5 years to Mars?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Tetragrammaton Invictus, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Five years is not possible. Ten years is not realistic. Fifteen would require an Apollo-level commitment from every spacefaring country on the planet. Twenty............
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    We should go to Mars for the same reason we climbed Mount Everest:

    Because it's there.
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Even if all the various space agencies pooled their resources I can't see it happening within 5 years, even 2030 would be a push at this point. 2035-2040 might be possible.
     
  4. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Watching the presentation, I thought that the overall plan is reasonable and extremely promising, and the timeline—possible. It actually said 7, not 5 years, and Elon Musk clearly stated that the years were wishful, and overtly if jokingly hinted delays are to be expected. I did however get a sense that SpaceX have enough of the design completed, with a well-thought plan and preliminary schedule of how to pull off flights in 2022 and 2024. While those would inevitably be postponed due to unforeseen challenges that do pop up, I think the 2022/2024 dates are not made up numbers. If anything, Elon seemed concerned about missing the 2022 launch window :rommie:, which I take as a show of confidence that flight readiness before 2024 is not out of the question. So I'm placing my money on ready in 2025, flying in 2026.

    Even if PR and Elon's overt impatience certainly played a role in what random years to write on the slides, I'd rather trust SpaceX, who actual know a thing or two about their vehicle, than trust my ignorant inner voice that's telling me ‘no way’. On the surface, the proposal seems ground-breaking, but SpaceX are only putting together decades of human advancement that has not reached spaceflight. One would be massive advancements in computing that allow them to virtually design and build their rockets inside a simulation before going live, and to test possibilities that would have been to difficult to experiment with only two decades ago. Not to mention the new abilities given to you by more powerful flight computers and spacecraft automation. Without having started to physically build the new vehicle, I'm sure they have been flying it in a simulation for months if not years, and have been resolving problems with it, and know well what to expect.

    In a way, I interpreted the presentation as a delay. Before full re-usability happens, before we bear the fruits of that re-usability in any meaningful way, we need to wait for yet another vehicle. Despite all those extraordinary shots of boosters landing, we won't be flying fully re-usable Falcon Heavies around the Solar system, SpaceX probably did enough simulations to find that the Falcon Heavy—which is still not ready—is a dead-end for boosting the amount of spaceflight that we see. I'm sure Elon at some point thought he would send people to Mars with an army of Falcon Heavy rockets, so there was a setback underneath all of this. :p

    We actually don't know how far the design of the thing has gone, it might be near-completed, and genuinely only a year or so behind Falcon Heavy. I don't have much worries that the thing will be too powerful to fly, I'm sure SpaceX comprehensively tested this.

    The one thing that does bother me is their idea to shelve Falcon 9/Heavy for good, and replace them with the new thing. That would totally backfire if, say, the re-usability angle does not deliver (refurbishment costs too much). And that thing is ugly. The Falcons are hot.
     
  5. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Isn't it rather more urgent that we develop a scheme for the computing of the date of Easter which preserves its position as an early-spring, post-vernal-equinox holiday in the Northern Hemisphere? That's a problem that will be acute within only four thousand years, after all.
     
  6. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
    Hmmm.... the matter I brought up concerns the preservation of our entire species, and the one you brought up involves eating chocolate and hunting eggs on a day that might have a comfortable temperature and not be raining if you're lucky. So I'm going to stick with mine being more urgent even if possible consequences are further off, but thanks for playing. ;)
     
  7. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    I like the lander in Lockheed Martin's Mars Base Camp idea.
    Hydrolox.
     
  8. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    OK. So if Elon secretly put a teapot in the trunk of his Roadster, and has a trampoline to eject the teapot and decelerate the teapot halfway through the trip, but has not told anyone about it... That would totally spell trouble for Russell's teapot. Are the days of that analogy numbered?
     
  9. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Location:
    About to steal the TARDIS
  10. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Elon deserves a medal in trolling.

    It was OK when it was just cheese. Now he's sending a sportscar to Mars – just think of the speed record and the mileage on this thing. And on top of it, he's making genuine UFOs.

    Give a man like him launch capability, and just watch.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    We'll be lucky if we're on Mars within a HUNDRED years.

    But...five? :guffaw: There isn't anything even close to the technology to get us there in so short a time. (Or to keep astronauts alive, and return them home safely, even if they do get there.) Especially since the actual flight time to Mars will probably be at least a year.
     
  12. arch101

    arch101 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 3, 1999
    Location:
    10 miles west of the Universal Hub
    I personally believe The Moon should be out next ISS. Forget a replacement LEO station- a multinational moonbase with 1/6 gravity would be a far superior and healthier place to do low-g experimentation, astronomy and deep space probe assembly and launching. It would be far easier to launch Mars expeditions from The Moon.
    Besides, we can't let the Nazi's get all the Helium 3. :-)
     
  13. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Location:
    About to steal the TARDIS

    I wouldn't be surprised if some other nation beats the failing USA and puts a base on the Moon.
     
  14. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    Easier from the surface, than from lunar orbit?

    Send up fuel (if possible) from the Lunar surface, but do the assembly of components from Earth either in Earth or Lunar orbit.

    If in Lunar orbit, that would be assisted greatly by a orbital station.
     
  15. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Location:
    About to steal the TARDIS
    HEY this is yuge.....

    Build golf courses on the Moon. Send Trump. Profit.

    Don't send return vehicle
     
  16. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    So far, it seems to be working rather well.
     
  17. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Location:
    About to steal the TARDIS
  18. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
  19. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    Given the way my little collections of stocks are going up, I would send a return vehicle.
     
  20. Tetragrammaton Invictus

    Tetragrammaton Invictus I like the new Doctor Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Location:
    About to steal the TARDIS
    Why? Can't he stay on Mars?