead of 10.

At a minimum that will at least establish the mechanisms of trade between the planets which can later be exploited by whatever brilliant harebrained notion some entrepreneur comes up with.

Also note that the greatest benefit of a lunar economy would be to Mars is that you could vastly improve the amortization picture.  If every ship first made ten flights to the moon before heading off for a Mars Synod then you nearly cut your amortization in half.

Online speedevil

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 956
  • Fife
  • Liked: 447
  • Likes Given: 473
Re: Development of a Martian export economy
« Reply #161 on: 01/31/2018 07:21 AM »
Also note that the greatest benefit of a lunar economy would be to Mars is that you could vastly improve the amortization picture.  If every ship first made ten flights to the moon before heading off for a Mars Synod then you nearly cut your amortization in half.
Similarly P2P, if it had passenger airframes aged out after 3000 flights.

However, for much cargo, it will not require much thermal protection in cruise, or life support, or anything beyond a bare aluminium cylinder spinning at the proper rate, with small propulsion modules bolted to it to keep it on course.

At some point, you have to question if sending BFS to Mars makes sense for much cargo.
Something like inch thick wall simple aluminium tanks with clip-on navigation packages to get them to Mars, and enough heat-shielding to aerobrake into an eccentric orbit before being caught and landed by something that adds fins like BFS and lands on ISRU propellant. They are thrown to Mars by a BFS-tug, which then does free return around the moon and aerobrakes back into LEO.

Or similar - not saying this is best or even feasible - just that throwing away ISRU fuel and generated energy on the Mars side just to get BFS back to Earth if your sole goal is to get BFS back to earth so you can send them to Mars is odd, if there is absolutely any way to avoid this.
If BFS is in fact able to cycle rapidly, even spending a hundred flights doing things in LEO to get one launch to Mars is probably cheaper than a new BFS.

BFS is awesome, but its design, even if it works out fully doesn't scream 'low cost bulk transport', and something better optimised for that role that doesn't need rapid reusability, needs one landing (or aerobrake pass), and doesn't care about mass ratio is what you should be shipping your cheese wheels to Mars on.
« Last Edit: 01/31/2018 07:27 AM by speedevil »

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5470
  • Liked: 3315
  • Likes Given: 4696
Re: Development of a Martian export economy
« Reply #162 on: 01/31/2018 10:55 AM »
By that point, Martian cheese will be all the rage.  BFS will be used for vital replacements and travelers, workers, settlers.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline RoboGoofers

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 236
  • NJ
  • Liked: 102
  • Likes Given: 166
Re: Development of a Martian export economy
« Reply #163 on: 01/31/2018 04:33 PM »
By that point, Martian cheese will be all the rage.  BFS will be used for vital replacements and travelers, workers, settlers.

Now there's an idea! Aged in transit.

Online Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9467
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 6230
  • Likes Given: 4168
Re: Development of a Martian export economy
« Reply #164 on: 01/31/2018 05:40 PM »
BFS is optimized for the first 20-30 years at most. By that time there should be a robust in space industrial economy and specializing again is worth doing... but BFS, like the conestoga, will have done its job.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27332
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 7273
  • Likes Given: 4990
Re: Development of a Martian export economy
« Reply #165 on: 01/31/2018 11:03 PM »
We're still using R7 60 years later, so... don't count BFR out for longer...
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

Online Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9467
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 6230
  • Likes Given: 4168
Re: Development of a Martian export economy
« Reply #166 on: 02/01/2018 04:41 AM »
Sure. But I would hope that 30 years after BFR starts in service that things have blossomed enough that the numbers are there for specialized vehicles. BFR may still fly many many years after that. Just like DC-3s did.

We're a bit off topic, sorry...
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6530
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 908
  • Likes Given: 5792
Re: Development of a Martian export economy
« Reply #167 on: 02/02/2018 09:05 PM »
BFS is awesome, but its design, even if it works out fully doesn't scream 'low cost bulk transport', and something better optimised for that role that doesn't need rapid reusability, needs one landing (or aerobrake pass), and doesn't care about mass ratio is what you should be shipping your cheese wheels to Mars on.
True, if you have the volume (or the govt funding) to justify special purpose vehicles for each stage of the mission.

If you don't you're looking to build the minimum different number of vehicles possible, because otherwise the integration problems multiply.

Assuming Martian settlement takes off BFR/BFS may be viewed as the Concorde of its time. Big enough to demonstrate feasibility of M2.2 travel, however most people who've looked at >M1 travel reckon you need to go quite a bit larger (although Musk said BFS capacity could stretch to 200 pax a vehicle) to be economically viable.


Consider the "delta V" of Earth travel.
A truck at 70mph is 31m/s. A 140mph freight train, 62m/s. Airfreight (at say M0.9) 306m/s.

Now what is it just to get to LMO from the Mars surface? The other way is 4100 m/s alone, and you've effectively gone nowhere yet, despite >10x the highest delta V on Earth.  :(

Assuming you want to minimize operating costs you want to find ways to lower those propellant costs AFAP.  My instinct (on the Mars settlement narrative threads) was to use a solar driven mass driver in daylight hours to get to orbit (No storage batteries to wear out) coupled with a solar sail system to get the payload wherever it's going.

This assumes there is sufficient demand to bankroll the development of a specialized system.
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C Apply

Tags: