New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: This forum is accepting new registrations by emailing newmarsmember * gmail.com become a registered member. Read the Recruiting expertise for NewMars Forum topic in Meta New Mars for other information for this process.

#1 2014-04-27 19:18:13

RobS
Banned
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Mars Colonial Transporter

There's now enough information about Musk's planned "Mars Colonial Transporter" rocket to get a basic idea of what he has in mind.

At this web page  http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/03/ … tor-power/ there is information about the new Raptor methane/oxygen engine Space X has started to develop. The Raptor is supposed to have a thrust in the vicinity of 1 million pounds. It'll use methane and oxygen because that's what you can make on Mars, and also because methane doesn't coke the way RP1 does, keeping the engine cleaner for multiple reuse.

Nine of them would by placed on the bottom of a "Falcon XX" which will have a 10 meter diameter. That's 9 million pounds of thrust; 20% more than the Saturn V.

A triple-barrel "Falcon XX Heavy" would have 27 such engines, producing 27 million pounds of thrust at lift-off; almost 4 times the thrust of the Saturn V. With propellant crossfeed, presumably it would be able to put something like 500 tonnes in low earth orbit. That's enough to land over 100 tonnes on Mars. The wikipedia page for the "Mars Colonial Transporter" says the rocket will be able to land 100 tonnes on Mars, sufficient eventually to transport 100 people.

This is just mind blowing. The idea is to develop the vehicle in the next 10-12 years, which is how long it took to develop the Falcon (and since this is a scaling up of the Falcon, it's definitely achievable). This apparently is how Musk can say he wants to land people on Mars in the mid 2020s ( a decade from now!). We know how he will land the stages on Mars; the same way he soft landed the first stage Falcon in the ocean last week. We know how the crew will be landed, too; they are developing that system for the Dragon. 100 tonnes is four times the mass of Zubrin's hab, so it is easy to imagine that it could transport 16 people, complete with their consumables and equipment.

If the Falcon XX is reusable, it won't be able to put 500 tonnes in low earth orbit; more like 350 tonnes. But two reusable launches could do even better, and at a much lower cost. They are saying a Falcon really can be reused after only 24 hours if it soft lands, and can be reused many times, reducing launch costs from $60 million to $3 to $5 million. The cost of putting stuff in low Earth orbit can easily drop to less than a million dollars per tonne. If the Falcon XX is even cheaper--say, half a million per tonne--then stuff can be sent to Mars for $2.5 million per tonne (assuming the landed mass is a fifth the mass in LEO). If it takes a tonne of stuff to transport a person, we can see that a ticket to Mars can come down to a multiple of $2.5 million. I'm beginning to see why Musk can say it could eventually cost $0.5 million to send a person to Mars.

And, let's consider this: How will Musk power his Mars colony? Well, he owns a solar power company! And how will the people get around on Mars? He owns an electric car company, and he's planning to make those cars more cheaply than anyone has every managed before!

So there is "method in his madness," it would seem! Fascinating.

Offline

#2 2014-04-27 19:25:25

RobS
Banned
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

I should add that all this must be causing nightmares for ULA, Ariane, NASA, and a few other operations. Musk is revealing that rules of thumb about spaceflight that have reigned for decades have proved to be untruths (I hesitate to say lies). He may be re-flying Falcon first stages in a year. He will have a choice: destroy the launch capacity of every other rocket company in the world but undercutting their prices in ridiculously complete fashion, or allowing them to compete and keeping his prices up, generating ridiculous profits. There's got to be something illegal about the situation; I suspect an army of lawyers will be wondering about exactly that. Either way, space exploration and space flight wll never be the same again.

Offline

#3 2014-04-27 20:06:21

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,303

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

Here is the thread of the topic that covers the engine...
Two Stage Rocket, One Stage Design

Here is another topic that had the link on the engine developement http://www.newmars.com/forums//viewtopic.php?pid=99336

Offline

#4 2014-12-23 14:34:53

Mark Friedenbach
Member
From: Mountain View, CA
Registered: 2003-01-31
Posts: 325

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

Not sure how this causes nightmares for NASA, unless you mean just that part of the organization in Huntsville. wink

Offline

#5 2015-02-15 18:10:14

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,303

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

Before we get anymore off topic in another discussion, I am posting what was said here.

