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#26 2016-06-07 19:43:08

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

True for the exploration of first few missions to moon or mars but we have been 2 decades already in orbit and yet astronauts and wealthy are all that is there....it is time for a change at least to LEO....

Equator landings are idea for solar but is there the water reserve under ground in ice along the deeper places in the mars landscape....if so then its a yes...

I read another article that was not Elon Musk but it indicated that the 100 chosen so far for mars mission by Mars one was to be whittled down to 24 for the first mission to mars around the 2025 time line as well for the one way mission plan.

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#27 2016-06-08 00:16:49

Rxke
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From: Belgium
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

SpaceNut wrote:

Equator landings are idea for solar but is there the water reserve under ground in ice along the deeper places in the mars landscape....if so then its a yes....

There is. Check out Nasa's InSight mission

I quote ___Rocket___ from r/spacex subreddit:

the current landing site of InSight is in the equatorial region, in Elysium Planitia. What's the most interesting about this area is that it contains the probably biggest known deposit of water ice in the equatorial region. Most of the water ice is in the polar regions.

....

The position of the water ice is 5°N, 150°E - while the InSight landing site is currently at 4°N, 136°E, pretty close.

The volume of water ice is huge: 800x900x0.045 km - a shallow, flat, high concentration deposit of ice ideally suited for in-situ methane and LOX production, possibly just a meter or two below the surface ash/sand.




Mars One is dead in the water. Forget them.

Last edited by Rxke (2016-06-08 01:01:51)

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#28 2016-06-08 10:50:23

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

Rxke wrote:
SpaceNut wrote:

Equator landings are idea for solar but is there the water reserve under ground in ice along the deeper places in the mars landscape....if so then its a yes....

There is. Check out Nasa's InSight mission

I quote ___Rocket___ from r/spacex subreddit:

the current landing site of InSight is in the equatorial region, in Elysium Planitia. What's the most interesting about this area is that it contains the probably biggest known deposit of water ice in the equatorial region. Most of the water ice is in the polar regions.

....

The position of the water ice is 5°N, 150°E - while the InSight landing site is currently at 4°N, 136°E, pretty close.

The volume of water ice is huge: 800x900x0.045 km - a shallow, flat, high concentration deposit of ice ideally suited for in-situ methane and LOX production, possibly just a meter or two below the surface ash/sand.




Mars One is dead in the water. Forget them.

tom_s_mars_map_by_tomkalbfus-da5l1jq.png
The blue circle on this map is where I proposed to site the colony, the red circle is the location you proposed. Your site may have more water, but my site, I think has some more interesting geological features to investigate, and part of the way this colony will pay its bills is through exploration. The Valles Marineris is the biggest canyon system in the Solar System, and to the West are a cluster of shield volcanos, one of which is Olympus Mons, the biggest such mountain in the Solar System, a couple of future tourist attractions I think, and this site is about equidistant from both, and there is Pavonis Mons, located right on the equator to the west.

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#29 2016-06-08 11:17:08

RobS
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

Of course, Tom, you've sited your colony at a very high altitude where you can't use the atmosphere to slow you down in landing, and where there is less atmosphere to shield you from solar radiation and cosmic rays.

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#30 2016-06-08 17:06:30

SpaceNut
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Posts: 23,078

Re: Musk's plans for Mars

The Mars InSight lander has not happened and may not if the lander is not fixed...

map for Insight
insight-mars-landing-sites.jpg

http://insight.jpl.nasa.gov/home.cfm

Not to dead as Mars 'colonists' to undergo five days of tests but then again how large is the bank roll for the mission.....

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#31 2016-06-08 19:36:42

SpaceNut
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

What Does it Take to Become a NASA Astronaut?

NASA received a record-breaking 18,300 applications when it announced it was looking to fill its 2017 Astronaut Candidate program. About 120 applicants will be invited to the Johnson Space Center in Houston for a first round of interviews. About half of them will be invited back for a second round. The U.S. space agency said it will take 18 months to select eight to 14 applicants to join a new class of astronauts. The odds of getting selected are less than 0.08 percent, which makes getting into this program 65 times harder than getting into Harvard University, which has an acceptance rate of 5.2 percent.

Once astronaut candidates are selected, they must successfully complete a two-year training period. Roemer said they will learn a "little bit of everything about spaceflight, whether that's systems training, they also do Russian language training, they will do EVA, Extravehicular Activities (spacewalks) training. They do a little bit of everything in that two-year window before moving into mission specific training."

So when will the status quo change for civilians aka the common man to be able to explore and work in space......

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#32 2016-06-09 07:29:12

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

RobS wrote:

Of course, Tom, you've sited your colony at a very high altitude where you can't use the atmosphere to slow you down in landing, and where there is less atmosphere to shield you from solar radiation and cosmic rays.

There are ways to shield from cosmic rays without atmosphere, and the difference between 0.007 atmosphere and a vaccum is slight, most of the slowing occurs at high altitude anyway, and the atmosphere attenuates with altitude only a third as much as it does on Earth due to the low gravity.  There are some good arguments for a base on top of Pavonis Mons, if you wanted to mine Mars and hurl stuff into space with a mass driver to build O'Neill colonies in space for instance.

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2016-06-09 07:31:45)

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#33 2016-06-09 07:33:36

Rxke
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

I agree with Tom on all points. smile  (I never dreamt I'd ever say that wink  )
Second: starting your inital building efforts at the lowest possible altitude has the risk of eventually having your initial outpost being inundated decades later by terraforming.

Last edited by Rxke (2016-06-09 07:34:16)

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#34 2016-06-09 07:51:28

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

Rxke wrote:

I agree with Tom on all points. smile  (I never dreamt I'd ever say that wink  )
Second: starting your inital building efforts at the lowest possible altitude has the risk of eventually having your initial outpost being inundated decades later by terraforming.

Probably some Earth bound cities on the coast may have to be abandoned too if global warming people are right, of course with sufficient investment, they could be turned into "Aquapolises." I don't know how inevitable global warming on Earth would be. Seems to me any society capable of terraforming Mars would have no problem averting global warming, that is where I disagree with the Premise of Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars trilogy, yet he wanted to showcase the problem of global warming in his third novel, I just say in a world where Mars is terraformed, global warming would have been solved using some of the same techniques used to terraform Mars, that Soletta, for instance, could just as easily have been used to block sunlight as to magnify it! One phase of the terraforming project called for placing a soletta between Mars and the Sun to magnify the Sun's rays to warm the planet up, if placed between Earth and the Sun it could block some of those rays, more than compensating for greenhouse gases. Such a minor task to save the coastal cities and beaches.

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#35 2016-06-09 14:09:26

GW Johnson
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

My own opinion is that geography is a lot less important than water for the very first manned site on Mars.  Any sort of terraforming considerations are a long,  long way off.  If you have water,  and you have electric power,  you have hydrogen and oxygen,  with carbon available in the CO2 atmosphere.  You can make LOX-Liq.methane propellants,  and/or LH2-LOX propellants.  Given a source of nitrogen (I know not where) you could even make very storable NTO-hydrazines.

You also need water to support growing food,  and the excess oxygen from splitting water at 8:1 to LH2-LOX propellants at 6:1 is what you need to breathe.  Water is the key thing,  bar none!  On Mars,  ice away from the polar caps is buried.  There seems to be "massive deposits" of buried ice in some mid-latitude locations.  We won't know until we go and drill (I ethically refuse to bet lives on remote-sensing inference). 

You site your settlement where the ice is.  There is no other realistic choice.  And you must know it is really there before you bet lives on it.  So where's the rover with the drill rig that can reach 2-10 meters down? 

Atmospheric radiation shielding is important for long-term residents,  but not short term exploration crews.  The issue is eventually career limit exposure for long term residents.  Although,  habitats can be built with regolith on their roofs for extra shielding.  The radiation shielding problem is no real determinant of the first settlement site. 

Low atmospheric density at higher elevations is no real site determinant,  either.  Anything big enough for men to use will likely mass well over 1 ton.  Stuff over a ton is what all the EDL fuss is about.  The answer to that fuss is retropropulsive final landing after you come out of entry hypersonics.  It'll be too low for chutes to be useful,  even in the lowlands. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2016-06-09 14:16:47)


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

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#36 2016-06-09 16:11:13

RobS
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

Whatever base you establish is likely to become the "Martian McMurdo" and once it is established, it will be hard to amass significant infrastructure elsewhere. So it is important to plan the first base fairly carefully. The Elysium site has ice--we think--and is low altitude, so that would be more logical than a place in the Tharsis Plateau. The first few landings probably could use all the atmosphere they can get! And I wouldn't worry much about terraforming because we don't even know whether it's wise, practical, or economical, and its a century away anyway.

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#37 2016-06-09 17:10:17

GW Johnson
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

Actually,  RobS,  if there is a NASA mission at all,  there will be one and only one.  Which is also why I think a mission to orbit Mars without landing is stupidity incarnate. 

I have come to believe that Elon Musk will beat NASA to the surface of Mars with men by at least a decade.  The sooner he gets with Bigelow to develop the transit habitation,  the sooner he will go. 

However,  the lander will be the pacing item,  whether or not it is one-stage reusable.  That one requires significant development and flight test prove-out,  either way.  It also does not fit anybody's launch rocket fully assembled,  not even SLS.

None of this makes any sense without a supple space suit,  but that is NOT the pacing item.  There was the core of a viable supple spacesuit demonstrated half a century ago. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2016-06-09 17:12:07)


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

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#38 2016-06-09 17:21:11

RobS
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

I agree; I think it is clear Musk will do it, probably in 2026 or 2028 (his schedules usually prove to be too ambitious). The transit hab won't be a problem; I agree. The new heavy-lift "Mars Colonial Transport" rocket will use methane and oxygen, so once it is up and flying--5 to 8 years maybe--he will gain experience with "Raptor" methane engines. He already knows how to land rockets vertically and by the 2020s, he will have a LOT of experience building stages that can be re-flown. If he uses the same stage for passengers as cargo, he can land three or four stages on the Martian surface, and all of them would be potentially relaunchable, so his crew will have the ability to get to Martian orbit. It would take pretty big solar panels to refuel a stage that's large enough to get people back to orbit AND serve as the trans-Earth injection stage for the transhab (I once figured you'd need 130 to 150 tonnes of fuel). On the other hand, 130 to 150 tonnes of LOX/methane is about the right size to serve as the trans-Mars injection stage for 100 tonnes of payload.

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#39 2016-06-09 18:24:32

GW Johnson
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

It is NOT required to have in-situ propellant production in order to have an affordable manned Mars mission.  Too many still believe it is required.  But it is not. 

Take a look at my orbit-to-orbit transport with reusable one-stage chemical landers.  I estimated about $50 billion to get this done,  not NASA's/Big Space's $500 billion.  It presumes nothing is produced at Mars in the way of propellant.  Yet I got up to 8 different sites explored from LMO,  with an orbit-to-orbit transport vehicle that gets recovered in LEO for reuse. 

That's getting kind of hard to argue with,  actually.  Especially when the very same recovered transit vehicle works for missions to Mars,  Venus,  Mercury,  and the main asteroid belt,  as well as the NEO's.  All you need is the appropriate lander for Mars and Mercury.  The other destinations do not require a lander.

GW


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

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#40 2016-06-09 19:16:34

SpaceNut
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

I think insitu propellant was more of a mass offsetter for LEO but then again when you use a cheap Falcon and not a Nasa SLS to park fuel in orbit you could loose the insitu propellant and still be much less....

As far as using Bigelows inflatables they need docking capability on both ends to make it work and that is not what we have so far seen.....

A deep space vehicles need to have the internal properly laid out for docking of parts and for its extended useages...

