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#1 2018-07-17 18:32:19

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,719

Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

We are all dreamers here, but dreams must come into contact with reality for the dream of Mars habitation by humans to ever take place. So...this is an outgrowth of a 4 way conversation on another thread with kbd512, SpaceNut, and Robert Dyck.. As much as many of us are huge Elon Musk supporters, his BFR/BFS proposals are actually full of gaps which need filled in before anyone sets foot on the spaceship, much less the red planet. For Mars to become a realized dream is going to take one helluva lot more than Musk can handle with SpaceX.

Maybe the way to start this discussion going is not what Musk intends to do, but having a look at what he has OVERLOOKED.

(1) Adequate navigational support for AI directed landings; solution: Mars GPS system, along with robotically landed transponders.

(2) Habitat construction. Bigelow? Other proposals?

(3) Mars Rover; Tesla Rover? Internal combustion using LOX and CH4?

(4) Pioneer, or Pathfinder mission; too bad they gave up so easily on Red Dragon! Landing a huge spacecraft with the narrow span legs is a recipe for disaster.

(5) Power. As much as many are truly in love with Solar, the NASA Kilopower project has immediate applications here.

kbd512 has his list and should append mine.

So, what are you waiting for?

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2018-07-17 22:14:45)

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#2 2018-07-18 07:21:44

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,924

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

Yes OF, this is a good approach I think. 

1.  We've had some discussion of this.  I am more optimistic than you on the basis of what I researched.  Laser guidance landing systems, topographical info landing systems and detailed surveys of potential landing sites (including low incline, low dust, hard rock landing sites) suggests this is doable, although the technology will have to be perfected for this.

2.  We haven't anything from Space X on the hab have we?  That is a large gap in the mission design.

3.  I think even on Mission One you need several rovers.  At a minimum you need an exploration Rover (probably two for safety's sake), a haulage rover and a mining rover I would think. But you probably need several mining and haluage rovers (though they could be robotic).  Would LOX and CH4 really be helpful on Mission One? I doubt it.  Electric power I think.

4.  This can be tested on Earth can't it?  Personally I don't think it will be a disaster. They land them on ocean platforms currently.

5.   Well we have been over power many times. I think both systems can work but PV, with back up methane power generation, will definitely work and be easier to deploy. The Kilopower reactor has still not been built.



Oldfart1939 wrote:

We are all dreamers here, but dreams must come into contact with reality for the dream of Mars habitation by humans to ever take place. So...this is an outgrowth of a 4 way conversation on another thread with kbd512, SpaceNut, and Robert Dyck.. As much as many of us are huge Elon Musk supporters, his BFR/BFS proposals are actually full of gaps which need filled in before anyone sets foot on the spaceship, much less the red planet. For Mars to become a realized dream is going to take one helluva lot more than Musk can handle with SpaceX.

Maybe the way to start this discussion going is not what Musk intends to do, but having a look at what he has OVERLOOKED.

(1) Adequate navigational support for AI directed landings; solution: Mars GPS system, along with robotically landed transponders.

(2) Habitat construction. Bigelow? Other proposals?

(3) Mars Rover; Tesla Rover? Internal combustion using LOX and CH4?

(4) Pioneer, or Pathfinder mission; too bad they gave up so easily on Red Dragon! Landing a huge spacecraft with the narrow span legs is a recipe for disaster.

(5) Power. As much as many are truly in love with Solar, the NASA Kilopower project has immediate applications here.

kbd512 has his list and should append mine.

So, what are you waiting for?

Last edited by louis (2018-07-19 12:41:58)


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#3 2018-07-18 08:06:10

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Posts: 3,653
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Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

Well,  regarding habitat,  if the first 3 or 4 items landed are BFS's with small crews and heavy cargoes,  you have plenty of space inside any of these ships to live on the surface,  because they are rigged with pressurized spaces for up to 100 people each.  There is the inconvenience of using the cargo hatch crane to get in and out of the ship,  but it is only that: an inconvenience.  You only need real surface habitats later,  after many more people have landed. 

