Poll

So here I am not specifying whether they are launching on an FH, BFR, or even F9. Nor am I specifying that it is their own payload. What I am asking is which of the upcoming launch opportunities you believe will have the first SpaceX boosted Mars payload?

January to April 2016
April to Jun 2018
Jul to Sep 2020
Oct to Dec 2022
After 2022
Before 2022 but in a non optimum launch window

Author Topic: POLL: When will the first SpaceX launched Mars craft depart?  (Read 22896 times)

Offline nadreck

I am interested in opinion, conjecture, and WAG.  I am not interested in flame wars so as Lar says, be excellent to one another if you are replying to this thread.

Edit/Lar: See also http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40588, a different, but similar poll.
« Last Edit: 06/26/2016 02:54 PM by Lar »
It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!

Online Chris Bergin

Oh our first poll in the new poll section! (Timely reminder to move other polls here!)

I went for post 2022 as SpaceX have a whole bunch of things in their order book before they can look at Mars, and those things will be what funds its drive.

Offline deltaV

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Re: When will the first SpaceX launched Mars craft depart?
« Reply #2 on: 04/08/2015 04:25 AM »
1. Do unmanned science missions count or are you talking about manned missions only?

2. Do Mars orbital missions count? What about Mars fly-by? Or is an actual landing on Mars required?

Offline nadreck

1. Do unmanned science missions count or are you talking about manned missions only?

2. Do Mars orbital missions count? What about Mars fly-by? Or is an actual landing on Mars required?
1. Unmanned, including probes for any client count.

2. yes all of these count, anything that goes through the Mars gravity well

It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!

Offline deltaV

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Re: When will the first SpaceX launched Mars craft depart?
« Reply #4 on: 04/08/2015 10:23 PM »
1. Do unmanned science missions count or are you talking about manned missions only?

2. Do Mars orbital missions count? What about Mars fly-by? Or is an actual landing on Mars required?
1. Unmanned, including probes for any client count.

2. yes all of these count, anything that goes through the Mars gravity well
1, continued. Would a totally useless test payload count, e.g. a ten tonne block of aluminum sent towards Mars as part of a Falcon Heavy test flight?

2, continued. Technically speaking gravity has range limited only by the speed of light times the age of Mars so every past and future SpaceX launch was and will be within the Mars gravity well. Maybe you mean Mars's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphere_of_influence_%28astrodynamics%29 (0.577 million km) or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_sphere (about 1 million km)?

3. Would a mission that does a Mars flyby for a gravitational slingshot to a non-Mars destination (e.g. outer planets) count?

4. Do failed missions count? I propose that a mission counts if the plan is to send a payload inside Mars's Hill Sphere and there's launch vehicle liftoff irrespective of what happens after liftoff.

Offline nadreck

1. Do unmanned science missions count or are you talking about manned missions only?

2. Do Mars orbital missions count? What about Mars fly-by? Or is an actual landing on Mars required?
1. Unmanned, including probes for any client count.

2. yes all of these count, anything that goes through the Mars gravity well
1, continued. Would a totally useless test payload count, e.g. a ten tonne block of aluminum sent towards Mars as part of a Falcon Heavy test flight?

2, continued. Technically speaking gravity has range limited only by the speed of light times the age of Mars so every past and future SpaceX launch was and will be within the Mars gravity well. Maybe you mean Mars's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphere_of_influence_%28astrodynamics%29 (0.577 million km) or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_sphere (about 1 million km)?

3. Would a mission that does a Mars flyby for a gravitational slingshot to a non-Mars destination (e.g. outer planets) count?

4. Do failed missions count? I propose that a mission counts if the plan is to send a payload inside Mars's Hill Sphere and there's launch vehicle liftoff irrespective of what happens after liftoff.

1. Of course it would count, however I would take a sporting even money wager that SpaceX would send something 'non-inert' even if it was a dummy payload.

2. By gravity well I meant implicitly from the point where the gravity well of Mars is steeper than the sun's (inside the Hill Sphere qualifies that one adequately for me). Again a sporting even money wager that any object SpaceX lobs at Mars as a test would get much closer than that.

3. Of course that would count. That would likely be a discovery class mission ;-) - and yes it still counts if they first used Venus.

4. A failed launch doesn't count for sure, and by my wording I suspect that trying and failing for the Hill Sphere is not viable either, but if we get to that point lets agree to debate it over a beer. BTW I have a bottle of a beer called "Dead Reckoning" probably would be appropriate ;-)
It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!

Online guckyfan

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I prefer to err on the optimistic side rather than the pessimistic side.

I believe they will not have a paying customer before 2020. By that time they will want to do a first precursor mission to a potential landing site. So 2020 probably with their own payload, landed with a Red Dragon. Maybe a secondary payload in the trunk. A com sat to relay data back to earth.

