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SpaceX Vehicles and Missions => SpaceX Super Heavy/Starship (BFR/BFS) - Earth to Deep Space => Topic started by: jpo234 on 07/06/2016 11:34 am

Title: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/06/2016 11:34 am
What crew would SpaceX send on the first manned mission?

My guess: About 10 people
* Commander/Pilot/Comms
* Pilot/BFS Engineer/Comms
* Doctor/Biologist/Cook
* Vehicle Engineer/Driver
* Chemist/ISRU Engineer
* Geologist/Scout/Driver
* Geologist/Scout/Driver
* Hab Engineer/Builder/Driver
* Biologist/Gardener/Cook
* ??
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: philw1776 on 07/06/2016 12:43 pm
1. MD
2-6.  Flight Engineers/Ground Equipment Support Engineers
7,8: Geologist/Drilling Technicians (Martian water seekers: props to RAH)
9,10: Sundry NASA scientist/flight engineer/astronauts
11,12: Other nation sci/astros paying participants.  Various technical specialties.


Note there are no astronaut/pilots per se because the landing is too quick for pilots.  Everything automated with engineers as fixers.
NASA pays a couple billion for participation.
Other nations pay for seats.
One of 9-12 is either another MD or trained as a medic.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/06/2016 12:49 pm
Generalists.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 07/06/2016 01:00 pm
Quote
* Biologist/Gardener/Cook

Very important. I cannot see the first flight without a greenhouse. Also mostly dry goods which can be converted to good food by a good cook when combined with fresh produce from the greenhouse.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Doesitfloat on 07/06/2016 01:09 pm
I believe you are going to need a geneticist in short order to have a happy crew and eventually a successful colony.
We have never seen a complex organism born off the earth. Everything we know is adapted to atmospheric pressure and earth gravity. What is going to happen when those are removed.
IMHO mice will be the first study. They will be able to get 20 generations in a short amount of time.  Then how about some food. Chicken, pigs, or fish, which will make it.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/06/2016 01:15 pm
I believe you are going to need a geneticist in short order to have a happy crew and eventually a successful colony.
We have never seen a complex organism born off the earth. Everything we know is adapted to atmospheric pressure and earth gravity. What is going to happen when those are removed.
IMHO mice will be the first study. They will be able to get 20 generations in a short amount of time.  Then how about some food. Chicken, pigs, or fish, which will make it.

IMHO while these are important long term questions, I don't see them for the FIRST missions. The first missions will be about scouting and base building.
The long term questions will be tackled when the initial base is up and running.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 07/06/2016 01:46 pm
IMHO while these are important long term questions, I don't see them for the FIRST missions. The first missions will be about scouting and base building.
The long term questions will be tackled when the initial base is up and running.

This is gettin OT for this first crew thread I am afraid. But I actually believe and have stated before that the experiment with mice in martian gravity will be done even before the first flight to Mars. There will be a long term evaluation flight of MCT with crew in LEO before people are sent to Mars in it. Plenty of crew time and plenty of space to run a centrifuge with mice in Mars gravity over several generations. It is that important if you want to build a colony.

For further disussion we should find another thread though.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Bynaus on 07/06/2016 01:56 pm
For the very first flight, which is a technology demonstrator and shakedown mission, you are not going to need geologists, geneticists, etc. Also, I don't think you will have a dedicated "pilot" or such - SpaceX philosophy (even with Dragon 2) is that the spacecraft flies - with or without passengers.

Instead, the first SpaceX astronauts are going to be excellent problem solvers, which have shown a capability to work collaboratively under stressful situations. It would be advisable to have at least two with a medical background. All of them will have some specialities, but all of them will also know their way around all of the systems on board, as well as all the equipment that will have to be tested on Mars. I don't think they will bring 10 people. No more than 7 is my guess, most likely something like 4 or 5.

And you know what? All these people have already been born. They just don't know yet that they will be the first humans to walk on the surface of Mars.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/06/2016 02:15 pm
For the very first flight, which is a technology demonstrator and shakedown mission, you are not going to need geologists, geneticists, etc.

I strongly disagree with this. The technology demonstrator is the unmanned flight that comes before the manned mission.
The crew will probably spend at least a full synodic cycle on Mars. Simply waiting for the ISRU plant to make enough fuel for the flight back will take a long time. I'm sure they will do prospecting, scouting and research.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: JasonAW3 on 07/06/2016 02:19 pm
1. MD
2-6.  Flight Engineers/Ground Equipment Support Engineers
7,8: Geologist/Drilling Technicians (Martian water seekers: props to RAH)
9,10: Sundry NASA scientist/flight engineer/astronauts
11,12: Other nation sci/astros paying participants.  Various technical specialties.


Note there are no astronaut/pilots per se because the landing is too quick for pilots.  Everything automated with engineers as fixers.
NASA pays a couple billion for participation.
Other nations pay for seats.
One of 9-12 is either another MD or trained as a medic.

      The mix that you've given is pretty good, but the whole interface and landing sequence takes a bit over 7 minutes, and as such, we may have a "Neil Armstrong" situation towards the end of the descent that would require manual control of the final phase of descent. 

      As such, at least two of the Flight / Ground Equipment Engineers should be pilots as well.  While it is highly unlikely that those skills would be needed, having a manual back up to the flight computers would be a really good idea.

      While NASA seems to be fixated on the small, 4 to 6 person crew concept, the larger 9 to 12 person concept seems a better psychological mix, as well as a good contingency mix.  As there is a high likelihood of at least one or more of the crew becoming ill, injured or possibly worse, having the additional crew with at least 2 medical generalist doctors in the mix, would go a long ways to minimize the chances of a disastrous mission failure.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: JasonAW3 on 07/06/2016 02:40 pm
IMHO while these are important long term questions, I don't see them for the FIRST missions. The first missions will be about scouting and base building.
The long term questions will be tackled when the initial base is up and running.

This is gettin OT for this first crew thread I am afraid. But I actually believe and have stated before that the experiment with mice in martian gravity will be done even before the first flight to Mars. There will be a long term evaluation flight of MCT with crew in LEO before people are sent to Mars in it. Plenty of crew time and plenty of space to run a centrifuge with mice in Mars gravity over several generations. It is that important if you want to build a colony.

For further disussion we should find another thread though.

Hmm, while it is drifting a bit, for the most part, it wouldn't be a bad idea to discuss what kinds of skill sets are most needed for the initial flights.

     Part of the discussion should be defining the actual goals of the first few missions and what needs to be done on those missions.

     First; do we want the first mission to be purely scientific, limited to environmental and geological (or areological, as the case may be) or a mix of scientific and base or colony building?

      Second; is the first crew intended to come back to Earth or stay on Mars?  A different mix of skill sets would be required for each of these two missions.

      Third; Are we talking about a short term stay of about 30 days or a long term stay between launch opportunities?  Again, a different mix of skill sets needed for each.

      Fourth; Are we talking a localized mission, not exceeding a 100 Km radius around the landing site or are we talking a mission that includes scouting for colony locations that could require a 1000 Km plus radius?  This last one affects both skill mix and crew size for safety concerns.  (Equipment and consumables are also a concern, but not relevant to this discussion).

     Currently, a mix of 9 to 12 crew people with at least 2 to 4 generalists, 7 to 10 mixed specialists including at least 2 general MDs and at least 2 semi-EMT types, mixed into the crew, seems to be the best mission mix.  Sickness, injury or worse SHOULD be expected on the first few missions, and as such a larger crew seems to stand the best chances of both completing whatever primary mission is established, as well as doing so with the least likely hood of crew losses.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/06/2016 02:53 pm
     First; do we want the first mission to be purely scientific, limited to environmental and geological (or areological, as the case may be) or a mix of scientific and base or colony building?

I think it will be a mix of science, scouting, prospecting and base building. They will build a base from where to research the location of the future colony. Colony building would imply, that the very first landing nails the perfect spot for the future colony. That seems unlikely.

      Second; is the first crew intended to come back to Earth or stay on Mars?  A different mix of skill sets would be required for each of these two missions.

I think so. IMHO a permanent stay requires an established colony or at least a big base. This will not be there for some decades.

      Third; Are we talking about a short term stay of about 30 days or a long term stay between launch opportunities?  Again, a different mix of skill sets needed for each.

Long term stay. I think the ISRU plant will take a long time to make the fuel for the return trip.

      Fourth; Are we talking a localized mission, not exceeding a 100 Km radius around the landing site or are we talking a mission that includes scouting for colony locations that could require a 1000 Km plus radius?  This last one affects both skill mix and crew size for safety concerns.  (Equipment and consumables are also a concern, but not relevant to this discussion).

Base building and localized mission. Once the base is up and running (a few missions later), global scouting for the colony site.

     Currently, a mix of 9 to 12 crew people with at least 2 to 4 generalists, 7 to 10 mixed specialists including at least 2 general MDs and at least 2 semi-EMT types, mixed into the crew, seems to be the best mission mix.  Sickness, injury or worse SHOULD be expected on the first few missions, and as such a larger crew seems to stand the best chances of both completing whatever primary mission is established, as well as doing so with the least likely hood of crew losses.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 07/06/2016 03:02 pm
Long term stay. I think the ISRU plant will take a long time to make the fuel for the return trip.

I would agree, it seems to me this would be the way to go. But Elon Musk has said they won't send crew before fuel ISRU is up and running and return fuel is ready.

But I agree it will be a full synod stay and they will be there when the next crew arrives. Some would stay with the new crew, some would go back. With fuel ISRU active and supplies plenty with 100t payload vehicles a two year stay is well doable. The passenger volume for 100 people will be very large as a base for 7 to 12. The skills of people sent will be selected fitting for the goals. I expect a permanent base from the first landing will be the goal set by Elon Musk.

Crew size will depend on how they send them up. I expect MCT will launch with crew but maybe not on the first few flights. If they use Dragon they may send only 7 on the first flight but that is a really small group.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: philw1776 on 07/06/2016 04:36 pm
1. MD
2-6.  Flight Engineers/Ground Equipment Support Engineers
7,8: Geologist/Drilling Technicians (Martian water seekers: props to RAH)
9,10: Sundry NASA scientist/flight engineer/astronauts
11,12: Other nation sci/astros paying participants.  Various technical specialties.


Note there are no astronaut/pilots per se because the landing is too quick for pilots.  Everything automated with engineers as fixers.
NASA pays a couple billion for participation.
Other nations pay for seats.
One of 9-12 is either another MD or trained as a medic.

      The mix that you've given is pretty good, but the whole interface and landing sequence takes a bit over 7 minutes, and as such, we may have a "Neil Armstrong" situation towards the end of the descent that would require manual control of the final phase of descent. 

      As such, at least two of the Flight / Ground Equipment Engineers should be pilots as well.  While it is highly unlikely that those skills would be needed, having a manual back up to the flight computers would be a really good idea.

      While NASA seems to be fixated on the small, 4 to 6 person crew concept, the larger 9 to 12 person concept seems a better psychological mix, as well as a good contingency mix.  As there is a high likelihood of at least one or more of the crew becoming ill, injured or possibly worse, having the additional crew with at least 2 medical generalist doctors in the mix, would go a long ways to minimize the chances of a disastrous mission failure.

I don't see where pilots will be useful.
SX knows where the MCT will land.  This is not 1969 electronics.  Pilots did not take over and fly the Space Shuttle during critical, precise Earth re-entry.  The MCT will do a minimal last seconds landing burn way too precise and fuel economical for a pilot to be useful.  Starting with crew dragon SX will not have any pilots.  So far every Mars landing has been without pilots.  Ten years from today and beyond, astronaut/pilots will be an extinct species.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 07/06/2016 05:40 pm
As far as pilot/commander actions during landing it would be more like the commander/pilot tapping a finger on a location on the screen telling the BFS to "land here" overriding the automated system's choice for landing location. A manual control of such a large vehicle will never be a fully manual capability. It will always require a significant amount of computer and IMU support.

As far as getting crew into orbit from Earth if Dragon is used then 2 Dragon flights for a crew size of 12 to 14.

The idea of having paying passengers is probably a good one. In that for $500M per person NASA or other foreign gov organization can send astronauts on the First Manned Mars Landing. Four passengers could pay for the complete flight costs $2B. If NASA spent the same as it is currently spending in 2 years on SLS/Orion then they could send 6 astronauts for a total payment to SpaceX of $6B. SpaceX could even conceivable make a profit on the flight and still send 6-8 of their own astronauts. A BTW NASA spending this money would happen after SpaceX showed the system can get to Earth orbit and to travel and land at Mars (unmanned). Also it would take a congressional action as well which could limit the amount to as little as $1B and just 2 passengers. Also this is pure speculation of what could happen during the post initial MCT Mars (unmanned mission) in 2022 or latter. I doubt congress will believe in the system until it actually flies and lands on Mars.

Participation by other organizations other than than SpaceX (paying customers probably) would make the primary SpaceX crew one of operation and maintenance with some cross training in base setup. Any scientific including geological survey would be by the customers except maybe some cross training again for a rough geological survey needed for base locating and setup.

The question is how many crew will be needed for the basic support functions (Command, daily operations, setup and maintenance). There also is as mentioned a medical support requirement but whether it would be a computer Expert System assisted regular crew or an actual person could still be debated.

Think of a crew size of 6 being the minimum for operations and maintenance from evidence of ISS. Since the systems will be more automated and even more redundant with the experience of ISS to make the hardware lower maintenance 6 total should be able to do it. That leaves 6 to 8 possible passengers "scientists" that could be supported.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Ionmars on 07/06/2016 10:40 pm
Possible additions: video film-maker; M.D. Specialized in aerospace medicine.

Philosophy: Every passenger trained to operate every machine. One Specialist with in-depth knowledge of every machine.

Manuals:  Google access to Earth libraries; "100 uses for duct tape."  :)
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: CuddlyRocket on 07/06/2016 11:19 pm
What crew would SpaceX send on the first manned mission?

Diverse with respect to gender, race and possibly sexuality. Not disability though. Mostly American, but other nationalities if some nations are willing to cough up the cash. Telegenic and articulate (yes, professionally competent in a relevant skill, but the two are not incompatible and PR will be a relevant skill).

First; do we want the first mission to be purely scientific, limited to environmental and geological (or areological, as the case may be) or a mix of scientific and base or colony building?

I think you've got your priorities the wrong way round here! That might be the way NASA would think, but SpaceX is all about a colony - its priority will be base or colony building. Scientific research will likely be limited to applied research in support of that goal or that carried out on behalf of organisations willing to pay for it.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Lar on 07/07/2016 02:06 am
I love this thread!

I think Heinlein had it right, specialization is for insects, and as with SiaSL, each crew member needs to be trained in EVERYTHING. There will be accidents, deaths, temporary disasters, etc with the crew possibly divided, temporarily stranded, etc, and the truck factor[1] needs to be very high. 

We have the internet and compact storage and comms, so it makes sense to take the sum of human knowledge with us, and have experts on tap back on Earth, but in an emergency (for at least certain classes of emergency) you do not have time to consult the manual, you need at least basic familiarity with the equipment that is reflexive.

I like the OP list of skills but everyone needs everything at least a little. (I do agree with others upthread that piloting the MCT itself may not be AS important, but I think there will be a lot of piloting to do, if only UAVs or hoppers, or etc...

1 - IT joke, look at the skills needed for your project. If someone is the only person with a given skill, you are at truck factor one. One truck hitting one person and your project is dead in the water....
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: ThereIWas3 on 07/07/2016 02:43 am
Scientific research will likely be limited to applied research in support of that goal or that carried out on behalf of organisations willing to pay for it.

I think the Musk way of looking at it is that exploring Mars for scientific purposes, learning about the origin of planets, etc, is a good project for the settlers to undertake once they are there.   The early mssions will be about building the infrastructure to support a population that includes such scientists.  Early geologists will be there to help locate resources.

On the earliest missions, I would take the approach the Navy does in training submarine crews (at least, how they used to do it):  Everyone on board can perform every job on board in an emergency, in addition to their specific assigned duty.   That does not mean that everyone on board can do everything the physician can in an operating room, but they will have had some amount of paramedical training.  Zubrin's oringinal plan was that everyone be good at two main jobs.

I once asked a member of the crew on one of those recreations of a 16th century square-rigged sailing ship why they carried (in the old days) such large crews of a couple hundred men, when these days they could sail the ship with a crew of under 20..  The answer was, "for spares".  People fall overboard, and a square-rigged ship can't turn around to pick you up.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: su27k on 07/07/2016 02:57 am
Even something as "simple" as going to the ISS will require two demo flights: one unmanned demo and one manned demo. So you can bet NASA will require a manned test flight first, i.e. no paid customers, no foreigners, no scientists, just enough astronauts and engineers to do a viable mission, # of people is probably 4 to 6 given past mission designs. And they won't stay on Mars for long if an immediate return is at all possible, just a quick look around, plant a flag, then back. The intention is to verify the whole system works with people in it, the other stuff can be left to later missions.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: llanitedave on 07/07/2016 03:06 am
As far as pilot/commander actions during landing it would be more like the commander/pilot tapping a finger on a location on the screen telling the BFS to "land here" overriding the automated system's choice for landing location. A manual control of such a large vehicle will never be a fully manual capability. It will always require a significant amount of computer and IMU support.

The crew would have little to no opportunity to review the quality of the landing site prior to the final approach.  If any last-minute change to the landing site is required, it's will probably be initiated by the ground.  There's just no need for crew control.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: RonM on 07/07/2016 03:37 am
As far as pilot/commander actions during landing it would be more like the commander/pilot tapping a finger on a location on the screen telling the BFS to "land here" overriding the automated system's choice for landing location. A manual control of such a large vehicle will never be a fully manual capability. It will always require a significant amount of computer and IMU support.

The crew would have little to no opportunity to review the quality of the landing site prior to the final approach.  If any last-minute change to the landing site is required, it's will probably be initiated by the ground.  There's just no need for crew control.

What ground? Hope you're not talking about Mission Control. Don't forget the communications delay between Earth and Mars. On the first manned mission the crew will be on their own. Maybe later once a base is established there can be a Mars Mission Control.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 07/07/2016 03:42 am
Even something as "simple" as going to the ISS will require two demo flights: one unmanned demo and one manned demo. So you can bet NASA will require a manned test flight first, i.e. no paid customers, no foreigners, no scientists, just enough astronauts and engineers to do a viable mission, # of people is probably 4 to 6 given past mission designs. And they won't stay on Mars for long if an immediate return is at all possible, just a quick look around, plant a flag, then back. The intention is to verify the whole system works with people in it, the other stuff can be left to later missions.

Sure there will be such missions. But such tests will be done in cislunar space, probably LEO. Once the vehicle is tested out that way, they can send the first crew and it would not be a 4 person flight. If for no other reason then for psychological ones. A 4 person crew would need to be selected with NASA missions for compatibility and stress resistance. Meaning they would be NASA astronaut types. A larger group is much less likely to have these stress factors and can be selected to other criteria.

Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 07/07/2016 03:50 am

The crew would have little to no opportunity to review the quality of the landing site prior to the final approach.  If any last-minute change to the landing site is required, it's will probably be initiated by the ground.  There's just no need for crew control.

I think you underestimate what can be determined by orbital surveillance around Mars. I was surprised how many things they evaluated for potential NASA landing sites and how much they know, that they need to know. They will come down on the exact location that was determined from such data sets. No last minute changes initiated by a pilot.

Unlikely but not impossible that for some reason the landing site changes during flight due to new data. I think they did that with Opportunity. After they knew that Spirit was safely on the ground, they selected a landing site with slightly more risk. If memory serves me on this one. But that would be done from the ground on earth weeks or days before landing.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: the_other_Doug on 07/07/2016 04:17 am
Even something as "simple" as going to the ISS will require two demo flights: one unmanned demo and one manned demo. So you can bet NASA will require a manned test flight first, i.e. no paid customers, no foreigners, no scientists, just enough astronauts and engineers to do a viable mission, # of people is probably 4 to 6 given past mission designs. And they won't stay on Mars for long if an immediate return is at all possible, just a quick look around, plant a flag, then back. The intention is to verify the whole system works with people in it, the other stuff can be left to later missions.

Sure there will be such missions. But such tests will be done in cislunar space, probably LEO. Once the vehicle is tested out that way, they can send the first crew and it would not be a 4 person flight. If for no other reason then for psychological ones. A 4 person crew would need to be selected with NASA missions for compatibility and stress resistance. Meaning they would be NASA astronaut types. A larger group is much less likely to have these stress factors and can be selected to other criteria.

I would also reiterate that this is not a NASA mission, and as such NASA won't have any real say-so as to what kind of precursor flights are required before people leave for Mars.

If NASA and SpaceX agree that NASA will send some of their astronauts as crew, then NASA has the right to say whether or not they will let their people fly.  But that's really it.

As we've discussed, I certainly expect that the first SpaceX expedition to Mars will likely carry some NASA astronauts.  But it won't be a NASA mission, and as such will not be under the command of NASA flight control.  At farther than cislunar distances, command and control functions will devolve completely to onboard systems and personnel regardless, so it won't really matter, but still...
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Impaler on 07/07/2016 04:31 am
I think 10 is a bit much.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Dalhousie on 07/07/2016 05:10 am
I love this thread!

I think Heinlein had it right, specialization is for insects, and as with SiaSL, each crew member needs to be trained in EVERYTHING. There will be accidents, deaths, temporary disasters, etc with the crew possibly divided, temporarily stranded, etc, and the truck factor[1] needs to be very high. 

We have the internet and compact storage and comms, so it makes sense to take the sum of human knowledge with us, and have experts on tap back on Earth, but in an emergency (for at least certain classes of emergency) you do not have time to consult the manual, you need at least basic familiarity with the equipment that is reflexive.

I like the OP list of skills but everyone needs everything at least a little. (I do agree with others upthread that piloting the MCT itself may not be AS important, but I think there will be a lot of piloting to do, if only UAVs or hoppers, or etc...

1 - IT joke, look at the skills needed for your project. If someone is the only person with a given skill, you are at truck factor one. One truck hitting one person and your project is dead in the water....

Heinlein did not have a clue about how societies and expeditions work.  Yes, people will be multi-skilled and cross trained, but they will still be specialists.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Lar on 07/07/2016 05:32 am
Even something as "simple" as going to the ISS will require two demo flights: one unmanned demo and one manned demo. So you can bet NASA will require a manned test flight first, i.e. no paid customers, no foreigners, no scientists, just enough astronauts and engineers to do a viable mission, # of people is probably 4 to 6 given past mission designs. And they won't stay on Mars for long if an immediate return is at all possible, just a quick look around, plant a flag, then back. The intention is to verify the whole system works with people in it, the other stuff can be left to later missions.

Doubt very much that NASA will have this much say in how things are organized. Musk is not interested in flags and footprints, and expects some losses.

Heinlein did not have a clue about how societies and expeditions work.  Yes, people will be multi-skilled and cross trained, but they will still be specialists.
He was an officer in the USN between the wars so I'm assuming SOME familiarity with expeditions and shipboard operations and the like. (didn't have a clue is a bit strong)

I am not saying there won't be specialists but in a crew of 10, I would hope 3 were really good at each important area and everyone was cross trained.  One doctor, 2 that can do an appendectomy, diagnose common illness and injury, etc... everyone can do first aid. Same for every other specialty.  Which means a lot of polymaths, I think.


I think 10 is a bit much.

Why? seems prudent and given the number of specialties, less may not be enough to allow redundancy. We can't all be like Watney
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Zed_Noir on 07/07/2016 05:45 am
...
I think we should send James Cameron.
No. He will send himself as a paying customer if he can pass the physical and the wife permits. Also if he finishes the Avatar sequel films on time.

Cameron should tale care of all media & PR needs of the mission.

Maybe Musk will ask him to be be on the first mission. After all he is only one of three persons to touch down in the Mariana Trench.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Bynaus on 07/07/2016 06:29 am
For the very first flight, which is a technology demonstrator and shakedown mission, you are not going to need geologists, geneticists, etc.

I strongly disagree with this. The technology demonstrator is the unmanned flight that comes before the manned mission.
The crew will probably spend at least a full synodic cycle on Mars. Simply waiting for the ISRU plant to make enough fuel for the flight back will take a long time. I'm sure they will do prospecting, scouting and research.

I guess this gets us into semantics, but yes, of course, the unmanned precursor is also a technology demonstrator / shake-down mission. Also, I presume we will see BFS flights in cislunar space before the manned Mars mission.

Nevertheless, on the first mission, you want as little things to go wrong as possible. Just show that you are actually capable of bringing people to Mars and back again - thats ambitious enough!!! Similar to the first Red Dragon: it will be an EDL demonstrator mission - everything else is bonus.

That first mission has to be as "bare bones" as possible. Bring the crew (I think even Elon recently said the first crews would be small to risk as few lifes as possible) there with plenty of redundant systems, let them test new technology (e.g., ISRU) without being too dependent on it, let them do some basic science (as the time allows), then bring them back relatively quickly and safely. This is the baseline, you can always take it from there into a full-fledged colonization program. I still think bringing in the hydrogen for the return fuel would be the simplest approach for the first few flights, when ISRU using Martian subsurface or atmospheric hydrogen has not yet been demonstrated, and it allows you to produce all your fuel in a comparatively short time in case anything goes wrong.

The crew that flies is one that conforms to this kind of mission profile: Resiliant, adventurous tinkerers.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/07/2016 06:36 am
What crew would SpaceX send on the first manned mission?

Diverse with respect to gender, race and possibly sexuality. Not disability though. Mostly American, but other nationalities if some nations are willing to cough up the cash. Telegenic and articulate (yes, professionally competent in a relevant skill, but the two are not incompatible and PR will be a relevant skill).

This begs the question: Is that much diversity compatible with a tight knit crew? There must be bodies of research in the psychology of crew selection. What does it say about diversity? The more the merrier? Or the opposite?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/07/2016 06:42 am
Inspiration Mars (Whatever happened to them??) planned to send an older couple beyond child bearing age to Mars. The rationale was threefold:
1) They would not pass radiation damage to eventual kids.
2) They would have less time left to develop cancer from radiation damage.
3) Older = more mature = more psychological stable

1) could be mitigated by freezing germ cells before the start of the mission, 3) is up for debate but 2) seems to be solid.  So: Average age of the crew around 50?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 07/07/2016 06:54 am
2) They would have less time left to develop cancer from radiation damage.

2) seems to be solid.  So: Average age of the crew around 50?

The round trip time for Inspiration Mars is very long, all the time in space. A first crew landing on Mars would receive not nearly as much radiation, even with a 2 year stay on Mars and limited radiation protection on the surface.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/07/2016 06:59 am
I don't see where pilots will be useful.
SX knows where the MCT will land.  This is not 1969 electronics. 

I think the motto of the mission will be: Expect the unexpected. While I agree that the landing will be beyond a human to handle, is there really no contingency where a manual override could be necessary to save the mission?

Pilots did not take over and fly the Space Shuttle during critical, precise Earth re-entry. 

Wrong. All Shuttle landings where manual. In fact, the first and only test of the autoland system during STS-3 was a debacle and commander Jack R. Lousma had to take over.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/07/2016 07:06 am
I once asked a member of the crew on one of those recreations of a 16th century square-rigged sailing ship why they carried (in the old days) such large crews of a couple hundred men, when these days they could sail the ship with a crew of under 20..  The answer was, "for spares".  People fall overboard, and a square-rigged ship can't turn around to pick you up.

That was true for Man-of-wars. They had a crew that could absorb battle losses (the "spares") and do the fighting. Merchants had much smaller crews.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/07/2016 08:26 am
This is not 1969 electronics.

BTW: What automation would be available? Space certified electronics usually lags far behind what is available on earth. Something suitable in LEO might not survive the harder radiation environment outside Earth's magnetic field.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: JamesH65 on 07/07/2016 09:22 am
I don't see where pilots will be useful.
SX knows where the MCT will land.  This is not 1969 electronics. 

I think the motto of the mission will be: Expect the unexpected. While I agree that the landing will be beyond a human to handle, is there really no contingency where a manual override could be necessary to save the mission?

Pilots did not take over and fly the Space Shuttle during critical, precise Earth re-entry. 

Wrong. All Shuttle landings where manual. In fact, the first and only test of the autoland system during STS-3 was a debacle and commander Jack R. Lousma had to take over.

I think you missed the bit about 'precise Earth re-rentry', which AIUI was computer controlled.

He wasn't talking about the landing - although the tech for that is solved for airliners, and therefore for shuttle, should it fly again!

Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/07/2016 09:31 am
I think you missed the bit about 'precise Earth re-rentry', which AIUI was computer controlled.

He wasn't talking about the landing - although the tech for that is solved for airliners, and therefore for shuttle, should it fly again!

Hmm. Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle#Re-entry_and_landing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle#Re-entry_and_landing) says:
Quote from: Wikipedia
Almost the entire Space Shuttle re-entry procedure, except for lowering the landing gear and deploying the air data probes, was normally performed under computer control. However, the re-entry could be flown entirely manually if an emergency arose. The approach and landing phase could be controlled by the autopilot, but was usually hand flown.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: su27k on 07/07/2016 02:04 pm
Even something as "simple" as going to the ISS will require two demo flights: one unmanned demo and one manned demo. So you can bet NASA will require a manned test flight first, i.e. no paid customers, no foreigners, no scientists, just enough astronauts and engineers to do a viable mission, # of people is probably 4 to 6 given past mission designs. And they won't stay on Mars for long if an immediate return is at all possible, just a quick look around, plant a flag, then back. The intention is to verify the whole system works with people in it, the other stuff can be left to later missions.

Sure there will be such missions. But such tests will be done in cislunar space, probably LEO. Once the vehicle is tested out that way, they can send the first crew and it would not be a 4 person flight. If for no other reason then for psychological ones. A 4 person crew would need to be selected with NASA missions for compatibility and stress resistance. Meaning they would be NASA astronaut types. A larger group is much less likely to have these stress factors and can be selected to other criteria.

I would also reiterate that this is not a NASA mission, and as such NASA won't have any real say-so as to what kind of precursor flights are required before people leave for Mars.

If NASA and SpaceX agree that NASA will send some of their astronauts as crew, then NASA has the right to say whether or not they will let their people fly.  But that's really it.

As we've discussed, I certainly expect that the first SpaceX expedition to Mars will likely carry some NASA astronauts.  But it won't be a NASA mission, and as such will not be under the command of NASA flight control.  At farther than cislunar distances, command and control functions will devolve completely to onboard systems and personnel regardless, so it won't really matter, but still...

If NASA only jumps in at the last possible moment, then yes your scenario can happen. But I'm hoping the administration and congress would be smart enough to see the inevitable and allow NASA to join the effort early in a public-private partnership. If NASA put up significant funding for development (like COTS and CC), then they will have a say on mission design and I fully expect NASA flight control supports the mission and a NASA astronaut will be the commander. Really it's win-win for everyone, since I'm not sure SpaceX has sufficient funding to make the 2024 window on their own.

And there're also practical reasons for a small crew on the first flights, even if SpaceX wants to do this on their own:
1. Less people means less strain on ECLSS, remember 6 people is all we can support right now on ISS, a 12 person crew would double the current state of art in terms of long term ECLSS. I'm sure given enough time they can push the envelope, but if they want to make the 2024 window they need to pick their battles.
2. Less people also means less consumable to bring alone. I don't know the exact tonnage but I expect it would be significant, especially if you run part of the ECLSS in open loop.
3. Also given SpaceX's iterative development methodology, don't be surprised if the first generation MCT could only land 50mt on Mars, another reason you don't want to bring everyone plus the cook on the first mission...
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/07/2016 02:22 pm
2. Less people also means less consumable to bring alone. I don't know the exact tonnage but I expect it would be significant, especially if you run part of the ECLSS in open loop.

From Human Needs: Sustaining Life During Exploration (http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/everydaylife/jamestown-needs-fs.html)
Quote from: NASA Fact Sheet
A crew of four on a three-year martian mission eating only three meals each day would need to carry more than 24,000 pounds (10,886 kilograms) of food.

With consumables pre-deployed by the unmanned precursor mission in 2022, a crew of 10 would be in range.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: JamesH65 on 07/07/2016 02:49 pm
I think you missed the bit about 'precise Earth re-rentry', which AIUI was computer controlled.

He wasn't talking about the landing - although the tech for that is solved for airliners, and therefore for shuttle, should it fly again!

Hmm. Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle#Re-entry_and_landing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle#Re-entry_and_landing) says:
Quote from: Wikipedia
Almost the entire Space Shuttle re-entry procedure, except for lowering the landing gear and deploying the air data probes, was normally performed under computer control. However, the re-entry could be flown entirely manually if an emergency arose. The approach and landing phase could be controlled by the autopilot, but was usually hand flown.

Er, isn't that what I said? The re-entry was computer controlled. The landing was manual (even though it didn't need to be)
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: rickyramjet on 07/07/2016 03:28 pm
What crew would SpaceX send on the first manned mission?

My guess: About 10 people
* Commander/Pilot/Comms
* Pilot/BFS Engineer/Comms
* Doctor/Biologist/Cook
* Vehicle Engineer/Driver
* Chemist/ISRU Engineer
* Geologist/Scout/Driver
* Geologist/Scout/Driver
* Hab Engineer/Builder/Driver
* Biologist/Gardener/Cook
* ??
Skills like driver and cook and Comms are things that can be done by anyone with basic training.  I think it would be important to have more than one doctor, in case he is the one that gets sick.  If this crew is going to be there for any length of time, you probably want to have a couple of dentists in the mix too.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Lar on 07/07/2016 04:11 pm

From Human Needs: Sustaining Life During Exploration (http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/everydaylife/jamestown-needs-fs.html)
Quote from: NASA Fact Sheet
A crew of four on a three-year martian mission eating only three meals each day would need to carry more than 24,000 pounds (10,886 kilograms) of food.

With consumables pre-deployed by the unmanned precursor mission in 2022, a crew of 10 would be in range.

"Carry" ? Not necessarily.... "Have means to generate" 10K kg of food? Yes, of course.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/07/2016 04:59 pm
460grams per day of Soylent would require just ONE FIFTH that amount, about 2000kg of food for 4 crew and 3 years.

You could drop that to about 300 grams per day with a lipids-heavy diet, but one-fifth is a pretty good number.

And if they complain, then send astronauts that don't care about it. Or if they want different food, then they can grow it themselves.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 07/07/2016 06:17 pm
460grams per day of Soylent would require just ONE FIFTH that amount, about 2000kg of food for 4 crew and 3 years.

It is not necessary to go to such extremes. Dry goods like flour, rice, noodles, cooking oil, dried meat, legumes, milk powder, quark powder, egg powder, dried fruit, allows a varied diet with a good cook and some herbs and vegetables as local produce. That would not require that much more weight than soylent.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/07/2016 06:35 pm
460grams per day of Soylent would require just ONE FIFTH that amount, about 2000kg of food for 4 crew and 3 years.

It is not necessary to go to such extremes. Dry goods like flour, rice, noodles, cooking oil, dried meat, legumes, milk powder, quark powder, egg powder, dried fruit, allows a varied diet with a good cook and some herbs and vegetables as local produce. That would not require that much more weight than soylent.
Soylent is good, can be flavored. Super convenient, saves you time and mass of cooking equipment, too.

I think it's worth making a few astronauts eat Soylent and use that few billion dollars you'll save to build out surface equipment for long-term food production.

Just countering the idea that 3 years and 4 astronauts necessarily means 10 tons of food, as if it's some sort of law of nature.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 07/07/2016 06:48 pm
Just countering the idea that 3 years and 4 astronauts necessarily means 10 tons of food, as if it's some sort of law of nature.

We are sure in agreement on that point.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: llanitedave on 07/07/2016 07:21 pm

The crew would have little to no opportunity to review the quality of the landing site prior to the final approach.  If any last-minute change to the landing site is required, it's will probably be initiated by the ground.  There's just no need for crew control.

I think you underestimate what can be determined by orbital surveillance around Mars. I was surprised how many things they evaluated for potential NASA landing sites and how much they know, that they need to know. They will come down on the exact location that was determined from such data sets. No last minute changes initiated by a pilot.

Unlikely but not impossible that for some reason the landing site changes during flight due to new data. I think they did that with Opportunity. After they knew that Spirit was safely on the ground, they selected a landing site with slightly more risk. If memory serves me on this one. But that would be done from the ground on earth weeks or days before landing.

You're agreeing with me.  Changes to the landing site would not be made during the atmospheric entry period.  They would be made well in advance.  Those changes could be uploaded by controllers from Earth, or by the crew in route.  But it wouldn't require a "pilot" making changes in real time.  That simply wouldn't be possible.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: BobHk on 07/07/2016 07:24 pm
Small females, the entire crew.  Females consume on the order of half the gasses and food a male does.  They're just as qualified in STEM.  IMHO this is what the crew should be.  Mars will probably need a LOT of females to have a viable breeding population as well, so we should get used to a lopsided crew compliment of females.  We won't need a lot of astronauts on the surface of Mars, they'd be wasted there.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: MajorBringdown on 07/07/2016 08:50 pm
Soylent is good...

I'm not sure 'good' is the word I would use to describe soylent... I think adequate is a closer description.  I think the downside of relying solely on something like soylent would be the morale-draining nature of consuming nothing but gritty smoothies during the entire trip.

Scene - Mars colony, sol 1045
Mars colonist #1 - What's for breakfast?
Mars colonist #2 - Chewy dirt-water flavoured with 'orange drink' powder... again...
Mars colonist #1 - <sigh> Where's the nearest airlock?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/07/2016 08:58 pm
Soylent is good...

I'm not sure 'good' is the word I would use to describe soylent... I think adequate is a closer description.  I think the downside of relying solely on something like soylent would be the morale-draining nature of consuming nothing but gritty smoothies during the entire trip.

Scene - Mars colony, sol 1045
Mars colonist #1 - What's for breakfast?
Mars colonist #2 - Chewy dirt-water flavoured with 'orange drink' powder... again...
Mars colonist #1 - <sigh> Where's the nearest airlock?
Colonists will be growing their own food.

Explorers will have to make do (or at least they would if I were in charge. ;) ).
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: MajorBringdown on 07/07/2016 09:04 pm
Soylent is good...

I'm not sure 'good' is the word I would use to describe soylent... I think adequate is a closer description.  I think the downside of relying solely on something like soylent would be the morale-draining nature of consuming nothing but gritty smoothies during the entire trip.

Scene - Mars colony, sol 1045
Mars colonist #1 - What's for breakfast?
Mars colonist #2 - Chewy dirt-water flavoured with 'orange drink' powder... again...
Mars colonist #1 - <sigh> Where's the nearest airlock?
Colonists will be growing their own food.

Explorers will have to make do (or at least they would if I were in charge. ;) ).

I agree that they will grow their own food, eventually.  In the first few years though I suspect it will mostly/all be pre-packaged stuff from Earth.

In any case, something like soylent is probably going to be a key component of the food supply.  I just don't think it should be the only component.  Throw some whiskey in there maybe.  You'd need that if soylent was all you had.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/07/2016 09:21 pm
Yeah, with the weight you'd save with dense foods like Soylent, you could bring some dehydrated beer and instant coffee (GOOD instant coffee, like Via) with you.

I tell you what. If I had to choose between one and the other, I'd much rather have more than enough Soylent than not enough fresh food.

But I don't think "colonists" will have this discussion, as they'll only have food from Earth in the case of delicacies (dehydrated beer, wine, coffee) or emergency rations (Soylent) or perhaps vitamins and minerals (in the early years). Their macronutrients will be taken care of by local grown food (probably most of the calories will come from a vat of some sort and then grilled up or made into bread, though no doubt they'll also grow lots of lettuce, etc, as a psychological pick-me-up).

But the original topic is first crewed mission (and not necessarily manned).
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 07/07/2016 09:23 pm
Explorers will have to make do (or at least they would if I were in charge. ;) ).

Maybe with you in charge. But NASA would not do that. SpaceX would not have to do that with their available mass. With a crew of 10 or more they should also mostly be able to have someone to do the cooking. SpaceX will want to provide palatable food from the beginning, to show colonists what they will get, until they grow all of their own food.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: virnin on 07/07/2016 10:20 pm

1. Less people means less strain on ECLSS, remember 6 people is all we can support right now on ISS, a 12 person crew would double the current state of art in terms of long term ECLSS. I'm sure given enough time they can push the envelope, but if they want to make the 2024 window they need to pick their battles.

This isn't exactly correct.  ISS crew is limited to six by the size of the "lifeboat" Soyuz craft.  ISS has supported more than a dozen during Shuttle visits (somewhat augmented by Shuttle ECLSS) and 8 during a relatively recent visiting crew overlap.  CCV will raise crew to 7.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Hotblack Desiato on 07/18/2016 09:34 am
I expect the MCT to have some sort of at least semi-automatic landing. Means, regular automatic landing, but in case of a landing site being not that good, they can change the location (essentially select your new landing location on a touch screen and press enter, the computer handles the rest). This wouldn't require a real pilot, but somebody who at least knows where to press onto that touch panel and what the consequences are).

Regarding food, I could imagine that they create some sort of one way landing capsule, essentially a larger and yet simpler dragon capsule, capable of landing 10t on the surface (without any option to launch back to orbit). On the other hand, MCT should be capable of landing a 100t, food shouldn't be a major problem.

Regarding the skill-requirements of the first crew:

2-3 medical doctors (with additional skills in analytical chemistry and geology or botany, aswell as psychology, cooking would be a great additional skill. furthermore they could be maintaining ISRU and ECLSS)
2-3 additional people skilled in chemistry, mechanical engineering, maybe even to the point where they can weld or otherwise fix things.
2-3 people with skills at maintainance. this involves computer-skills for fixing broken computers, regular maintanance of several other systems.

At this point, I expect having 6-9 crewmembers (there are still overlapping skillsets) and another 3-8 (if MCT should fly with 12, maybe even 14) crewmembers with not yet determined skills. So I would say, that there should be crewmembers, who are skilled in using special payloads, like rovers, greenhouses, excavators or have special skills like constructing or welding during EVA (or by controlling a robot doing that work). This will be rather complicated, and yet there need to be at least 2 skilled in doing that, as otherwise losing a person means losing that ability.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: chalz on 07/18/2016 10:50 am
If 20th century astronauts, broadly speaking, came from the armed services then I reckon that 21st century astronauts, broadly speaking, will come from Silicon Valley. The first mission will defiantly need astronauts rather than customers and they will probably (hopefully) come from both schools.

Also the second mission, a mere two years later, could be very different than the first.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Ludus on 07/18/2016 02:40 pm
Inspiration Mars (Whatever happened to them??) planned to send an older couple beyond child bearing age to Mars. The rationale was threefold:
1) They would not pass radiation damage to eventual kids.
2) They would have less time left to develop cancer from radiation damage.
3) Older = more mature = more psychological stable

1) could be mitigated by freezing germ cells before the start of the mission, 3) is up for debate but 2) seems to be solid.  So: Average age of the crew around 50?

Inspiration Mars goal however was just a "stunt" mission to do a Mars flyby. Consequently nothing mattered other than the ability of the passengers to survive the trip with minimal bad effects.

SpaceX intent is to start the settlement of Mars and the default assumption is that many of the passengers will never return to earth but will live out their lives on Mars. There's not much reason to emphasize older people who would on balance contribute less and have more medical issues.

I'd guess average age late 20's. About as young as people can be who are very educated and have proven ability.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/18/2016 02:56 pm
SpaceX intent is to start the settlement of Mars and the default assumption is that many of the passengers will never return to earth but will live out their lives on Mars. There's not much reason to emphasize older people who would on balance contribute less and have more medical issues.

I'd guess average age late 20's. About as young as people can be who are very educated and have proven ability.

We are speculating about the FIRST mission(s). These are the people that have to build an initial base and explore Mars to find the ideal spot for the actual colony. Since there is no colony yet, I would assume that most of them will return after a synode on Mars.

The game changes, when the exploration phase is over and the actual colony building starts. But I think this is at least a few decades in the future.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: gospacex on 07/18/2016 03:14 pm
Scientific research will likely be limited to applied research in support of that goal or that carried out on behalf of organisations willing to pay for it.

I think the Musk way of looking at it is that exploring Mars for scientific purposes, learning about the origin of planets, etc, is a good project for the settlers to undertake once they are there.

"Origin of planets", that's not useful for the colonists, therefore it is way down on the list of priorities, such as "have something to breathe and eat". I bet they will be very busy with other stuff to do during first few years, decades even.

Mars is not going to dissolve in a vacuum, all the scientific discoveries it contains aren't going to disappear.

I wonder how to defend Mars missions from environuts who are already objecting to any and all manned landings on Mars.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: kch on 07/18/2016 03:38 pm

The first mission will defiantly need astronauts rather than customers ...

Why would they be defiant about it?  ;)
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Ludus on 07/18/2016 03:49 pm
SpaceX intent is to start the settlement of Mars and the default assumption is that many of the passengers will never return to earth but will live out their lives on Mars. There's not much reason to emphasize older people who would on balance contribute less and have more medical issues.

I'd guess average age late 20's. About as young as people can be who are very educated and have proven ability.

We are speculating about the FIRST mission(s). These are the people that have to build an initial base and explore Mars to find the ideal spot for the actual colony. Since there is no colony yet, I would assume that most of them will return after a synode on Mars.

The game changes, when the exploration phase is over and the actual colony building starts. But I think this is at least a few decades in the future.

I'm talking about the first mission too. I think the default assumption will be that most people who go to Mars will stay there permanently from the very first mission. This isn't in any sense a footprints and flags thing. What useful purpose is served by sending people there at enormous cost and then expending even more resources to bring them back only to send new people the next synod?

It isn't that they'd be stranded or doomed to stay. The system is capable of bringing people back. Likely some people would return. Since it does cost resources that might be better used for other things though, I think the default is that people stay indefinitely.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/18/2016 04:00 pm
SpaceX intent is to start the settlement of Mars and the default assumption is that many of the passengers will never return to earth but will live out their lives on Mars. There's not much reason to emphasize older people who would on balance contribute less and have more medical issues.

I'd guess average age late 20's. About as young as people can be who are very educated and have proven ability.

We are speculating about the FIRST mission(s). These are the people that have to build an initial base and explore Mars to find the ideal spot for the actual colony. Since there is no colony yet, I would assume that most of them will return after a synode on Mars.

The game changes, when the exploration phase is over and the actual colony building starts. But I think this is at least a few decades in the future.

I'm talking about the first mission too. I think the default assumption will be that most people who go to Mars will stay there permanently from the very first mission. This isn't in any sense a footprints and flags thing. What useful purpose is served by sending people there at enormous cost and then expending even more resources to bring them back only to send new people the next synod?

It isn't that they'd be stranded or doomed to stay. The system is capable of bringing people back. Likely some people would return. Since it does cost resources that might be better used for other things though, I think the default is that people stay indefinitely.

So if you want to send people in their late 20's that will stay there for the rest of their life, you will force them to forgo having a family. Or do you propose that they should have kids on what will basically be an exploration base for decades?

And, BTW, I don't see returning the initial crew as that much of a problem. The MCT/BFS will return anyway and having a smallish crew on an almost empty ship sized for 100 colonists shouldn't be a serious drag.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 07/18/2016 04:01 pm
I agree that mostly young people will be needed to build a colony. BTW that's where I see a flaw in Elon Musks idea of selling tickets to settlers. Those who can afford them have already have their kids on earth. Young people won't have the money unless their parents spend all their lifes savings to send them.

But for the first missions people near 50 are still a good choice IMO. They may stay 4 to 6 years or stay, health permitting. No high cost involved sending them back to earth though as the rockets are going as Elon Musk has stated clearly.  ;)

I also don't think that 20 years will pass before colony building starts. I fully expect the first children born on Mars no more than 8 years after first landing, quite possible earlier. Nothing like children to motivate people to work for the common goal.

Besides the more technical fact that we need to know that healthy children can be raised on Mars before starting to build a colony. 4 years is plenty of time to raise animals for a few generations before young people have children.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 07/18/2016 04:08 pm
I also don't think that 20 years will pass before colony building starts. I fully expect the first children born on Mars no more than 8 years after first landing, quite possible earlier. Nothing like children to motivate people to work for the common goal.

I think there are serious ethical issues with this. Before you can have children on Mars, you have to prove that the colony is viable. Adults can understand and accept the risks, children can't. And there are huge risks.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Lar on 07/18/2016 04:10 pm
This thread is about the first mission. Colony growth stuff, ethical considerations of later missions etc? Off topic. This thread was gone for a while to allow surgery on it. Stay on topic or it will go away again.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Ludus on 07/18/2016 04:18 pm

So if you want to send people in their late 20's that will stay there for the rest of their life, you will force them to forgo having a family. Or do you propose that they should have kids on what will basically be an exploration base for decades?

Unlike Space Missions with astronauts who are effectively under military style command, I think the assumption here is that people who go to Mars are more independent. I don't think the system would force them to do either. I think some would choose to have kids even in an "exploration base" environment. I expect that would be a fairly rare choice while living conditions remain difficult.

Especially among the early settlers, I'd expect many to be motivated by a sense of the opportunity to be founders of a new planetary civilization. Having a place in history. For some that may not be enough to stay through hardships so they'll return. I wouldn't be real surprised if kids are born on Mars within a decade though.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Ludus on 07/18/2016 04:25 pm
I also don't think that 20 years will pass before colony building starts. I fully expect the first children born on Mars no more than 8 years after first landing, quite possible earlier. Nothing like children to motivate people to work for the common goal.

I think there are serious ethical issues with this. Before you can have children on Mars, you have to prove that the colony is viable. Adults can understand and accept the risks, children can't. And there are huge risks.

I don't think humans reason these things through in that way. When have humans ever acted on the basis that their children should have a say in what risks they accept? People just have kids. I'm not arguing for it as Ethically proper, just saying that's how it works.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Ludus on 07/18/2016 04:37 pm
Maybe having children on Mars is close to being off topic but it does connect to Crew for the first SpaceX Mars mission in the sense of asking what the expectations of that crew are. Is the crew like NASA astronauts for a Mission or like volunteers who are going to settle Mars? Is the expectation that authorities on Earth make decisions and set rules?

It does impact who is selected to go. Is having a strong sense of wanting to be a founder of a new civilization or having a mate who also qualified a plus or a minus?

It also probably matters who is paying for the crew member. NASA might have a different answer from other space agencies or SpaceX itself.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 07/18/2016 04:44 pm

I think there are serious ethical issues with this. Before you can have children on Mars, you have to prove that the colony is viable. Adults can understand and accept the risks, children can't. And there are huge risks.

I don't think humans reason these things through in that way. When have humans ever acted on the basis that their children should have a say in what risks they accept? People just have kids. I'm not arguing for it as Ethically proper, just saying that's how it works.

I have place my reply here.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40178.msg1561304#msg1561304

Lar is right that this is not the thread for this exchange.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Bob Shaw on 07/18/2016 04:56 pm
For the first SpaceX crew you'll want qualified people at all levels - a test-pilot to get you there, environmental engineer to keep you breathing, general spacecraft engineer to keep the wheels turning. You'd probably keep the crew as small as possible, despite the temptation to double-up for safety.

Your choices re age and experience/lack thereof may be defined by externals, such as likely cumulative radiation exposure on previous flights - if you're already old, radiation won't matter to the same degree in terms of life-shortening, as you're going to die sooner than a 25-year-old anyway, so a NASA pilot-astronaut from the shuttle era would have a good shout. In general, too, you'll want people who already have kids or are unlikely to breed after their flight - again, that favours older people and gay crewmembers.

An international crew, I'd rule out if there are small numbers - taking non US citizens along if they are passengers on a bigger expedition is fine, but if ITAR rears up and bites... ...just stay on Mars!

Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: JamesH65 on 07/19/2016 07:35 am
For the first SpaceX crew you'll want qualified people at all levels - a test-pilot to get you there, environmental engineer to keep you breathing, general spacecraft engineer to keep the wheels turning. You'd probably keep the crew as small as possible, despite the temptation to double-up for safety.

Your choices re age and experience/lack thereof may be defined by externals, such as likely cumulative radiation exposure on previous flights - if you're already old, radiation won't matter to the same degree in terms of life-shortening, as you're going to die sooner than a 25-year-old anyway, so a NASA pilot-astronaut from the shuttle era would have a good shout. In general, too, you'll want people who already have kids or are unlikely to breed after their flight - again, that favours older people and gay crewmembers.

An international crew, I'd rule out if there are small numbers - taking non US citizens along if they are passengers on a bigger expedition is fine, but if ITAR rears up and bites... ...just stay on Mars!

You need engineers and labourers, electronic engineers and computer people, farmers, biologists, chemists, doctors. People who can weld, turn, mill, make concrete, fix stuff, program hardware, grow test crops, do chemical analysis . Since there are going to be fairly few people going at first, the ability to multi skill is essential. These people are going to have to be intelligent, but also have lots of manual skills.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: meekGee on 08/22/2016 12:20 am
Fuel ISRU is an integral part of the MCT architecture. MCT cannot fly without it. They need to carry the equipment on the first flights, nominally in 2022. They cannot defer it to anyone in general.

There's a certain set of technologies that have to go together, and it's not a small set:

Rocketry
EDL
Power
On-surface ice mining
ISRU
Habitats
Surface technology (e.g. vehicles, tools)

And it's very difficult to bootstrap it all robotically.

My prediction is that the MCT transportation system will be used to support a small first crew in a very traditional way (saturate them with supplies) and have them set up the rest of this first technology set while dependent on the supplies.

So you won't have "ISRU working and tanks are full" before the first crew launches.  This probably shortens the timeline by several synods.


Looking forward to next month...
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/22/2016 01:03 am


I think SpaceX will encourage people to join SpaceX missions earlier than that. First crewed mission, even.

Not for the first crews, maybe, but for the first wave indeed, EM could approach the collective Jim with such proposition. It would be a token of respect as much as a challenge and a magical opportunity for the willing.
I think there's virtually zero chance that the first crew to land on Mars won't include at least one NASA astronaut (if not several). How that gets worked out, I have no idea, but I'm sure it will.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: meekGee on 08/22/2016 01:45 am


I think SpaceX will encourage people to join SpaceX missions earlier than that. First crewed mission, even.

Not for the first crews, maybe, but for the first wave indeed, EM could approach the collective Jim with such proposition. It would be a token of respect as much as a challenge and a magical opportunity for the willing.
I think there's virtually zero chance that the first crew to land on Mars won't include at least one NASA astronaut (if not several). How that gets worked out, I have no idea, but I'm sure it will.

So, on related note, is "astronaut" the preferred term for a Martian settler?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: the_other_Doug on 08/22/2016 01:53 am


I think SpaceX will encourage people to join SpaceX missions earlier than that. First crewed mission, even.

Not for the first crews, maybe, but for the first wave indeed, EM could approach the collective Jim with such proposition. It would be a token of respect as much as a challenge and a magical opportunity for the willing.
I think there's virtually zero chance that the first crew to land on Mars won't include at least one NASA astronaut (if not several). How that gets worked out, I have no idea, but I'm sure it will.

I'm pretty sure you're right, but I bet it will also include several non-NASA types, as well -- experts in various of the systems and machinery that will be needed to set up the initial base, plus a heavy emphasis on mechanics and engineers, to fix, repair and jury-rig systems to get them working optimally.  (This could be stretched to include medical and botanical "engineers" as well, i.e., doctors and agriculturalists.)

I think the first flight is too early to consider sending lottery winners, though.  I really, really think that lotteries to select a few people per synod who can get free rides to Mars will be a tremendously useful tool to involve the general public in the adventure.  But probably that's not going to happen until the third wave/synod, or after.

What I can't figure out is who the heck "the collective Jim" is supposed to be?  Sixty-ish, laconic aerospace engineers who are needed to tell any prospective ET's to get off our Martian lawns?  ;)
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: the_other_Doug on 08/22/2016 01:54 am
So, on related note, is "astronaut" the preferred term for a Martian settler?

Naw -- they'll be "Mars Colonization Participants"... :D
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/22/2016 02:09 am


I think SpaceX will encourage people to join SpaceX missions earlier than that. First crewed mission, even.

Not for the first crews, maybe, but for the first wave indeed, EM could approach the collective Jim with such proposition. It would be a token of respect as much as a challenge and a magical opportunity for the willing.
I think there's virtually zero chance that the first crew to land on Mars won't include at least one NASA astronaut (if not several). How that gets worked out, I have no idea, but I'm sure it will.

I'm pretty sure you're right, but I bet it will also include several non-NASA types, as well -- experts in various of the systems and machinery that will be needed to set up the initial base, plus a heavy emphasis on mechanics and engineers, to fix, repair and jury-rig systems to get them working optimally.  (This could be stretched to include medical and botanical "engineers" as well, i.e., doctors and agriculturalists.)...
NASA calls those people "mission specialists." And there are lots of them at NASA. You wouldn't know it, but there are more people at NASA than just flight jocks. ;)
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 08/22/2016 02:14 am

My prediction is that the MCT transportation system will be used to support a small first crew in a very traditional way (saturate them with supplies) and have them set up the rest of this first technology set while dependent on the supplies.

So you won't have "ISRU working and tanks are full" before the first crew launches.  This probably shortens the timeline by several synods.


Looking forward to next month...

That was my expectation too. Elon Musk stated clearly the opposite, there would be fuel ready when people land but he has changed his mind before.

But about his announcement. If this becomes a generic statement about a colony without detailed announcement of the BFR/BFS architecture it is not what was announced. It would be a let down and a retreat from his announcement. I cannot believe that yet, just from this eMail by the organizer.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/22/2016 02:17 am
The email was interesting because it seems to hint the talk won't be just about the logistical side of building a colony, as was kind of the idea before (or at least that was what I remembered).  If the talk includes more colony stuff, that'd be interesting to me, too.

I'm sure they'll tell us all about MCT. But I'm interested in how he imagines a city to be built. Sources of funding, partnerships, etc.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: meekGee on 08/22/2016 03:08 am

My prediction is that the MCT transportation system will be used to support a small first crew in a very traditional way (saturate them with supplies) and have them set up the rest of this first technology set while dependent on the supplies.

So you won't have "ISRU working and tanks are full" before the first crew launches.  This probably shortens the timeline by several synods.


Looking forward to next month...

That was my expectation too. Elon Musk stated clearly the opposite, there would be fuel ready when people land but he has changed his mind before.

But about his announcement. If this becomes a generic statement about a colony without detailed announcement of the BFR/BFS architecture it is not what was announced. It would be a let down and a retreat from his announcement. I cannot believe that yet, just from this eMail by the organizer.

If we're talking about just enough propellant for an evac-to-earth of a minimal crew, then you can send the fuel from earth, since you're using MCTs.   Clearly not a sustainable practice, but still easier than trying to set up a working power and ISRU plant using robotics - I think.

But who knows.  Maybe they can pack a nuclear reaction in an MCT, a bunch of autonomous miner-rovers, and the only reason we're finding it difficult to imagine is that we're not thinking big enough.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: mikelepage on 08/22/2016 03:51 am
I think what I'm looking for/hoping for is a design for a transportation architecture that implicitly (or explicitly) directs how the colonisation is going to happen.

The analogy that comes to mind for me is the 1953 Watson and Crick paper describing the structure of DNA.  The paper spends 95% of its length describing the "base-pair" structure of DNA (often depicted as the rungs on the ladder), but then they finish with a typically British understatement:  "It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing that we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material."  The reason the paper is so famous is that they correctly described a structure, but that the nature of that structure had massive implications for how life perpetuates itself.

Likewise, I expect 95% of the talk will be about the details of the MCT/BFR architecture, but I'm hoping those details will have some iterative/additive element that makes it clear how and why a colony will naturally build up over time.  I'm prepared for it to actually be quite underwhelming (like the original iPhone was in some respects), but it should have some new thinking that will similarly induce a paradigm change.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: docmordrid on 08/22/2016 04:13 am
>
I'm prepared for it to actually be quite underwhelming (like the original iPhone was in some respects), but it should have some new thinking that will similarly induce a paradigm change.

If the reported details are anything near correct it'll be anything but underwhelming. To toss 100, or even 50, tonnes to the Martian surface would need a system of unprecedented scale.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: meekGee on 08/22/2016 04:28 am
I think the scale of "underwhelm" has shifted somewhat....  :)
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Aussie_Space_Nut on 08/22/2016 04:40 am

My prediction is that the MCT transportation system will be used to support a small first crew in a very traditional way (saturate them with supplies) and have them set up the rest of this first technology set while dependent on the supplies.

So you won't have "ISRU working and tanks are full" before the first crew launches.  This probably shortens the timeline by several synods.


Looking forward to next month...

That was my expectation too. Elon Musk stated clearly the opposite, there would be fuel ready when people land but he has changed his mind before.

But about his announcement. If this becomes a generic statement about a colony without detailed announcement of the BFR/BFS architecture it is not what was announced. It would be a let down and a retreat from his announcement. I cannot believe that yet, just from this eMail by the organizer.

If we're talking about just enough propellant for an evac-to-earth of a minimal crew, then you can send the fuel from earth, since you're using MCTs.   Clearly not a sustainable practice, but still easier than trying to set up a working power and ISRU plant using robotics - I think.

But who knows.  Maybe they can pack a nuclear reaction in an MCT, a bunch of autonomous miner-rovers, and the only reason we're finding it difficult to imagine is that we're not thinking big enough.

I like meekGee's reasoning here. The reason why robots work so well here on Earth is that they have a human nearby. I have many years programming CNC Machines. I am yet to see a machine that can look at a drawing/model and come up with an approach, treat each feature wth the respect it needs, choose the holding technique, cutting tools, fixtures, etc, etc. SciFi robots simply do not exist except in our imaginations. I support the idea of a minimal human advance construction team. I also think that their "escape vehicle" will utilise fuel transported from Earth.

All bets off if Mr Musk has been developing AI on the side though! ;-)
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: mikelepage on 08/22/2016 04:44 am
>
I'm prepared for it to actually be quite underwhelming (like the original iPhone was in some respects), but it should have some new thinking that will similarly induce a paradigm change.

If the reported details are anything near correct it'll be anything but underwhelming. To toss 100, or even 50, tonnes to the Martian surface would need a system of unprecedented scale.

Sure, and we already know that's on the cards - and they've already said people will think them crazy for attempting it.  The architecture itself will be audacious no doubt, I just meant I'm prepared for the presentation to be underwhelming in terms of new details.

(I know, I know, it's probably going to be awesome - I'm just trying not to get too hyped, okay?)

Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Aussie_Space_Nut on 08/22/2016 05:06 am
Yes the suspense is driving us all crazy.

I feel like that kid who keeps getting told "we will see" when they ask for a bicycle for Christmas, and it gets put off for like 5 years!
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Zed_Noir on 08/22/2016 06:03 am
I think there's virtually zero chance that the first crew to land on Mars won't include at least one NASA astronaut (if not several). How that gets worked out, I have no idea, but I'm sure it will.
Think the presence of a token NASA PERSON depends on how the folks at Hawthorne and at the Hill are getting along plus some substantial NASA incentives. And no civil servant will be the first person stepping onto Mars from a BFS.

Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: mikelepage on 08/22/2016 07:49 am
I think there's virtually zero chance that the first crew to land on Mars won't include at least one NASA astronaut (if not several). How that gets worked out, I have no idea, but I'm sure it will.
Think the presence of a token NASA PERSON depends on how the folks at Hawthorne and at the Hill are getting along plus some substantial NASA incentives. And no civil servant will be the first person stepping onto Mars from a BFS.
I find it curious that you think the inclusion of a NASA person would be "token".  It's not like they spend a decade training for these things or anything ::) I would expect the first crew will be 100% NASA people, or at least, 100% US citizens trained at NASA astronaut training centres, what with ITAR and all.  Training up astronauts is expensive and SpaceX has no need to duplicate that process in house.  At least, not for the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 08/22/2016 10:10 am
I find it curious that you think the inclusion of a NASA person would be "token".  It's not like they spend a decade training for these things or anything ::) I would expect the first crew will be 100% NASA people, or at least, 100% US citizens trained at NASA astronaut training centres, what with ITAR and all.  Training up astronauts is expensive and SpaceX has no need to duplicate that process in house.  At least, not for the foreseeable future.

The problem is that I believe NASA would not make that decision more than 2 years before the flight, that is after the first unmanned MCT has landed. No 10 year training, more like "hop on or stay home".

SpaceX doing a base or start colonization will require a totally different type of people than a NASA astronaut.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Zed_Noir on 08/22/2016 10:23 am
I think there's virtually zero chance that the first crew to land on Mars won't include at least one NASA astronaut (if not several). How that gets worked out, I have no idea, but I'm sure it will.
Think the presence of a token NASA PERSON depends on how the folks at Hawthorne and at the Hill are getting along plus some substantial NASA incentives. And no civil servant will be the first person stepping onto Mars from a BFS.
I find it curious that you think the inclusion of a NASA person would be "token".  It's not like they spend a decade training for these things or anything ::) I would expect the first crew will be 100% NASA people, or at least, 100% US citizens trained at NASA astronaut training centres, what with ITAR and all.  Training up astronauts is expensive and SpaceX has no need to duplicate that process in house.  At least, not for the foreseeable future.
If as you say the crew will be 100% NASA personnel, then by definition the mission is a NASA mission.

SpaceX will field a corps of Astronauts with transferable skill-sets over multiple missions unlike the NASA method of choreography and rehearsals for each mission task. In other words as spacecraft crewman instead as constructors or as technicians for unique experiments.

Are you serious about your ITAR reference? That no non-US citizen will be allow on the 1st Mars flight. While expecting experiments & instruments from foreign governments and companies to be embarked.

Since the whole point of the MCT system is Mars colonization. A non-International crew for the first BFR wave will not help with recruiting colonist outside of the US. Figure at least 2 BFR in the 1st wave for safety & redundancy reasons.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: AncientU on 08/22/2016 11:54 am
I think there's virtually zero chance that the first crew to land on Mars won't include at least one NASA astronaut (if not several). How that gets worked out, I have no idea, but I'm sure it will.
Think the presence of a token NASA PERSON depends on how the folks at Hawthorne and at the Hill are getting along plus some substantial NASA incentives. And no civil servant will be the first person stepping onto Mars from a BFS.
I find it curious that you think the inclusion of a NASA person would be "token".  It's not like they spend a decade training for these things or anything ::) I would expect the first crew will be 100% NASA people, or at least, 100% US citizens trained at NASA astronaut training centres, what with ITAR and all.  Training up astronauts is expensive and SpaceX has no need to duplicate that process in house.  At least, not for the foreseeable future.

Several things:
1. Have long said that NASA won't pass up a ride that they can actually afford, so NASA will be on board. 
2. The Astros would quit en mass if BFS left without them.
3. Extensive NASA training... but for what?  Is NASA's legacy training the right stuff?
4. Hands on software development/IT/modern computing environments will probably be number one on skills list.  Is NASA selecting Astros for this skill set (since their systems use fairly antiquated computing resources)?
5. Hands-on hardware development/CAD/additive manufacturing/carbon composite repair/cable harness repair/cryogenic systems and similar shop floor/test facility/launch operations skills will be essential.  Is NASA selecting for these skills?

NASA Astro's are incredibly qualified for what they do -- truly the best and brightest.  But, are they selected and trained for SpaceX's class of systems and way of doing business?  I'd suggest that the best candidate pool for establishing early outposts on Mars is currently working in Hawthorne, McGregor, etc. 
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 08/22/2016 12:02 pm
There will be no commander from NASA, no pilot. They can send a geologist, a biologist a flight surgeon, if they have that kind of astronauts in training.

But they have people with foresight at NASA. Maybe without talking too much about it, they will start training the right kind of people, that will be ready to go when the chance comes and that have tasks to do once they get to Mars.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/22/2016 12:40 pm

My prediction is that the MCT transportation system will be used to support a small first crew in a very traditional way (saturate them with supplies) and have them set up the rest of this first technology set while dependent on the supplies.

So you won't have "ISRU working and tanks are full" before the first crew launches.  This probably shortens the timeline by several synods.


Looking forward to next month...

That was my expectation too. Elon Musk stated clearly the opposite, there would be fuel ready when people land but he has changed his mind before.

But about his announcement. If this becomes a generic statement about a colony without detailed announcement of the BFR/BFS architecture it is not what was announced. It would be a let down and a retreat from his announcement. I cannot believe that yet, just from this eMail by the organizer.

If we're talking about just enough propellant for an evac-to-earth of a minimal crew, then you can send the fuel from earth, since you're using MCTs.   Clearly not a sustainable practice, but still easier than trying to set up a working power and ISRU plant using robotics - I think.

But who knows.  Maybe they can pack a nuclear reaction in an MCT, a bunch of autonomous miner-rovers, and the only reason we're finding it difficult to imagine is that we're not thinking big enough.

I like meekGee's reasoning here. The reason why robots work so well here on Earth is that they have a human nearby. I have many years programming CNC Machines. I am yet to see a machine that can look at a drawing/model and come up with an approach, treat each feature wth the respect it needs, choose the holding technique, cutting tools, fixtures, etc, etc. SciFi robots simply do not exist except in our imaginations. I support the idea of a minimal human advance construction team. I also think that their "escape vehicle" will utilise fuel transported from Earth.

All bets off if Mr Musk has been developing AI on the side though! ;-)
True for CNC machines, but with 3D printers with dissolvable supports, you can throw in a drawing file any which way and it'll work.

Anyway, that's not the sort of robots SpaceX will be sending. For example: Imagine a big roomba that scoops up regolith randomly from a designated area and plops it into a processor that extracts the 1-4% absorbed water. Or a remotely commanded rover that pulls out a rolled up solar array, maybe plops some regolith on the end of it to keep it down or maybe drives stakes into the ground.

Fairly simple stuff, and doesn't have to be purely autonomous.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: meekGee on 08/22/2016 02:25 pm
Even the 3D printer can't work for 2 years w/o a person.

A semi autonomous Rover will also need a helping hand, but sometimes it might be saved with assistance from Earth (e.g. if stuck in a ditch) and sometimes not (e.g. jammed mechanism), but maybe you just send 5 of them, and fix them later when people arrive.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: launchwatcher on 08/22/2016 02:51 pm
If we're talking about just enough propellant for an evac-to-earth of a minimal crew, then you can send the fuel from earth, since you're using MCTs.   Clearly not a sustainable practice, but still easier than trying to set up a working power and ISRU plant using robotics - I think.

But who knows.  Maybe they can pack a nuclear reaction in an MCT, a bunch of autonomous miner-rovers, and the only reason we're finding it difficult to imagine is that we're not thinking big enough.