I would tend to make the same argument with almost any reusable lander design,  even those much smaller than a BFS.  The design of such vehicles needs large internal space for bulky cargo.  Simpy make that space pressurizable for crew habitation after the cargo is unloaded.  It's just another thing in the list of design requirements. 

Why force yourself to carry more pressurizable volumes when you already have the things you landed in?  Save that solution for later,  when the population is too big to live in the landed vehicles.  Just trying to be practical.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2018-07-18 08:06:54)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

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

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#4 2018-07-18 08:58:56

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,924

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

I had been wondering about that. It is certainly feasible up to a point but then using a cargo hatch crane would add a huge burden to the Mission I think. Consider - if you want to go prospecting for water on a daily basis over several sols, using a Rover, then either you have to winch down your rover with personnel inside or the personnel have to don space suits (current suits take hours to get in and out of). I think such EVAs are really impractical.

So, I think we have to stick with the idea of a ground hab for Mission One and, more than that, one that has a sizeable air lock, so personnel can get into a Rover in a pressurised environment without having to don space suits.   

GW Johnson wrote:

Well,  regarding habitat,  if the first 3 or 4 items landed are BFS's with small crews and heavy cargoes,  you have plenty of space inside any of these ships to live on the surface,  because they are rigged with pressurized spaces for up to 100 people each.  There is the inconvenience of using the cargo hatch crane to get in and out of the ship,  but it is only that: an inconvenience.  You only need real surface habitats later,  after many more people have landed. 

I would tend to make the same argument with almost any reusable lander design,  even those much smaller than a BFS.  The design of such vehicles needs large internal space for bulky cargo.  Simpy make that space pressurizable for crew habitation after the cargo is unloaded.  It's just another thing in the list of design requirements. 

Why force yourself to carry more pressurizable volumes when you already have the things you landed in?  Save that solution for later,  when the population is too big to live in the landed vehicles.  Just trying to be practical.

GW

Last edited by louis (2018-07-18 12:42:21)


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

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#5 2018-07-18 09:01:18

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,924

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

I think another gap, a No. 6 is Mars-Earth coms.  How far will Space X rely on NASA or ESA for their coms?  Or can they take their own ground based coms system?  I imagine they will need to use NASA's network of Earth-based receiver dishes.

I feel sure that Space X can improve on the coms seen on NASA Rover missions, but don't really know exactly what is required.


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

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#6 2018-07-18 10:11:45

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,719

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

I'm not dependent on the BFS for the first stages that I propose. We already have flying the Falcon Heavy, which is adequate for the GPS provision mission(s), as well as doing several Red Dragon-style landings.

Regards power requirements: we DO have a functional model of the Kilopower reactor in testing by NASA, who do not seem to share Louis' enthusiasm for a robotically deployed solar array. My thoughts on this evolved into building a special Red Dragon craft which fully incorporates a full size nuclear reactor. Land it remotely from the base, and simply hook up separately landed power cables to it. Do a remote start and then bury the sucker under several tonnes of regolith. Why ship a vehicle designed to move the reactor (ala Mars Direct), when the entire powerplant can itself be landed? This is NOT a conceptual problem, but an engineering problem! This can be done robotically.

I'm definitely in favor of expanding on the Bigelow habitat model, especially if one could be somehow burrowed into a hillside. If they are structurally robust enough, add some regolith overburden for increased solar flare protection.

Re: rovers. There should be several types as Louis suggests. Initially can be battery powered electrics. Crew rovers with lower power consumption rates as first priority. The roof and sides covered with photovoltaic panels for partial recharge while in daytime use, or when not being driven. Either large diameter wide profile tires or tracks. If wheeled, 6 wheel AWD vehicles would be OK. This can be done w/o starting too much from absolute scratch. Structurally built from polyethylene reinforced by carbon fiber; gives some degree of radiation shielding.

Not my complete "take" on anything, but just a teaser of what I have in mind.

