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About Nibb31

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    Flight Director
  1. Good luck with that. In the last presidential elections here in France, one of the candidates ran with a big item in his platform being space exploration. He got ridiculed for it and scored 0.18% Space simply isn't a serious issue for most voters.
  2. They plan to pre-fire the 8 SDs at a high altitude. If one fails, the others can compensate (just disable the opposite engine). If two or more fail, then pop the chutes. If they pre-fire properly but fail to fire on landing, then you're toast (literally). The good thing is that you won't have have time to ever realize they didn't fire.
  3. Those aren't explosions. They are just RCS jets firing.
  4. Why would you want to carry wings, landing gear, hydraulics, control surfaces, and several tons of heat shield all the way to the moon and back?
  5. Yes, I'm pretty sure that black would be a problem with cryo propellants. But it would save on scraping off the soot before each flight.
  6. They really should just paint the first stage black.
  7. Another one of Elon's plans that looks good in a video, but where the actual engineering will be a nightmare. Let's see... First, how do these lifts work ? When the cart goes down, it leaves a huge open hole in the pavement, which is a huge hazard. There might be a hatch, but that is also a huge hazard in itself. It can have sensors on it, but how does it handle a piece of trash blocking a sensor? How does it handle some debris blocking it? Also, it really doesn't seem to scale well. Hundreds of elevator shafts like this will cost billions to build, much more than a simple ramp. And the video shows a car driving on as soon as another goes down, but what happens when hundreds of cars are queuing up to take the tunnel. A conventional tunnel can handle thousands of vehicles per hour. This can probably handle a maximum of 60 and the tailbacks will be huge. Oh and the tunnel. There are reasons why there are regulations for tunnels. Notably for fire and evacuation requirements. In Europe, since the Mont Blanc disaster (where 39 people died), tunnels must have twin main tubes, an evacuation tunnel, and have fireproof emergency shelters every hundred meters. I'm pretty sure most other countries have similar regulations. There is no way Elon is going to get away with 4m single tube tunnels with no means for evacuation or emergency response. There are so many failure modes that need to be dealt with: mechanical problems on the elevator, electrical problems on a cart, debris in the tunnel, and of course, fire, collision, congestion, and so on... I really don't see this as being practical as envisioned.
  8. I had this set when I was a kid. Yeah, 3 astronauts on the Moon and the LM looks like... well... This was before they invented minifigs and the LRV had spoke wheels. Yes, I'm that old.
  9. A missile being guided from orbit needs to be fired at a specific point in a 90 minute orbit, takes 15 minutes to reach the ground, must be fired at the proper inclination, and would be rather easy to detect and shoot down. It could take days to align it properly. It would be a poor weapon for any useful military purpose and would be extremely expensive.
  10. Lol! It looks like I'm assimilating all the posts in the thread. Resistance is futile!
  11. That's pretty much what NASA's current 2030 plan is.
  12. I don't see how that would solve anything. Before we would be able to deport a million people, we will be several billions more.
  13. If you're lucky. What? A choice based on what trade studies? When did the multiple years of competing designs begin? How long did it take to select vendors? When did you first write the draft RFPs for preliminary design studies for the high-level mission architecture? If you're lucky. Wow! That was fast! You manage to get from a paper design to a manufactured product in one year? It takes more than that to produce a ball point pen. What about the actual engineering? designing the tooling? the test fixtures? selecting components? doing procurement? writing and testing the software? certifying suppliers? building the damn factory? Again, based on what trade studies? This sort of process takes years to accomplish. At this stage, you would still be hiring the design team and selecting vendors. Sorry, but no way. In reality, if the project was kicked off today, you might have detailed mission architecture studies by 2020, but nothing more.
  14. No way. To get there in 3 years means that you need to launch the mission in 2 years. The next launch window is April-May 2018, and after that, the next one closes in July-September 2020, which gets you to Mars in 2021. Too late. There simply is no realistic way to design and build a manned lander for 2020, let alone 2018. And I won't even bother with building a spacecraft to get there. And an unlimited budget wouldn't make it go faster. I doubt you could even write the procurement contracts or hire the personnel in that timeframe.
  15. It's the pattern drawn by the four boosters detaching from the core.