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Found 41 results

  1. I'm happy to share with you the first public release of this mod. Most of the parts are done and ready to use and you can now properly replay the Mars colonization mission in KSP. IMPORTANT NOTICE: This mod is absolutely overpowered for the stock game. The engine performance and ship stats are as close to their real counterparts as I could make them, and as of now it works just fine in RSS with FAR and RealHeat installed. You don't need RO for this to work 'realistically' in terms of performance, except the fact that the fuel is not right (liquid fuel/oxidizer instead of liquid methane/oxygen) and engines don't suffer from ullage and other great features that RO brings. DeltaV stats, Isp, masses and all related parameters are nevertheless more or less correct. PARTS Crew Transport Ship with 4 crew and 100 passenger capacity. Tanker Ship for orbital refueling. Reusable Booster with attachable fins and gridfins. Built-in decoupler, probe core and antenna. Dedicated shielded side docking port. Matches stock senior docking port. Raptor engines for atmospheric and vacuum use. Ship landing legs Deployable Gridfins that act as control surfaces and airbrakes Booster fins Solar Panels, RCS etc. FEATURES Booster has a built-in decoupler for stage separation. Built-in docking ports can be activated in config files (as an alternative). Currently uses Liquid Fuel/Oxidizer mixture but with correct masses for the ship and booster Engine Isp and thrust are set to values given by Elon Musk in his presentation All sizes are as accurate as I could estimate Ship and booster masses are as specified by Elon Musk. Raptor engine mass is estimated based on Merlin mass Tested in KSP 1.2. Backwards compatibility for KSP 1.1.3 and some extra config files for RSS are available on GITHUB Landing legs are missing landing leg module. They are still animated and act as landing legs, and are by default activated by Gears action group. They cannot overstress. CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT Internals IRSU module RSS/RO configuration for proper fuel usage - partly done Configuration for stock KSP that is not game-breaking Split body flaps for the ship VIDEOS! A quick video I made how to assemble the ship: Kottabos review: DOWNLOADS: SPACEDOCK CURSE GITHUB - Backwards compatibility and extra configs are available here. DEVELOPMENT THREAD is where all the important updates and future features, as well as current issues (there are some) are discussed. I hope you will enjoy this mod! It took me a long time to (sort of) finish and I wasn't even sure if I could do it. Because of that, I'm even more excited to share it with you! A big THANK YOU to Marcus House for the support and testing, as well as config adjustments!
  2. Chaka Monkey Exploration Systems 1.3 Collector's Edition Chaka Monkey 1.3 Dropbox Link Chaka Monkey 1.3 Spacedock Link Chaka Monkey 1.3 Curseforge Link Click here to "Get Monkey" 1.3 Change Log: 1) All 1.3 related issues fixed and dependent dll products updated with fresh license verification 2) Procedural fairing issues fixed ( Chaka bases work as normal procedural bases once again ) 3) Excessive torque on boosters removed 4) New upper stage and cryo MTV NTR stage textures and features, including new active radiator function on the tank 5) TAC LS supported on habitation modules 6) Monkey rover wheels re engineered and working great 7) Updated all craft files to work out various rough edges, such as XLS booster detonation after sep etc, etc, etc... 8) Added full support for Jool - class missions 9) Even more craft files and texture fixes 10) IVA raster prop issues fully resolved 11) All new inflatable heat shield for Chaka class vehicles based on squad model ( older inflatable retained for MTV operations ) 12) All new ALCOR Textures Chaka Monkey Exploration Odyssey is a space program based on NASA and Boeing proposals for future missions. Part models from a wide variety of authors have been licensed, and new original models made, then combined with all new textures, sizes and configurations, to create craft files depicting the proposed missions. This project is modeled at 75% real scale. ♦ Recommend installing this pack into a clean KSP install for the first time. ♦ Latest version of Raster Prop Monitor needed for IVA function. Link included in download. ♦ Copy everything in provided GameData to your GameData ♦ Copy VAB folder to Ships ♦ Copy Subassemblies to your save (optional) ♦ Please remove any previous version files before installing! Chaka Monkey Exploration Systems includes products commissioned or licensed from the following authors: Winston & Kickasskyle - KW Rocketry Alexustas - A.L.C.O.R. Pod Alexustas - ASET IVA for Monkey Rover and Mk1-2 Pod Bobcat, Ind. American Pack - all rights reserved and belong to BobCat, expressed written permission from Bobcat for American Pack components to be distributed with Chaka Tiberion - NovaPunch Kosmos Spacecraft Design Bureau - all rights reserved, expressed written permission from Normak and CardBoardBoxProcessor for components to be distributed with Chaka Lionhead Aerospace Sumghai - SDHI Service Module System Alexey Volynskov (Keramzit Procedural Fairings) BahamutoD - RS-68 Engine - All rights reserved - expressed written permission from BahamutoD for components to be distributed with Chaka Sumghai / Fustek / Nothke - Habitats LandeTLS - SLS Block I fairings TALISAR - Talisar Large Upper Stage Porkjet - Habitat IVAs - and expressed written permission from Porkjet for components to be distributed with Chaka Blackheart612 - Aerojet Kerbodyne expressed written permission from Blackheart612 for components to be distributed with Chaka Kommitz - Chaka Nuclear Thermal Engines Nertea - Octo-Girder Argon Segment NoOneSpecial - NOS Altair pod and lander Hanson Ma / xxhansonmaxx - CST-100 Parachute and NDS CXG2827 - CXaerospace Station Parts - All Rights Reserved (Models and Textures are permitted for modification and distribution by YANFRET in Chaka Monkey Exploration Systems) Chaka the Monkey would like to extend a special thank you to these developers. They worked very hard to make these parts and we have organized them for Monkey Exploration because they are excellent. Also, Chaka wishes to thank our awesome 1.3 beta test team: @Space Kadet , @OV-102, @Jarlgnarök, @davidewei , and of course @MeCripp for putting in many hours of science which made the quality of this release possible. Special thanks to @rsparkyc for updating Procedural Fairings to 1.3! Advanced habitat models provided by: Monkey Rover Wheels provided by: BMW, AG Chaka the monkey supports using Raster Prop Monitor by @MOARdV LICENSE Unless otherwise specified, all materials available for download on this page are copyrighted and released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License. Included plugin licenses: Kerbal Joint Reinforcement is licensed to be distributed only with Chaka Monkey Exploration Systems on express written permission from Ferram4 due to specific critical requirements. Distribution of Kerbal Joint Reinforcement from this download is expressly prohibited: KJR License is GNU GPL v3 For the latest version and updates to KJR, please visit KSPAPIEXTENSIONS is licensed via Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported CC BY terms (attribution) Procedural Fairings is licensed via Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported CC BY terms (attribution) Animated Decouplers ( Starwaster ) is licensed via Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
  3. Just wondering who you guys think will send humans to Mars first.
  4. Here is a basic scenario: Mars is a habitable tundra-cold desert planet with a habitable atmosphere with a similar composition and pressure to Earth's. Different biomes cover the different latitudes: Poles+ Subarctic: Ice caps Temperate: Tundra Tropical: Boreal Forest, Dry Grassland- sometimes wetter temperate forests where climatic conditions make it possible. There are human- like Aliens of similar technological level to nomadic American first nations in 1000AD. They are of common biological ancestry. The year is 2100. We have the capability to colonize Mars, however, the fact it is already inhabited (in a sense) is a... problem. How would humanity act? I'm not talking about specific nations, or superpowers here (b/c no politics rule), I'm talking about a general RANGE of attitudes from inaginary POSSIBLE colonizing organizations. Would it be spearheaded by private corporations? Small Nations trying to become great powers? Who would be the colonizers? Lower class people in developed nations? Upper class people in developing nations? What about the 'people' already living there? Do we 'buy' out their land into reservations gradually? Do we fight them? Do we try to keep our colonies compact? How long can both sides aboid conflict. NO POLITICS OR FLAME WARS. PLEASE.
  5. Hello , I'm trying to land very heavy payloads on Mars and for this I'm using a gliding technique (Pretty much like the Space Shuttle). My first payload , the Mars Ascent Vehicle (201 tons) lands safely on Mars with Gliding+Parachute+Retro rockets As you can see the CoT is below the CoM, which is below the CoL and I can tilt it at 40 degrees without problems (so it's pretty stable). But for some reason.. This is the MDV.It flips in the air if it's more than 25 degrees inclined(I need around 30-40 to slow down) In the Mars Descent Vehicle the CoT is above the CoM and CoL.I have no idea why this happens and how to fix it.Is this why it flips?Thanks for the answers.
