Author Topic: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars  (Read 13442 times)

Offline DistantTemple

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #40 on: 12/31/2018 11:30 am »
Its a shame that it seems "impossible" structurally within mass constraints, to have the payload section of the Starship detachable!

Then the whole of the "habitat" etc could be lowered to the Martian surface. However the remaining tanks-and-engines section would not be complete for any further flight use, without some similar module being re-attached ... a whole new engineering enterprise!


It's interesting to look at the MDRS and EuroMars documentation from the Mars Society.

The EuroMars design is at +8m diameter, concepts are strong and is kind of an evolution of the MDRS.

This habitat is designed for gravity, interestingly, the common/wide area is at the lower middle floor and they use elevators/stairs to climb to the upper levels that are more compartmentalized.




http://www.marssociety.nl/euromars.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Mars_Analog_Research_Station

edit:probably stairs can be folded to stay unused during 0g cruise
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Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #41 on: 12/31/2018 11:46 am »
Its a shame that it seems "impossible" structurally within mass constraints, to have the payload section of the Starship detachable!

Then the whole of the "habitat" etc could be lowered to the Martian surface. ...

There are entire threads on this topic, where detachable cargo pods has been beat to death. 

I'd like to not see this thread redundantly go down that rabbit hole and get diverted from the main topic.

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Offline DistantTemple

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #42 on: 12/31/2018 12:04 pm »
Its a shame that it seems "impossible" structurally within mass constraints, to have the payload section of the Starship detachable!

Then the whole of the "habitat" etc could be lowered to the Martian surface. ...

There are entire threads on this topic, where detachable cargo pods has been beat to death. 

I'd like to not see this thread redundantly go down that rabbit hole and get diverted from the main topic.
Agreed. Please don't answer this (here). It was just an off hand comment.
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Offline jpo234

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #43 on: 12/31/2018 12:05 pm »
ISTM SX has enough passionate experienced, cutting edge engineers and physicists dying to calculate the first Mars insertion! There are too few opportunities for these skills! Will we see "Experienced Astrogator" on SX's jobs website?

Lars Blackmore basically wrote the books on powered landing: http://larsblackmore.com/publications.htm

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Offline 50_Caliber

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #44 on: 12/31/2018 12:37 pm »
Snip...
This is ties into something that I'm a bit worried about. No other organizations beside NASA have succeeded in landing on Mars and let's be honest, SpaceX doesn't have interplanetary navigation experience. I must find out if there's a thread here for these subject that discuss these details in depth.
These's a thread here for almost anything if you can find it.

I'm curious as to the issues with interplanetary navigation? I may be wrong as I am no expert, but would have thought it was a matter of 3d celestial mechanics and trigonometry no? Whilst no doubt the maths is not "easy", I would doubt there were any show stoppers. Especialy for the calibre of people SpaceX employ.

No other organizations beside NASA have succeeded in landing on Mars, no other organisations other than SpaceX have reused fiest stages used to put satellites in orbit. Both true and both likely to become untrue in the next few years. Someone has to be first.
SX has mastered supersonic retro-propulsion with a tall thin booster stage. This I believe NASA has not done, and was very interested in. Wasn't it one of the trade offs in the space act agreement for Red Dradon - the data from the Mars descent? SX Has mastered reliable decent and vertical landing on Earth which NASA had not done. NASA obviously was successful with the powered landings on the Moon, but that is 17% of Earth's gravity, and a "squat" lander.
You were actually asking more about the navigation. The FH roadster is not a good example as it didn't have to reach a specific "place", but it is experience. I expect NASA will be supportive, and share some expertise, and experience, as they have done several times. I expect we will see another space act agreement. But as others here have said, a lot of it is just maths. ISTM SX has enough passionate experienced, cutting edge engineers and physicists dying to calculate the first Mars insertion! There are too few opportunities for these skills! Will we see "Experienced Astrogator" on SX's jobs website?

To think that a position of "Starship commander" or "Starship astrogator" is about to become an actual thing pleases me to no end. It scratches every Star Trek fanboy itch.   8)

Offline 50_Caliber

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #45 on: 12/31/2018 12:48 pm »
Just saw this thread from 2017:

SpaceX astronaut corps:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44417.0

They're talking about medical engineers and working at consoles, so this sounds like a sick bay and centralized locations for these tasks.

Offline jpo234

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #46 on: 12/31/2018 01:06 pm »
Just saw this thread from 2017:

SpaceX astronaut corps:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44417.0

They're talking about medical engineers and working at consoles, so this sounds like a sick bay and centralized locations for these tasks.

Console refers to this one https://arstechnica.com/science/2012/10/apollo-flight-controller-101-every-console-explained/3/
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 philw1776

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #47 on: 12/31/2018 01:09 pm »
Snip...
This is ties into something that I'm a bit worried about. No other organizations beside NASA have succeeded in landing on Mars and let's be honest, SpaceX doesn't have interplanetary navigation experience. I must find out if there's a thread here for these subject that discuss these details in depth.
These's a thread here for almost anything if you can find it.

I'm curious as to the issues with interplanetary navigation? I may be wrong as I am no expert, but would have thought it was a matter of 3d celestial mechanics and trigonometry no? Whilst no doubt the maths is not "easy", I would doubt there were any show stoppers. Especialy for the calibre of people SpaceX employ.

No other organizations beside NASA have succeeded in landing on Mars, no other organisations other than SpaceX have reused fiest stages used to put satellites in orbit. Both true and both likely to become untrue in the next few years. Someone has to be first.

Navagation to Mars is math.  Not hard for SpaceX to add this to their toolbox.  Astrogator not needed as it will be automatic with tracking updates from Earth just like with all space "probes".

SpaceX has expertise in hypersonic retro-propulsion and will test out hypersonic re-entry back here off Earth before attempting on Mars.  The issue with Mars atmospheric entry is the variance and unpredictability of Mars' thin variable upper atmosphere.  Landing heavy objects is a big challenge for SpaceX, NASA or anyone. 
Lars Blackmore needs to bring his A game again!

I'd said no pilot per-se but I do see one of the FEs designated as the landing commander.  Just in case Mars' atmosphere variance causes the Starship to re-enter off course by kilometers or more and cannot reach the pre-determined site, a trained human could pick the exact NEW off course landing spot video game style with autopilot putting the craft down precisely where commanded.
« Last Edit: 12/31/2018 01:14 pm by philw1776 »
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Offline Slarty1080

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #48 on: 12/31/2018 01:18 pm »
Snip...
This is ties into something that I'm a bit worried about. No other organizations beside NASA have succeeded in landing on Mars and let's be honest, SpaceX doesn't have interplanetary navigation experience. I must find out if there's a thread here for these subject that discuss these details in depth.
These's a thread here for almost anything if you can find it.

I'm curious as to the issues with interplanetary navigation? I may be wrong as I am no expert, but would have thought it was a matter of 3d celestial mechanics and trigonometry no? Whilst no doubt the maths is not "easy", I would doubt there were any show stoppers. Especialy for the calibre of people SpaceX employ.

No other organizations beside NASA have succeeded in landing on Mars, no other organisations other than SpaceX have reused fiest stages used to put satellites in orbit. Both true and both likely to become untrue in the next few years. Someone has to be first.
SX has mastered supersonic retro-propulsion with a tall thin booster stage. This I believe NASA has not done, and was very interested in. Wasn't it one of the trade offs in the space act agreement for Red Dradon - the data from the Mars descent? SX Has mastered reliable decent and vertical landing on Earth which NASA had not done. NASA obviously was successful with the powered landings on the Moon, but that is 17% of Earth's gravity, and a "squat" lander.
You were actually asking more about the navigation. The FH roadster is not a good example as it didn't have to reach a specific "place", but it is experience. I expect NASA will be supportive, and share some expertise, and experience, as they have done several times. I expect we will see another space act agreement. But as others here have said, a lot of it is just maths. ISTM SX has enough passionate experienced, cutting edge engineers and physicists dying to calculate the first Mars insertion! There are too few opportunities for these skills! Will we see "Experienced Astrogator" on SX's jobs website?

To think that a position of "Starship commander" or "Starship astrogator" is about to become an actual thing pleases me to no end. It scratches every Star Trek fanboy itch.   8)
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
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Online Lar

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #49 on: 12/31/2018 02:37 pm »
(mod) Thanks for the self moderation to keep this thread narrowly focused

(fan) Just a thought to throw out there. While this isn't a years long journey, I expect some mass and cubic will be spent on psychology. While the ship should be commandable from any compartment (the computing architecture posited earlier seems spot on) I think there is some merit in having at least a "cubby" that is the "official" place to do things. This focuses thought. Also, if there is a passenger issue, they can be brought to that place and the captain's pronouncement will be more psychologically powerful. Similarly, although identical coveralls might be most efficient, I expect crew and passengers will dress differently, and crew will have badges of rank. (that's off topic, I'm just reinforcing my point)
« Last Edit: 12/31/2018 02:40 pm by Lar »
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Offline Slarty1080

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #50 on: 12/31/2018 04:42 pm »
(mod) Thanks for the self moderation to keep this thread narrowly focused

(fan) Just a thought to throw out there. While this isn't a years long journey, I expect some mass and cubic will be spent on psychology. While the ship should be commandable from any compartment (the computing architecture posited earlier seems spot on) I think there is some merit in having at least a "cubby" that is the "official" place to do things. This focuses thought. Also, if there is a passenger issue, they can be brought to that place and the captain's pronouncement will be more psychologically powerful. Similarly, although identical coveralls might be most efficient, I expect crew and passengers will dress differently, and crew will have badges of rank. (that's off topic, I'm just reinforcing my point)

I would agree going forward, although there won't be any passengers on the first Mars mission. But physiological factors will be still be important, I wonder what other features might be included in this respect? Arm chairs with carpets in a living room? Mirrors? Inflight reconfigurable partitions?
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Offline oiorionsbelt

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #51 on: 12/31/2018 06:33 pm »

I would agree going forward, although there won't be any passengers on the first Mars mission. But physiological factors will be still be important, I wonder what other features might be included in this respect? Arm chairs with carpets in a living room? Mirrors? Inflight reconfigurable partitions?
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Offline geza

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #52 on: 12/31/2018 06:34 pm »
Pivoting of couches may introduce an additional point of failure. I would not want the risk of eyeball-up acceleration because of the wrong couch position. Instead, I suggest two different fixed positions of the couches. For launch, they lie on their back, as usual in a spacecraft. For landing they sit upright (relative to the landed up-down) with their back against the direction of entry acceleration.
One risk is that if you have an abort during ascent then you experience both directions of acceleration in the same flight.

Someone jokingly mentioned a "hammock" at one point. I like the idea of something a bit like that, lying flat with your spine aligned port-->starboard or vice versa. The hammock principle was to keep your orientation always "eyeballs in". I didn't mean a literal garden hammock but something with a more rigid back.

People can handle about twice the g-forces when horizontal. This might be useful if they seriously want to use this for point to point also.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-force#Horizontal


You are right, I revoke my opinion. Rigid hammock. Just a couch with proper bearings and with some damping. The axis of rotation should be perpendicular to both the spacecraft axis and the entry accleration. The screen/tablet, etc. the has to be fixed to the couch. It is not very difficult to do even for large number of passengers. 

Offline biosehnsucht

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #53 on: 01/01/2019 10:22 pm »
re: acceleration couches

Seems the volume efficient choice is a structure that can either be configured for takeoff, landing, or completely flat configurations. Have swappable padding that can be easily put on with velcro or whatever as needed. Thus when neither launching or landing, you just turn them into beds. Shouldn't be hard to build something mechanically reliable that only needs 3 configurations.

re: access between crew levels

I like the central shaft idea. you can have recessed handles / ladders for both zero G and gravity, with pop up/ pull out gates for when in gravity to prevent accidental falls through the "doorway" to the shaft. Similarly it would be simple to have flip-down/out padded 'floors' with offset openings and pop up / out railings of their own to prevent falls from ladders in gravity environments ever exceeding one level. I would also plan for a winch installed at top of shaft to easily move heavy cargo/equipment as well as drive an elevator platform that would ride in recesses in the shaft. Cable lifts are pretty simple. If it breaks you just are stuck with ladders... or swapping the powered winch with pulley system.

Offline uhuznaa

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #54 on: 01/01/2019 11:14 pm »
re: acceleration couches

Seems the volume efficient choice is a structure that can either be configured for takeoff, landing, or completely flat configurations. Have swappable padding that can be easily put on with velcro or whatever as needed. Thus when neither launching or landing, you just turn them into beds. Shouldn't be hard to build something mechanically reliable that only needs 3 configurations.

re: access between crew levels

I like the central shaft idea. you can have recessed handles / ladders for both zero G and gravity, with pop up/ pull out gates for when in gravity to prevent accidental falls through the "doorway" to the shaft. Similarly it would be simple to have flip-down/out padded 'floors' with offset openings and pop up / out railings of their own to prevent falls from ladders in gravity environments ever exceeding one level. I would also plan for a winch installed at top of shaft to easily move heavy cargo/equipment as well as drive an elevator platform that would ride in recesses in the shaft. Cable lifts are pretty simple. If it breaks you just are stuck with ladders... or swapping the powered winch with pulley system.

A central shaft may be useful for engineering reasons alone: The payload/crew section is long and having a cylinder running through it from the bottom to the top would stiffen up the thing a lot. All other walls and decks then wouldn't need to be structural at all.

Another reason would be to offer some long lines of sight during all the years you'll be in that thing. Always staring at a wall never more than 10 feet or so away is easily claustrophobic over time.

For safety stretching some nets across it may be enough, they also would offer a nice place to meet and hang out. During the stay on Mars climbing ladders and nets probably could easily replace some otherwise boring exercise on machines anyway. Stairs are quite useless on Mars, the low gravity will make you jump more than walk easily, so you would need to step around very cautiously, which is pretty much the opposite of what you need to do if you want to keep up muscle and bone mass. Climbing and jumping would be pretty much ideal here. Also, fun!

Bridge: At least for smaller crews integrating a communal "meeting room" and the bridge, with couches and (collapsable) stations for each crew member may be a good idea. I guess there will be a lot of such meetings and separating this from the galley and cabins may be a good thing.

Well, just my 2 cents.

Offline docmordrid

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #55 on: 01/01/2019 11:23 pm »
A central open shaft/turbolift (w/fold-down lift platform for use in +G's) and at least one Jefferies tube.

All else should be mission configurable, PnP, including cabin decks.
« Last Edit: 01/01/2019 11:24 pm by docmordrid »
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Offline Slarty1080

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #56 on: 01/02/2019 10:23 am »
re: acceleration couches

Seems the volume efficient choice is a structure that can either be configured for takeoff, landing, or completely flat configurations. Have swappable padding that can be easily put on with velcro or whatever as needed. Thus when neither launching or landing, you just turn them into beds. Shouldn't be hard to build something mechanically reliable that only needs 3 configurations.

re: access between crew levels

I like the central shaft idea. you can have recessed handles / ladders for both zero G and gravity, with pop up/ pull out gates for when in gravity to prevent accidental falls through the "doorway" to the shaft. Similarly it would be simple to have flip-down/out padded 'floors' with offset openings and pop up / out railings of their own to prevent falls from ladders in gravity environments ever exceeding one level. I would also plan for a winch installed at top of shaft to easily move heavy cargo/equipment as well as drive an elevator platform that would ride in recesses in the shaft. Cable lifts are pretty simple. If it breaks you just are stuck with ladders... or swapping the powered winch with pulley system.

A central shaft may be useful for engineering reasons alone: The payload/crew section is long and having a cylinder running through it from the bottom to the top would stiffen up the thing a lot. All other walls and decks then wouldn't need to be structural at all.

Another reason would be to offer some long lines of sight during all the years you'll be in that thing. Always staring at a wall never more than 10 feet or so away is easily claustrophobic over time.

For safety stretching some nets across it may be enough, they also would offer a nice place to meet and hang out. During the stay on Mars climbing ladders and nets probably could easily replace some otherwise boring exercise on machines anyway. Stairs are quite useless on Mars, the low gravity will make you jump more than walk easily, so you would need to step around very cautiously, which is pretty much the opposite of what you need to do if you want to keep up muscle and bone mass. Climbing and jumping would be pretty much ideal here. Also, fun!

Bridge: At least for smaller crews integrating a communal "meeting room" and the bridge, with couches and (collapsable) stations for each crew member may be a good idea. I guess there will be a lot of such meetings and separating this from the galley and cabins may be a good thing.

Well, just my 2 cents.
I think they may need to do some tests to figure out what would be best, lift, stairs or ladder (even a rope!) also some simple mechanism that prevents multistory falls but doesn't get in the way too much.
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Online rakaydos

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #57 on: 01/02/2019 10:40 am »
So if there is some pretense of depressurization management between levels, the central shaft is going to need pressure doors. (And basically function like an airlock between levels.) This solves the problem of accidently making a several floor trip. A lightweight elevator platform (watch your hands at the edges) works in gravity, and can be stowed at the top or bottom of the shaft in 0 g.

Stair/hatches around the perimeter are an alternative for those who just wanna walk, as long as they can be resealed quickly in a pressurization disaster.

Offline uhuznaa

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #58 on: 01/02/2019 12:06 pm »
So if there is some pretense of depressurization management between levels, the central shaft is going to need pressure doors. (And basically function like an airlock between levels.) This solves the problem of accidently making a several floor trip. A lightweight elevator platform (watch your hands at the edges) works in gravity, and can be stowed at the top or bottom of the shaft in 0 g.

Stair/hatches around the perimeter are an alternative for those who just wanna walk, as long as they can be resealed quickly in a pressurization disaster.

I think it's highly improbable that you could have decks that can work as pressure vessels on their own. You would need massively domed floors to begin with, just like the domes of the propellant tanks, there's no way you can do this with flat floors. Then you'd need airlocks, local pressurization equipment including tanks and pumps, independent life support systems, pressure suits distributed over the decks... all of this would be extremely mass-intensive and would take up a lot of room.

But of course having only one big pressure vessel can be a safety hazard. With the ISS, SkyLab or even Apollo you still had a docked craft to flee to in case of a leak you couldn't fix quickly enough, ISS can even can isolate many modules. Hmm. At least having a big airlock in the cargo section serving as a pressure bunker (with pressure suits for all of the crew so you can do an IVA from there to fix a leak) might be advisable.

Offline MikeAtkinson

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Re: Starship layout for the first Humans on Mars
« Reply #59 on: 01/02/2019 12:13 pm »
Having independent pressurized volumes is also useful for fires.