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About tater

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    Capsule Communicator

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  • Location On the side of a mountain in New Mexico

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  1. Rocket parts that are not ugly.
  2. VASIMR makes little sense, IMO. The power plant output/kg is no where near good enough, it would take a Manhattan Project level of support to do it in any reasonable timeframe. NTRs are vastly more mature than space nuclear power plants at small sizes (I used to be involved with the ISNPS Conference, and it's my understanding that ideas have improved, but it's not very well funded, and since it's "scary" (to the people who vote for the people who write the checks) people tend to stay away from it as a career choice).
  3. I think that my Atlas is actually pretty passable for something not built with tanks that have a "replica" pedigree. So far, 4X planet sizes works very well with "stock" sstu.
  4. RSS is not supported, but there are people who routinely post in this thread who are using it for that.
  5. Crew safety requires the consent of the crew. They'd simply say no, find yourself some other crash test dummies.
  6. Something like the Bono craft is multipurpose, really. It can get payloads to LEO. The ;payload could be cargo, people, or a combination, but they would not be glued tot he same vehicle. Hundreds of tons to LEO is rather a lot. 6 crew is a capsule, basically. You can stickball that in there, or design something more like the Apollo petal as a fairing. Capsule on top, cargo below. You'd lose some payload because the fairing would need to support the capsule. But yeah, it's not as small a payload carrier as shuttle was. Honestly, if you think about possible asteroid mining, etc, perhaps a purpose built downmass carrier would be useful to generically carry "stuff" to a precision landing (steerable chutes?).
  7. Stripping down D2 is certainly possible, but then it is not D2, its something else. The LEM was tested 3 times. Unmanned, in LEO, and in LMO. For 3 years they better get cracking, and they have a launch backlog as it is. No, it needs to land ahead of crew, assuming it is doing any ISRU. Well ahead. I don't remember the rule of thumb, but how much mass in LEO is required for every kg of props brought to the Martian surface? Red Dragon is set for 2020 launch, not 2018. It slipped with the whole tourist thing, did it not? Even assuming it was somehow put back, moving forward would require that it works the first time. Any failures would be fatal to the effort. Now leaving in 7 years is a different story, and perhaps worth more serious consideration as a fun exercise for the reader (Mars orbit being far more plausible than landing, and the moon being easy in that time frame). Without getting into the disallowed weeds, this is simply untrue, they don't have to do anything. If someone without 2 clues to rub together tells them to do something impossible, they'd say, "Sorry, that's impossible, give us a few weeks, and we can brief you on what is possible at various budgetary commitments."
  8. Why make one, bad vehicle, instead of having vehicles for different purposes? A dual launch of FH with cargo, and a D2 with the crew, and perhaps some sort of SM package (and robot arm?) in the trunk would do. The problem with Shuttle was that it tried to do too much. The extant commercial crew vehicles can do taxi service to LEO. Heavy payloads should be lifted with heavy lifters. 450 tons means that you build what you need, and you don't need to mess around with 200 launches of 20 tons, you send it all up in one go, or maybe 2 if volume is an issue. Send the crew up on the little brother.
  9. FH/Dragon 2 would first need to: 1. Actually fly. 2. Actually fly crew. 3. Complete the tourist mission at the very least (free return). That's planned (barring any slip ups) in late 2018. 4. Design a service module than can do the LOI and TEI burns. 5. Design a lander (using D2 as a lander seems like a really bad idea for numerous reasons). Utterly impossible? No, as I said, those non-trivial milestones are inf act trivial compared to Mars. There is no possible way NASA tries the first ever heavy craft propulsive landing with crew. Even with your MAV sent ahead (which would require that it go in 2018, which won't happen), that vehicle would be different from the MDV, and again, no way NASA puts crew in the MDV untested. I didn't listen to the ISS phone call. The idea that it was said jokingly seems more likely than not.
  10. The payload capacity of the Shuttle is Falcon Heavy or so. 20 tons to LEO.
  11. Boots on the Moon in that time frame is trivial by comparison, and I don't think that is even possible.
  12. It's not remotely feasible. Boots on Mars means propulsive landing, and the first real data would be Red Dragon. That's forgetting all the other issues. That alone would need to be tested (not to mention ISRU, etc. Mars has been 20 years off forever, and the only way to even hit that target would be to actually throw real money at it, IMO. SLS can send Orion to Earth orbit. No one is living in a capsule for a couple years. There still needs to be a transfer vehicle, etc.
  13. This is in fact true. Both sides suffer from name_here-derangement-syndrome. Gore said on one of the late night shows that the core of the Earth was 10 million degrees, for example. Ask random people on the street, and they likely think something like this is possible, it's just a matter of money as well. I suppose it's a plus that he's in favor of something substantial, but the timeframes required inside 4 years are not remotely plausible, even with private public partnerships, and ridiculous amounts of money. Me, too.
  14. The general public doesn't understand orbital mechanics, and we're no where near a Mars mission in three years.