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#1 2011-12-16 19:32:29

JonClarke
Member
From: Canberra, Australia
Registered: 2005-07-08
Posts: 173

Red Dragon

Red Dragon is a potentially revolutionary mission proposal from a partnership of SpaceX, ARC and JSC.  Three comes together in this proposal:

1) Longstanding ARC interest in deep (metre or more) drilling on Mars to look for life (not just biomarkers) below the surface zone which has been sterilized by UV, cosmic radiation, and peroxides and turned over by regolith processes (wind, gravity flow, impact gardening). Such a mission would be need Discovery class funding (#425 million), of the technology is either off the shelf or at an advanced development.

2) Longstanding JSC interest in proving up human-class EDL at Mars, martian ISRU (especially water extraction and propellant production), and safety missions (biohazard being the greatest).  Martian ISRU would probably be in the Fiscovery mission class, funding wise.

3) SpaceX's desire to develop the Falcon heavy and demonstrate the suitability of Dragon for beyond earth orbit missions.  Dragon has flown successful twice, and should fly twice more this year.  The Falcon heavy uses largely flight proven systems.  SpaceX claim they can develop Falcon heavy, an unmanned Mars-capable Dragon, and send them to Mars for $190 million.

http://digitalvideo.8m.net/SpaceX/RedDr … 0-29-1.pdf

If successful the mission would land at a site known to have shallow ice and smooth terrain, either the Phoenix site or one of the many morthern mid-latitude sites where ice has been seen in small recent craters.  It would deliver:

1) Breakthough science - such shallow ice deposits are habitable now (and were much more habitable a few million years ago when obliquity was higher has the success or failure to detect viable life there would essential prove whether or not Mars is currently inhabited (while leaving open the case for life in the deep past).

2) Demonstrate EDL of a payload at the low end (6 tonnes entry) of what is required for for human missions (and is eminently scalable), plus technologies such as supersonic retropropulsion and skip entry.

3) Demonstrate the two most important ISRU technologies - water extraction and propellant production.

4) Resolve the biggest safety issues for humans on Mars, which is whether or not there is a biohazard

All for a cost of less than half that MSL.

In addition it would allow development of the Falcon Heavy, break the stranglehold that JPL has on Mars mission thinking, and open up the possibility of other large unmanned missions, such as sample return.

There is a long road ahead for this porposal, and many questions need answering first, but it looks very promising.

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#2 2011-12-16 21:15:07

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 2,675

Re: Red Dragon

JonClarke wrote:

Red Dragon is a potentially revolutionary mission proposal from a partnership of SpaceX, ARC and JSC.  Three comes together in this proposal:

1) Longstanding ARC interest in deep (metre or more) drilling on Mars to look for life (not just biomarkers) below the surface zone which has been sterilized by UV, cosmic radiation, and peroxides and turned over by regolith processes (wind, gravity flow, impact gardening). Such a mission would be need Discovery class funding (#425 million), of the technology is either off the shelf or at an advanced development.

2) Longstanding JSC interest in proving up human-class EDL at Mars, martian ISRU (especially water extraction and propellant production), and safety missions (biohazard being the greatest).  Martian ISRU would probably be in the Fiscovery mission class, funding wise.

3) SpaceX's desire to develop the Falcon heavy and demonstrate the suitability of Dragon for beyond earth orbit missions.  Dragon has flown successful twice, and should fly twice more this year.  The Falcon heavy uses largely flight proven systems.  SpaceX claim they can develop Falcon heavy, an unmanned Mars-capable Dragon, and send them to Mars for $190 million.

http://digitalvideo.8m.net/SpaceX/RedDr … 0-29-1.pdf

If successful the mission would land at a site known to have shallow ice and smooth terrain, either the Phoenix site or one of the many morthern mid-latitude sites where ice has been seen in small recent craters.  It would deliver:

1) Breakthough science - such shallow ice deposits are habitable now (and were much more habitable a few million years ago when obliquity was higher has the success or failure to detect viable life there would essential prove whether or not Mars is currently inhabited (while leaving open the case for life in the deep past).

2) Demonstrate EDL of a payload at the low end (6 tonnes entry) of what is required for for human missions (and is eminently scalable), plus technologies such as supersonic retropropulsion and skip entry.

3) Demonstrate the two most important ISRU technologies - water extraction and propellant production.

4) Resolve the biggest safety issues for humans on Mars, which is whether or not there is a biohazard

All for a cost of less than half that MSL.

In addition it would allow development of the Falcon Heavy, break the stranglehold that JPL has on Mars mission thinking, and open up the possibility of other large unmanned missions, such as sample return.

There is a long road ahead for this porposal, and many questions need answering first, but it looks very promising.

This confirms that those of us who have put our faith in Space X have not been indulging in pipe dreams. This really is a feasible option. Musk is a visionary genius!

It's so good in so many ways. It seems to me that the basic technology is all there (and this is what Musk - a man in a hurry - has been working towards).  We are talking now about refinement and add ons.

Humans on Mars within 10 to 20 years could definitely be a reality.


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

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#3 2011-12-18 09:05:40

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 2,675

Re: Red Dragon

You know - I've had another thought about this. I believe we are about to move from an era when space travel seemed incredibly difficult to one where colonisation of our distant cousin planet begins to seem quite straightforward. Wherever I look I see the problems falling away.  I really think we have cause to be very optimistic about this. Things are going to look very, very different in ten years' time one Space X have shown they can get to Mars robotically - and pretty cheaply as well.


