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About Borklund

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    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer

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  1. Yes but on the flipside, if you handwave practical, economical and political hurdles why not just build an interstellar warp drive and go find an Earth twin that is better than Earth in every single way and relocate the entire population of Earth there? There is no self-sustaining, closed loop ECLSS system yet, and there won't be for a while. Even if we get that, and everything else required to go to either Venus or Mars and settle humans on either of them permanently, why would you choose Venus over Mars? Venus is worse for settling humans on in every conceivable way, most notably the fact that we're talking about a ridiculous city in the clouds. You can plant both feet firmly on Martian soil just to name one advantage over Venus.
  2. Falcon 9 (and subsequently also the Heavy) are already human rated. You must have missed the news from earlier this year. Elon Musk has consistently talked about Mars in the context of SpaceX going to Mars and building a city on Mars, not waiting for NASA to do some flags and footprint Mars mission using his vehicles and/or spacecraft (though that may also come true). - - - Updated - - - Think of it as a demonstration mission on steroids, coupled with it being amazing advertising. I believe Elon Musk is deadly serious about wanting to go to Mars in a big way, and in order to do that he needs to shift the attitudes of the people who hold the purse strings, meaning the politicians - the public does not care about space exploration in a meaningful way. "Hey, I can launch a cheap, commercial spacecraft anywhere in the inner solar system on a partially reusable super heavy launch vehicle for a fraction of the cost of an almost negligibly more capable SLS. Listen to me/buy my things!" is a fairly strong statement. I'm not saying I know that they are thinking of doing this, I don't even think it is likely, but if there is a single person who is better placed or equipped than Elon Musk to do something like an Apollo 8 stunt, I'd like to hear about them. Elon Musk said so during a telecon after the Dragon V2 Pad Abort Test. Here's the relevant part: Who said anything about returning from the surface of the moon? I'm not saying SpaceX would launch astronauts to the surface of the moon in a Dragon V2. I'm talking about an Apollo 8 reboot. See my earlier reply. I'll add that his original idea was to send mice or plants to Mars to kickstart a revolution in space exploration. While the mice and plants are out, the vision behind it is still there. SpaceX will be making the satellites as well as launching them. SpaceX has flown demonstration missions paid for out of pocket before (Falcon 1 Flight 4) and Elon Musk has hinted at/not ruled out a Falcon Heavy demonstration mission. If you look at it from the reusability effort angle, you can put it down as an R&D expenditure. They'd get 3 cores back (which they plan to resell, so they'll recoup part of the cost) and get invaluable data.
  3. Yes. They're in a better place now, where they have plenty of space in which to roam around freely.
  4. Following the deaths of 14 astronauts and several commissions, the emphatic conclusion is that mixing significant cargo payloads with human passengers in a piloted system is not a recipe for success. If you do away with the crew part of the Space Shuttle, you're left with an unnecessarily complicated, heavy and risky way to launch cargo to orbit. Why lug around 60 tonnes of "Space Shuttle V2" to get 20 tonnes of usable payload to orbit? The smarter solution is to build a safe and fully or partially reusable "normal" launch vehicle. The Space Shuttle proved that reuse of a large winged spaceplane is anything but cheap.
  5. There is no point to a flying Venus colony, it's all science fiction make believe. Mars provides an infinitely better environment in which to settle humans. A 30-day manned research mission to Venus however, would be nice to have. But even something like this is completely beyond the capability of NASA at the moment and in the foreseeable future. A mission like the one in the video would require research, design, building and testing many incredibly complicated pieces of hardware. NASA does not exactly have tens of billions of dollars lying around. [Citation needed]
  6. Dragon V2 only weighs ca 4.2 tonnes, less without the heat shield and parachutes. You could easily fling a Dragon V2 to the moon or Mars or pretty much anywhere in the inner solar system using a Falcon Heavy. Dragon V2 is already in the process of being fully certified and manrated (Falcon 9/Heavy already are), and even then there are absolutely no regulations stopping SpaceX from sending their own people (non-NASA astronauts) into space. Wrong. Falcon Heavy will be flying next year. Elon Musk has stated that Dragon V2 is already capable of landing on the moon; all it takes are minor modifications. SpaceX could definitely land something on the moon by 2019, just not people. A SpaceX Apollo 8 mission is more likely imo, but who knows what Elon wants to do (certainly not me). Wrong. SpaceX manufactures many types of payload; Dragon, Dragon V2 and now also satellites. They are a payload-to-destination provider as well as a launch provider. With current SpaceX architecture you don't need an EDS to get to the moon or Mars, merely improved and hardened avionics and electronics, maybe extra instruments. No need to build anything from scratch. Why would you bother replicating Apollo hardware when you can put a slightly modified Dragon V2 on the surface of the moon, launched atop a Falcon Heavy. The question is not one of feasibility, but of desire, and for anyone who isn't Elon Musk or at top of the SpaceX hierarchy, it's pure speculation.