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#7 2018-07-18 10:29:25

kbd512
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Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

I wanted to land inflatables (habitation) or tin cans (cargo) using HIAD and larger sky cranes (NTO/MMH with AJ-10-190's) so the habitat module is on the bottom and the propellant tanks and rockets are on the top.  There's no multi-story crane ride to the surface that way.  You just walk out the hatch and you're on Mars.  The primary reason for sending the habitation modules is to keep them far away from a rocket and propellant plant and to provide permanent surface habitation that can be buried under regolith for radiation protection.  No giant rockets are required, either.  Falcon Heavy with an ACES upper stage is sufficient to send the stuff I want to send.

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#8 2018-07-18 10:57:35

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,719

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

Not being critical, but just a reminder that SpaceX has committed to CH4/LOX. A modified and enlarged (diameter) second stage could accomplish a lot when powered by the new raptor engines. I'm in favor of evolutionary planning, not revolutionary. Taking that which SpaceX already has, or has under development is a logical pathway forward. Going from the current 3.7 meter stage diameter to--say 5 meters or 6 meters--should be feasible.

Even if Musk succeeds with the new BFR booster stage soon, this could be the entre to larger interim payloads to Mars. The BFS second stage, the actual spaceship portion will undoubtedly take longer than initially stated--by at least 2, but probably 5 additional years. SpaceX will not sit on their duff until then.

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#9 2018-07-18 13:54:34

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,924

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

No 7 - the long promised (but not yet produced I believe) MCP space suit.  A less cumbersome, more easily donned, space suit is a must for  Mars Missions, I think. I hope too that people can where mesh undergloves so people can actually touch the surface for limited periods.  I think that should be possible. MCP suits will I think be important for geologists and others who need to get a close-up look of the surface.


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#10 2018-07-18 14:12:43

kbd512
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Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

Oldfart1939,

SpaceX and ULA will pay for whatever NASA pays them to build, guaranteed.  I'm not opposed to a LOX/LCH4 upper stage, either, I'm just pointing out the 100s Isp difference and mass of the propellants is pretty hard to overcome.  LOX/LCH4 means easier maintenance and two cryogens with roughly the same temperature so thermal issues are easier to deal with.  I think it's great for a booster, acceptable for an upper stage, but still not as good as the most performant cryogenic propellant combo we know of.  25t to Mars is good enough for exploration.  I want to start chucking hardware at our favorite landing spots to prepare for the arrival of BFS.

I want the water resources identified, habitat module set up, the solar array set up, the landing area radio beacons planted and tested, any landing area obstacles removed and the regolith compaction tested, any nuclear reactors buried, power cables buried and marked, etc.  The only way we can do that is with smaller precursor missions.

The combination of SpaceX Falcon Heavy boosters, ULA ACES upper stages with IVF, HIAD for reentry, JPL Sky Crane for landing, Cygnus for cargo, BEAM for habitation, thin film solar arrays for day power, KiloPower for night power, and advanced robotics for initial site setup can make this happen.

Some gigantic rockets and gigantic spaceships would be great, but we don't have any of those yet and lots of things have to be tested and evaluated before we can use them, even if we did.

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#11 2018-07-18 14:45:37

Oldfart1939
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Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

Yes, (L) H2 definitely has the higher Isp, and neither it nor( L) CH4 is my choice for deep(er) space missions. I prefer the storable NTO/MMH or ADMH couple.

So far, little has been done to prepare for a Mars based Sabatier reaction system, nor has anything been done concretely to adequately test a Mars moxie system.

The real key to the early missions, on a small (6-10 crewmembers) basis, and using what we have NOW, the Falcon Heavy, a lot must be rethought about return flights. My plan combines some elements of Mars Direct, but temporarily abandons the ISRU approach for prepositioned supplies of storables. The key here is multiple reuses of quick turnaround Falcon Heavy rockets, but if the side boosters and central cores are all Block 5, should not be problematic. It WOULD require several purpose built, non reusable Falcon tanker vessels carrying the MMH or ADMH and NTO. We've talked on other threads about food prepositioning, so why not return fuel? This could be done far in advance of the actual manned flights, and on the "slow boat Hohmann transfer trajectories."

In order to achieve the necessary landing accuracy for the tankers is presence of the GPS system and landing beacon transponders. That is step #1 for ANY proposed missions.

I also agree that a definite source of water be positively identified and robotically confirmed.

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#12 2018-07-18 18:03:12

kbd512
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Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

Oldfart1939,

With respect to LH2 fueled upper stages, I'm talking about lift, throw, and let it go.

Here's what I want to do with ACES (RL-10 powered upper stage for Falcon Heavy) and IVF (to recover the engines):

1. ACES injects the payload into a highly elliptical orbit
2. Argon-fueled X3 technology ion engine achieves escape velocity
3. Gyroscopically-deployed thin film solar array provides power to X3
4. RL-10 engines recovered using IVF, HIAD, parachutes, and USAF C-130J Super Hercules or USMC CH-53K King Stallion
5. This concept is also a way to determine which is cheaper, fully reusable rockets that land vertically or one-shot wonder robotically fabricated composite propellant tanks with reusable engines captured using HIAD, parachutes, and aerial capture (cargo only, no humans)

If all the "good stuff" can be packed into the detachable propulsion module, then ULA's concept may be the way to go.  Experimentation and cost analysis through the course of several years of operations will tell the story.

Some payloads would include:

1. Mars GPS and laser communications satellite constellation
2. surface communications / beacons / weather stations
3. small exploration rovers for samples collection
4. small helicopters for aerial terrain mapping to provide TERCOM (terrain correlation and matching- Tomahawk cruise missile navigation technology) for future BFS landers
5. Cygnus cargo landers
6. BEAM habitation landers
7. Tethers Unlimited Inc / Boston Dynamics assembly and construction robots
8. Ascent Solar thin film arrays
9. KiloPower fission reactors
10. consumables like batteries, water, food, spare electronics modules, spare rocket parts
11. miniature ascent vehicles for astronauts in space suits (Delta II upper stage using AJ10-118K)

All Sky Crane and Ascent Vehicle technology will be based upon AJ10 (118 series for ascent or 190 series for descent) and NTO/UDMH or NTO/MMH.

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#13 2018-07-18 19:43:46

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

List from other topic

kbd512 wrote:

Oldfart1939,

Yes, let's do that.  Since nobody else seems to know what "right" looks like, maybe we need a comprehensive plan of the sort that NASA puts together, except using real technologies or technology demonstrators.  The plan should be mission payload centric and not include any magical power or propulsion technologies that don't exist.  That means real space flight hardware or things in an advanced state of active development, no matter how nice something better would be.

* no NTR / fusion / EM / warp drives, electric or magnetic sails, etc
* LOX/LH2 / LOX/RP-1 / APCP rockets
* AJ X3 ion engines for in-space propulsion
* commercial capsules (Dragon / Starliner / Soyuz / Orion only if required)
* ISS modules for deep space habitation
* Cygnus modules for cargo storage or transport
* Ascent Solar thin film solar arrays (Orbital ATK's fans are truly superb, but too expensive and heavy)
* 18650 or 2170 or pouch Lithium-ion batteries
* CAMRAS and IWP for ECLSS or legacy ISS equipment
* Aluminum or Titanium alloys / composites / kevlar fabric structures
* storable NTO/MMH propellants and AJ-10-190's (STS OMS derivatives) for descent / ascent vehicles

Not to bad of a list of parts and pieces to make use of.

I agree no futuristic engine drive systems.

Cryogenic fuels is an issue for energy whether for boiloff control or to insitu manufacture.
Insitu RP-1 is that even possible without a lot more energy to convert Methane into this fuel?
Or are you looking a one fuel to go outward with while the other is for a return?

I see that storables are an agreed upon early lander mission to mars but are we looking to keep going with this as engines are different for a lox ch4 or are we going to see if we can find the source for insitu manufacture of storables?

Ammonium perchlorate composite propellant (APCP) is a modern solid-fuel rocket but is this a return insitu or are we trying to get off from the ATK SRB's?

Current capsule are not there yet for manned flight but hopefully soon but these will only be capable of short term use until they are modified with a more capable life support system.

The company for the ISS modules and Cygnus is the same company so a design for the modules is all that would be required as the shielding will need to upgraded in the design for the journey duration.

Agreed that light mass materials for ship and all other parts of a mission are required.

Ascent solar flexible arrays need to have structural support and roll out capability to unfurl on landing , as in no men required to set up.

Batteries are going to be required not only for the systems use but for all other powering means and methods to be used as well as backup cells as lithium batteries can be damaged quite easily.

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#14 2018-07-18 19:53:28

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 16,180

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

The RL-10 engines would require more than a 1/4 of the fuel in that stage to be able to recover it as its further out than the first stage which required that level of fuel to recover it.

The second part of the list does have quite a few near term items if Nasa follows through with them.

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#15 2018-07-18 21:21:49

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 16,180

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

Post #1 we have talked about the GPS satelite constellation and we think that something bigger than a cube sat was needed but maybe not as large as the ones around earths. So do we have something in mind for what is cost effective since the time its used for the coordinates is a very small amount of time as it will play communications relay a lot more of its time when a crew is on mars.

We have not really taked about the sizing of a surface beacon for landing or just how powerful it needs to be, source of power for it may determine more of its size due to dust storms and will it be needed for night time landings which would mean batteries. Just how many of them do we need at each landing site would also need to be solved as well.

I agree that a path finder mission under the controls needs to work first try with the gps and beacon technology deployed and a realistic mass landing needs to be attempted as well even if its only water...

I also like the demostrator landing of a kilo power reactor as well to allow for it to be self contained and would assume that its got solar power and batteries until the electronics are powered from the reactor after grid connecting it to all of the other stuff we land.

So far none of what we would land other than an ascent launch vehicle needs to be a capsule use what ever shape that works to be landed even if its a new cygnus lander design.

edit: amend the shipped reactor keeping electronics power source with RTG rather than solar battery makes for long life and dependability.

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#16 2018-07-18 22:31:02

kbd512
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Posts: 2,960

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

SpaceNut,

I think multi-U cube sats with Iodine electric propulsion for station keeping are sufficient.  The thin film solar arrays provide lots of power in lightweight packaging.  The laser communications require less power for high data rate transmission, but radio signals for GPS mean at least a few kW's.  The miniaturization and efficiency improvements of microwave guns have really taken off with the fusion research projects, which is a nice, if unintended, side benefit.

The surface omni-directional beacons should just be RTG powered markers that indicate where spacecraft and vehicles are on the ground.  The microwave landing system is a higher-powered navigational aid.  That system could use super capacitors charged by a RTG since it will only be activated for minutes at a time.

We need to experiment with these new stainless steel foams for KiloPower radiation shielding to see if it's feasible to operate the reactor above ground, with proper shielding, and a small exclusion zone of 50m to 100m.

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#17 2018-07-19 02:51:22

elderflower
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Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,122

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

I do think that installation of nuclear reactors of any sort will require considerable site investigation and earth moving capability to create suitable mounting surfaces in a suitable location and to build up berms for radiation protection. Initial expeditions with humans should not use critical nuclear power units.

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#18 2018-07-19 08:44:03

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,719

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

The best shielding for this initial Kilopower in the dedicated lander is DISTANCE from any activity, follwed up by building a berm using a front loading Bobcat. As a control, everyone will be wearing radiation monitors. The modified reactor-Dragon will initially have accessory solar panels for internal electrical controls, along with a large battery pack. It's an eclectic style "Power Unit."

For landing controls, there will be radar transponders which are simply turned on to transmit when interrogated by the incoming landers. This is part of the aviation WAAS system here on Earth at airports. WAAS = Wide Area Augmentation System, and is integral to Garmin GNS Navigation systems.

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#19 2018-07-19 11:07:57

kbd512
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Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

Oldfart1939,

Everyone must wear dosimeters anyway, as a function of the GCR and SPE environment on Mars.  A small fission reactor is a point source.  If we're going to dedicate a lander to the reactor anyway to test it on Mars first, then the unit may as well be properly shielded, even though that'll make it heavier.

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#20 2018-07-19 11:44:09

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,719

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

My suggestion to SpaceX would be using a recycled, or previously flown Dragon ISS supply capsule converted to the power module. Build in a 250 to 500 Kw reactor, or even a Megawatt reactor. That could provide more than adequate power for all initial construction, and after a solar farm is in place, be dedicated to USRU fuel and oxygen generation. Same operational philosophy could be used to deliver the Moxie unit or the BIG Sabatier reaction system; or both. Realistically, a cargo Dragon could take a complete 1 Mars year food supply, if it's entirely dried foods. What's actually needed is conversion of the supply Dragon trunk into a power module with wide footprint landing capabilities. Since the Dragon 2 Crew capsules are designed to be powered by UDMH/NTO escape motors, I'd be comfortable using that fuel/oxidizer couple to effect Mars landings. Not to mention the original Red Dragon concept also included same.

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#21 2018-07-19 12:40:22

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,924

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

Better forget it then! smile  Take PV and a substantial load of methane/oxygen fuel (plus generator of course) with you in case you land in the middle of a dust storms.

elderflower wrote:

I do think that installation of nuclear reactors of any sort will require considerable site investigation and earth moving capability to create suitable mounting surfaces in a suitable location and to build up berms for radiation protection. Initial expeditions with humans should not use critical nuclear power units.


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

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#22 2018-07-19 14:32:50

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,719

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

No, Louis. We will not substitute an inefficient and low output for the weight involved short lifetime system for immediately available power from my self-contained reactor. This is NOT another Nuclear versus Solar thread.

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#23 2018-07-19 16:15:45

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,794
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Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

Rather than focus on things missing from BFR, I want to list what's needed to go to Mars. Period. I've posted these before, but...

  • Install Centrifuge Accommodation Module on ISS. This will test on laboratory mice, guinea pigs, etc, long-term effects of partial gravity including Moon gravity and Mars gravity. This can be launched with Atlas V and delivered to ISS with a Cygnus service module.

  • Complete repair of urine processing assembly

  • Install zero-G sink and shower on ISS. NASA claims the current water processing assembly can already process wash water

  • Install a direct CO2 electrolysis device to extract O2 from CO2 currently dumped in space. This is not intended to replace the current life support system, but to augment it. This will replenish recycling losses. And if ISS is short of water, the water electrolysis tank can be dialed-down, CO2 electrolysis dialed up. NASA claims the current system on ISS recycles 93% of water and O2. Robert Zubrin's book "The Case for Mars" (1997 edition) stated NASA refused to go to Mars until they have 95% recycling efficiency. Ok, will this improve recycling efficiency to 95%? If so, one more excuse eliminated.

  • Operate ISS without cargo resupply for the full duration of Mars mission: Earth to Mars and back to Earth. The purpose is to prove life support can last that long using nothing but spare parts you bring with you.

  • Demonstrate manoeuvring while rotating in tethered flight. Connect a space capsule (Dragon or CST-100 Starliner or Soyuz) to a cargo ship (Dragon v1 or Cygnus or Japanese HTV or Progress). Do this after crew have finished their mission on ISS and ready to return to Earth. And after the cargo ship has off-loaded its cargo, and been loaded with garbage. If something goes wrong, cut the tether and return to Earth. If they have to sacrifice one ship to save the other, if one has astronauts while the other has garbage then that's a no-brainer. This is the next logical step after Gemini 11 (Sept 1966). Gemini 8 directly docked to Agena, but Gemini 11 used a tether and rotated to produce artificial gravity. Not much, but it did. This test would produce more gravity, enough for crew health in transit to Mars, and manoeuvre to simulate mid-course corrections.

  • Require all future Mars orbiters to use aerocapture. If they fail again, keep doing it until they get it right. No exceptions, no excuses.

  • Demonstrate a deployable heat shield on Mars: ADEPT and/or HIAD

  • Laundry machine. Yup, laundry. Do not design it for zero-G, instead it will operate on Mars in Mars gravity, or on the Moon in Lunar gravity, or in transit in artificial gravity. During times of zero-G, laundry won't work. This makes design a lot simpler. Just an RV laundry machine design for reduced mass, and operating off spacecraft power. Could we get an RV laundry manufacturer to do it at their cost if we grant them advertising bragging rights to say they did it? Put their logo on the machine on Mars?

  • MCP spacesuit. Not absolutely necessary, but really really nice to have.

  • Demonstrate ISPP with a Mars sample return mission. Keep it small, we don't want to replace Mars explorers, intention is to demonstrate ISPP in preparation for humans.

::Edit::

  • space toilet. Recover moisture from solid human waste. Russia developed a vacuum desiccator toilet for Mir2, but NASA thought the plumbing was too complicated. The module built as the core module for Mir2 became Zvezda aka Russia service module. I bet they wished they had it after Columbia, and now that Shuttle isn't flying. Johnson Space Center built an Advanced Life Support Project a number of years ago. Part of it was an incinerating toilet. I would like to suggest a TV reality show engineering contest. Russia could install their vacuum desiccator toilet, while NASA builds a toilet with an electro-resistive oven (electric oven) to bake out moisture. Let's see in space, on ISS, which toilet works better. Evaluation criteria: reliability, launch mass, how much moisture is recovered, power consumed, and how that moisture affects flavour of drinking water. If done as a reality TV show, the show could pay for the entire project. So NASA wouldn't even have to pay for it. Why do I envision a logo for a standard commercial toilet?

Last edited by RobertDyck (2018-07-19 16:28:32)

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#24 2018-07-19 16:45:59

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,924

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

It's questionable whether you really need water recycling on a BFR mission.  For a six person mission, you'd need about 11 tonnes of drinking water for a 2.5 year duration.  Maybe make it 20 tonnes, to allow for use of dehydrated foods, some limited washing on Mars etc. Remember there are 6 BFRs supposed to be forming Space X's Mission One. So about 600 plus tonnes of cargo (allowing for "dead air") will be delivered to the surface.

That's not to argue against water recycling, just to put it in context. I see water recycling more as part of the whole "failsafe" infrastructure.

For me the big test is the propellant production plant and launch from Mars.

RobertDyck wrote:

Rather than focus on things missing from BFR, I want to list what's needed to go to Mars. Period. I've posted these before, but...

  • Install Centrifuge Accommodation Module on ISS. This will test on laboratory mice, guinea pigs, etc, long-term effects of partial gravity including Moon gravity and Mars gravity. This can be launched with Atlas V and delivered to ISS with a Cygnus service module.

  • Complete repair of urine processing assembly

  • Install zero-G sink and shower on ISS. NASA claims the current water processing assembly can already process wash water

  • Install a direct CO2 electrolysis device to extract O2 from CO2 currently dumped in space. This is not intended to replace the current life support system, but to augment it. This will replenish recycling losses. And if ISS is short of water, the water electrolysis tank can be dialed-down, CO2 electrolysis dialed up. NASA claims the current system on ISS recycles 93% of water and O2. Robert Zubrin's book "The Case for Mars" (1997 edition) stated NASA refused to go to Mars until they have 95% recycling efficiency. Ok, will this improve recycling efficiency to 95%? If so, one more excuse eliminated.

  • Operate ISS without cargo resupply for the full duration of Mars mission: Earth to Mars and back to Earth. The purpose is to prove life support can last that long using nothing but spare parts you bring with you.

  • Demonstrate manoeuvring while rotating in tethered flight. Connect a space capsule (Dragon or CST-100 Starliner or Soyuz) to a cargo ship (Dragon v1 or Cygnus or Japanese HTV or Progress). Do this after crew have finished their mission on ISS and ready to return to Earth. And after the cargo ship has off-loaded its cargo, and been loaded with garbage. If something goes wrong, cut the tether and return to Earth. If they have to sacrifice one ship to save the other, if one has astronauts while the other has garbage then that's a no-brainer. This is the next logical step after Gemini 11 (Sept 1966). Gemini 8 directly docked to Agena, but Gemini 11 used a tether and rotated to produce artificial gravity. Not much, but it did. This test would produce more gravity, enough for crew health in transit to Mars, and manoeuvre to simulate mid-course corrections.

  • Require all future Mars orbiters to use aerocapture. If they fail again, keep doing it until they get it right. No exceptions, no excuses.

  • Demonstrate a deployable heat shield on Mars: ADEPT and/or HIAD

  • Laundry machine. Yup, laundry. Do not design it for zero-G, instead it will operate on Mars in Mars gravity, or on the Moon in Lunar gravity, or in transit in artificial gravity. During times of zero-G, laundry won't work. This makes design a lot simpler. Just an RV laundry machine design for reduced mass, and operating off spacecraft power. Could we get an RV laundry manufacturer to do it at their cost if we grant them advertising bragging rights to say they did it? Put their logo on the machine on Mars?

  • MCP spacesuit. Not absolutely necessary, but really really nice to have.

  • Demonstrate ISPP with a Mars sample return mission. Keep it small, we don't want to replace Mars explorers, intention is to demonstrate ISPP in preparation for humans.

::Edit::

  • space toilet. Recover moisture from solid human waste. Russia developed a vacuum desiccator toilet for Mir2, but NASA thought the plumbing was too complicated. The module built as the core module for Mir2 became Zvezda aka Russia service module. I bet they wished they had it after Columbia, and now that Shuttle isn't flying. Johnson Space Center built an Advanced Life Support Project a number of years ago. Part of it was an incinerating toilet. I would like to suggest a TV reality show engineering contest. Russia could install their vacuum desiccator toilet, while NASA builds a toilet with an electro-resistive oven (electric oven) to bake out moisture. Let's see in space, on ISS, which toilet works better. Evaluation criteria: reliability, launch mass, how much moisture is recovered, power consumed, and how that moisture affects flavour of drinking water. If done as a reality TV show, the show could pay for the entire project. So NASA wouldn't even have to pay for it. Why do I envision a logo for a standard commercial toilet?


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

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#25 2018-07-19 18:33:09

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,180

Re: Getting to Mars with REAL technology, & what's currently missing.

1. Centrifuge Accommodation Module, who will pay for it and how will it attach to ISS?
2. urine processing assembly, thats the american side which fails from calcification I believe?
3. CO2 electrolysis device, moxie protorype would extract O2 but it would leave co as an outout leaving 1/2 the oxygen being dumped over board. Why not send that into the other waste stream recoveries to get other chemical reactions to occur to free up other oxygens and buffer gasses.
4. Operate ISS without cargo resupply for the full duration of Mars mission, That would probably lead to a better design for mars in the long run rather than trying to fix it whith dead mass that we might not need for a mars duration leg.
5. Operate ISS without cargo resupply for the full duration of Mars mission, That is a mass dependant problem as the more these are increased on each side of center the thicker and heavier the cable gets. Try designing the module lengths for axial rotation would make this less dependant on mass differences for center balance roaming.
6. Require all future Mars orbiters to use aerocapture and Demonstrate a deployable heat shield on Mars: ADEPT and/or HIAD, but this needs to be done whith the max mass we expect to go to mars with and work on the retropropulsion landings with that mass, with a specific mass payload that will work to mans possible dream being realized.
7. Laundry machine, not sure that a washer is the only cleaning of clothing that is needed as a space suit even MPC type would before entiring the air lockes need some dirt and dust removal to be done as we will not want the effects of breathing issues as we did on the moon.
8. Demonstrate ISPP with a Mars sample return mission, this is the question mark as to which methods of water extraction will work with a set power/mass for intaking the co2 from the atmospher will require.
9. Space toilet to Recover moisture from solid human waste, lets just call this a total waste recovery system with all forms of rubbish included as we will not want to eject it out the side of the ship and we will not have a waste ship to put it in. So lets learn to capture as much as we can from it.

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