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

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#4 2011-12-19 02:06:09

JonClarke
Member
From: Canberra, Australia
Registered: 2005-07-08
Posts: 173

Re: Red Dragon

Keep in mind that SpaceX are just the trucking company.  The real mission results will be from the work of ARC and JSC - who will also foot the bill.

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#5 2011-12-19 07:27:14

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 2,675

Re: Red Dragon

It may be a case of who's using who here.


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

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#6 2012-01-14 09:23:11

RGClark
Member
From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 443
Website

Re: Red Dragon

I've seen discussion of using the Falcon Heavy and the Dragon for a Mars sample return mission. Could the Falcon 9 perform such a mission with a smaller capsule than the Dragon?
Consider two different architectures: 1.)the propellant for the return is carried from Earth,
and
2.)the propellant for the return is produced on Mars. For this, note that orbital observations of Mars show there are locations that have high concentrations both of methane and water vapor. Then those locations could be targeted for the lander. These would also be good locations to search for life. Zubrin's Mars Direct proposal was of taking Mars resources either of the surface or the ground to produce propellant.
For our proposal, there would be a few options for making the propellant. You could take the methane from the atmosphere in the high concentration region, or you could make it by hydrolyzing the water vapor to get hydrogen and reacting it with the CO2 in Mars atmosphere to get methane.
A chemistry question: if you supply an electricity source, could you create methane directly from water vapor and CO2 in the Martian atmosphere?
You would need a power source. For Zubrins proposal he suggested nuclear power. But that was for a large manned lander. For our much smaller lander solar power may suffice.

    Bob Clark


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#7 2012-01-14 16:42:49

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 2,675

Re: Red Dragon

RGClark wrote:

I've seen discussion of using the Falcon Heavy and the Dragon for a Mars sample return mission. Could the Falcon 9 perform such a mission with a smaller capsule than the Dragon?
Consider two different architectures: 1.)the propellant for the return is carried from Earth,
and
2.)the propellant for the return is produced on Mars. For this, note that orbital observations of Mars show there are locations that have high concentrations both of methane and water vapor. Then those locations could be targeted for the lander. These would also be good locations to search for life. Zubrin's Mars Direct proposal was of taking Mars resources either of the surface or the ground to produce propellant.
For our proposal, there would be a few options for making the propellant. You could take the methane from the atmosphere in the high concentration region, or you could make it by hydrolyzing the water vapor to get hydrogen and reacting it with the CO2 in Mars atmosphere to get methane.
A chemistry question: if you supply an electricity source, could you create methane directly from water vapor and CO2 in the Martian atmosphere?
You would need a power source. For Zubrins proposal he suggested nuclear power. But that was for a large manned lander. For our much smaller lander solar power may suffice.

    Bob Clark

This has certainly been discussed here before and there is no problem with creating methane from water and the CO2 in the atmosphere. It's energy intensive, but we can get the energy source there. Solar would suffice.

Don't forget, there is no reason why we can't land fuel in robot landers long before the arrival of humans.  Personally I favour keeping the Mars lander/ascent vehicle as small as possible (as with Apollo). The surface hab and supplies will have been landed robotically months or years in advance.

I think the Mars Transit Vehicle might consist of the Red Dragon, a larger hab (maybe something like Bigelow), the descent vehicle, a supply module, and - of course -  a rocket.  The rocket would have enough fuel/propellant for the return.   There would be orbital assembly of the MTV.


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

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#8 2012-01-16 01:54:02

JonClarke
Member
From: Canberra, Australia
Registered: 2005-07-08
Posts: 173

Re: Red Dragon

RGClark wrote:

I've seen discussion of using the Falcon Heavy and the Dragon for a Mars sample return mission. Could the Falcon 9 perform such a mission with a smaller capsule than the Dragon?
Consider two different architectures: 1.)the propellant for the return is carried from Earth,
and
2.)the propellant for the return is produced on Mars. For this, note that orbital observations of Mars show there are locations that have high concentrations both of methane and water vapor. Then those locations could be targeted for the lander. These would also be good locations to search for life. Zubrin's Mars Direct proposal was of taking Mars resources either of the surface or the ground to produce propellant.
For our proposal, there would be a few options for making the propellant. You could take the methane from the atmosphere in the high concentration region, or you could make it by hydrolyzing the water vapor to get hydrogen and reacting it with the CO2 in Mars atmosphere to get methane.
A chemistry question: if you supply an electricity source, could you create methane directly from water vapor and CO2 in the Martian atmosphere?
You would need a power source. For Zubrins proposal he suggested nuclear power. But that was for a large manned lander. For our much smaller lander solar power may suffice.

A three tonne surface payload makes lots of things possible.

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#9 2016-02-04 21:14:50

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,637

Re: Red Dragon

Was searching for Red Dragon topics but found this on and Low cost Mars Sample Return. which seems to continue the topic.

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#10 2016-04-28 20:26:44

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,637

Re: Red Dragon

bump Red Dragon

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#11 2017-04-15 09:52:10

JeffreyGox
Member
From: Россия
Registered: 2017-04-09
Posts: 3

Re: Red Dragon

Please create a Red Dragon forum just so these can stop flooding offtopic and the ALB main forum.

Pretty please?

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