If they're playing off of this part of Zubrin's script, no autonomous regolith mining is needed - they'll bring a tank of hydrogen and synthesize methane and oxidizer from the H2 they bring plus the CO2 in the martian atmosphere.   Only robotics needed will be whatever it takes to set up the power system (either spreading out solar cells and dusting them off every so often, or hauling a fission reactor to a safe distance and turning it on).   
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: DanielW on 08/22/2016 02:57 pm

My prediction is that the MCT transportation system will be used to support a small first crew in a very traditional way (saturate them with supplies) and have them set up the rest of this first technology set while dependent on the supplies.

So you won't have "ISRU working and tanks are full" before the first crew launches.  This probably shortens the timeline by several synods.


Looking forward to next month...

That was my expectation too. Elon Musk stated clearly the opposite, there would be fuel ready when people land but he has changed his mind before.

But about his announcement. If this becomes a generic statement about a colony without detailed announcement of the BFR/BFS architecture it is not what was announced. It would be a let down and a retreat from his announcement. I cannot believe that yet, just from this eMail by the organizer.

If we're talking about just enough propellant for an evac-to-earth of a minimal crew, then you can send the fuel from earth, since you're using MCTs.   Clearly not a sustainable practice, but still easier than trying to set up a working power and ISRU plant using robotics - I think.

But who knows.  Maybe they can pack a nuclear reaction in an MCT, a bunch of autonomous miner-rovers, and the only reason we're finding it difficult to imagine is that we're not thinking big enough.

I like meekGee's reasoning here. The reason why robots work so well here on Earth is that they have a human nearby. I have many years programming CNC Machines. I am yet to see a machine that can look at a drawing/model and come up with an approach, treat each feature wth the respect it needs, choose the holding technique, cutting tools, fixtures, etc, etc. SciFi robots simply do not exist except in our imaginations. I support the idea of a minimal human advance construction team. I also think that their "escape vehicle" will utilise fuel transported from Earth.

All bets off if Mr Musk has been developing AI on the side though! ;-)
True for CNC machines, but with 3D printers with dissolvable supports, you can throw in a drawing file any which way and it'll work.

Anyway, that's not the sort of robots SpaceX will be sending. For example: Imagine a big roomba that scoops up regolith randomly from a designated area and plops it into a processor that extracts the 1-4% absorbed water. Or a remotely commanded rover that pulls out a rolled up solar array, maybe plops some regolith on the end of it to keep it down or maybe drives stakes into the ground.

Fairly simple stuff, and doesn't have to be purely autonomous.

I suspect rovers won't be in it for early missions. If you are sending a reactor, just land on an area with known ice and directionally drill for both water and reactor cooling. Admittedly I have no idea how the drill would work but I think the it is a solved problem in the oil industry.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: meekGee on 08/22/2016 03:06 pm
If we're talking about just enough propellant for an evac-to-earth of a minimal crew, then you can send the fuel from earth, since you're using MCTs.   Clearly not a sustainable practice, but still easier than trying to set up a working power and ISRU plant using robotics - I think.

But who knows.  Maybe they can pack a nuclear reaction in an MCT, a bunch of autonomous miner-rovers, and the only reason we're finding it difficult to imagine is that we're not thinking big enough.

If they're playing off of this part of Zubrin's script, no autonomous regolith mining is needed - they'll bring a tank of hydrogen and synthesize methane and oxidizer from the H2 they bring plus the CO2 in the martian atmosphere.   Only robotics needed will be whatever it takes to set up the power system (either spreading out solar cells and dusting them off every so often, or hauling a fission reactor to a safe distance and turning it on).

That's true too.

There are several ways I guess to avoid "bootstrapping robotically", which I think is difficult.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/22/2016 03:09 pm
If we're talking about just enough propellant for an evac-to-earth of a minimal crew, then you can send the fuel from earth, since you're using MCTs.   Clearly not a sustainable practice, but still easier than trying to set up a working power and ISRU plant using robotics - I think.

But who knows.  Maybe they can pack a nuclear reaction in an MCT, a bunch of autonomous miner-rovers, and the only reason we're finding it difficult to imagine is that we're not thinking big enough.

If they're playing off of this part of Zubrin's script,
They're not.
Quote
no autonomous regolith mining is needed
Musk says they're going to do it.
Quote
they'll bring a tank of hydrogen and synthesize methane and oxidizer from the H2 they bring plus the CO2 in the martian atmosphere.
Huge mess having to deal with a tank of liquid hydrogen big enough to fully fuel up BFS. This isn't just a small ascent stage, it's a huge rocket.
Quote
Only robotics needed will be whatever it takes to set up the power system (either spreading out solar cells and dusting them off every so often, or hauling a fission reactor to a safe distance and turning it on).
Musk says that robots will be needed for mining water on Mars before the first crewed trip.

EDITED to be less snarky because I missed your "if" at the beginning of your post. ;)
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: RonM on 08/22/2016 03:19 pm
SpaceX and NASA have a good working relationship, why not continue it. NASA and other space agencies have trained astronauts waiting on BLEO missions. If the government chips in some funding and expertise, SpaceX will gladly accept. They might also include an astronaut from the ESA, Japan, or a Russian cosmonaut to make it an international mission.

Depending on the crew size and required positions, government astronauts can be the experienced flight crew and SpaceX engineers can be the mission specialists.

To prevent arguing about national pride over who first steps on Mars, it should be one of the SpaceX mission specialists representing the private citizens of the Earth.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/22/2016 03:47 pm
SpaceX and NASA have a good working relationship, why not continue it. NASA and other space agencies have trained astronauts waiting on BLEO missions. If the government chips in some funding and expertise, SpaceX will gladly accept. They might also include an astronaut from the ESA, Japan, or a Russian cosmonaut to make it an international mission.

Depending on the crew size and required positions, government astronauts can be the experienced flight crew and SpaceX engineers can be the mission specialists.

To prevent arguing about national pride over who first steps on Mars, it should be one of the SpaceX mission specialists representing the private citizens of the Earth.
$5 it'll be like 6 people stepping onto the surface simultaneously.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Eric Hedman on 08/22/2016 03:58 pm
SpaceX and NASA have a good working relationship, why not continue it. NASA and other space agencies have trained astronauts waiting on BLEO missions. If the government chips in some funding and expertise, SpaceX will gladly accept. They might also include an astronaut from the ESA, Japan, or a Russian cosmonaut to make it an international mission.

Depending on the crew size and required positions, government astronauts can be the experienced flight crew and SpaceX engineers can be the mission specialists.

To prevent arguing about national pride over who first steps on Mars, it should be one of the SpaceX mission specialists representing the private citizens of the Earth.
$5 it'll be like 6 people stepping onto the surface simultaneously.
If it is, people will examine the video closely to determine which boot actually hits the surface first.  There will be arguments about it for the next one hundred years
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Zed_Noir on 08/22/2016 05:22 pm
SpaceX and NASA have a good working relationship, why not continue it. NASA and other space agencies have trained astronauts waiting on BLEO missions. If the government chips in some funding and expertise, SpaceX will gladly accept. They might also include an astronaut from the ESA, Japan, or a Russian cosmonaut to make it an international mission.
AFAIK the only people trained for BLEO missions were the Apollo crews & the future EM-2 Orion crew.

Quote
Depending on the crew size and required positions, government astronauts can be the experienced flight crew and SpaceX engineers can be the mission specialists.
Traditionally the flight crew is the vehicle command crew with the commander as final authority aboard. So it should be SX flight crew with a NASA mission specialist. Otherwise it is a NASA mission.

Quote
...
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: meekGee on 08/22/2016 05:43 pm
SpaceX and NASA have a good working relationship, why not continue it. NASA and other space agencies have trained astronauts waiting on BLEO missions. If the government chips in some funding and expertise, SpaceX will gladly accept. They might also include an astronaut from the ESA, Japan, or a Russian cosmonaut to make it an international mission.

Depending on the crew size and required positions, government astronauts can be the experienced flight crew and SpaceX engineers can be the mission specialists.

To prevent arguing about national pride over who first steps on Mars, it should be one of the SpaceX mission specialists representing the private citizens of the Earth.
$5 it'll be like 6 people stepping onto the surface simultaneously.
If it is, people will examine the video closely to determine which boot actually hits the surface first.  There will be arguments about it for the next one hundred years

Simple solution - the Barge effect.   6 people standing on a ramp.  Video cuts out.  Video returns.  6 people standing on the surface.  Done.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: LM13 on 08/22/2016 05:56 pm


Simple solution - the Barge effect.   6 people standing on a ramp.  Video cuts out.  Video returns.  6 people standing on the surface.  Done.

Even if you do that, people will look at photographs of the first footprints or look at the boots in museums to see which footprint was made first or which boot shows the most exposure to Martian regolith.  Come to think of it, unless the crew intentionally purges any accelerometer data their suits might collect (for navigation purposes), someone could infer which of them hit the surface first by reading that.

People to this day are arguing over the circumstances of Columbus's birth in an effort to lay claim to the credit for his trip--if some group that identifies with some particular crew member, there will be people trying to prove by any means necessary that Their crewmember deserves all the credit. 
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: mikelepage on 08/22/2016 06:01 pm
I find it curious that you think the inclusion of a NASA person would be "token".  It's not like they spend a decade training for these things or anything ::) I would expect the first crew will be 100% NASA people, or at least, 100% US citizens trained at NASA astronaut training centres, what with ITAR and all.  Training up astronauts is expensive and SpaceX has no need to duplicate that process in house.  At least, not for the foreseeable future.
If as you say the crew will be 100% NASA personnel, then by definition the mission is a NASA mission.
Correct.  Which means MCT/BFR has supplanted SLS, which will give SpaceX the huge sums of money needed to fulfil their ambition of driving for a Mars colony.

Quote
Are you serious about your ITAR reference? That no non-US citizen will be allow on the 1st Mars flight. While expecting experiments & instruments from foreign governments and companies to be embarked.

Heck, who can really know?  From what I understand, ITAR has been a huge hindrance to international collaboration by US companies in the past, with non-US citizens required to leave certain meetings just because.   

I'm also just going off the likely progression from the status quo, which starting next year is crew Dragon transporting NASA astronauts, and there will probably be agreements made with ESA, JAXA etc so other astronauts can ride crew Dragon as well.  But just because SpaceX is building crewed Dragon doesn't mean they can stick one of their employees on if there's a spare seat, (although I wouldn't be surprised if Elon talks his way into going to ISS for a week).

Is that really going to change when SpaceX actually builds and demonstrates (uncrewed) MCT and BFR, with Red Dragons already doing ISRU to produce propellant on Mars?  Does congress change the rules once SpaceX is actually preparing for a manned mission? (I'm thinking unstoppable force versus immovable object ;) ) Honestly I doubt SpaceX decides to make all the food from scratch when they can just use the same provider NASA does.  Why build their own olympic sized swimming pool and their own corps programs so they can practice donning space suits and going for space walks to do things on the outside of MCT, or do they just use the same facilities and knowledge base that NASA already has?

Elon has said pretty clearly in the past that it isn't some kind of company dogma that they can do everything better themselves - it wasn't even their intention to build most of their rockets in house - if there's a cheaper, better way to do xyz, they'll use that.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: meekGee on 08/22/2016 06:08 pm


Simple solution - the Barge effect.   6 people standing on a ramp.  Video cuts out.  Video returns.  6 people standing on the surface.  Done.

Even if you do that, people will look at photographs of the first footprints or look at the boots in museums to see which footprint was made first or which boot shows the most exposure to Martian regolith.  Come to think of it, unless the crew intentionally purges any accelerometer data their suits might collect (for navigation purposes), someone could infer which of them hit the surface first by reading that.

People to this day are arguing over the circumstances of Columbus's birth in an effort to lay claim to the credit for his trip--if some group that identifies with some particular crew member, there will be people trying to prove by any means necessary that Their crewmember deserves all the credit.

Unless SpaceX says: To avoid having a single person be "first", we've intentionally purged this data from the one second that matters.  Have at it, the data is gone.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: DanielW on 08/22/2016 06:33 pm
I can only hope that the first words from the surface of mars are "As you saw and heard I have now stepped onto the surface of Mars and that concludes today's broadcast." ;-) Just competent nerds doing nerdy things for me.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Eric Hedman on 08/22/2016 07:03 pm
I suspect it is likely that there will be a ladder down to the surface that people can only traverse one at a time.  I think the mission commander should go first.  They'll all get a participation trophy for being on the mission.  They don't need one for stepping on the surface at the same time.  And I would expect a short speech that is of the caliber of Neil Armstrong's immortal words.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Ionmars on 08/22/2016 07:53 pm
Simple solution - the Barge effect.   6 people standing on a ramp.  Video cuts out.  Video returns.  6 people standing on the surface.  Done.

Even if you do that, people will look at photographs of the first footprints or look at the boots in museums to see which footprint was made first or which boot shows the most exposure to Martian regolith.  Come to think of it, unless the crew intentionally purges any accelerometer data their suits might collect (for navigation purposes), someone could infer which of them hit the surface first by reading that.

People to this day are arguing over the circumstances of Columbus's birth in an effort to lay claim to the credit for his trip--if some group that identifies with some particular crew member, there will be people trying to prove by any means necessary that Their crewmember deserves all the credit.
This is what a six-sided die is for.  :)
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: raketa on 08/23/2016 01:21 am
Fuel ISRU is an integral part of the MCT architecture. MCT cannot fly without it. They need to carry the equipment on the first flights, nominally in 2022. They cannot defer it to anyone in general.

There's a certain set of technologies that have to go together, and it's not a small set:

Rocketry
EDL
Power
On-surface ice mining
ISRU
Habitats
Surface technology (e.g. vehicles, tools)

And it's very difficult to bootstrap it all robotically.

My prediction is that the MCT transportation system will be used to support a small first crew in a very traditional way (saturate them with supplies) and have them set up the rest of this first technology set while dependent on the supplies.

So you won't have "ISRU working and tanks are full" before the first crew launches.  This probably shortens the timeline by several synods.


Looking forward to next month...
Yes I express same opinion several month ago, small crew that build return capability.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: meekGee on 08/23/2016 02:37 am
There should be a betting market for predictions such as these...  :)
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Lar on 08/23/2016 02:52 am
There should be a betting market for predictions such as these...  :)
There is, it's on Reddit.  /r/HighStakesSpaceX
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: CuddlyRocket on 08/23/2016 03:35 am
If it's a SpaceX mission, then the commander will be a SpaceX employee. The company will want someone in command who's answerable to them and not with loyalties to some other organisation. As SpaceX is a US company, and given ITAR etc, the commander will be an American. The first person to set foot on Mars will probably be the commander; the public will expect it for one thing. The safest course of action is to send one person first - it certainly won't be the entire crew; someone will have to remain in the ship as back-up.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: meekGee on 08/23/2016 03:52 am
The first person to set foot on Mars will probably be the commander.

That's the thing that always bugged me with Star Trek...   But yeah.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: apirie98 on 08/23/2016 09:26 am
I think this whole "whose mission is it?" thing comes down to how the mission is initially contracted. If it's NASA paying SpaceX for a BFS for transportation to Mars for NASA astronauts as part of a NASA programme to location X of NASA's choosing, for NASA's own (probably scientific) purposes, then yes it's a NASA mission.

If it's SpaceX selling seats on a BFS for transportation to location Y on Mars that they have specified and NASA tags along by buying seats, then it's a SpaceX mission. Even if NASA buys every available seat on the BFS it wouldn't automatically make it their mission because the only thing they have bought is the ability to put their astronauts on-board. They may still conduct their own activities on Mars, but the mission of getting to Mars itself (from the transportation point of view) is still that of SpaceX.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: IRobot on 08/23/2016 11:59 am
Possible additions: video film-maker; M.D. Specialized in aerospace medicine.
Probably 2 M.D., each one focused on different areas, but both able to perform a surgery.
Especially useful if one of them is the one having the surgery :)

I agree that a media specialist becomes priority if a crew over ten is flown. Same is done with Volvo Ocean Race boats, where the 11th men is a media crew member. He is not only responsible for obtaining images and video, but also to process them and down select for satellite uplink, which will be similar in a crew to Mars.

Sponsors will expect an excellent coverage, could even possibly include ejecting and flying a drone while landing, to obtain an external perspective on the historic event.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Doesitfloat on 08/23/2016 12:10 pm
The first space tourists paid millions to go the ISS.  I wouldn't be surprised if there were one or two tourists on the flight.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: IRobot on 08/23/2016 12:13 pm
The first space tourists paid millions to go the ISS.  I wouldn't be surprised if there were one or two tourists on the flight.
They would have to have a very valuable skill, either engineering or MD.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Lar on 08/23/2016 12:50 pm
The first space tourists paid millions to go the ISS.  I wouldn't be surprised if there were one or two tourists on the flight.
They would have to have a very valuable skill, either engineering or MD.

Why? They are just going to sit there for the duration.
Because that's not affordable on the first flight... everyone has to be doing myriad useful things or someone that can and will do so should have been sent....
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 08/23/2016 01:12 pm
Because that's not affordable on the first flight... everyone has to be doing myriad useful things or someone that can and will do so should have been sent....

While I tend to agree, this might depend on the price. There are apparently a number of people willing to pay 150Mio Dollars to fly around the moon (http://www.moondaily.com/reports/At_Least_8_Space_Tourists_Eye_150Mln_Moon_Trip_on_Board_Russias_Soyuz_999.html). If somebody offered 10 times that much for a flight to Mars, would SpaceX really reject such an offer?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: IRobot on 08/23/2016 01:24 pm
Because that's not affordable on the first flight... everyone has to be doing myriad useful things or someone that can and will do so should have been sent....

While I tend to agree, this might depend on the price. There are apparently a number of people willing to pay 150Mio Dollars to fly around the moon (http://www.moondaily.com/reports/At_Least_8_Space_Tourists_Eye_150Mln_Moon_Trip_on_Board_Russias_Soyuz_999.html). If somebody offered 10 times that much for a flight to Mars, would SpaceX really reject such an offer?
If the number of seats/life support is limited and if the skill set of the remaining occupants is not enough to complete a mission, yes, they would reject it.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: colbourne on 08/24/2016 06:50 am
It might not be Elon's current plan, but I would plan the mission so that the crew will stay on Mars at least until the next flight arrives. Their main emphasis will be on creating a base and surviving.
The extra dangers of the return flight can be worried about later.
Enough basic food will be available for many years but hopefully food can be grown to add variety.
I am not very optimistic about the crew surviving without incident, and think all crew will be engineers able to repair or construct needed equipment. Training will be given to all members in expected medical procedures.
A multinational crew is likely , depending on who is funding the mission. I would expect a high number of Middle East crew for this reason.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: rakaydos on 08/28/2016 01:42 am
As far as tourisim opportunities are concerned, having rations be intended from the start to be COOKED by a crew member naturally allows the position to be upgraded to a CHEF, so that the billionaires who can afford to take a year in space can eat like billionaires.

Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: corneliussulla on 08/28/2016 01:28 pm
I expect when they land a ramp will come down and the crue will disembark in aTESLA all electric  Mars rover. This mission is going to have company names and free devices from companies with big logos all over them. Intuitive surgical medical robot etc. First mission to Mars will be 1-2 year long advertisers dream
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: philw1776 on 08/28/2016 01:40 pm
I expect when they land a ramp will come down and the crue will disembark in aTESLA all electric  Mars rover. This mission is going to have company names and free devices from companies with big logos all over them. Intuitive surgical medical robot etc. First mission to Mars will be 1-2 year long advertisers dream

This is SO "The Man Who Sold the Moon".
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: the_other_Doug on 08/28/2016 03:25 pm
I expect when they land a ramp will come down and the crue will disembark in aTESLA all electric  Mars rover. This mission is going to have company names and free devices from companies with big logos all over them. Intuitive surgical medical robot etc. First mission to Mars will be 1-2 year long advertisers dream

This is SO "The Man Who Sold the Moon".

Well, I know several people of my acquaintance continually refer to Musk as "Mr. Harriman"... :D
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: CuddlyRocket on 08/29/2016 05:01 am
I expect when they land a ramp will come down and the crue will disembark in aTESLA all electric  Mars rover. This mission is going to have company names and free devices from companies with big logos all over them. Intuitive surgical medical robot etc. First mission to Mars will be 1-2 year long advertisers dream

Don't forget the TV and other media rights! According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBC_Olympic_broadcasts), NBC paid $1.23 billion for the Rio Olympics; $963 million for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and $1.45 billion for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. And those only last a few weeks! Obviously such rights are not going to pay for the whole thing - but hey, every little helps!

Perhaps an essential proficiency for the crew is going to be cameraman cum editor cum producer?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Lar on 02/02/2017 04:07 pm
This article may be germane

http://aviationweek.com/space/mars-mission-health-stresses-begin-emerging?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20170202_AW-05_544&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_3&utm_rid=CPEN1000001746282&utm_campaign=8494&utm_medium=email&elq2=5c17d2ebd8e846748dd623fc203c6005

"Researchers are offering a preview of how Scott Kelly fared medically after his U.S. record-setting 340 days in space as a NASA crewmember aboard the International Space Station in 2015-16."
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: testguy on 11/17/2017 05:51 pm
Time for a bump.
2018 is almost upon us.  SpaceX tells us they are still attempting meet Elon's schedule for the first manned missions to Mars.  For this to be true, wouldn't we expect to see the identification/selection of the first astronauts by now? At least an announcement of how and when to decide on a crew.  Training takes time so I'm surprised there have been no announcements up to now of how and when the selection of crew(s) will be made.  Do you believe there is a credibility disconnect between the schedule goal and the lack of initial crew identification?

It has been discussed that the BFS control will probably be largely controlled by computer rather than by astronauts so astronauts will be effectively be passengers rather than pilots.  Should this be true, I personally doubt it, then that aspect of training would be eliminated.  But still time appears to be running short.  Is it time for NASA to get aboard with at least some of their existing personnel?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Rabidpanda on 11/17/2017 06:14 pm
There is a huge disconnect between Elon's schedule and reality. Even he described it as 'aspirational'. I suspect even initial crew selection for a manned mars flight is still many many years away.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: JamesH65 on 11/17/2017 06:57 pm
Time for a bump.
2018 is almost upon us.  SpaceX tells us they are still attempting meet Elon's schedule for the first manned missions to Mars.  For this to be true, wouldn't we expect to see the identification/selection of the first astronauts by now? At least an announcement of how and when to decide on a crew.  Training takes time so I'm surprised there have been no announcements up to now of how and when the selection of crew(s) will be made.  Do you believe there is a credibility disconnect between the schedule goal and the lack of initial crew identification?

It has been discussed that the BFS control will probably be largely controlled by computer rather than by astronauts so astronauts will be effectively be passengers rather than pilots.  Should this be true, I personally doubt it, then that aspect of training would be eliminated.  But still time appears to be running short.  Is it time for NASA to get aboard with at least some of their existing personnel?

I don't think you should doubt that the entire ship will be automated. However, crew will need to be trained to fix the systems should they go wrong. Since those systems have not yet been built, it's not really possible to train anyone to fix them.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: AncientU on 11/17/2017 07:25 pm
Time for a bump.
2018 is almost upon us.  SpaceX tells us they are still attempting meet Elon's schedule for the first manned missions to Mars.  For this to be true, wouldn't we expect to see the identification/selection of the first astronauts by now? At least an announcement of how and when to decide on a crew.  Training takes time so I'm surprised there have been no announcements up to now of how and when the selection of crew(s) will be made.  Do you believe there is a credibility disconnect between the schedule goal and the lack of initial crew identification?

It has been discussed that the BFS control will probably be largely controlled by computer rather than by astronauts so astronauts will be effectively be passengers rather than pilots.  Should this be true, I personally doubt it, then that aspect of training would be eliminated.  But still time appears to be running short.  Is it time for NASA to get aboard with at least some of their existing personnel?