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#41 2016-06-10 00:17:51

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

GW Johnson wrote:

My own opinion is that geography is a lot less important than water for the very first manned site on Mars.  Any sort of terraforming considerations are a long,  long way off.  If you have water,  and you have electric power,  you have hydrogen and oxygen,  with carbon available in the CO2 atmosphere.  You can make LOX-Liq.methane propellants,  and/or LH2-LOX propellants.  Given a source of nitrogen (I know not where) you could even make very storable NTO-hydrazines.

You also need water to support growing food,  and the excess oxygen from splitting water at 8:1 to LH2-LOX propellants at 6:1 is what you need to breathe.  Water is the key thing,  bar none!  On Mars,  ice away from the polar caps is buried.  There seems to be "massive deposits" of buried ice in some mid-latitude locations.  We won't know until we go and drill (I ethically refuse to bet lives on remote-sensing inference). 

You site your settlement where the ice is.  There is no other realistic choice.  And you must know it is really there before you bet lives on it.  So where's the rover with the drill rig that can reach 2-10 meters down? 

Atmospheric radiation shielding is important for long-term residents,  but not short term exploration crews.  The issue is eventually career limit exposure for long term residents.  Although,  habitats can be built with regolith on their roofs for extra shielding.  The radiation shielding problem is no real determinant of the first settlement site. 

Low atmospheric density at higher elevations is no real site determinant,  either.  Anything big enough for men to use will likely mass well over 1 ton.  Stuff over a ton is what all the EDL fuss is about.  The answer to that fuss is retropropulsive final landing after you come out of entry hypersonics.  It'll be too low for chutes to be useful,  even in the lowlands. 

GW

How much hydrogen do you need to support a colony? 1 kg of hydrogen makes 5 liters of water, then you just recycle the water. I think we are quite capable of moving water from where it is to where its needed. I think we should site the colony near interesting land features, water can be supplied where ever the colony is.

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#42 2016-06-10 00:20:47

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

GW Johnson wrote:

It is NOT required to have in-situ propellant production in order to have an affordable manned Mars mission.  Too many still believe it is required.  But it is not. 

Take a look at my orbit-to-orbit transport with reusable one-stage chemical landers.  I estimated about $50 billion to get this done,  not NASA's/Big Space's $500 billion.  It presumes nothing is produced at Mars in the way of propellant.  Yet I got up to 8 different sites explored from LMO,  with an orbit-to-orbit transport vehicle that gets recovered in LEO for reuse. 

That's getting kind of hard to argue with,  actually.  Especially when the very same recovered transit vehicle works for missions to Mars,  Venus,  Mercury,  and the main asteroid belt,  as well as the NEO's.  All you need is the appropriate lander for Mars and Mercury.  The other destinations do not require a lander.

GW

Why wouldn't you want in-situ propellant production, what are the advantages of not having it? Should we not use solar energy as well?

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#43 2016-06-10 00:53:09

Rxke
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

Why not both? Leaks have strongly suggested Musk is going to use in-orbit LEO refueling AND ISRU to get 100MT down per mission.

... But there is one big question mark about power for ISRU. Looks like he's going to have to haul either a mission solely loaded with solar equipment or he has to get his hands on a nuclear plant somehow... Or land robotic mission 2 mars years in advance before people set foot on the ground. Power requirements for ISRU are pretty huge. Geothermal would be cool, but we can dream.

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#44 2016-06-10 09:13:08

GW Johnson
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

I never said I didn't want ISRU,  I said it was not required to mount a very effective and affordable expedition. 

Add effective high-rate production of mass quantities of an appropriate propellant,  and you can refuel the landers on the surface.  That lets you bring down a lot more tonnage one-way.  You can also fly suborbitally to yet more sites.  Any of that just adds huge bang-for-the-buck.  But you still want to get a credible and beneficial mission done,  even if your ISRU doesn't quite pan out the way you wanted. So you plan a baseline without any ISRU success,  so it just gets better from there,  if you do have success.   

I will say this:  it takes many tons of propellant to fly a practical vehicle back to low Mars orbit.  ISRU production rates of kg/month will not be an effective or useful supply for expedition flight operations.  It's got to be tons on a time scale of weeks or months.  If you can't do that,  then you must let the "factory" run automatically for years ahead of the expedition to build up a useful supply.  That risks two serious problems:  (1) boiloff losses,  and (2) the precision landing problem. 

Rxke is right,  ISRU requires a lot of electricity.  It's got to come from somewhere.  Solar is weaker in intensity at Mars,  but less interrupted by weather conditions.  Some combination of PV panels and reflectors for some concentration might work pretty good.  As cold as it is,  there less overheat risk from mild concentration of sunlight.  Such might get around the government monopoly on nuclear power items.  At least it's a possibility to look at. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2016-06-10 09:15:34)


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

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#45 2016-06-10 17:43:18

SpaceNut
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

We have talked about this in other topics where it comes back to insitu resource of the thin mars atmosphere for the CO2 and energy are the reasons for the slow production rate....hence the reason for a fully cycle before sending a manned mission is in most designs.....
I agree that solar cell concentration by reflection would be about the only means to get to the power level required without bringing a nuclear reactor to mars....We do know that something as simple as the shiny mylar thinfilms would need to be made a bit tougher for the cold climate but I think we can solve that but it still comes with a mass penalty..It is hard to over come a deficet of 600 -700 watts m^2 when looking at what we use on a daily basis for our lives here on Earth.

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#46 2016-06-10 21:02:00

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

GW Johnson wrote:

I never said I didn't want ISRU,  I said it was not required to mount a very effective and affordable expedition. 

Add effective high-rate production of mass quantities of an appropriate propellant,  and you can refuel the landers on the surface.  That lets you bring down a lot more tonnage one-way.  You can also fly suborbitally to yet more sites.  Any of that just adds huge bang-for-the-buck.  But you still want to get a credible and beneficial mission done,  even if your ISRU doesn't quite pan out the way you wanted. So you plan a baseline without any ISRU success,  so it just gets better from there,  if you do have success.   

I will say this:  it takes many tons of propellant to fly a practical vehicle back to low Mars orbit.  ISRU production rates of kg/month will not be an effective or useful supply for expedition flight operations.  It's got to be tons on a time scale of weeks or months.  If you can't do that,  then you must let the "factory" run automatically for years ahead of the expedition to build up a useful supply.  That risks two serious problems:  (1) boiloff losses,  and (2) the precision landing problem. 

Rxke is right,  ISRU requires a lot of electricity.  It's got to come from somewhere.  Solar is weaker in intensity at Mars,  but less interrupted by weather conditions.  Some combination of PV panels and reflectors for some concentration might work pretty good.  As cold as it is,  there less overheat risk from mild concentration of sunlight.  Such might get around the government monopoly on nuclear power items.  At least it's a possibility to look at. 

GW

What's the problem with precision landing?

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#47 2016-06-11 00:32:18

Rxke
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

>What's the problem with precision landing?

Looks like Musk has indeed shown it to be a solved problem

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#48 2016-06-11 07:12:07

RobS
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

Musk has solved the problem if Mars has GPS!

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#49 2016-06-11 09:13:38

Rxke
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From: Belgium
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

lol

Very true!


Chances are he's working on that, though... (His sat-fleet business just came out of the woodwork again, yesterday...

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#50 2016-06-11 09:58:59

RobS
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Re: Musk's plans for Mars

Yes, I agree, Rxke. By the time he lands people on Mars, he probably will be able to put a fleet of a dozen or so small satellites in orbit that can provide GPS.

By the way, he has done an interview with the Washington Post that was reported on the Verge. If you Google "Space X News" you'll find it. In the article, Musk says he will launch 2 Falcon Heavies to Mars in 2020, each with a Red Dragon. In 2022 he said he'd launch the Mars Colonial Transporter unmanned to Mars as a test, then in 2024, the MCT with a small crew.

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