  6. Wow. Just look at it. Worth mentioning that the footage presented was made by HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Enjoy~
  7. Hi it cratercracker again! And you might think that you are going to make some good old chemical/biological/physical stuff.. SCREW IT Because today, we are going to combine all of this. Have you ever dreamed to be a colonist in the future, in space, in a spaceship, in the middle of the nowhere? Sure you did. But we are talking about less complicated things. Do you think you are ready for an isolation for a whole night? Or how about just one biscuit for 4 hours? Sounds violent, huh? Okay. Ahem, done kidding around. Let's give you some trivia before you start. You are a colonist On Mars You are lone And the sun is a deadly laser Okay. I think you get it now. So. I'll speak with truth and honor, I conducted the experiment myself, and I can clearly say that it is planned so it won't harm you too much or won't harm you at all. Let's get to the plan Preparing~~ Okay. (DON't EAT THE BISCUITS YET) Now, upon it is night. Let's get a bit more planned, so it will be more planned than it was planned before. And now. Now, now, now, now What are we going to do now? I didn't plan it so far. Alright I actually did. (Right now) And after we survived 2 hours after the sunset We are going to survive 1 more... Okay. Now we are tired and wet. Good, just like the real Martian colony. You know what is next? Nothing. Eternal darkness. Experiment is over. The end. Warning Not likely to be done if it is not Sunday, Saturday or Friday. Neither it is good for people younger than 14 years. It doesn't mean anything, you just did a thing. Some not 2.2 stuff, it is different sort of role play If it is actually seems very bad for your health. Take this thread as a joke. NOW YOU ARE AN OFFICIAL COLONIST OF THE TOILET
  8. So..I'm trying to start a colony on Mars in RSS/RO and I'm pretty much stuck.I landed on the Moon and landed some rovers on Mars , no problem.Now I have to land heavier payload on Mars , but it seems I'm not able to do so. This is what I should land.I already tried everything , from parachutes to big heatshields (I don't have small and powerful retro rockets, sadly).So yeah , that's the problem.Thanks for everyone that gives me a tip.
  9. THIS MOD HAS BEEN RELEASED! CHECK OUT THE RELEASE THREAD HERE SpaceX Interplanetary Transportation System! With realistic sized parts (aka massive), accurate mass (launchpad might explode occasionally) and other stats as close to SpaceX presentation as I could get. Now you can colonize Mars SpaceX style. Intended use for this mod is going to be RSS/RO, because it is obviously overpowered for stock Kerbol system. It took me a lot of time to model these parts and even longer to make them work properly, so I hope you will enjoy and provide feedback, because it is very much needed! DISCLAIMER: This mod is absolutely overpowered for the stock game. The engine performance and ship stats are as close to their real counterparts as I could make them, and as of now it works just fine in RSS with FAR and RealHeat installed. You don't need RO for this to work 'realistically' in terms of performance, except the fact that the fuel is not right (liquid fuel/oxidizer instead of liquid methane/oxygen) and engines don't suffer from ullage and other great features that RO brings. DeltaV stats, Isp, masses and all related parameters are nevertheless more or less correct. Currently in development Internals RSS/RO configuration for proper fuel usage - partly done, files on Github ISRU Backwards compatibility for 1.1.3 (for RSS and RO) - compatibility done. Config files for stock KSP Proper configuration for the landing legs Engine heating animation (I totally forgot about them) Split body flaps for the ship Imgur Album - more pictures. Downloads: Spacedock Curse Github - extra configs for RealPlume and SmokeScreen, also WIP configs for RealFuels LICENSE: All rights reserved. If you want to use models or textures from this mod, just ask. It's the second mod ever and therefore there are many, many sharp edges and strange solutions. Some parts might summon Kraken, so be warned. This endeavour turned out to be far bigger than I ever expected and I have certainly underestimated the complexity of such operation. Development will be slow because I have learn things on the fly, but if you would like to help with the development, please contact me. In any case, I hope you'll enjoy the mod and please share some screenshots!
  10. Well, for so many years, science fiction writers and scientists have dreamed of terraforming a planet. I think it just might be possible, but not for a VERY long time. (At least 50 years) How would we do it? For a start, we would have to increase the pressure of Mars's atmosphere. After that, we would have to increase the temperature of Mars by quite a bit. Of course, we would have to get water. For that, we would melt the ice caps, which would give us water and Co2. Soon, we would have to slowly begin growing algae and other oxygen releasing plants in greenhouses, which in turn would put the Oxygen into the atmosphere. However, bad news for Terraforming: After tens of thousands of years, we might have a breathable atmosphere to live in. What are your thoughts? Do you agree?