Changes to Dragon 2 announced in connection with CCtCap just shout: I am a Red Dragon, send me to Mars.

1. Increase of fuel for Super Draco enabling larger payload landed.
2. Avionics now vacuum rated, so no pressure needed inside Dragon, enabling a larger exit door.
3. A moving mass for changing center of gravity, greatly improving on possible Mars EDL aerobraking.

Offline Mariusuiram

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I have voted for an option far earlier then most but my logic is mostly driven by non-technical factors (which may make it faulty logic).

SpaceX as a company was founded on the promise of traveling to Mars. Although most staff are still relatively new (they didnt really balloon in size until at least 2010), it will be hard to continue feeling the energy of this goal without any achievements linked to Mars, even if mostly symbolic. I realize that announcing the MCT and developing the Raptor can provide some of that excitement, but that is still a long road.

There will be someone or something that wants/needs to get to Mars and SpaceX will provide the flight at a cost that works. I'm not sure how...but thats not the question.

Offline savuporo

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not before they set up a global network of DSN antennaes.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Online guckyfan

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not before they set up a global network of DSN antennaes.

They don't need that. Interplanetary communication will be satellite to satellite with laser. One or maybe two satellites for redundancy in GEO orbit with one groundstation will do. Or maybe feed directly into the LEO sat constellation.

But if this becomes a discussion we need to find or start an appropriate thread. It's OT here.

Offline redliox

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It might be a while, but I'd say 2020 (and onward) raises possibility.  If the PADME probe is selected for Discovery it would launch in '18 aboard a Falcon 9.  That could be the first instance of a Mars craft using SpaceX.
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
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Offline Mader Levap

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I find forum groupthink interesting. Almost half of answers are "after 2022". Since we are talking about any payload to Mars, this implies that 2025 deadline for humans on Mars is impossible (not that it is any big surprise). Any payload is way easier to pull off than humans.

Yep, I voted "after 2022" too. I can't see Musk retiring on Mars. He was born simply too early for that.
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Offline Endeavour_01

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I voted Oct.-Dec. 2022. I think it is too late for the Mars 2020 rover to be launched on a Falcon Heavy but I believe that FH may launch the next NASA Mars orbiter in 2022.
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline subzero788

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After 2022. SpaceX have too much on their plate to worry about launching even small payloads to mars. IMHO the only possibility prior to 2022 is a NASA science payload, but that is unlikely.

I can't see Musk retiring on Mars. He was born simply too early for that.

I think you're right there  :'(
« Last Edit: 04/19/2015 03:10 PM by subzero788 »

Offline Joffan

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I'd like to go with 2020, but I think they're just fractionally too busy with too many other opportunities to advance their ultimate Mars aspirations in a less risky manner, so I went for the 2022 slot.
Max Q for humanity becoming spacefaring

Offline Paul451

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I voted post-2022, for the same reasons others have given.

But that interprets the poll as "When will SpaceX launch their own Mars payloads". However, it looks like poll-maker nadreck is including any deep-space mission from any agency, which happens to use a SpaceX launcher, provided it gets somewhere near Mars at some point in its journey. That redefines the question somewhat.

nadreck, perhaps you should clarify what you are actually asking in your intro-comment?

Offline nadreck

Why yes Paulflashpointofpaperinfarenheight,  I am polling for when they launch anyone's probe (theirs, NASA's, UAR's, etc)
It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!

Offline kch

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Why yes Paulflashpointofpaperinfarenheight,  I am polling for when they launch anyone's probe (theirs, NASA's, UAR's, etc)

Your poll question seemed perfectly clear to me -- not sure where all the confusion came from.

Offline Vultur

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2016 is almost certainly too soon - the only thing they could get ready in time would be a pure dummy payload or maybe a used Dragon on a FH test flight. (Unless they've got something already designed and in assembly but not announced, but I think something would have been Tweeted).

SpaceX has a ton of near term "development" commitments  - F9 first stage recovery, getting FH ready, getting Crew Dragon ready.

The first two of those will probably (I hope) be "operational" by the end of 2016, clearing the way for more Raptor work, Mars precursor stuff, and the satellite constellation.

So probably either 2018 or 2020 depending on how ambitious their first precursor mission will be/how much development it takes. I don't think any government Mars missions will use SpaceX before then.

Offline Paul451

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Why yes Paulflashpointofpaperinfarenheight,  I am polling for when they launch anyone's probe (theirs, NASA's, UAR's, etc)
Your poll question seemed perfectly clear to me -- not sure where all the confusion came from.

Because it is the less interesting question. "When will someone (don't care who) hire this particular company to launch a Mars probe of some kind (don't care what for)?" So people assumed nadreck was asking the more interesting question. "When will SpaceX start to launch its own Mars infrastructure?"

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