GW Johnson wrote:

They are building Falcon-Heavy facilities at Canaveral,  and from what read,  the South Texas facility will handle both Falcon-9 and Falcon-Heavy.  I'm guessing that a bit extra payload for otherwise the same cost will be their "draw" for the Texas commercial launch site. 

The only other thing I heard was that the new future giant rocket that some call the "Mars Colonial Transporter" will fly out of the Texas site.  If so,  it will have to be built in Texas,  probably on site,  as its stages will be far too big to ship across country. 

GW

Void wrote:

He was certainly a genius.  Someone like him with life extension would have to potential to be an asset to the human race more than was the case.

You have prompted me to look into the Raptor Engine.  6 times as powerful as the Merlin 1D, and Methane/Oxygen.

I wondered why Methane.  The reason I wondered, is I think Elon Musks plans are more for sending things to Mars than bringing things back.
The Raptor Engine was originally going to use Hydrogen, but it seems that around 2007 NASA tested a Methane engine, and those results were apparently good.  So the Raptor will use Methane.

The advantages of Methane are a reduction of tank insulation weight penalty, and due to a more compact fuel, a reduction in tank size weight penalty.  And of course Methane could be manufactured on Mars, but as I said, I don't think their primary objective is to leave Mars.

The above indicates why it is important to keep NASA as it is.  It is like a coarse adjustment in a calibration.  They get you into the ball park of something that has potential, and then other more specific and focused organizations can do a finer calibration on the process.  Further even though NASA is necessarily pork barrel, it also causes the formation of industrial processes that can be used by entities like SpaceX.

Offline

#6 2015-02-15 18:13:38

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,303

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

SpaceNut wrote:
void wrote:

I was really pleased when Tom pointed out that the Falcon Heavy would use 3 ea. Falcon 9's.  That is not what I expected at all.  It means the heavy lift is likely not all that far off, if they manage to land a Falcon 9 some time.

I suspect that a triple core heavy will have its own set of problems with useability from the fact that it will look like a wing once it starts a return path and that is due to the larger width shape of being 3 barrels wide. That said now on reentry each unit will seperate from the other now needing seperate glide paths and landing platforms to allow for recoverability.

Void wrote:

That was polite smile

void wrote:


I was really pleased when Tom pointed out that the Falcon Heavy would use 3 ea. Falcon 9's.  That is not what I expected at all.  It means the heavy lift is likely not all that far off, if they manage to land a Falcon 9 some time.

I suspect that a triple core heavy will have its own set of problems with useability from the fact that it will look like a wing once it starts a return path and that is due to the larger width shape of being 3 barrels wide. That said now on reentry each unit will seperate from the other now needing seperate glide paths and landing platforms to allow for recoverability.

I guess I will leave it to SpaceX to figure out how they are going to land two at a time and then shortly after the third one.  However with the advances in artificial intelligence, I have to suppose that these things will be rather smart, above what we have experienced so far.

I will respond to your other post soon, after I check so facts, so as to reduce the possibility of wasting your time.

Offline

#7 2015-02-15 18:27:23

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,303

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

Void wrote:

Alright, I guess I should have said it a bit different.

VOID wrote:


So what if;
-Send a person transporter to Mars, composed of;
     -Lander without;
          -Parachute.
          -Heat Shield.
          -Canted Engines

Anything entering Mars upper atmosphere and headed towards a landing will need a heat shield of some sort and that is why Mars uses PICA rather than the heavy metal shield of orion. That said that a material must be found that can widthstand the heat of entry but be as light as possible and still get the job done is a must.

Parachutes can only be removed if you used a powered descent which can include canted engines if used for more than final 100 meter or feet of descent to touch down and a lifting body of some sorts both have there own respective penalties to make a successful landing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX_reu … nt_program

the first-stage separation would occur at a velocity of approximately 2.0 km/s (6,500 km/h; 4,100 mph; Mach 6) rather than the 3.4 km/s (11,000 km/h; 7,000 mph; Mach 10) for an expendable Falcon 9, to provide the residual fuel necessary for the deceleration and turnaround maneuver and the controlled descent and landing

Granted, this is only a small percentage of the speed change needed to be captured to the surface of Mars, from the energy of orbit necessary to get to the vicinity of Mars.

It is a heat shield of sorts, the rocket plume.  It is cooler than the plasma generated by re-entry.  But I was thinking brut force to get rid of the other energy prior to this phase of entry.  I know that involves a lot of fuel, and so a lot of cost.

However, if SpaceX can launch for $1000.00/pound, and the tanks for storing the methane are lighter, a bigger fuel budget is possible, than for using the SLS.

As for reentering with a booster below, this might be similar to having a sky crane, but in this case it is to help deliver the lander to the atmospheric conditions it could survive in without parachutes (Which are out anyway I am supposing), and without a heat shield.  Keeping the lander light enough so that it could hop about like an aircraft later, and also to help it be able to get to orbit when that was desired.

You did force me to rethink the situation however.  I did suggest external tanks for the brute force maneuver, getting rid of the bulk of differential speed.  I suggested that the tank(s) could be discarded after empty.

I would like to play with another idea.  Perhaps if the tank(s) were a surround of the stack of the booster and lander, when filled they would be a radiation shield.  After emptied, perhaps they could serve as a heat shield, increasing the footprint size of the entry vehicle.

This would require that the tank walls be able to serve this triple purpose.  Container for radiation shield, holder of brute force fuel,  heat shield.

I recall that one method to cool a heat shield is to push a rocket engine plume in front of it.  I don't know how much such engines would be able to take as far as having hot plasma pushing against them.  Should they fail, that would be a disaster for sure I presume.

So anyway, I am presuming that;
-The tank(s) are a surround of the cylindrical stack of the booster and lander.
-The tank(s) will be emptied, by burning the fuel in them in a brute force slow down effort, to reduce the entry speed to what could be handled.
-As a precaution, prior to entering the atmosphere, it might be wise to vent the tanks to vacuum to hope to remove as much residual fuel as possible.
-The assembly would hit the atmosphere, and a rocket plume would or would not be used to cool the heat shield, and help in slowing down and navigation.
-A dangerous action after that would be to dispense with the tank(s) while at still rather high speed in the atmosphere, and then further slow down riding on the booster rocket plume.
-Then release the lander, and get the booster out of the way, to either crash, or push itself to orbit.

I know I am under qualified on this but I am interested in hearing your arguments in response.

Maybe I am out of line as far as the canted engines?  Perhaps they are best for a hopping aircraft/rocket on Mars?

As an amendment to the above.  You mentioned lifting air body.  I suppose the assembly with the external tanks might have a shape like a lifting air body, but I am sure the external tank/(Radiation shield-Fuel Tank-Heat Shield) would be dispensed with soon after re-entry, so I don't know what benefits could be derived by having it have those qualities.  But since I am not actually spending anyone's money, or hurting anything except your minds, I have included it.

Offline

#8 2015-02-17 20:14:48

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,303

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

I wanted to make sure that I could add to the area of discusion before I replied to the posts which had been copied here.

Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) Expertise at NASA Langley Research Center

During Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL), as a vehicle approaches a planetary body, the planet’s gravity pulls on and accelerates the vehicle, predictably changing its trajectory and velocity. For Mars, our entry vehicles reach approximately 13,000 mph planet relative velocity. As the vehicle punches through the atmosphere, it creates a layer of plasma around it and passes through its peak heating phase. We use the atmosphere to slow the vehicle from hypersonic to supersonic to subsonic speeds. Finally, the vehicle shifts into a terminal descent phase to land on the planet.

Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing Trajectory and Atmosphere Reconstruction

Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing Parametric Sizing and Design Space Visualization Trades

Parametric Mass Modeling for Mars Entry, Descent and Landing System Analysis Study

Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing Trajectory and Atmosphere Reconstruction

Atmospheric Environments for Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL)

I think the chart on page 3 for Comparison of temperature profiles among the planets and Titan is what we are looking for with regards to a powered descent from a falcon 9 style product.

Offline

#9 2015-02-17 20:33:09

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,303

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

SpaceNut wrote:

This is to answer the flight path question....

falcon-spacex-platform-landing-test-150105a-02.jpg?1420495831

Inside SpaceX's Epic Fly-back Reusable Rocket Landing

So looking at mars for a simular rocket powered landing and comparing it to the one achieved on Earth can we do a powered landing for Mars?

SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launches the DSCOVR spacecraft

Three seconds before liftoff, the nine Merlin-1D engines which power the first stage ignited, building up to full thrust at the T-0 mark.

Lifting off, the Falcon began a series of roll, pitch and yaw manoeuvres to attain the correct launch azimuth for its planned deployment orbit.

The rocket attained a speed of Mach 1 a little after 70 seconds into its flight, passing through the area of maximum dynamic pressure ten seconds later.

First stage flight lasted around two minutes and 40 seconds, with the stage ending its burn prior to depletion in order to conserve fuel for a landing attempt – albeit not on the barge in the Atlantic.

The planned parameters for the target orbit are a perigee of 187 kilometres (116 miles, 101 nautical miles), an apogee of 1,241,000 km (833,300 miles, 724,100 nautical miles) and inclination of 37 degrees.

Offline

#10 2015-02-17 21:58:38

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 7,359

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

I feel as though you might be baiting me, but that's alright.
It seems that you think that Titan might be suitable for a powered descent.

I wonder though, if it some point it becomes an economic decision?  SpaceX is supposing a hoped for cost of $500/pound of mass from Earths surface to orbit.  When is fuel so cheep that you might begin to think No I don't want to rely on dangerous pushed to the limits methods for aerocapture?

The Mars colonial (I don't like the word colonial because of the historical baggage it carries, but it is their words) transport is supposed to carry up to 100 persons.  I can't imagine they intend to aerocapture that.  It's mass to surface area ratio would not be as favorable as a ship to send say 4 people in a smaller ship.  So they must intend to power to orbit, and then either power all the way down, or use a reusable transport with heat shield and canted engines.  In either case, they have partially or totally used a powered descent to get from Mars intercept orbit to Mars surface.

The stuff I presented this weekend was mostly B.S. on my part.  I thought there was little harm in it since very few people were at that time using the site.  However given the budget, even that might work.

I have been put off by the descriptions of the rigors that are imposed by the one method that seems to be most popular, that apparently is total aerocapture for the humans for reasons of radiation and presumed constraints on mass.  One of our most genuine experts seems to think that there is a major impediment to landing a large ship.  I trust that that person knows what that person is talking about.

But I am wondering if the thinking is so locked into the Apollo methods, the presumed SLS methods that they do not consider the changes that might come from lower cost fuel and Oxygen?

But I know that in the end facts are facts.  You can't just say that you will sprout wings and fly to Mars.

Even so, since you concede that Titan might allow a powered descent, how about consideration of a hybrid method for Mars.  A partial powered change in speed, might give you more liberties for the mass of the object that you hope to land, and also for the materials that it is constructed from.

Last edited by Void (2015-02-17 22:00:40)


Done.

Offline

#11 2015-02-17 22:11:42

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,303

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

Titan and other large moons of Jupiter and Saturn are way off in the future but not for manned made landers, rovers and orbiters....But we do need to stay focussed when the purse strings are tighted...

Offline

#12 2015-02-18 09:31:34

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 5,609
Website

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

The best data I have on Titan says its atmosphere has a very tall scale height and a surface pressure greater than 1 atm.  You should use that for aerodynamic deceleration all the way to a parachute landing.  They did with Huygens probe.  The velocities involved are quite low,  because of the weak gravity that gives rise to the tall scale height.  Heat protection isn't the governing issue the way it is here.  There's a bit of drag loss on the ascent,  but again,  gravity is weak and orbital/escape velocities are quite low. 

Biggest problem with Titan is Saturn's gravity well.  And for men,  the travel time just getting there. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

Offline

#13 2015-02-18 10:29:36

RobS
Banned
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

Void, I don't think it is at all certain that we can't use aerobraking for arrival in Mars orbit and for most of the landing deceleration. Zubrin thinks it is possible and I have seen him provide the physics in articles on the web. The SpaceX people seem to think it is possible, also, and their work bringing the Falcon 9 first stage back to the Earth intact will give us an immense mount of data and experience. I suspect in a few years we'll have a lot better idea. Very high arrival speeds at Mars will require something other than aerobraking; that seems clear. But arriving at 13,000 to 14,000 mph, as is common in a 6-month trajectory, does not seem to be a problem.

Offline

#14 2015-02-18 14:57:08

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 7,359

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

Well, you know I am a feather weight in the ring with heavyweights here, so, I am not going to push my position very hard.  In checking and double checking I ran into this which is interesting and new (To me).

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic … the-cheap/


Done.

Offline

#15 2015-02-18 15:14:43

RobS
Banned
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

Thanks for the link, Void. There was an article about it on Space.com at one point. I am still not completely sure how it works, but perhaps I can find more about it.

Offline

#16 2015-02-18 20:42:08

RobS
Banned
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

By the way, there's a new article about the Falcon Heavy at Nasaspaceflight that has some good new information:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/02/ … hif-rises/

Offline

#17 2015-12-25 22:10:43

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,303

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

With the only current thoughts on transporting people to Mars on the table one wonders whether we can build a city that would require this population in the time frame indicated with the transports metrics.

louis wrote:

first Mars City, 20 years after the initial landing

The breakdown for activity within the City is:

5% (20) Administration (Governor and staff).  Planning and resource allocation; licensing; dispute resolution; earth communications oversight. 
10% (40) Life Support (production and maintenance)
7.5%  (30) Space Flight Centre
7.5% (30) Energy and Industrial Production  (solar power, methane production,  iron and steel, glass making, and brick making).
20% (80) Construction
10% (40) Mining
10% (40) Farming and food processing.
15% (60) University and Science Projects
5% (20)  Exploration Projects
10% (40) Other (tourism)

Which means for these number the size of the last crew build up to just half of the total would be the max I think we can possibly hope for with an transport of people to equal the population build up.

Offline

#18 2015-12-25 22:35:07

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,303

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

So where are we with the plan for the Mars Colonial Transporter?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Colonial_Transporter

"He stated in a 2011 interview that he hoped to send humans to Mars' surface within 10–20 years." So we will give him the benefit of doubt as nasa seems to be on the same slow moving boat..... 100 tonne as well

http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-mus … hip-2015-1

"This ambitious plan has grown into the Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT) project that involves a series of yet-to-be developed reusable rocket engines, launch vehicles, and space capsules capable of ferrying 100 soon-to-be Martian colonists at a time and then return to Earth for more passengers."

Offline

#19 2015-12-25 23:23:43

RobS
Banned
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

I think he's still planning to unveil something pretty soon. Musk seems never to get things done quite as fast as he wants. If I were he, I'd wait until the Falcon Heavy has its first launch because a lot will be learned from that. By now, he had expected to have several first stages safely landed. That didn't happen, so there is no accumulated data about refurbishment costs, and that's a rather important piece of information about going to Mars. That will also effect profitability; the sooner they can reuse rockets, the sooner they can accumulate large profits and lines of credit, and all of that leads to more experience.

Offline

#20 2015-12-26 19:55:03

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

Yes, we're due an announcement early 2016 I think on the MCT. Musk is a man in a hurry - he'd like to visit Mars but must know that every year that passes means he's further away from that object, unless he can somehow accelerate the project. 

This may be Musk's weakness - that he's always had a strong personal involvement in Mars colonisation going back to when he wanted to send a plant growth experiment to the surface (it was his inability to find anyone able to take forward the project that led to the founding of Space X).

I do feel the MCT - whilst visionary - is not the best way forward. Musk doesn't seem to think in terms of what you do with 100 people (selected by whom and by what process?) who arrive on the surface of Mars.  Or worse - what do you do with 1000 people arriving by ten such transporters within a two year period?  Early Mars is never going to be an hospitable environment.  The last thing you want is to find - during the early stages of a colony - that you have say 200 people who are disgruntled, unproductive or even positively dangerous in their behaviour.

We will have to see what Musk announces. But what I would want to see is a balanced ISRU development programme as being the first phase of a plan of Mars colonisation - not some grand migration via MCTs.


RobS wrote:

I think he's still planning to unveil something pretty soon. Musk seems never to get things done quite as fast as he wants. If I were he, I'd wait until the Falcon Heavy has its first launch because a lot will be learned from that. By now, he had expected to have several first stages safely landed. That didn't happen, so there is no accumulated data about refurbishment costs, and that's a rather important piece of information about going to Mars. That will also effect profitability; the sooner they can reuse rockets, the sooner they can accumulate large profits and lines of credit, and all of that leads to more experience.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#21 2015-12-26 22:05:39

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,303

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

Lious the MCT is only a transport means and the company (Space X) is only looking to make a profit not direct whom or what they will do once they arrive at the destination that has more to do with the corporate entity that would want to fund such a project. The corporate is just buying the means to get them there safely.

Offline

#22 2015-12-26 23:14:17

RobS
Banned
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

It seems to me that somewhere I saw a comment that the MCT could transport 100 to Mars, but that the first one or two would transport fewer people, say, 10. You need to start with a few people and a lot of supplies, so those people are safe. Then they build infrastructure and the future MCTs can transport more people until eventually 100 can go at a time.

Offline

#23 2015-12-27 05:10:24

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

That might be the case. I suppose we will get the details from Musk soon.  I hope so.

I still feel the MCT isn't quite the right vehicle for initial colonisation - it's supposed to be 100 tonnes (Wikipedia) per MCT landed on Mars.

I prefer an incremental approach based on multiple small scale delivery to the surface (2-4 tonne loads, perhaps) and a light lander. I don't think we need much more than 20 tonnes for a flying start - and certainly no more than 40 tonnes.

But this brings us back to the Red Dragon - maybe that is what Musk is planning for the early stages (Red Dragon landings) which would be more in line with my way of thinking.


RobS wrote:

It seems to me that somewhere I saw a comment that the MCT could transport 100 to Mars, but that the first one or two would transport fewer people, say, 10. You need to start with a few people and a lot of supplies, so those people are safe. Then they build infrastructure and the future MCTs can transport more people until eventually 100 can go at a time.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#24 2016-01-29 22:33:03

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,303

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

GW Johnson wrote:

I have long suggested that somebody will beat NASA (and all the other government agencies around the world) to Mars with people.  I may be proven correct. 

An excerpt from a story found on MSNBC internet news 1-29-16,  in the “tech news” section,  absent from “science” and its subsection “space”.  I could find no attribution to any of the news wire services.  The article in its entirety says Musk will reveal soon yet another spacecraft of some kind.  There was no hint what that might be. 

excerpt:

BY KEITH WAGSTAFF

Nobody can accuse Elon Musk of not shooting for the stars.

The SpaceX and Tesla founder said this week that he personally wants to visit space within the next five years and thinks that his company will send somebody to Mars by 2025.

Speaking at the StartmeupHK Festival in Hong Kong this week, Musk said that he had already taken parabolic flights to prepare for space, but had not done much else.

end excerpt

If Musk and his people are as smart as they seem to be,  the new craft just might be a deep space habitat to keep the crew healthy during the "to" and "from" transits.  At least we can hope. 

GW

SpaceNut wrote:

Musk's MTV the colonial ... has been leaking out about big announcements for this year but its a means of hyping up stocks and emotions for funding....
As for the private industry landing on Mars first, it sure would be a slap in the face even to have a flyby to Nasa and government funding conditions of the pork barrel companies....
The recent plans that we have put together shows that with existing pieces we are almost capable of doing the flyby and with a few more pieces and funds we could land to stay on mars....
The collective knowledge of the group of frequent posters show that its not unobtainium.....Lets keep building this knowledge base and bring forth more ideas on how to do Mars.....

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/01/ … e-by-2020/

Offline

#25 2016-02-03 12:34:22

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Mars Colonial Transporter

Basically, it would be a larger version of Falcon heavy. We have to see if the Falcon Heavy can recover its boosters, and then if the Colonial Transporter can also land and reuse its boosters, if that happens, we will open up a new era of cheaper access to space.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB