Author Topic: Speculation and Discussion: Crew for first SpaceX Mars mission  (Read 40559 times)

Online jpo234

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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. If somebody offered 10 times that much for a flight to Mars, would SpaceX really reject such an offer?
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline IRobot

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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. 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.

Offline colbourne

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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.

Online rakaydos

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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.


Offline corneliussulla

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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

Offline philw1776

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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".
"It'll bang right out!"

Offline the_other_Doug

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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
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline CuddlyRocket

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, 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?

Offline Lar

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

Offline testguy

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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?

Offline Rabidpanda

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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.

Offline JamesH65

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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.

Offline AncientU

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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
« Last Edit: 11/17/2017 07:28 pm by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline testguy

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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.

Offline AncientU

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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.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline geza

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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.

Offline Coastal Ron

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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.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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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.
« Last Edit: 11/19/2017 12:42 am by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline Coastal Ron

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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...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline AncientU

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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.
« Last Edit: 11/21/2017 08:19 pm by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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