I don't think you should doubt that the entire ship will be automated. However, crew will need to be trained to fix the systems should they go wrong. Since those systems have not yet been built, it's not really possible to train anyone to fix them.

SpaceX need not follow the 'professional astronaut' model.  Individuals on Mars will need to be creative and innovative problem solvers and techies, since for much of the time, they won't have an army of Earth-based personnel choreographing their every move.  They have 7,000 employees who are proving quite adept at getting hardware built and launched... this is the pool from which they should select* their technical experts, 'crew' if you will.  There will be room for scientists like field geologists, analytical chemists, biologists (and for medical professionals) that they may lack in the workforce, so there will be some outside selection.

If they vertically integrate all the way up to the astros being sent, then they are training that cadre already.

* Another perk
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: testguy on 11/17/2017 08:06 pm
Time for a bump.
2018 is almost upon us.  SpaceX tells us they are still attempting meet Elon's schedule for the first manned missions to Mars.  For this to be true, wouldn't we expect to see the identification/selection of the first astronauts by now? At least an announcement of how and when to decide on a crew.  Training takes time so I'm surprised there have been no announcements up to now of how and when the selection of crew(s) will be made.  Do you believe there is a credibility disconnect between the schedule goal and the lack of initial crew identification?

It has been discussed that the BFS control will probably be largely controlled by computer rather than by astronauts so astronauts will be effectively be passengers rather than pilots.  Should this be true, I personally doubt it, then that aspect of training would be eliminated.  But still time appears to be running short.  Is it time for NASA to get aboard with at least some of their existing personnel?

I don't think you should doubt that the entire ship will be automated. However, crew will need to be trained to fix the systems should they go wrong. Since those systems have not yet been built, it's not really possible to train anyone to fix them.

SpaceX need not follow the 'professional astronaut' model.  Individuals on Mars will need to be creative and innovative problem solvers and techies, since for much of the time, they won't have an army of Earth-based personnel choreographing their every move.  They have 7,000 employees who are proving quite adept at getting hardware built and launched... this is the pool from which they should select* their technical experts, 'crew' if you will.  There will be room for scientists like field geologists, analytical chemists, biologists (and for medical professionals) that they may lack in the workforce, so there will be some outside selection.

If they vertically integrate all the way up to the astros being sent, then they are training that cadre already.

* Another perk

That is a way of looking at it that I hadn’t considered.  It makes perfect sense that employees designing and building the physical systems are by default in training.  I like it.  Not being addressed today is training for the space environment in LEO and BEO.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: AncientU on 11/18/2017 06:03 pm
I think the Mars crews will need some flight experience in LEO, Cis-Lunar, and especially on the surface of the Moon.  That seems to be one of the best reasons to go back to the Moon, establish a settlement there (not just a few tin cans and 2 week stays)... a few months should be sufficient if there is ongoing settlement expansion work in progress.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: geza on 11/18/2017 10:45 pm
SpaceX need not follow the 'professional astronaut' model.  Individuals on Mars will need to be creative and innovative problem solvers and techies, since for much of the time, they won't have an army of Earth-based personnel choreographing their every move.  They have 7,000 employees who are proving quite adept at getting hardware built and launched... this is the pool from which they should select* their technical experts, 'crew' if you will.  There will be room for scientists like field geologists, analytical chemists, biologists (and for medical professionals) that they may lack in the workforce, so there will be some outside selection.

If they vertically integrate all the way up to the astros being sent, then they are training that cadre already.

* Another perk

That is a way of looking at it that I hadn’t considered.  It makes perfect sense that employees designing and building the physical systems are by default in training.  I like it.  Not being addressed today is training for the space environment in LEO and BEO.
Exactly. While I like the general idea of sending people, who developed the systems, I also argue for having e.g. 2 crew members with the 'professional astronaut' background. For instance, 'EVA prep.' is a human situation much more complex, than handling the suit hardware. You are supposed to control your nervousness caused by the danger, and work carefully and methodically, exactly because of the danger. I think I could learn the technical side easily - but would fail on the emotional side. The latter issue requires the huge training. Sure, they will not pilot the landing.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Coastal Ron on 11/18/2017 11:20 pm
I think the Mars crews will need some flight experience in LEO, Cis-Lunar, and especially on the surface of the Moon.

The BFS will be capable of spins around local space, so that could be part of a "shakedown" cruise to get experience for everyone involved before leaving for Mars.

Not sure what staying on the surface of our Moon will provide, since it's half the gravity of Mars and the sunrise/sunset schedule is completely different.

Quote
That seems to be one of the best reasons to go back to the Moon, establish a settlement there (not just a few tin cans and 2 week stays)... a few months should be sufficient if there is ongoing settlement expansion work in progress.

If Musk sees value in it they will do that, but so far it only sounds like Musk will only go to our Moon if others are going there and need a ride.

And the only reason I see for creating a settlement on our Moon is because there is an interest in expanding humanity onto our Moon, not because it's a staging point for Mars. If we're going to Mars, the quickest and least expensive way to do that is to go directly to Mars.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 11/19/2017 12:41 am
The Moon could be the low gravity "simulator" training facility for exploration/Mars surface work crews where handling equipment and oneself in low gravity and in a suit becomes quite a endeavor. It would be the ultimate after training in underwater. But there is no water to slow your movement or the result of a bad movement. Plus there is plenty of support from Mission Control while on the Moon which would not be there on Mars.

A once or twice a year Mars candidates training excursion to the Moon where 100 to 200 passengers each flight are taken to the Moon for a month or two stay to get acclimated to what life is like in low gravity. The presumption is that there would be a large enough base on the Moon to house that many temporary personnel. Once though there is enough initial Mars missions with highly trained personnel such that new arrivals at Mars can then receive their training once at Mars the Moon training program would probably be discontinued and replaced by tourists.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Coastal Ron on 11/19/2017 05:48 am
The Moon could be the low gravity "simulator" training facility for exploration/Mars surface work crews where handling equipment and oneself in low gravity and in a suit becomes quite a endeavor. It would be the ultimate after training in underwater...

A once or twice a year Mars candidates training excursion to the Moon where 100 to 200 passengers each flight are taken to the Moon for a month or two stay to get acclimated to what life is like in low gravity.

If the goal is to weed out people that can't handle no or low gravity, then maybe there is value in creating such a facility on our Moon. But if it's just a facility to learn how to live and work in low gravity, then that can be better accomplished in the actual conditions they will be living and working in on Mars.

Quote
The presumption is that there would be a large enough base on the Moon to house that many temporary personnel.  Once though there is enough initial Mars missions with highly trained personnel such that new arrivals at Mars can then receive their training once at Mars the Moon training program would probably be discontinued and replaced by tourists.

Far be it from me to presume what Elon Musk will think of next for selling to the public, so though this may be possible with the lower transportation costs the BFR/BFS provide, I still think the idea requires a need for low gravity "weeding out" of migration candidates. And if there is no need for such a thing, then it's unlikely to be built for SpaceX for their Mars colonization needs.

Just a thought...
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: AncientU on 11/21/2017 08:18 pm
I think the Mars crews will need some flight experience in LEO, Cis-Lunar, and especially on the surface of the Moon.

The BFS will be capable of spins around local space, so that could be part of a "shakedown" cruise to get experience for everyone involved before leaving for Mars.

Not sure what staying on the surface of our Moon will provide, since it's half the gravity of Mars and the sunrise/sunset schedule is completely different.

Quote
That seems to be one of the best reasons to go back to the Moon, establish a settlement there (not just a few tin cans and 2 week stays)... a few months should be sufficient if there is ongoing settlement expansion work in progress.

If Musk sees value in it they will do that, but so far it only sounds like Musk will only go to our Moon if others are going there and need a ride.

And the only reason I see for creating a settlement on our Moon is because there is an interest in expanding humanity onto our Moon, not because it's a staging point for Mars. If we're going to Mars, the quickest and least expensive way to do that is to go directly to Mars.

I totally agree with your last statement (bolded).  A settlement on the Moon should be justifiable in its own right, not as a staging point for Mars.  That said, it looks like the Moon is likely the first off-planet settlement that will happen, and it can be used as a training ground for Mars.

The utility of this training ground is not in people merely 'staying' there.  People who go to Mars must by necessity be actively involved in expanding the infrastructure and facilities on the surface.  Many, but not all of course, of the facilities on Mars could be reasonably related to those on the Moon -- solar farms, habitats, remotely operated vehicles, Moon suits, communications, air locks, spaceships (loading and unloading for instance), etc. -- and being involved in establishing that infrastructure on the Moon would be great training for Mars. 

It also could convince participants that this life of space travel, isolation, and completely foreign environments is for them... or not. 
Self-selection is a powerful discriminator for predicting future success.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: ppb on 11/27/2017 05:51 am
SpaceX need not follow the 'professional astronaut' model.  Individuals on Mars will need to be creative and innovative problem solvers and techies, since for much of the time, they won't have an army of Earth-based personnel choreographing their every move.  They have 7,000 employees who are proving quite adept at getting hardware built and launched... this is the pool from which they should select* their technical experts, 'crew' if you will.  There will be room for scientists like field geologists, analytical chemists, biologists (and for medical professionals) that they may lack in the workforce, so there will be some outside selection.

If they vertically integrate all the way up to the astros being sent, then they are training that cadre already.

* Another perk

That is a way of looking at it that I hadn’t considered.  It makes perfect sense that employees designing and building the physical systems are by default in training.  I like it.  Not being addressed today is training for the space environment in LEO and BEO.
Exactly. While I like the general idea of sending people, who developed the systems, I also argue for having e.g. 2 crew members with the 'professional astronaut' background. For instance, 'EVA prep.' is a human situation much more complex, than handling the suit hardware. You are supposed to control your nervousness caused by the danger, and work carefully and methodically, exactly because of the danger. I think I could learn the technical side easily - but would fail on the emotional side. The latter issue requires the huge training. Sure, they will not pilot the landing.
Disagree. The latter requires "the right stuff". You either have it or you don't. It's less of a training process and more of a screening one.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: EnigmaSCADA on 04/01/2018 06:13 pm
Am I the only one that sees two competing problems with crew personnel? On the one hand you need people with calm, collaborative, problem solving, and highly technical skills. Basically, the type of person who is likely highly successful here on Earth and unlikely to consider the high risk of death acceptable as a replacement to their current life.

On the other hand, there are plenty of unstable Looney tunes who would lineup for the first mission and that voyage would be like an asylum.

I dunno, I for one would need to see every technical challenge accomplished in some form before seriously considering going to Mars. Maybe it's the distance & time that's too much of a leap for me. Maybe some would say it's cowardly (to which I disagree, but will accept the label vs going). I don't feel this way about any other current/past HSF.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 04/01/2018 11:03 pm
Am I the only one that sees two competing problems with crew personnel? On the one hand you need people with calm, collaborative, problem solving, and highly technical skills. Basically, the type of person who is likely highly successful here on Earth and unlikely to consider the high risk of death acceptable as a replacement to their current life.

On the other hand, there are plenty of unstable Looney tunes who would lineup for the first mission and that voyage would be like an asylum.

I dunno, I for one would need to see every technical challenge accomplished in some form before seriously considering going to Mars. Maybe it's the distance & time that's too much of a leap for me. Maybe some would say it's cowardly (to which I disagree, but will accept the label vs going). I don't feel this way about any other current/past HSF.
NASA astronaut applications are always way oversubscribed with a lot of highly qualified people. I don't think finding appropriate candidates will be a problem.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 04/01/2018 11:34 pm
Para phrasing Robert Zubrin - I hope the Mars crew is going to be all Scotty's and Spock's with no Kirk's or Mc Coy's (or at least not in a primary role)
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: AbuSimbel on 04/01/2018 11:50 pm
Am I the only one that sees two competing problems with crew personnel? On the one hand you need people with calm, collaborative, problem solving, and highly technical skills. Basically, the type of person who is likely highly successful here on Earth and unlikely to consider the high risk of death acceptable as a replacement to their current life.

On the other hand, there are plenty of unstable Looney tunes who would lineup for the first mission and that voyage would be like an asylum.

I dunno, I for one would need to see every technical challenge accomplished in some form before seriously considering going to Mars. Maybe it's the distance & time that's too much of a leap for me. Maybe some would say it's cowardly (to which I disagree, but will accept the label vs going). I don't feel this way about any other current/past HSF.

Apollo era astronauts have accepted far bigger risks than even the first BFR crew to Mars will. Unlike Apollo, Mars EDL will have been tested robotically at least 4 times before the first crewed landing, not to mention the rocket itself, orbital maneuvers, reentry on Earth etc: all of this will be tested multiple times, without the need for test pilots. A flight surgeon (possibly more than one) will be flying with the rest of the crew, landing sites will be scrutinized and selected with far better technology, 60 years of experience in spaceflight and 20 years of continued human presence in LEO will also be a big advantage.

Even without all of this, Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts choose to fly.
Were they 'unstable Looney tunes'?

Also the most successful people are not the ones that play it safe.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Nomadd on 04/01/2018 11:50 pm
 They should include an old guy who can build mnemonic memory circuits with stone knives and bearskins without constant handholding from a platoon of earthbound engineers a 40 minute timelag away. Using one who's a potential issue for their Mars launches because he lives in the middle of their new spaceport would solve two problems at once. Experience living at sea, in primitive conditions on four continents and surviving Korean wilderness with 70s army gear should be a definite plus. The ability to function after consuming large amounts of alcohol would also be desirable.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: philw1776 on 04/02/2018 12:06 am
Large amounts of alcohol?  Sign me up.  I've spent days at sea too & I Are An Engineer.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 04/02/2018 12:16 am
I think Rapper BoB from this thread is a must for the crew:
 https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43830.0 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43830.0)
If he could be tranquilized for the flight and brought round on Mars I wonder what he would say? >:(
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: DistantTemple on 04/02/2018 12:21 am
I hear he does a good line in terraforming plants as well. They shoot up to 14 ft in days even in a rarefied atmosphere. Take Nomadd and they'll have a Green Mars.... in a century! The Agave americana is a really tough dessert plant ideally suited to the job. As is its human.

Edit (14/04/18): Plants used for terraforming. I've no idea if Agave (Centuary plant) or GM variants could be any use in greening Mars, but its an incredibly tough dessert plant... 
https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/agave-americana.html (https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/agave-americana.html)
Quote from: herbal-supplement-resource.com
Agave is also a food source. The flower stalks and the base leaves of agave americana can be roasted and consumed. A sweet juice which is tapped from the flower stalks, can be drunk or used to make an alcoholic beverage such as pulque.

Other agave species are also used to make traditional alcoholic drinks such as mescal and tequila, which is made from Agave angustifolia and Agave salmiana.

The leaves from both Agave americana and the sisal agave (Agave sisalana) are used to make woven mats and also to make paper. The sharp thorns at the tip of the leaves of Agave Americana also serve as needles and nails.
So I propose the Centuary plant as the first flora crew for Mars. Even in a pressurised greenhouse it has a miryad of benefits, and a good chance of success. And of course its travelling Gardener... where is he?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 04/02/2018 12:25 am
I hear he does a good line in terraforming plants as well. They shoot up to 14 ft in days even in a rarefied atmosphere. Take Nomadd and they'll have a Green Mars.... in a century! The Agave americana is a really tough dessert plant ideally suited to the job. As is its human.

Steady - terraforming planets is my speciality - I got an award for all the fiddley bits around Norway don't you know...
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Bob Shaw on 04/02/2018 12:38 am
On a more serious note, there will certainly be a botanist (probably not Matt Damon) who will be tasked with the job of growing Elon Musk's flower on Mars. When Heart of Gold lands, he will have made his dream come true, and part of that dream will be reflected in his original ambition to bring a flower to life on Mars - and it will happen!
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 12/31/2018 01:42 pm
Moved to a more appropriate thread.

Sadly I suspect an astrogator would be even more redundant than a pilot. Perhaps some ritual checking of star positions and some hand calulations just to "prove" the spaceship knows which way to go. Residual responsibilities go to the Captain

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-00478-8
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 12/31/2018 04:30 pm
I suspect the first Mars crew will be just 4 to keep the weight down and will consist of:

A Doctor
A Mars sciences specialist (geology and biology)
Two engineers (ECLSS/mechanical and computer systems/electrical)
One of them is also the Commander and each will have a reasonable working knowledge of one other crew persons speciality. On top of all that they will have to have specialist knowledge in things like the rover, drilling rigs and ISRU

Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Lar on 12/31/2018 09:14 pm
I think there would be more cross training. All 4 would know at least the rudiments of everything. otherwise, yeah
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: DistantTemple on 12/31/2018 09:34 pm
I think EM's too impatient with results to go with 4. 12 would be more like it.

4 risks mission "failure" through slowness and minor issues. 12 risks more lives and a bigger fallout if the whole mission is lost, but then a loss of 4 would be a massive impediment, so why not go for 12.

As for risks to life, the SS will have been tested manned, in orbit, and around the moon with many landings on Earth, and at least 2 unmanned landings on Mars. At least minimal ISRU methane production on Mars would have been completed, and excessive rations and equipment pre-placed.

A bigger team will be better for morale, better for coping with individual accidents, a better range of technical skills to cope with a wider range of tasks and deviations from expectations, and will lead to more space and comfort more quickly for all.  Obviously it will cost more, but not 3x more than for 4. Or if 3x more was spent, it would add a lot of redundancy and flexibility.

And in terms of financial time it will make the project advance more quickly, drawing in more investment earlier. In the next synod, quite likely an ESA, a NASA, and ISRO, and a Russion team may all be willing to pay to be on board. SX's progress will not be swamped. But after a Synod with 4, SX will not be ready for that.

In the first manned synod, 2 NASA, and 10 SX would make a good balance, but 1 NASA and 3 SX might not!

These are just opinions. However I just don't see EM sitting on his hands for two years whilst 4 ppl get a couple of things working. Its not how he works. In fact its more likely he has 12 in one ship, and another 12 in a ship one month behind. If there is a disaster with the first the second team could at a pinch not land, but if things are going well it'll be like the model 3 ramp should have been!
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: AC in NC on 12/31/2018 10:29 pm
Yes.  4 seems too few.  Even with autonomous equipment, I have a hard time imagining there isn't physical work for a lot of hands, notwithstanding the number of systems that will need significant technical expertise.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 12/31/2018 10:48 pm
I think EM's too impatient with results to go with 4. 12 would be more like it.

4 risks mission "failure" through slowness and minor issues. 12 risks more lives and a bigger fallout if the whole mission is lost, but then a loss of 4 would be a massive impediment, so why not go for 12.

As for risks to life, the SS will have been tested manned, in orbit, and around the moon with many landings on Earth, and at least 2 unmanned landings on Mars. At least minimal ISRU methane production on Mars would have been completed, and excessive rations and equipment pre-placed.

A bigger team will be better for morale, better for coping with individual accidents, a better range of technical skills to cope with a wider range of tasks and deviations from expectations, and will lead to more space and comfort more quickly for all.  Obviously it will cost more, but not 3x more than for 4. Or if 3x more was spent, it would add a lot of redundancy and flexibility.

And in terms of financial time it will make the project advance more quickly, drawing in more investment earlier. In the next synod, quite likely an ESA, a NASA, and ISRO, and a Russion team may all be willing to pay to be on board. SX's progress will not be swamped. But after a Synod with 4, SX will not be ready for that.

In the first manned synod, 2 NASA, and 10 SX would make a good balance, but 1 NASA and 3 SX might not!

These are just opinions. However I just don't see EM sitting on his hands for two years whilst 4 ppl get a couple of things working. Its not how he works. In fact its more likely he has 12 in one ship, and another 12 in a ship one month behind. If there is a disaster with the first the second team could at a pinch not land, but if things are going well it'll be like the model 3 ramp should have been!

There is no doubt there are a lot of advantages in having extra people on board, but there are also drawbacks. The key one being mass. The first Mars mission will have a very tight mass budget with many different priorities, there will be a huge amount of kit of all sorts to carry and I calculate that each crew person will require ~3 tons of payload, so those 12 people will consume a significant part of the total available payload leaving less room for everything from medical supplies to rovers. And also leaving less redundancy options. For instance how many spacesuits will be required per person? And what state will they be in after a 1,2,3,6 or 9 months’ worth of EVA’s on the Martian surface?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Lar on 12/31/2018 11:04 pm
Yes.  4 seems too few.  Even with autonomous equipment, I have a hard time imagining there isn't physical work for a lot of hands, notwithstanding the number of systems that will need significant technical expertise.
There is a number of crew somewhere that will swamp the cargo capacity (their food and supplies for two years[1]means almost nothing else can be brought) and a larger number where the cargo capacity is too small.  I think another thread did these calcs but I don't remember the numbers. Pretty sure 12 is under the first threshold, but not 100% sure. 4 definitely is.

1 - until next synod, if none of the ISRU can be gotten to work, an resupply vessel needs to be sent
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: RonM on 01/01/2019 01:06 am
Remember, earlier versions of BFS were suppose to carry 100 people. Maybe that's down to a lower number, say 70. A crew of 12 will still leave room for cargo. There's also 2 cargo Starships landing the previous synod, 2 more cargo Starships, and the two crew Starships. There will be plenty of cargo for 12 to 24 crew to work with.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: DistantTemple on 01/01/2019 01:16 am
Any Idea which thread? I'll have a look. I was thinking as RonM says. However I have done no calculations.
The calculations are very important, but all of these issues have to be balanced. I did do some calculations in the past about food consumption, and basic rations for 4 years (assuming there is a delay with return or resupply) is not a problem. I'm feeling like thinking through this whole topic of the best team size, their projects, and the needed equipment and supplies.. probably because I have a lot of preparation to do for work in the next coupe of days!!! Space hobby will have to wait!
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: rakaydos on 01/01/2019 10:07 am
Remember, earlier versions of BFS were suppose to carry 100 people. Maybe that's down to a lower number, say 70. A crew of 12 will still leave room for cargo. There's also 2 cargo Starships landing the previous synod, 2 more cargo Starships, and the two crew Starships. There will be plenty of cargo for 12 to 24 crew to work with.
keep in mind, thats 100 people with 4 months of supplies for a fast transit and places waiting for them on the other side. Thats different than a transit+synod+saftey margin in supplies, and basic "get out the door" exploration options. (more advanced exploration tools can be in a presupply rocket.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/01/2019 10:49 am
Remember, earlier versions of BFS were suppose to carry 100 people. Maybe that's down to a lower number, say 70. A crew of 12 will still leave room for cargo. There's also 2 cargo Starships landing the previous synod, 2 more cargo Starships, and the two crew Starships. There will be plenty of cargo for 12 to 24 crew to work with.
keep in mind, thats 100 people with 4 months of supplies for a fast transit and places waiting for them on the other side. Thats different than a transit+synod+saftey margin in supplies, and basic "get out the door" exploration options. (more advanced exploration tools can be in a presupply rocket.
Yes I agree the early descriptions of BFR did mention carrying 100 people, however these figures refered to much later missions not the first missions. If you have sufficient infrastructure set up on Mars then the numbers change significantly.

More than 4 crew may end up going on the first mission. If this is the case then the need for extra crew will have been well argued and the associated risks (less other stuff) accepted.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: RonM on 01/01/2019 03:35 pm
Remember, earlier versions of BFS were suppose to carry 100 people. Maybe that's down to a lower number, say 70. A crew of 12 will still leave room for cargo. There's also 2 cargo Starships landing the previous synod, 2 more cargo Starships, and the two crew Starships. There will be plenty of cargo for 12 to 24 crew to work with.
keep in mind, thats 100 people with 4 months of supplies for a fast transit and places waiting for them on the other side. Thats different than a transit+synod+saftey margin in supplies, and basic "get out the door" exploration options. (more advanced exploration tools can be in a presupply rocket.

Daily requirements for a person are 0.84 kg oxygen, 1.77 kg dried food, and about 4 kg water. Water recovery on ISS is 70% efficient, so that drops the new daily water down to 1.2 kg. so, we're looking at 3.81 kg per person. Let's round that up to 4 kg per day per person to cover items such as CO2 scrubbers.

At 4 kg per person, 1000 kg (metric tonne) can support a person for 250 days. A Earth-Mars synod is 26 months and let's say the flight to Mars is 4 months and the flight back is 6 months. That's 36 months or 1080 days. So, for the entire trip, each person will require 4.32 tonnes of supplies. Throw in the mass of the person and some personal baggage and we get 5 tonnes.

Crewperson, baggage, and life support supplies at 5 tonnes for the whole trip. So, a 12 person crew will take 60 tonnes on a ship that can carry over 100 tonnes.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: philw1776 on 01/01/2019 03:48 pm

Daily requirements for a person are 0.84 kg oxygen, 1.77 kg dried food, and about 4 kg water. Water recovery on ISS is 70% efficient, so that drops the new daily water down to 1.2 kg. so, we're looking at 3.81 kg per person. Let's round that up to 4 kg per day per person to cover items such as CO2 scrubbers.

At 4 kg per person, 1000 kg (metric tonne) can support a person for 250 days. A Earth-Mars synod is 26 months and let's say the flight to Mars is 4 months and the flight back is 6 months. That's 36 months or 1080 days. So, for the entire trip, each person will require 4.32 tonnes of supplies. Throw in the mass of the person and some personal baggage and we get 5 tonnes.

Crewperson, baggage, and life support supplies at 5 tonnes for the whole trip. So, a 12 person crew will take 60 tonnes on a ship that can carry over 100 tonnes.

Conservative estimate

I'd posted 12 person Flight Engineer crew capabilities elsewhere here on NSF
   
FLIGHT ENGINEER CREW      
   Primary Expertise       Backup
1   MD      
         
2   Electronics Systems Engr      Mech Sys
         
3   Mech Systems Engr              ECLSS
         
4   Geologist Mining Engr       
         
5   Geologist Mining Engr #2      
         
6   ECLSS Specialist              EMT
         
7   Roboticist/Mechanic              Mech Sys
         
8   Chemist Soils & In Situ propellant      
         
9   Roboticist/Mechanic #2      
         
10   Chemist Soils & In Situ #2      
         
11   Electronics Systems Engr #2      
         
12   Mech Systems Engr #2      

Need to support the people (MD & EMT), the ship, the equipment, and mine water for propellant manufacturing
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Mongo62 on 01/01/2019 04:24 pm
   Primary Expertise       Backup
1   MD      
         
2   Electronics Systems Engr      Mech Sys
         
3   Mech Systems Engr              ECLSS
         
4   Geologist Mining Engr       
         
5   Geologist Mining Engr #2      
         
6   ECLSS Specialist              EMT
         
7   Roboticist/Mechanic              Mech Sys
         
8   Chemist Soils & In Situ propellant      
         
9   Roboticist/Mechanic #2      
         
10   Chemist Soils & In Situ #2      
         
11   Electronics Systems Engr #2      
         
12   Mech Systems Engr #2      

Need to support the people (MD & EMT), the ship, the equipment, and mine water for propellant manufacturing

That leaves 4 unused secondary or backup slots available. One of those slots would presumably be for Captain. I would recommend at least one more medical backup slot as well. The other two slots? Perhaps one secondary slot would be for a journalist or historian position, to document the expedition? There would be video or other records regardless, but somebody on board who knows what records would be most useful to future historians would be invaluable. The final secondary slot? I don't know, maybe a chef (or an artist, a la DearMoon)?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/01/2019 05:47 pm
Remember, earlier versions of BFS were suppose to carry 100 people. Maybe that's down to a lower number, say 70. A crew of 12 will still leave room for cargo. There's also 2 cargo Starships landing the previous synod, 2 more cargo Starships, and the two crew Starships. There will be plenty of cargo for 12 to 24 crew to work with.
keep in mind, thats 100 people with 4 months of supplies for a fast transit and places waiting for them on the other side. Thats different than a transit+synod+saftey margin in supplies, and basic "get out the door" exploration options. (more advanced exploration tools can be in a presupply rocket.

Daily requirements for a person are 0.84 kg oxygen, 1.77 kg dried food, and about 4 kg water. Water recovery on ISS is 70% efficient, so that drops the new daily water down to 1.2 kg. so, we're looking at 3.81 kg per person. Let's round that up to 4 kg per day per person to cover items such as CO2 scrubbers.

At 4 kg per person, 1000 kg (metric tonne) can support a person for 250 days. A Earth-Mars synod is 26 months and let's say the flight to Mars is 4 months and the flight back is 6 months. That's 36 months or 1080 days. So, for the entire trip, each person will require 4.32 tonnes of supplies. Throw in the mass of the person and some personal baggage and we get 5 tonnes.

Crewperson, baggage, and life support supplies at 5 tonnes for the whole trip. So, a 12 person crew will take 60 tonnes on a ship that can carry over 100 tonnes.

Taking your argument to its logical conclusion there should be room for a crew of 20, so why not take 20?

Reason being there will be a need for a lot of additional “stuff”. I could see the sub team designing the rover arguing about whether it should be 10 ton or 12 tons and whether they can take two or not. And the ISRU sub team who want most of the mass allowance from an entire Starship just for their solar array.

I hope they do find the mass for 12 people; it would be great, although I doubt it. But to join in with the thread and in the spirit of compromise I suggest:

MD
Electronics engineer
Mechanical engineer
Geologist
Biologist
ECLSS specialist
Robot mechanic
ISRU chemist

One would also be commander and each would act as backup for one other and have general training and familiarity with a third role.

This would save an additional 20 tons or so for some fancy pressurized rovers, a sizable drilling rig and extra solar energy capacity (or whatever stuff).
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: AC in NC on 01/01/2019 06:19 pm
Crewperson, baggage, and life support supplies at 5 tonnes for the whole trip. So, a 12 person crew will take 60 tonnes on a ship that can carry over 100 tonnes.

A couple points.  This discounts pre-positioned tonnage from the previous synod's uncrewed landings.  And it doesn't address the capacity of the sortie that is landing.  Although certainly there's an element of you want to know you have enough to make it for unexpected contingencies, I suspect there will be some tradeoffs.  And you'll know some things about what you can depend on at Mars.

I'm not sure if the Mission Profile by synod changed in 2018 but recall 2017's.

I don't think 12 is as limiting as the 60 of 100 tonnes number implies.


ETA:  Had missed RonM's earlier point about 12 or 24 not being limiting on cargo.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: RonM on 01/01/2019 06:43 pm
Crewperson, baggage, and life support supplies at 5 tonnes for the whole trip. So, a 12 person crew will take 60 tonnes on a ship that can carry over 100 tonnes.

A couple points.  This discounts pre-positioned tonnage from the previous synod's uncrewed landings.  And it doesn't address the capacity of the sortie that is landing.  Although certainly there's an element of you want to know you have enough to make it for unexpected contingencies, I suspect there will be some tradeoffs.  And you'll know some things about what you can depend on at Mars.

I'm not sure if the Mission Profile by synod changed in 2018 but recall 2017's.

I don't think 12 is as limiting as the 60 of 100 tonnes number implies.

I mentioned the six ships earlier. I added some ballpark numbers to the conversation to show that 12 people can fit on one ship for a 36 month mission. Better to have an estimate than hand waving. My estimate doesn't even include recovering oxygen from CO2. Better life support systems could lower the mass.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: mshear on 01/03/2019 02:40 pm
   Primary Expertise       Backup
1   MD      
         
2   Electronics Systems Engr      Mech Sys
         
3   Mech Systems Engr              ECLSS
         
4   Geologist Mining Engr       
         
5   Geologist Mining Engr #2      
         
6   ECLSS Specialist              EMT
         
7   Roboticist/Mechanic              Mech Sys
         
8   Chemist Soils & In Situ propellant      
         
9   Roboticist/Mechanic #2      
         
10   Chemist Soils & In Situ #2      
         
11   Electronics Systems Engr #2      
         
12   Mech Systems Engr #2      

Need to support the people (MD & EMT), the ship, the equipment, and mine water for propellant manufacturing

That leaves 4 unused secondary or backup slots available. One of those slots would presumably be for Captain. I would recommend at least one more medical backup slot as well. The other two slots? Perhaps one secondary slot would be for a journalist or historian position, to document the expedition? There would be video or other records regardless, but somebody on board who knows what records would be most useful to future historians would be invaluable. The final secondary slot? I don't know, maybe a chef (or an artist, a la DearMoon)?

Every time I see one of these lists I notice that there's generally an MD included as a primary slot, usually (although not always) with no secondary slot listed for that position.  This always strikes me as unnecessary, even a little silly; I've given a fair bit of thought to the medical needs of this kind of mission and frankly there's not going to be a lot of benefit to a physician over, say, a couple of paramedics (if there's only one, that will be the one person who gets sick or injured!).  There are very few things (I can't actually think of any offhand) where having a doc is going to make a difference compared to a paramedic, given that there will be radio consultation with medical support back on the ground with ~1hr of lag time and most paramedics I know are perfectly capable of the first hour of treatment for any illness or injury that's going to be survivable at all given the circumstances - after all, there's no operating room to try to get an unstable trauma into within the golden hour!  I'd argue that the medical support should consist of every member of the crew having fairly advanced first aid training, and at least two having something along the line of paramedic or PA level of training...but that this should be their *secondary* slot and have something more mission critical as their primary slot - or at least if their primary role is medical support, having a strong secondary role (ECLSS support would fit well here).

Having said that, you could almost certainly find a physician who could play the tune of ECLSS (or other) engineer as well - I certainly would not have any objection to that being the case, my objection is more to dedicating a slot exclusively to medical support and also specifying that the medical support slot must be specifically a physician rather than more generically "medical support" to give a bit more flexibility.  If I were on the crew, I'd rather have a really capable ECLSS engineer who also happens to be a reasonably competent paramedic rather than a really capable physician who also happens to be reasonably competent at ECLSS engineering!

Background: I used to be a paramedic before med school, now have been a practicing emergency physician (which is arguably the specialty you'd want if you took a doc along on this kind of mission) for the last eight years.  Which means that I'm all too aware of how few serious injuries can be adequately treated by one or two people, as most things that are going to need more than something like a fracture reduction and casting will require the services of a large team of trained people well beyond the resources of an early Mars mission.  Minor orthopedic injuries (by "minor" I mean "does not require open surgery"), laceration repairs, etc could all be dealt with quite easily by a paramedic or PA especially since they could get coaching over the radio from Earth; most things beyond that are going to have to be dealt with by patching up as best as possible and hoping that they heal regardless of who is in the medical support role. 

Sorry about the rant - this is an assumption (that an MD is needed) that's been bugging me for years! [grin]
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/03/2019 03:30 pm
Snip...

Every time I see one of these lists I notice that there's generally an MD included as a primary slot, usually (although not always) with no secondary slot listed for that position.  This always strikes me as unnecessary, even a little silly; I've given a fair bit of thought to the medical needs of this kind of mission and frankly there's not going to be a lot of benefit to a physician over, say, a couple of paramedics (if there's only one, that will be the one person who gets sick or injured!).  There are very few things (I can't actually think of any offhand) where having a doc is going to make a difference compared to a paramedic, given that there will be radio consultation with medical support back on the ground with ~1hr of lag time and most paramedics I know are perfectly capable of the first hour of treatment for any illness or injury that's going to be survivable at all given the circumstances - after all, there's no operating room to try to get an unstable trauma into within the golden hour!  I'd argue that the medical support should consist of every member of the crew having fairly advanced first aid training, and at least two having something along the line of paramedic or PA level of training...but that this should be their *secondary* slot and have something more mission critical as their primary slot - or at least if their primary role is medical support, having a strong secondary role (ECLSS support would fit well here).

Having said that, you could almost certainly find a physician who could play the tune of ECLSS (or other) engineer as well - I certainly would not have any objection to that being the case, my objection is more to dedicating a slot exclusively to medical support and also specifying that the medical support slot must be specifically a physician rather than more generically "medical support" to give a bit more flexibility.  If I were on the crew, I'd rather have a really capable ECLSS engineer who also happens to be a reasonably competent paramedic rather than a really capable physician who also happens to be reasonably competent at ECLSS engineering!

Background: I used to be a paramedic before med school, now have been a practicing emergency physician (which is arguably the specialty you'd want if you took a doc along on this kind of mission) for the last eight years.  Which means that I'm all too aware of how few serious injuries can be adequately treated by one or two people, as most things that are going to need more than something like a fracture reduction and casting will require the services of a large team of trained people well beyond the resources of an early Mars mission.  Minor orthopedic injuries (by "minor" I mean "does not require open surgery"), laceration repairs, etc could all be dealt with quite easily by a paramedic or PA especially since they could get coaching over the radio from Earth; most things beyond that are going to have to be dealt with by patching up as best as possible and hoping that they heal regardless of who is in the medical support role. 

Sorry about the rant - this is an assumption (that an MD is needed) that's been bugging me for years! [grin]

Yes good point - I fear many people (me included) might well have thought, well we need a doctor in case any medical treatment is required so MD on the team - next. But you are right that a) the medical expert needs a backup and b) they don't need to be an MD a paramedic would also be an ideal choice.

The key point being that you want someone who has very good general abilities with dealing with a wide range of emergencies, not someone with an encyclopaedic knowledge of medicine. Any chronic issues can be advised on from Earth, any acute issues must be dealt with there and then by the crew.

As I said somewhere before what they need is to maximise on the Spocks and Scottys and minimise on the Kirks and McCoys  ;D
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: AC in NC on 01/03/2019 03:34 pm
Any chronic issues can be advised on from Earth, any acute issues must be dealt with there and then by the crew.

Or if something new crops up, Bezos can send a "Pill Pack" via one of those Film Canister drops they used in the 60's for spy sat photos.   8)

mshear's point is good and shouldn't be considered a rant.  Important to consider what can be done vs. what might be needed.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: rakaydos on 01/03/2019 03:40 pm
As far as crew lists are concerned, I also feel there is a secondary role that is left off.

NASA can mandate no sex in space, but at some point, it's going to happen, and if birth control isn't up to date, there will be a new volunteer for a variable gravity pediatric study.

How's that for a threat to keep it in your pants for about 3 years?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/03/2019 04:22 pm
As far as crew lists are concerned, I also feel there is a secondary role that is left off.

NASA can mandate no sex in space, but at some point, it's going to happen, and if birth control isn't up to date, there will be a new volunteer for a variable gravity pediatric study.

How's that for a threat to keep it in your pants for about 3 years?

That won't be a problem as NASA won't be in charge Mr Musk will be.

Gasp! x :o - no wait – it’s a big problem. Would assume Elon will ensure the necessary contingency supplies will be included. No doubt the press will have a field day.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: rakaydos on 01/03/2019 05:31 pm
As far as crew lists are concerned, I also feel there is a secondary role that is left off.

NASA can mandate no sex in space, but at some point, it's going to happen, and if birth control isn't up to date, there will be a new volunteer for a variable gravity pediatric study.

How's that for a threat to keep it in your pants for about 3 years?

That won't be a problem as NASA won't be in charge Mr Musk will be.

Gasp! x :o - no wait – it’s a big problem. Would assume Elon will ensure the necessary contingency supplies will be included. No doubt the press will have a field day.
that's why I said there was a missing role in the crew lists... Pediatrician/gynocoligist, to monitor the experiment.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: DistantTemple on 01/03/2019 06:19 pm
Kim Stanley Robinson mapped out the future development quite succinctly. Its already future fact. Yes it would be a massive oversight not to make at least some preparation, and a great wast of opportunity, as well as possibly increased risk to mother and child.

EM keeps news very tight when he wants to. However any medical person signing on will probably generate ar thorough and exhaustive backstuddy  here, on Reddit, in the press etc. Did s/he do a module in paediatrics? ... every hospital they worked at...

I watched some film of Antarctic overwinter base participants being trained in surgical support. How to maintain sterility, how to respond to the surgeon, how to assist in stitching, how to lift a patient between trolleys etc.  Engineers and scientists have expert technical knowledge, and learning skills to learn a lot in a few weeks crash (ha ha) course. They are skilled with tools and procedures. Also if they have been hoping/planning to get some astronaut time in if they can, they may have kept acquired some "expedition emergency medicine" skills.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: marcon on 01/03/2019 09:56 pm
Any conception on such an expedition will be terminated immediately and absolutely quietly.

This is far too dangerous an issue for both mother and child medically, as well as for the whole mission in terms of public opinion, let alone of questionable morality.

In fact, I am sure that the crew will include several rodents for research into reproduction in low gravity over several generations and subsequent return to higher gravity.

Edit : There will be need for gynaecological supervision and research, for any female pre-menopausal astronauts are on board, though.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 01/04/2019 08:46 am
This is far too dangerous an issue for both mother and child medically, as well as for the whole mission in terms of public opinion, let alone of questionable morality.

Any such statement gets me boiling mad. Who do you think you are that you can make such a judgement? Here on earth everybody can have children regardless of any considerations. Why should this be different during a space expedition?

Not that I think this should happen on the first expedition and without animal tests. I hope such tests will be made on Starship test flights that evaluate ECLSS, NASA failing to do them on the ISS.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: marcon on 01/04/2019 09:21 am
This is far too dangerous an issue for both mother and child medically, as well as for the whole mission in terms of public opinion, let alone of questionable morality.

Any such statement gets me boiling mad. Who do you think you are that you can make such a judgement? Here on earth everybody can have children regardless of any considerations. Why should this be different during a space expedition?

Not that I think this should happen on the first expedition and without animal tests. I hope such tests will be made on Starship test flights that evaluate ECLSS, NASA failing to do them on the ISS.

It's the health of the potential mother and implications for the life of a baby, I am considering. There is so much that can potentially go wrong during a pregnancy, let alone in zero or low gravity.

I am considering the morality of bringing a child into this world, when we don't yet know, if it's even possible to live healthily in low gravity on Mars long term. Let alone, whether such a child could ever be brought to earth. As long as we don't have a permanent settlement on Mars, and/or have done the necessary medical research and preparation to make it safe and long term survivable for the child.

And giving the fact how delicate a subject sex and procreation are in the US, there would be a tremendous public backlash, if something involving pregnancy or a baby were to go wrong. It's one thing about expecting trained astronauts and explorers to undergo substantial risk. It's something else to bring children into it.

Edit: Removed unneccessarily confrontational tone of my post.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: AC in NC on 01/04/2019 03:26 pm
Any such statement gets me boiling mad. Who do you think you are that you can make such a judgement?

As far as "making the statement", the answer is "an observer of what makes sense".

As far as "an individual that finds themselves in the described situation", the answer is "an individual with human agency to enter in an agreement for association with a group in challenging circumstances, with common goals, and subject to restrictions that further overall success of the endeavor."

You aren't walking onto Mars with a mile-long list of civil rights that you get to sue for.

This is a discussion for somewhere else as it trends very close toward off-topic and is unnecessarily passion-raising for some it appears.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: alexterrell on 01/04/2019 04:02 pm
What crew would SpaceX send on the first manned mission?

My guess: About 10 people
* Commander/Pilot/Comms
* Pilot/BFS Engineer/Comms
* Doctor/Biologist/Cook
* Vehicle Engineer/Driver
* Chemist/ISRU Engineer
* Geologist/Scout/Driver
* Geologist/Scout/Driver
* Hab Engineer/Builder/Driver
* Biologist/Gardener/Cook
* ??
I think the roles of "driver" and "cook" will probably be removed and done by the entire team.

Driver - because flexibility demands that at some point everyone will need to drive.

Cook - because everyone can do it, and it will probably be good for team morale if everyone takes it in turn to cook. Nutrition and ingredients planning will have been done on Earth.

You might need more "Engineers" - not to say someone who is an engineer, but someone who has spent a lot of time disassembling, and reassembling, a specific bit of equipment. Perhaps 2 people who can do each piece of equipment:
- Life support expert
- Launch engine expert
- Communications and IT expert
- HVAC expert
- Airlock expert
- Vehicle expert (car mechanic?)
- ....

what are the dozen main and critical systems? Each crew member would then know how to fix TWO of these "blind folded whilst breathing 0.1 bar Oxygen."

Of course, one of the main system types is "human" and we'll need 2 engineers - commonly called "Doctors", to maintain and fix these.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: RonM on 01/04/2019 04:12 pm
SpaceX's priority is to get the ISRU propellant facility operational. Most of the crew on the first flight would be engineers. Once the "gas station" and base are setup they can send lots of scientists (paying passengers).
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/04/2019 05:29 pm
What crew would SpaceX send on the first manned mission?

My guess: About 10 people
* Commander/Pilot/Comms
* Pilot/BFS Engineer/Comms
* Doctor/Biologist/Cook
* Vehicle Engineer/Driver
* Chemist/ISRU Engineer
* Geologist/Scout/Driver
* Geologist/Scout/Driver
* Hab Engineer/Builder/Driver
* Biologist/Gardener/Cook
* ??
I think the roles of "driver" and "cook" will probably be removed and done by the entire team.

Driver - because flexibility demands that at some point everyone will need to drive.

Cook - because everyone can do it, and it will probably be good for team morale if everyone takes it in turn to cook. Nutrition and ingredients planning will have been done on Earth.

You might need more "Engineers" - not to say someone who is an engineer, but someone who has spent a lot of time disassembling, and reassembling, a specific bit of equipment. Perhaps 2 people who can do each piece of equipment:
- Life support expert
- Launch engine expert
- Communications and IT expert
- HVAC expert
- Airlock expert
- Vehicle expert (car mechanic?)
- ....

what are the dozen main and critical systems? Each crew member would then know how to fix TWO of these "blind folded whilst breathing 0.1 bar Oxygen."

Of course, one of the main system types is "human" and we'll need 2 engineers - commonly called "Doctors", to maintain and fix these.

I think there would be pressure to reduce the crew size to save mass so any “*??” would just be eliminated as would any excessive duplication. Also some specialities are broader and more important than others. Here’s my revised list (and I suspect that arguments over saving mass might cause even this list to be reduced to 6 or even 4.

Primary roles (majority of crew memebers background experience and training)
Paramedic
Starship ECLSS engineer
Starship mechanical engineer
Starship electrical engineer
Starship comms and computer systems engineer
Chemist ISRU engineer
Biologist
Geologist

Secondary roles (substantial background and or training)
All of the above skills should be duplicated in a second crew member who would have substantial knowledge in the topic. Exactly which crew member is the backup for which other crew member would depend on individual availability and fit and is not that important.

Tertiary roles (important roles that do not require as much training or where lesser training is acceptable in view of other crew skills present)
Commander/”pilot”
2nd in command/”pilot”
Cook
Driver
Rover specialist
Drilling specialist
Solar power specialist
Mars suit specialist

Everyone would also need the basic ships systems / EVA / first aid etc. training
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: DistantTemple on 01/04/2019 06:21 pm
Yes.. just saying "engineer" or even "robotic engineer, or "electrical engineer" is not the point. as
Quote from: RonM
SpaceX's priority is to get the ISRU propellant facility operational. Most of the crew on the first flight would be engineers. Once the "gas station" and base are setup they can send lots of scientists (paying passengers).

Instead I bet SX plans from: "What team do we need to get the ISRU system installed working, and loading sufficient propellant?" Just like an engineering firm on Earth would. Then its the time frame, how that fits within the Synod and the first refuelled return. An then how would that team be most effectively redeployed, once released from that. So some of these engineers will be working on the ISRU system now.

If this was a new Antarctic base there would be a detailed project map, with a time line of critical milestones for infrastructure etc, and then teams of personnel selected to achieve them. 

Linked to this will be a team to set up the "mining" of water for ISRU, and a sub group of ISRU team working on CO2 capture from the atmosphere.

The other main projects are landing pads and pad infrastructure, (electrical) power, and habitats or "base".

Details.
The ISRU team will include one of the most senior architects of the current project, and team engineers that know the installation inside out, and the rationale behind it. It will include those highly skilled at fabrication, as well as chemical engineers. It may turn out that they have done such a good job that it just slots together and works! but its too important not to have the very best people right there to make sure.

The pad team, may be the lead engineer who will have had a lead role in developing plans on earth, and a cryogenic fuel engineer, from a current SX team, and then cross trained members from ISRU, mining, and habitats.

Mining and mining vehicle, mechanics and robotics, will be several engineers and technicians, again from existing teams, with a senior lead several (3+?) practical and highly skilled experts with full ability to understand use, repair and adapt every item of their equipment, (including 1 crane/lifting engineer/driver) and (2+?) "geologist(s)" and mining engineers who have the skills to mine safely and the understanding to find and extract the resources.

Habitat may be one lead base architect, and a team that was pre-planned from the other mission members to be redeployed to base construction at suitable windows in their primary mission.

I DO DEFINITELY think a highly skilled medical professional will be needed. Rather a surgeon than an MD. There is a high chance of falls, broken bones, open fracture complicated by Mars dust ingress frostbite and "bends", which will be survivable but need surgery to rebuild or amputate. Despite the low gravity, there will be large masses, and high energy equipment used in pressing situations. There is also illness and medical research in a general sense. Poisoning issues to do with Mars compounds, despite an assumed attempt to keep contaminants our of habitats  etc. Plus possibly a pure science role, and being a second in the ECLSS team. Possibly an army vet with battlefield medical experience, or industrial injury trauma surgeon. Several other expedition members will be crash trained in trauma medical support. (a second trained paramedic would be a priority)

If "mars brick" is to be made or "mars concrete" etc  likely a key developer of each technology will be slotted in where possible.

There will be a "farmer" or plant scientist, who may spend a lot more time in secondary roles. Although "cook" may be entirely secondary, it may be prioritised due to its importance to health and motivation. EM and Kimbal will want trials of various plans and systems to inform the next developments, even if initially they are small experiments. However it may even be a useful vegetable component!!! Even in the first synod.

So min 4 on the expert ISRU team (+2 from pad building)
and 6 on the mining and geology team (they will also help "build" the ISRU)
2 pad construction and cryo fuelling experts
1 base architect
1 "trauma surgeon" 1 paramedic
1 plant scientist 1 ECLSS lead/expert (there must be several trained up to support all parts of the ECLSS and maybe a backup lead)
1 cook/ human/space health person.
1 mars material utilisation engineer (plus chemistry "lab")
1 Mars materials chemist/metallurgy expert/scientist (as well as above)
1 Electronic communications/electronics specialist to lead on comms/satellite .. installing and fixing comms.
1 programmer, although many others will have to program robots, rovers, and automated machinery and vehicles.
1 power systems manager.
1 suit and airlock expert/maintenance technician
1 hydraulics technician.
3d printing, welding, machining, .... all skills within the teams.
1 Team leader

That's 24.26 now! Without these numbers critical items could be slow or be jeopardised. If things go wrong, almost anything can be fixed. (which is what you need.) If things go well, they can do extra exploration, scout for a second base/mine ... investigate specific features .... or do research for SX, NASA, or academic institutions.  or other science. (so the metallurgist is very important looking towards plans for the second manned synod)

Add 1 Starship captain and 2 seconds/Starship engineers. Many if not all will have to have had at least one previous trip to orbit, and some have EVA practice, etc.

I bet there is a person or two from NASA - maybe a scientist. Nearly 32 now!
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Kenp51d on 01/04/2019 06:42 pm
Yes.. just saying "engineer" or even "robotic engineer, or "electrical engineer" is not the point. as
Quote from: RonM
SpaceX's priority is to get the ISRU propellant facility operational. Most of the crew on the first flight would be engineers. Once the "gas station" and base are setup they can send lots of scientists (paying passengers).

Instead I bet SX plans from: "What team do we need to get the ISRU system installed working, and loading sufficient propellant?" Just like an engineering firm on Earth would. Then its the time frame, how that fits within the Synod and the first refuelled return. An then how would that team be most effectively redeployed, once released from that. So some of these engineers will be working on the ISRU system now.

If this was a new Antarctic base there would be a detailed project map, with a time line of critical milestones for infrastructure etc, and then teams of personnel selected to achieve them. 

Linked to this will be a team to set up the "mining" of water for ISRU, and a sub group of ISRU team working on CO2 capture from the atmosphere.

The other main projects are landing pads and pad infrastructure, (electrical) power, and habitats or "base".

Details.
The ISRU team will include one of the most senior architects of the current project, and team engineers that know the installation inside out, and the rationale behind it. It will include those highly skilled at fabrication, as well as chemical engineers. It may turn out that they have done such a good job that it just slots together and works! but its too important not to have the very best people right there to make sure.

The pad team, may be the lead engineer who will have had a lead role in developing plans on earth, and a cryogenic fuel engineer, from a current SX team, and then cross trained members from ISRU, mining, and habitats.

Mining and mining vehicle, mechanics and robotics, will be several engineers and technicians, again from existing teams, with a senior lead several (3+?) practical and highly skilled experts with full ability to understand use, repair and adapt every item of their equipment, (including 1 crane/lifting engineer/driver) and (2+?) "geologist(s)" and mining engineers who have the skills to mine safely and the understanding to find and extract the resources.

Habitat may be one lead base architect, and a team that was pre-planned from the other mission members to be redeployed to base construction at suitable windows in their primary mission.

I DO DEFINITELY think a highly skilled medical professional will be needed. Rather a surgeon than an MD. There is a high chance of falls, broken bones, open fracture complicated by Mars dust ingress frostbite and "bends", which will be survivable but need surgery to rebuild or amputate. Despite the low gravity, there will be large masses, and high energy equipment used in pressing situations. There is also illness and medical research in a general sense. Poisoning issues to do with Mars compounds, despite an assumed attempt to keep contaminants our of habitats  etc. Plus possibly a pure science role, and being a second in the ECLSS team. Possibly an army vet with battlefield medical experience, or industrial injury trauma surgeon. Several other expedition members will be crash trained in trauma medical support. (a second trained paramedic would be a priority)

If "mars brick" is to be made or "mars concrete" etc  likely a key developer of each technology will be slotted in where possible.

There will be a "farmer" or plant scientist, who may spend a lot more time in secondary roles. Although "cook" may be entirely secondary, it may be prioritised due to its importance to health and motivation. EM and Kimbal will want trials of various plans and systems to inform the next developments, even if initially they are small experiments. However it may even be a useful vegetable component!!! Even in the first synod.

So min 4 on the expert ISRU team (+2 from pad building)
and 6 on the mining and geology team (they will also help "build" the ISRU)
2 pad construction and cryo fuelling experts
1 base architect
1 "trauma surgeon" 1 paramedic
1 plant scientist 1 ECLSS lead/expert (there must be several trained up to support all parts of the ECLSS and maybe a backup lead)
1 cook/ human/space health person.
1 mars material utilisation engineer (plus chemistry "lab")
1 Mars materials chemist/metallurgy expert/scientist (as well as above)
1 Electronic communications/electronics specialist to lead on comms/satellite .. installing and fixing comms.
1 programmer, although many others will have to program robots, rovers, and automated machinery and vehicles.
1 power systems manager.
1 suit and airlock expert/maintenance technician
1 hydraulics technician.
3d printing, welding, machining, .... all skills within the teams.
1 Team leader

That's 24.26 now! Without these numbers critical items could be slow or be jeopardised. If things go wrong, almost anything can be fixed. (which is what you need.) If things go well, they can do extra exploration, scout for a second base/mine ... investigate specific features .... or do research for SX, NASA, or academic institutions.  or other science. (so the metallurgist is very important looking towards plans for the second manned synod)

Add 1 Starship captain and 2 seconds/Starship engineers. Many if not all will have to have had at least one previous trip to orbit, and some have EVA practice, etc.

I bet there is a person or two from NASA - maybe a scientist. Nearly 32 now!
Spread over 2 ships?? Maybe manageable?

Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/04/2019 06:45 pm
Yes.. just saying "engineer" or even "robotic engineer, or "electrical engineer" is not the point. as
Quote from: RonM
SpaceX's priority is to get the ISRU propellant facility operational. Most of the crew on the first flight would be engineers. Once the "gas station" and base are setup they can send lots of scientists (paying passengers).

Instead I bet SX plans from: "What team do we need to get the ISRU system installed working, and loading sufficient propellant?" Just like an engineering firm on Earth would. Then its the time frame, how that fits within the Synod and the first refuelled return. An then how would that team be most effectively redeployed, once released from that. So some of these engineers will be working on the ISRU system now.

If this was a new Antarctic base there would be a detailed project map, with a time line of critical milestones for infrastructure etc, and then teams of personnel selected to achieve them. 

Linked to this will be a team to set up the "mining" of water for ISRU, and a sub group of ISRU team working on CO2 capture from the atmosphere.

The other main projects are landing pads and pad infrastructure, (electrical) power, and habitats or "base".

Details.
The ISRU team will include one of the most senior architects of the current project, and team engineers that know the installation inside out, and the rationale behind it. It will include those highly skilled at fabrication, as well as chemical engineers. It may turn out that they have done such a good job that it just slots together and works! but its too important not to have the very best people right there to make sure.

The pad team, may be the lead engineer who will have had a lead role in developing plans on earth, and a cryogenic fuel engineer, from a current SX team, and then cross trained members from ISRU, mining, and habitats.

Mining and mining vehicle, mechanics and robotics, will be several engineers and technicians, again from existing teams, with a senior lead several (3+?) practical and highly skilled experts with full ability to understand use, repair and adapt every item of their equipment, (including 1 crane/lifting engineer/driver) and (2+?) "geologist(s)" and mining engineers who have the skills to mine safely and the understanding to find and extract the resources.

Habitat may be one lead base architect, and a team that was pre-planned from the other mission members to be redeployed to base construction at suitable windows in their primary mission.

I DO DEFINITELY think a highly skilled medical professional will be needed. Rather a surgeon than an MD. There is a high chance of falls, broken bones, open fracture complicated by Mars dust ingress frostbite and "bends", which will be survivable but need surgery to rebuild or amputate. Despite the low gravity, there will be large masses, and high energy equipment used in pressing situations. There is also illness and medical research in a general sense. Poisoning issues to do with Mars compounds, despite an assumed attempt to keep contaminants our of habitats  etc. Plus possibly a pure science role, and being a second in the ECLSS team. Possibly an army vet with battlefield medical experience, or industrial injury trauma surgeon. Several other expedition members will be crash trained in trauma medical support. (a second trained paramedic would be a priority)

If "mars brick" is to be made or "mars concrete" etc  likely a key developer of each technology will be slotted in where possible.

There will be a "farmer" or plant scientist, who may spend a lot more time in secondary roles. Although "cook" may be entirely secondary, it may be prioritised due to its importance to health and motivation. EM and Kimbal will want trials of various plans and systems to inform the next developments, even if initially they are small experiments. However it may even be a useful vegetable component!!! Even in the first synod.

So min 4 on the expert ISRU team (+2 from pad building)
and 6 on the mining and geology team (they will also help "build" the ISRU)
2 pad construction and cryo fuelling experts
1 base architect
1 "trauma surgeon" 1 paramedic
1 plant scientist 1 ECLSS lead/expert (there must be several trained up to support all parts of the ECLSS and maybe a backup lead)
1 cook/ human/space health person.
1 mars material utilisation engineer (plus chemistry "lab")
1 Mars materials chemist/metallurgy expert/scientist (as well as above)
1 Electronic communications/electronics specialist to lead on comms/satellite .. installing and fixing comms.
1 programmer, although many others will have to program robots, rovers, and automated machinery and vehicles.
1 power systems manager.
1 suit and airlock expert/maintenance technician
1 hydraulics technician.
3d printing, welding, machining, .... all skills within the teams.
1 Team leader

That's 24.26 now! Without these numbers critical items could be slow or be jeopardised. If things go wrong, almost anything can be fixed. (which is what you need.) If things go well, they can do extra exploration, scout for a second base/mine ... investigate specific features .... or do research for SX, NASA, or academic institutions.  or other science. (so the metallurgist is very important looking towards plans for the second manned synod)

Add 1 Starship captain and 2 seconds/Starship engineers. Many if not all will have to have had at least one previous trip to orbit, and some have EVA practice, etc.

I bet there is a person or two from NASA - maybe a scientist. Nearly 32 now!

Quite a list! Although I hope you don't mind me pointing out that you have forgotten the Boatswain. Shame there would be no room for "stuff" just enough mass for people and their supplies. ;D
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: KSHavre on 01/05/2019 05:10 pm
That's 24.26 now! Without these numbers critical items could be slow or be jeopardised.

I agree on all except the medical crew. I volunteer (every weekend through the winter) for a First Responder organization. While we do have medical professionals who tend to fill in teaching/certification roles, there are members from all walks of life. All the crew should get First Responder training at the bare minimum.

For any trauma, the first half hour is key to survival. ABCD = Airway (blockages?) Breathing (air getting to lungs regularly?) Circulation (is the heart functioning correctly). Once a patient is stabilized, you can take your time to figure out what is wrong, Telemedicine can take care of all the specialized treatments the crew will most likely not encounter. I know; 48 minutes is the worst case round trip communication from earth. Medical trauma requires a calm and patient person with the right supplies and equipment to keep someone alive, long enough to make sure you get the treatment right.

I am only offering this information so all y'all can focus on crew that maximize the success of the initial excursion (IMHO = ISRU). Okay, finding one trauma doc or field paramedic who is also a fit for any other role is a plus; especially when the earth surgeon says stick a needle or cut into someone! In the very worst case scenario, there are plenty of examples of self-surgery in extreme cases, some very crude, and some with the assistance of a remote doctor providing guidance.

Edit: Which gets you back to 24! :-D
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: CuddlyRocket on 01/05/2019 06:01 pm
Some of the lists above have included both a medical doctor and a biologist. I think this is unnecessary.

Any such doctor selected for this mission is also going to be a medical scientist, responsible for making observations of, and running tests on, the crew, as one would hope that accidents and illnesses would take a small amount of their time. Any biologist would have nothing to do if they don't discover any life - the likeliest scenario. If life is discovered, a competent medical scientist could operate any equipment to carry out the initial characterisation, especially with advice and instruction from Earth. There'll be another mission 26 months after the first, and if life is discovered many of the world's greatest microbiogists will be clamouring to go!
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: DigitalMan on 01/05/2019 06:29 pm
I agree on all except the medical crew. I volunteer (every weekend through the winter) for a First Responder organization. While we do have medical professionals who tend to fill in teaching/certification roles, there are members from all walks of life. All the crew should get First Responder training at the bare minimum.

For any trauma, the first half hour is key to survival. ABCD = Airway (blockages?) Breathing (air getting to lungs regularly?) Circulation (is the heart functioning correctly). Once a patient is stabilized, you can take your time to figure out what is wrong, Telemedicine can take care of all the specialized treatments the crew will most likely not encounter. I know; 48 minutes is the worst case round trip communication from earth. Medical trauma requires a calm and patient person with the right supplies and equipment to keep someone alive, long enough to make sure you get the treatment right.

I am only offering this information so all y'all can focus on crew that maximize the success of the initial excursion (IMHO = ISRU). Okay, finding one trauma doc or field paramedic who is also a fit for any other role is a plus; especially when the earth surgeon says stick a needle or cut into someone! In the very worst case scenario, there are plenty of examples of self-surgery in extreme cases, some very crude, and some with the assistance of a remote doctor providing guidance.

Edit: Which gets you back to 24! :-D

When going to climb Denali training such as this is done also.  Besides space exploration large mountains are another area where risk of injury/death is very high
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/05/2019 08:14 pm
I find it very suprising that people appear to be serious about sending 20-30 or more peope on the first Mars mission (must be a wind up no?)
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 01/05/2019 08:34 pm
I find it very suprising that people appear to be serious about sending 20-30 or more peope on the first Mars mission (must be a wind up no?)

The plan is to send 2 manned Starships along with 2 cargo ships. 10-15 for each manned ship, so 20-30 in total seem appropriate.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: jpo234 on 01/05/2019 08:39 pm
I find it very suprising that people appear to be serious about sending 20-30 or more peope on the first Mars mission (must be a wind up no?)

The plan is to send 2 manned Starships along with 2 cargo ships. 10-15 for each manned ship, so 20-30 in total seem appropriate.
Don't forget the two preplaced cargo ships from the previous synode. 4 cargo ships plus 2 manned ships would mean approximately 500 tonnes of supplies. That's a lot.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 01/05/2019 08:48 pm
I find it very suprising that people appear to be serious about sending 20-30 or more peope on the first Mars mission (must be a wind up no?)

The plan is to send 2 manned Starships along with 2 cargo ships. 10-15 for each manned ship, so 20-30 in total seem appropriate.
Don't forget the two preplaced cargo ships from the previous synode. 4 cargo ships plus 2 manned ships would mean approximately 500 tonnes of supplies. That's a lot.

I did not forget. But most of the cargo of the 4 cargo ships will be for ISRU plant building. For crew I see the 2 manned ships, for people and supplies.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/05/2019 08:56 pm
I find it very suprising that people appear to be serious about sending 20-30 or more peope on the first Mars mission (must be a wind up no?)

The plan is to send 2 manned Starships along with 2 cargo ships. 10-15 for each manned ship, so 20-30 in total seem appropriate.

Well that sounds a bit more realistic, but still seems high to me. Why would they need so many people? Some of them sound a little redundant:

1 cook/ human/space health person - this is in addition to the "trauma surgeon" and paramedic. To have a dedicated cook sounds nice but most of the food will be prepacked and what isn't will be limited so it sounds like over kill to me better have 3-5 tons of additional stuff (rovers, science kit, contingency supplies, solar panels etc)

Team leader - there will need to be a team leader, but that role will be taken by one of the engineering or science team or the commander. No need for additional intermediate managers.

What is the hydraulics technician going to do for 99% of the time?

And the base architect?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 01/05/2019 09:30 pm
Much of the discussion we had before over the years.  ;)

Precooked packed food is a huge waste of mass and volume and gets boring over time. Much more efficient to cook fresh meals, especially during the long surface stay on Mars. Fresh bread and pastries as well. A good cook is worth his weight in gold. Well worth it even if it were an additional person.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: DistantTemple on 01/05/2019 10:52 pm
I find it very suprising that people appear to be serious about sending 20-30 or more peope on the first Mars mission (must be a wind up no?)

The plan is to send 2 manned Starships along with 2 cargo ships. 10-15 for each manned ship, so 20-30 in total seem appropriate.

Well that sounds a bit more realistic, but still seems high to me. Why would they need so many people? Some of them sound a little redundant:

1 cook/ human/space health person - this is in addition to the "trauma surgeon" and paramedic. To have a dedicated cook sounds nice but most of the food will be prepacked and what isn't will be limited so it sounds like over kill to me better have 3-5 tons of additional stuff (rovers, science kit, contingency supplies, solar panels etc)

Team leader - there will need to be a team leader, but that role will be taken by one of the engineering or science team or the commander. No need for additional intermediate managers.

What is the hydraulics technician going to do for 99% of the time?

And the base architect?
Yes right now I agree with you on those two. The base would likely be planed on Earth where changes to default plans could be modelled etc. And the hydraulics would be a secondary skill of a couple of the other engineers/technicians. The number may well be trimmed a little. But any skilled person would work at a variety of other tasks, when his speciality was not needed.

Food for 20 to 30 is quite a job, and for two years is an important component in morale. Coupled with Kimble's work in food, I believe at least one meal a day will be from "real" food, and a cook will be essential.

I stand by my Trauma surgeon. You are asking brilliant people to go to an inaccessible place for two years, so you give them the best chance and support you can within the constraints.

I firmly believe in my overall rationale, and in fairly large teams. EM is a bold character, not one to "waste" a synod with a little experiment, when he can install a large working system. And (IMO) the crew will be based on project teams (who redeploy to other tasks when their prime role is not active.)
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/06/2019 03:59 pm
Perhaps my original guess of a crew of 4 might get stretched a little. I could see 6 or even 8 on a Starship, but I would be very surprised to see 12 or more on the first missions.

The way I see it there will be intense competition for cargo space from different design teams and interest groups (see below) so there will be some horse trading – ok a cook / chef – but they must also be a qualified engineer. Or leave the programmer at home any reprogramming can be handled from Earth its less than an hour away and a whole team on programmers can be all over the code.

Here is some of the completion for mass as I see it:
The astronaut selection and training team will be bombarded by requests for sending crew trained in every imaginable discipline by the other teams. Everything from cookery to hydraulics will be requested and suggested. I’m sure the initial list will be huge as people here have suggested.

But there will be many other voices. The ISRU team will want a truly huge solar farm with cabling, a small chemical gas plant, electrical switchgear, an electrolysis plant, compressors, filters, tanks, drills and a small bulldozer / utility vehicle.

The survey team will want two large pressurised rovers and perhaps 2 small utility moon buggy type vehicles, two space suits for everyone (with spares), an on ship laboratory with glove boxes handling facilities and large amounts of science kit ranging from geologists hammers to spectrophotometers, microscopes, drills, sampling equipment, bags boxes…

The medical team will want; well I dread to think of the amount of kit. Everything from stethoscopes to an MRI scanner and enough medicine to sink a battleship.

The ECLSS people will argue for a massive ECLSS with a range of consumables such as filters, spares for everything twice over and a large contingency of oxygen, nitrogen and water just in case.

The people responsible for building the Starship will be saying wait 100 tons is for the empty shell! What about the decks, the connecting corridor, beds, doors, tables, chairs, 2-3 toilets, 2-3 showers, pumps pipes tanks, acceleration couches, comms equipment, carpet, the galley, and so on.

Then someone is going to add it all up and say there’s not enough mass to go round somethings going to have to give.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Zed_Noir on 01/06/2019 05:35 pm
Perhaps my original guess of a crew of 4 might get stretched a little. I could see 6 or even 8 on a Starship, but I would be very surprised to see 12 or more on the first missions.

The way I see it there will be intense competition for cargo space from different design teams and interest groups (see below) so there will be some horse trading – ok a cook / chef – but they must also be a qualified engineer. Or leave the programmer at home any reprogramming can be handled from Earth its less than an hour away and a whole team on programmers can be all over the code.

Here is some of the completion for mass as I see it:
The astronaut selection and training team will be bombarded by requests for sending crew trained in every imaginable discipline by the other teams. Everything from cookery to hydraulics will be requested and suggested. I’m sure the initial list will be huge as people here have suggested.

But there will be many other voices. The ISRU team will want a truly huge solar farm with cabling, a small chemical gas plant, electrical switchgear, an electrolysis plant, compressors, filters, tanks, drills and a small bulldozer / utility vehicle.

The survey team will want two large pressurised rovers and perhaps 2 small utility moon buggy type vehicles, two space suits for everyone (with spares), an on ship laboratory with glove boxes handling facilities and large amounts of science kit ranging from geologists hammers to spectrophotometers, microscopes, drills, sampling equipment, bags boxes…

The medical team will want; well I dread to think of the amount of kit. Everything from stethoscopes to an MRI scanner and enough medicine to sink a battleship.

The ECLSS people will argue for a massive ECLSS with a range of consumables such as filters, spares for everything twice over and a large contingency of oxygen, nitrogen and water just in case.

The people responsible for building the Starship will be saying wait 100 tons is for the empty shell! What about the decks, the connecting corridor, beds, doors, tables, chairs, 2-3 toilets, 2-3 showers, pumps pipes tanks, acceleration couches, comms equipment, carpet, the galley, and so on.

Then someone is going to add it all up and say there’s not enough mass to go round somethings going to have to give.

One advantage of the SX Spaceship program is that there is going to be one final crew selection board consisting of only the SX CTO for the first Mars wave. IMO
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/06/2019 07:28 pm
Snip...
One advantage of the SX Spaceship program is that there is going to be one final crew selection board consisting of only the SX CTO for the first Mars wave. IMO

A very good point and I think you’re right. I'm sure Elon will have a huge amount of advice and recommendations from teams of experts but yes he will probably be making the final decision.

Before then the scope of the payload will probably slowly be fleshed out leaving some key choices to make. x tons absolute requirement for solar panels, y tons absolute requirement for fittings, z tons for the ISRU kit and so on, leaving some much smaller amount to play with for the optional things.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: mwood on 01/06/2019 07:46 pm
It seems like something is missing from this discussion. Where's the water? The character of the first missions will be to prove a reliable source of water for fuel production. You must have provable quantities of water before dropping in 100's of tonnes of infrastructure. I agree that later missions will need most everything you can imagine but the thread is titled "Crew for first Mars Mission". I assume this means a permanent settlement site has not been established.

The thing I've had trouble figuring out is whether a water source can be proven without a crew. And without a proven water source how does the ship get refueled. I think first cargo ships must be able to process soil for water. This guarantees fuel reserves for later crewed ship. This also requires certain cargo for soil processing. Then the crewed ship, on next synod, has primary responsibility of finding a water source sufficient for a permanent settlement. These responsibilities should drive the required crew selection. It sounds like drillers and miners are the required types.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: guckyfan on 01/06/2019 08:50 pm
It seems like something is missing from this discussion. Where's the water? The character of the first missions will be to prove a reliable source of water for fuel production. You must have provable quantities of water before dropping in 100's of tonnes of infrastructure. I agree that later missions will need most everything you can imagine but the thread is titled "Crew for first Mars Mission". I assume this means a permanent settlement site has not been established.

The first two cargo Starships will do the verification of water. So they need some regolith moving equipment or drill rig plus additional equipment, which would be lost if the site is found unsuitable. Unlikely IMO as NASA has very good data but possible. So drop a huge amount of solar panels. Very much needed but not too expensive when lost.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: rakaydos on 01/06/2019 08:54 pm

The way I see it there will be intense competition for cargo space from different design teams and interest groups (see below) so there will be some horse trading –(...)
why? Other than the life support actually needed to make the trip and the basic ability to get out the hatch, everything else can be brought on a dedicated cargo Starship. If the mission requirements balloon too much, send more cargo Starships. This isn't a "bare minimum to get things done" it's "enough to be sure it can be done, no matter what."
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/06/2019 09:05 pm
It seems like something is missing from this discussion. Where's the water? The character of the first missions will be to prove a reliable source of water for fuel production. You must have provable quantities of water before dropping in 100's of tonnes of infrastructure. I agree that later missions will need most everything you can imagine but the thread is titled "Crew for first Mars Mission". I assume this means a permanent settlement site has not been established.

The thing I've had trouble figuring out is whether a water source can be proven without a crew. And without a proven water source how does the ship get refueled. I think first cargo ships must be able to process soil for water. This guarantees fuel reserves for later crewed ship. This also requires certain cargo for soil processing. Then the crewed ship, on next synod, has primary responsibility of finding a water source sufficient for a permanent settlement. These responsibilities should drive the required crew selection. It sounds like drillers and miners are the required types.

A good point. There has been much discussion and speculation about this. I imagine that an uncrewed Starship will need to be landed first and either prove that water is available and accessible or even fill itself with propellants before any crewed missions land.

I fear this might take some time, we don't know for sure. I suspect the most likely method would be a Rodriguez well as described by others here. Basically melting a hole into a glacier, like they do when supplying the South Pole base with water. I can't see them sending a crew until either there is a fully tanked robot sitting on the surface or they are well sure the crew can get it without too much problem.

Extracting water from soil is also a possibility but brings with it a huge array of other issues such as variability of substrate, excavation, transportation, processing, removal of spoil and mechanical wear on equipment (then ISRU water processing after that).

So this thread assumes that the water issue has been settled in the sense that the water is available and accessible and "just" needs to be extracted and processed. So yes ISRU engineer and drilling expert and duplicates are required, but who else?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: DistantTemple on 01/06/2019 09:34 pm
From following this site, ISTM that water is not a solved problem, but far from an overlooked one. A year or so ago there was a NASA paper - presentation from a working party on human landing sites on Mars. One of the main questions addressed in that water availability. Obviously ice deposits are ideal, but less prevalent towards the equator, and landing at lowish latitudes was one initial criteria I think. Otherwise was the more expensive but more widely available water in hydrated mineral form. Gypsum was included.... but I have forgotten my chemistry... I have found one file and attached it... This has been discussed on this site... probably many times.

ISTM there are some pretty reliable guesses for landing to find ice. However if once there it was much harder to extract than expected, perhaps by being under several more metres of loose surface material, or mixed more thoroughly with heavy boulders... etc it might be a problem. Or Other sites may be desirable for other reasons, and nearby ice unknown.

Personally I would like to see SX send its own probe(s) to mars as early as the 2020 synod! And possibly some kind of lander!!! Mad as it sounds for them to quickly prepare a mission that would take NASA at least 4 years! Obviously there was the Red Dragon business.

Maybe that's one thing SX is hoping for with the BFH mad rush.... NASA support for a renewed Red Dragon, or other prospecting mission.

If SX gets good signatures of water from space, and high resolution graphics, where IT hopes to land SS then it will retire some risk, and build confidence. The mix of equipment sent will depend on types of rock, steepness of terrain, the possibility of caves, etc. So every bit of advance info will be helpful.
Edit: found second doc...
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/06/2019 09:58 pm

The way I see it there will be intense competition for cargo space from different design teams and interest groups (see below) so there will be some horse trading –(...)
why? Other than the life support actually needed to make the trip and the basic ability to get out the hatch, everything else can be brought on a dedicated cargo Starship. If the mission requirements balloon too much, send more cargo Starships. This isn't a "bare minimum to get things done" it's "enough to be sure it can be done, no matter what."
The reason why is cost. It may be that Starship and Super heavy will be able to be used 1000 times eventually but that is hardly likely initially, especially when they are introducing improvements and iterating. Things will break and that will be expensive, I’m sure ships will have to be retired early as happened with F9 boosters. So the flights will not be cheap initially due to fewer flights each. And there’s no paying customer.

So I’m hopeful that SpaceX and Elon Musk will get there in the end, but it will be risky and it won’t be cheap. I hope they find the money for dozens of crew members and multiple cargo ships on the early missions, but I don’t think people should get the idea that the quantity of ships and resources will be unlimited, because they won’t. Neither cargo nor cash will be plentiful and it would be best to plan accordingly and get the absolute maximum out of every mission.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: AC in NC on 01/06/2019 10:34 pm
It feels like it's important to state something I don't recall being stated explicitly.  There's a lot of talk about competition for cargo space and competing interests with respect to crew skill.

ISTM, the entire cargo and crew will be totally biased toward keeping the crew alive and ISRU.  Any marginal capacity will provide additional resources for those two ends.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: mwood on 01/06/2019 11:55 pm
It seems like something is missing from this discussion. Where's the water? The character of the first missions will be to prove a reliable source of water for fuel production. You must have provable quantities of water before dropping in 100's of tonnes of infrastructure. I agree that later missions will need most everything you can imagine but the thread is titled "Crew for first Mars Mission". I assume this means a permanent settlement site has not been established.

The thing I've had trouble figuring out is whether a water source can be proven without a crew. And without a proven water source how does the ship get refueled. I think first cargo ships must be able to process soil for water. This guarantees fuel reserves for later crewed ship. This also requires certain cargo for soil processing. Then the crewed ship, on next synod, has primary responsibility of finding a water source sufficient for a permanent settlement. These responsibilities should drive the required crew selection. It sounds like drillers and miners are the required types.

A good point. There has been much discussion and speculation about this. I imagine that an uncrewed Starship will need to be landed first and either prove that water is available and accessible or even fill itself with propellants before any crewed missions land.

I fear this might take some time, we don't know for sure. I suspect the most likely method would be a Rodriguez well as described by others here. Basically melting a hole into a glacier, like they do when supplying the South Pole base with water. I can't see them sending a crew until either there is a fully tanked robot sitting on the surface or they are well sure the crew can get it without too much problem.

Extracting water from soil is also a possibility but brings with it a huge array of other issues such as variability of substrate, excavation, transportation, processing, removal of spoil and mechanical wear on equipment (then ISRU water processing after that).

So this thread assumes that the water issue has been settled in the sense that the water is available and accessible and "just" needs to be extracted and processed. So yes ISRU engineer and drilling expert and duplicates are required, but who else?


I get that the focus of thread is more oriented towards what happens after the water issue is solved. But I'll try once more to impress that the first crewed missions will be primarily focused on water and will need the appropriate personnel. After that it will basically be a free for all and the settlement could make good use of just about any hard working dedicated individual willing to learn.

Yes, a crewed launch will require that previous launch has actually produced fuel at the intended target location. Otherwise the site must be abandoned and an uncrewed prospector mission sent to new location. The crewed mission will get delayed to next synod. This repeats until fuel is produced else the crew is on a one way trip. There are definitely water ice sources at poles and recently discovered Korolev crater, https://www.space.com/42828-icy-mars-crater-winter-wonderland-photos.html (https://www.space.com/42828-icy-mars-crater-winter-wonderland-photos.html). It's probably easier to robotically produce fuel in these locations but the location may not be where you want an actual permanent settlement, which is the goal. Do you really want to live long term at Mars north pole? That may be an outpost option, but SXs goal is to colonize.

Mid latitude subsurface liquid water seems very promising for settlement. Which is getting to my point. Mid latitude will have higher temperatures, can be low altitude for higher air pressure, and better solar power efficiency. Data says it's there but you don't know for sure until you actually pump it up and determine quality and quantity. The data may indicate water in the area but you might need to drill multiple wells, and moving multiple of km, before proving the resource. The resource must be proven before dropping 100s of tonnes of supplies for settlement that could be huge loss of time and material. This may take multiple manned missions before a permanent site is selected.

So first crewed missions should be primarily focused on finding a water resource with sufficient quantities to support a refueling depot and settlement. Continued testing for life and other scientific endeavors should proceed in parallel. So initial crewed missions should cover these broad categories. Everyone should be proficient in multiple categories and roles.

1. Command. Ship should have strict chain of command for all the same reasons a chain of command is maintained on ocean vessels.
2. Science & Medical. Medical, life science studies, environmental & radiation monitoring, geology, physics.
3. Engineering: Ship maintenance, life support, drilling experts, climbers for cave and cliff exploration, transportation, power generation, electronics, software, communications.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/07/2019 01:35 am
Some more good points made concerning the need to focus on survival skills (ECLSS and ISRU) rather than science (geology and biology) in the first mission(s) and the primacy of establishing an accessible and reliable long term source of water at a Martian base.

Part of the issue is related to the difficulty in arranging for a fully robotic Starship to produce sufficient propellants. There are many issues, unwinding / dispensing and setting up the solar array will be one of them and the long term storage and viability of propellants and the Starship itself would be another.

If it is too difficult to establish a robotically tanked ship and too dangerous to send a crew without having the fuel to return them ready and waiting then there is a third possibility that could be used for the first mission (I mentioned this on another thread).

With three Starships, one for crew, one as an orbital tanker and one as a tanker /cargo lander it is possible to put humans on the surface and return them without any ISRU. This would allow a human crew to set up a robot facility for future missions. It might not be the best option depending on many factors but it is quite possible – I checked the basic numbers if anyone is interested.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: mwood on 01/07/2019 03:16 am

With three Starships, one for crew, one as an orbital tanker and one as a tanker /cargo lander it is possible to put humans on the surface and return them without any ISRU. This would allow a human crew to set up a robot facility for future missions. It might not be the best option depending on many factors but it is quite possible – I checked the basic numbers if anyone is interested.

I'm intrigued. I would think that combined payload capacity of 3 ships wouldn't be enough fuel for return. Please explain. Without fully robotic fuel production this may be the only way to guarantee a return trip for the first crew.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/07/2019 10:07 am

With three Starships, one for crew, one as an orbital tanker and one as a tanker /cargo lander it is possible to put humans on the surface and return them without any ISRU. This would allow a human crew to set up a robot facility for future missions. It might not be the best option depending on many factors but it is quite possible – I checked the basic numbers if anyone is interested.

I'm intrigued. I would think that combined payload capacity of 3 ships wouldn't be enough fuel for return. Please explain. Without fully robotic fuel production this may be the only way to guarantee a return trip for the first crew.

The trick is to refuel in orbit. Due to the nature of the rocket equation there are big savings to be had by doing this rather than trying to lift everything from the surface of Mars and return it to Earth in one stage.

The general concept was to send 3 Starships. The first is a standard crewed Starship the second is a tanker/cargo Starship. The tanker/cargo starship retanks the crewed Starship in Mars orbit and both land. The crewed Starship now has enough propellant to return to LMO where a waiting orbital tanker has sufficient propellant to retank the crewed Starship for the return to Earth and return itself. The tanker/cargo Starship if left on the surface.

I have assumed that vacuum raptors are available and used on the orbital tanker (but not the other 2) and that the orbital tanker and cargo/tanker take a long low energy trajectory to Mars whereas the crewed Starship makes a rapid transit. No ISRU and no refuelling on the surface of Mars. But at the cost of sending 3 ships to Mars and leaving one there. And also retanking all to capacity in LEO before they depart. Sending the crew on a slower trajectory would save propellant but at the cost of a longer trip.

The previous thread is here:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=46996.msg1890238#msg1890238
and this is a summary of the relevant bit from page 2:

I think the surface to LMO value was too low thanks for that. I have increased that in line with the value from here: http://www.angelfire.com/md/dmdventures/orbitalmech/DeltaV.htm
Although it doesn't change the picture that much except the tanker/cargo SS can now only bring 90 tons of equipment instead of 100 tons.

Dv   exhV   MassFract   DryMass   PropCargo   GrossMass  PropReq
LEO to LMO  SL raptors (tanker/cargo)                     
3800   3482   2.98       175           320           1474           1299
LEO to LMO  SL raptors (crewed)                 
7250   3482   8.02       185           0               1484           1299
LEO to LMO vac raptors (orbital tanker)                 
3800   3716   2.78        85           413            1385           1300
                 
Surface to LMO (crewed)                 
4400   3482   3.54        125           0               442             317
LMO > Earth (crewed)                 
3400   3482   2.65        125           0               332             207
LMO to Earth (orbital tanker)                 
3400   3716   2.50         85           0                212             127

(tanker/cargo SS left on the surface)   

So I believe this is profile is possible, 3 Starships, one left on the surface no surface tanking no ISRU. As to whether it’s desirable or not that's another question.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: alexterrell on 01/07/2019 10:22 am


I agree on all except the medical crew. I volunteer (every weekend through the winter) for a First Responder organization. While we do have medical professionals who tend to fill in teaching/certification roles, there are members from all walks of life. All the crew should get First Responder training at the bare minimum.

You might take professional surgeon, and train him up for 3 years to do one of the engineerings roles - perhaps one of the chemical based ones (ISRU equipment...). The "surgeon" role is then his second role.

A professional surgeon hopefully won't be needed. But if it is, best to have back up for the 11 first responders.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: niwax on 01/07/2019 10:52 am


I agree on all except the medical crew. I volunteer (every weekend through the winter) for a First Responder organization. While we do have medical professionals who tend to fill in teaching/certification roles, there are members from all walks of life. All the crew should get First Responder training at the bare minimum.

You might take professional surgeon, and train him up for 3 years to do one of the engineerings roles - perhaps one of the chemical based ones (ISRU equipment...). The "surgeon" role is then his second role.

A professional surgeon hopefully won't be needed. But if it is, best to have back up for the 11 first responders.

The question I have is what medical procedures are actually possible on these missions. If all you have is a selection of pills and a first aid kit, it's enough to get basic training for the crew. The same way you could train a surgeon on the limited number of engineering task, you can train an engineer in the limited number of possible medical tasks. I'm sure they will have someone with a lot of medical training but neither the day-to-day workloads nor the equipment allows for it to be their main job on board.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/07/2019 11:22 am
For those wanting a trauma surgeon and a paramedic, I suggest pick one and train them as the other. There should be a good degree of crossover. I suspect that there will also be a need to rethink the traditional approach to accident care on Mars. The most likely place for an injury is on the surface and in all likelihood when the paramedic/doctor/surgeon is not present so there will need to be a set of procedures that everyone is familiar with covering a range of EVA casualty situations, for example:

Are they conscious? Can they walk? Has their suit been punctured and if so is it a major or minor rupture? And various combinations of these possibilities and others. In many cases returning the injured crew member to the Starship or pressurised rover as quickly as possible will be the only real option. Triage on the surface is probably limited to emergency patches to prevent excessive decompression and loss of oxygen before they can get inside. Once inside the Starship the medical person can take over or if the casualty is in a rover can at least give advice.

Hobbling back to a Starship crane/lift is one thing but there will need to be an emergency provision on the pressurised rovers as well to make it easy to get an injured crew person back on board. 
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: geza on 01/11/2019 08:35 am
Several of you argued convincingly that there is no need for a medical doctor.

What do yo think about a medical scientist, instead? A human factors expert, if you wish.

Human performance is probably the biggest unknown here. Martian gravity? Mental health? Diet? Group dynamics? Ergonomy? Wouldn't be a good idea to have a person, who has a serious backround in space medicine and psychiatry, for studying the human situation? He/she can have practical tasks, as analysing blood samples, or treating ill crew members, but this is not the point. Anybody can be trained for these things. The point is that he/she may be able to recognize emerging issues, medical or psychological, early on. SpaceX needs human factors experts for crew selection and training, anyway. Why don't send one of them to Mars to study the outcome and report back his/her learned lessons for the benefit of the next crew selection/training?
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: envy887 on 01/11/2019 12:16 pm
Several of you argued convincingly that there is no need for a medical doctor.

What do yo think about a medical scientist, instead? A human factors expert, if you wish.

Human performance is probably the biggest unknown here. Martian gravity? Mental health? Diet? Group dynamics? Ergonomy? Wouldn't be a good idea to have a person, who has a serious backround in space medicine and psychiatry, for studying the human situation? He/she can have practical tasks, as analysing blood samples, or treating ill crew members, but this is not the point. Anybody can be trained for these things. The point is that he/she may be able to recognize emerging issues, medical or psychological, early on. SpaceX needs human factors experts for crew selection and training, anyway. Why don't send one of them to Mars to study the outcome and report back his/her learned lessons for the benefit of the next crew selection/training?

I disagree. If there is an actual medical emergency there is no replacement for an experienced medical doctor's abilities. Not just a hospital surgeon, but someone like a military surgeon who has experience treating complex injuries under combat situations with limited front-line equipment and facilities. Active military service is almost certainly the best place to get the experience necessary for the physical and psychological environments on an early Mars expedition.

It's a lot easier to train a medical doctor in biology and psychology than the other way around.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/11/2019 12:24 pm
Several of you argued convincingly that there is no need for a medical doctor.

What do yo think about a medical scientist, instead? A human factors expert, if you wish.

Human performance is probably the biggest unknown here. Martian gravity? Mental health? Diet? Group dynamics? Ergonomy? Wouldn't be a good idea to have a person, who has a serious backround in space medicine and psychiatry, for studying the human situation? He/she can have practical tasks, as analysing blood samples, or treating ill crew members, but this is not the point. Anybody can be trained for these things. The point is that he/she may be able to recognize emerging issues, medical or psychological, early on. SpaceX needs human factors experts for crew selection and training, anyway. Why don't send one of them to Mars to study the outcome and report back his/her learned lessons for the benefit of the next crew selection/training?

Yes another interesting angle. I think there needs to be a medic of some sort and a backup medic (competent but not an expert). As to the nature of the medic, people have argued for paramedics and trauma surgeons and now we have human factors as well.

If it was me I would take a paramedic and put them through specific training in likely needed surgical procedures as well as psychological factors and run with that. The backup would be an engineer with medical knowledge and specialist training. The whole crew would need training in first aid, dealing with decompression and emergency procedures for getting injured crew members back inside.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/11/2019 12:30 pm
Several of you argued convincingly that there is no need for a medical doctor.

What do yo think about a medical scientist, instead? A human factors expert, if you wish.

Human performance is probably the biggest unknown here. Martian gravity? Mental health? Diet? Group dynamics? Ergonomy? Wouldn't be a good idea to have a person, who has a serious backround in space medicine and psychiatry, for studying the human situation? He/she can have practical tasks, as analysing blood samples, or treating ill crew members, but this is not the point. Anybody can be trained for these things. The point is that he/she may be able to recognize emerging issues, medical or psychological, early on. SpaceX needs human factors experts for crew selection and training, anyway. Why don't send one of them to Mars to study the outcome and report back his/her learned lessons for the benefit of the next crew selection/training?

I disagree. If there is an actual medical emergency there is no replacement for an experienced medical doctor's abilities. Not just a hospital surgeon, but someone like a military surgeon who has experience treating complex injuries under combat situations with limited front-line equipment and facilities. Active military service is almost certainly the best place to get the experience necessary for the physical and psychological environments on an early Mars expedition.

It's a lot easier to train a medical doctor in biology and psychology than the other way around.

Or a paramedic could be trained in trauma surgery and psychology. Ultimately it probably doesn't matter exactly. The long and short of it is the medic needs to be able to deal effectively with acute medical emergencies on the spot in the same way that a paramedic or military surgeon. Other medical expert’s detailed knowledge of chronic issues can come from Earth minutes or even hours later.
Title: Re: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission
Post by: Slarty1080 on 01/11/2019 12:40 pm
All this talk of medics got me thinking that the medic might well not be available where the casualty is. So here’s a situation to test out the crew and equipment set up:

Crew of 2 go out 20 miles in the pressurised rover and go EVA. One of them has an accident, gets their leg trapped and falls awkwardly onto some sharp rock and badly punctures their suit and also breaks a leg. Not likely, but not beyond the realms of possibility either.

Assuming the second crew member is on hand to give assistance and emergency patches had been applied to the tear as soon as possible, the first problem is getting the casualty back to the rover. How does this happen if the injured person is unconscious?

Thoughts - that it would not be possible for one to carry the other. So is there any point or necessity to have something like a basic skeleton porters trolley with a pair of wheels that could be used to enable the casualty to be pulled back to the rover? Would this be impractical or is the eventuality unlikely enough as to be dismissed?

Assume they get back to the rover how do they get back inside?

Thoughts – perhaps an emergency entrance would be needed. The rover would be rapidly depressurised the door opened both crew climb, crawl or are dragged in, the door is shut and the rover re-pressurized? Or is it likely that only an airlock or suitlocks are available?

Assuming they get back inside and the rover is pressurised. The casualty can presumably get some first aid from the other crew member and advice from the medic via radio. What kit do they have in the rover? Assuming the second crew member can drive it back to the Starship how would that casualty then be returned into the ship. Assuming that the casualty is stable but unconscious and their suit is damaged beyond use?

Thoughts – would it be useful to carry a large bag with oxygen and a CO2 removal canister good for half an hour so that the casualty suit and all could be bagged and then transferred via the emergency hatch back into the ship – presumably 2-3 others would be able to manhandle/carry or otherwise support the casualty in such a way as to get them back inside.

Further questions how much room in the airlocks and how much room on the lift? Enough for 1 person or 2 or more?