  11. The martian can now be replicated (a bit) with the rover! though slightly faster than the original it has the same range (half batt default is 35km wth a full batt it is 70km) currently working on ntergrating an exit hatch and adding an IVA p.s. this is without the pivot activated
  12. This mission report is in pursuit of this challenge: as well as: This was my first time ever going interplanetary. I knew I could do this easily enough with ISRU, but I wanted to try something different, since ISRU on Mars isn't nearly so simple as extending a drill into one spot in the ground. I decided I would use chemical engines only with a booster+tanker+ship arrangement. In lieu of Dunian ISRU, I decided I would send one of the tankers along for the ride, aerobraking both in turn but leaving it in orbit around Duna so it could refuel the crew ship for the homeward journey. However, after building my ship, putting it in LKO, and painstakingly refueling it, I realized that my not-very-balanced TSTO design and KSP's smaller scale meant that I had enough dV in my crew ship to get to Duna and back in one piece, so I dropped the tanker-along-for-the-ride plan. The only mod was Tweakscale, and I only used it to decrease part count and streamline aerodynamics. All crew-carrying parts are fully stock. With no further ado: That's the first part! More to come, very soon........
  13. I want to share/store documents and plans I (and others!) make for interplanetary missions. I intend to start with basic/boring information, like ballistic coefficients, heat shield information, etc.that will be useful to see for planning a mission. I intend to draw from data of actual carried out or planned missions, but feel free to post information about missions you've carried out with the full RSS/RO/RP-0 stack in KSP 1.1 or 1.2. For starters, I've got this document which lays the ground for a Venus balloon mission. A heatshield is required to slow the craft down at Venus, of course, but the idea is that a balloon/probe combination would be great for gathering information from Venus. I also have the notion that using a balloon would be the best way to attempt to bring a probe back to Venus' orbit from the surface of Venus. Once the balloon & payload are up past most of the atmosphere, a rocket could be used to rise the rest of the way to orbit.
  14. Hello people of Ksp! I've been think about spacex lately, after there acheivment of landing used boosters, as well as re-using them. Do you think that spacex will make it to Mars by the time they want to? Why or why not?
  15. The stock game does not have parts to fully enclose a rover and encapsulate a rover during descent. Most people will use the fairings, but the issue is the fairing base will be stuck under your rover and your landings to Mars will not be authentic. There is an outdated mod that did this, but the author has ceased to kerbal. I now will maintain this concept and bring even more parts to the game. In this release I have issued 3 parts to your VAB. This is phase 1 which means I will roll out more parts during which will follow a time-line of events. I think these 3 parts are a good starting compromise. Here is a breakdown of the 4 phases. HIghlighted in red is what phase we are currently on. PHASE 1 = Aeroshell, Cruise stage, Heatshield . All basic parts. Player will need to mount their own chutes and radial engines if need be. PHASE 2 (1970's) = Viking lander is a possibility. Vintige version of the aeroshell design. More texture choices. Radial monoprop engines for the cruise stage. (RO version will use REAL FUELS by NathanKell) PHASE 3 (Late 90's early 2000's) = MER rovers (Spirit, Opportunity) . EDL system such as the terahedron and airbags. PHASE 4 (Present) = Curiousity Rover. EDL system such as the skyscrane You get 3 parts in phase 1 of this pack. There are configs included for realscaled parts to use for RO. Aeroshell "backshell" Includes RSC attitude control thrusters and texture changing so you can use the JPL logo. Parachute not included! know , to protect from atmosphere devils Cruise stage which includes texture changing for JPL logo, solar panels that will recharge your EC, and has built it fuel tank. You provide the engines of choice*. SPECIAL FEATURES! Aeroshell can thrust jet in flight as seen here: Mars Science Laboratory only requires: 1. Firespitter and Texture Changer - To change the logos 2. Tweakscale if you want more freedom of payload sizes CHANGELOG: 1.0.4 [12-27-2016] *Changed RCS module to the newer stock supported ModuleRSCfx -MeCripp *Collision boxes re-done -MeCripp Cruise stage is in a more appropriate menu category and now acts as a pod -MeCripp *Heathshield is moved to Thermal category -MeCripp *Small rebalancing of some parts 1.0.3 [12-18-16] -Inline-patched to clean up cloned configs and to recognize when player has RO installed -Stock now has attitude jets for backshell -Fixed decoupling when going through strong aero forces, however player must angle craft a bit before ejection to prevent "back splash" of heatshield and/or backshell. The real Curiosity mission had to do this same manuever. -Fixed stock cruise stage to now have resource monoprop. 1.0.2 [12-16-2016] -Fixed issue where VAB crashes when placing cruise stage which was the fault of the RO configs overridding the stock ones when player did not have RF or RO installed. Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License I WANT I WANT !!! SPACEDOCK LINK Science Labratory *This is my first parts mod, there might be bugs. If you report a bug please be patient as it takes a few days for me to have time to tackle the issue.* Credits: MeCripp - Collision work, Fixed Unity pass, Module Improvements JPL - reasons NASA - reasons Yogui87 -Textures from old mod
  16. One of the things Elon Musk said in his September 2016 speech about the ITS was that the cost of getting to Mars is essentially infinite right now. In his powerpoint, he put it at $10 billion per person. Now, the logistics of the ITS aside, I wonder how accurate this is. How much WOULD it cost to get humans on Mars? What are the different cost breakdowns of different approaches, and which mission configuration would be best? And, most importantly, what happens if we Kerbal it? The challenge is to send a few Kerbals to Duna, using only currently-available propulsion methods, with enough supplies to live on for the trip, as cheaply as possible. Rules: Propulsion. No nukes and no airbreathers. SABRE isn't up and running, and NTR isn't likely any time soon, so your propulsion needs to be chemical only. No ion engines; we need to assume you're running against some kind of a deadline. ISRU. Nope, sorry. We can't wait around on Duna forever. Payload. Send up to 12 Kerbals to the surface of Duna and bring them back to Kerbin. But they need consumables, right? Let's be very Spartan and say that they each need a total of 0.2 tonnes of food and other consumables for each leg of the trip. You can pack that extra payload any way you want; that's approximately two Science Jrs per Kerbal, and you can ditch up to half of them (they're empty, after all) before you enter Duna's SOI. Prop transfer. This is not only permitted, but encouraged. I highly recommend it. Reuse. Recovery of components is encouraged by a cost reduction as outlined below. Scoring. Your total score is the total mission cost divided by the number of Kerbals you actually land on Duna and return safely. Kerbals which stay in Duna orbit do not count, and dead Kerbals do not count. Any recovered components (reusable launch vehicles, etc.) are counted at 30% of their full cost. You do not have to include the cost of whatever you use for dry mass payload for consumables. The winner is whoever has the lowest score. Mods. No part mods and nothing that would affect scoring, but anything else is fine. I only have the Demo, or I'd make my attempt, but obviously this can be done. I'm mostly interested in seeing HOW it is done, what mission architectures are used, and so forth. Good luck!
  17. OVERVIEW: 04/14/16 DUNA DIRECT 1. HAB This is where Kerbals will live both on their journey to Duna, and while on Duna. A. Crew i. Seats: 6 (No Designation) ii. Provides a common area for crew members to eat, sleep, and be entertained. iii. Contains Life Support recourses: 1. Food 2. Water (1/2) 3. Oxygen (1/2) B. Command i. Seats: 2 (Pilot, Commander) ii. Provides control of the spacecraft and docked spacecraft. iii. Reaction Wheels. C. Science i. Seats: 2 (Scientist, Scientist) ii. Contains science experiments: 1. Mystery Goo. 2. PresMat Barometer. 3. Science Lab (Experiment processing) D. Utility i. Seats: 2 (Engineer, Engineer) ii. Contains resources: 1. Electric Charge. 2. Mono propellant. 3. Liquid Fuel & Oxidizer. iii. Contains Life Support resources: 1. Water (2/2) 2. Oxygen (2/2) 3. Empty Waste Tank. 4. Empty Co2 Tank. 2. KRV This craft will be sent ahead of the HAB and crew in order to start processing fuel for the Kerbals journey home. Only the second stage will return to Kerbin. A. Return Module (Stage 2) i. Seats: 6 ii. Provides control of the spacecraft (No docking capability) iii. Reaction wheels iv. Contains resources: 1. Electric Charge 2. Mono Propellant 3. Liquid fuel & oxidizer B. Utility Module (Stage 1) i. Contains recourses: 1. Liquid Fuel & Oxidizer 2. Mono Propellant ii. Contains chemical processing plugin. 1. Converts Co2 into Liquid Fuel and Oxygen ( For engines and life support) Design concept images from the Mars Direct Program. Dev. Blog: <no posts> Duna Direct by Tyler Grommesh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
  18. Original title: InSight 2016 launch SCRUBBED So yea... NASA's next Mars mission, the lander InSight, won't launch in March 2016 becuase of a leak in the vacuum compartment of the seismometer, the main instrument onboard, provided by French CNES. This means at least a 26-MONTH delay. InSight's original launch window was March 4th to March 30th. Press briefing to follow at 1530 EST.
  19. I thought I'd make a thread highlighting some of the the problems that future mars colonists might face. The first problem that would need to be overcome would be how the colony would be re-supplied until it became self sufficient. Re-supply missions might take as long as 16 months to reach mars, deliver its cargo, and return to earth. Unless a new engine technology were perfected, such as EM drive, a large fleet of re-usable spacecraft would need to be built to re-supply the colony. Another problem is more on the moral side. Assuming the colony was built, what kind of laws would be made to protect the colonists, and how would these laws be enforced? Should the colonists be medically altered to adapt them more for a life in space? Children born on mars might never be able to return to earth because their weaker skeletal and muscular systems might be fatally damaged by earth's higher gravity. Mars colonists would have a much higher risk of cancer due to higher radiation levels. In a closed environment such as a habitation module or, eventually a closed cell city, with so many colonists close together, would epidemics would be much more prone to occur? I don't mean to be pessimistic, I am totally in favor of a mars colony, but these are all unanswered questions that will need to be addressed before such an undertaking. We are at a crossroads, both technologically and morally and our decision will impact future generations for decades to come. My question is, which way, humanity?
  20. As the name implies, I am wondering what are the most efficient gravity turns for Earth and Mars? I don't know if RSS and Real Life gravity turns are the same, but I am wanting real life and not RSS, unless, of course, they are the same. Lastly, how do I calculate Delta-V?
  21. Colour image of Phobos. Although there isn't a huge amount of colour! Plus the image is more "colourful" than you would see if you were actually there as it includes wavelengths that are normally invisible to the human eye. This Google Plus post also has a link to a 3D image should you have a pair of red/blue glasses handy
  22. Is anyone aware that ExoMars's Schiaparelli Lander will be touching down tomorrow morning? Oops. Did not see proper post. Oh well.
  23. Hey folks, As per Nibb31's request, I've started a new thread for discussing Martian colonisation, agriculture, living-off-the-land etc. A couple of observations to start. Perchlorates aren't neccesarily bad and could be quite useful provided they can be extracted and processed safely. Perchlorate candles, for example, are a well known emergency oxygen supply. Plus you get sodium chloride as a reaction product, so you get some lovely Martian salt to go on those Martian potatoes. Also Martian regolith wouldn't make a bad starter for making soil. It'll need a load of water and organic material for sure but it's got plenty of vital minerals.
  24. So getting a human to land on Mars and come back is very hard. But here's an idea for a less sexy mission, but still sends people to Mars and if anything gets us some practice. Apparently, a mission to Mars will involve 18 months on Mars itself. That's a tall order, but theoretically doable. What if, instead of landing the astronauts, you leave them in orbit and land one rover per astronaut. Each one with certain specialized equipment. Each astronaut then spends 18 months working long hours driving them around, no need to tie up the DSN. You have one or more land close to a rocket capable of docking with your orbiting station in LMO so at the end of the mission you can bring back some samples. Now, we don't get that sexy shot of humans standing on another world, but in terms of science we would have three curiosities running around, probably something more sophisticated. The real utility of this project comes from that 14 minute delay no longer being a problem. Any possible benefit of having humans on Mars with less risk, and without having to go all the way down to the surface. Which means it will be easier to bring them home. Which gets to the title of this thread, what is that 14 minutes (and a free DSN for other missions) worth? And, this tech can possibly be applied to longer missions to Jupiter or Saturn, where the delay time is more severe so you get a bigger benefit.
  25. I know, this should probably be a part of the SpaceX main thread, but I couldn't resist! T-3 hours to Elon's talk! A couple of handy links: Any of the links in the comments here: (page 41) HYPE! Sad, looks like the virgin galactic thing isn't being streamed. Fingers for BO's being streamed.