  7. Thanks! Textile Product Development and Entrepreneurship, a 3 year program where I will be trying to build a space suit.
  8. To misquote Mark Twain: "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated" I'm back! Well, sort of. I could say that I have been busy with other stuff but the truth is that I just sort of lost interest in KSP. With the release 1.0 I'm slowly rediscovering my interest in playing KSP and - most importantly for this thread - making mods for KSP. The plan in the OP remains unchanged but I should say that I am not making any promises that I will actually finish the mod. The most likely outcome is that I disappear again in a while, perhaps never to be seen again. I am after all going to university this autumn, so that is a distinct possibility. But while I'm here and we are operating under the assumption that I get something done and released, here's an update in pictoral form: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's my new CST-100/Orion influenced crew capsule design. I'm calling it the KST-70. Business end of the KST-70. Panels attach to the bottom of the capsule and fold out 180 degrees. Launch configuration. Note the pusher launch abort system used on the real CST-100 and also Dragon V2. Unlike traditional LAS systems, it does not require a tower and separation event. Instead the same thrusters used to manuever in space are used (deeply throttled) for launch abort. This is essentially what will be in the first release. The spacecraft and service module, an interstage fairing, a 3.75m fuel tank and engine part (inspired by ULA's Vulcan), a single part 1.875m strap-on liquid rocket booster and a nose cone. Same launch vehicle with a 4m fairing. Not sure if clamshell KW Rocketry type fairings work in 1.0 or not, it's not something I have looked into a great deal yet. Consider that part notional for now. I am now 100% done modeling. This will (hopefully) be the last post featuring untextured, grey models. Next time I post I will have completed UV mapping all of the parts featured in in the pictures above, and animating the solar panel.
  9. Yeah, no. My impression is that there are a lot of people on here who believe they know more than they really do and/or who get their information mainly from wikipedia or cooky websites. You don't need to bring hydrogen to Mars. You can get hydrogen from electrolyzing water, which you are (ideally) already making to sustain humans and plants.
  10. The U.S. Every other nation is so far behind and have much less funding. I'd be surprised if the first crew on Mars was all American however.
  11. The mission - CRS-5 - is not yet a success, they still have to get to ISS. The first stage recovery was an experiment outside of the mission.
  12. Thanks RobotsAndSpaceships! Yeah, absolutely. It's still a work in progress, eventually I want to add a more mechanical, less smooth unfolding motion. That'll come later. The engine cluster, the radiator panels - everything below the capsule excluding the solar panels - is all one part, but I think I can accommodate you. I have mocked up a 2.5m service module decoupler (seen in blue below) which you can use to stack service modules on top of eachother. The red cylinder is 2.5m in diameter and can be anything - a fuel tank, another pod, a stock decoupler with other things on top etc.
  13. Thank you Cpt. Kipard! Thanks! I opted for custom panels in the end, but they are Dragon-like in size and shape. You mean the silhouette in the OP? My bad; it's not meant to be 100% representative, I just took an image of the PPTS and made an outline out of it. If you ask Beale nicely maybe he'll make a replica for Tantares. I'm trying to make some sort of realistic/stockalike fusion thing with my own spin on it, not replicas. Sorry for the confusion! Thanks a lot Bomoo! As for your request, well, I've tried to make it as modular and interchangeable with stock and other mods as possible. For example, the pod should be compatible with the SDHI service module and stock parts. The service module on the other hand, is a more unique part (or rather, two parts). It will probably fit well with other pods, but it's not exactly a flat 2.5m fuel tank. That said, there will be a decoupler adapter so you can stick the service module onto any standard 2.5m part if you want. I'll definitely try to do the same for all the other spacecraft parts (if I ever get around to making them). It'll be more like SDHI than KSO for sure. The solar panels, well, I want to make them partly because - as you mentioned - it'll be self-contained, but also because I like to create 3d models, and I want to have them fit into the launch abort and fairing system I'm making. I appreciate your continued feedback Nope, the only docking port is on the top of the crew capsule. Check out Tantares, it has exactly what you're looking for. I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. -- Did some more work on the service module on pod, minor detail work here and there, plus a new solar panel design. The solar panels unfolding: