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18 hours ago, Darnok said:

Ok, I've missed this news... are there any technical data about this new craft?

Not yet.

19 hours ago, SargeRho said:

The MCT, which Musk said he'd reveal this summer, is a fully reusable architecture with the goal of transporting 100 tons to Mars per flight, The Red Dragon missions' purpose for SpaceX is to gather data for the development of the MCT, and they're bringing along some NASA instruments, for science and probably some funding.

Source?

The sources people have brought up seems to confirm a lack of instruments...

 

18 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

How can you have missed that ? No, there is nothing yet, not even powerpoint slides. It was supposed to be announced last year, but now it's september, or october, or 2017...

Isn't it September 2016?

18 hours ago, Darnok said:

It is exposed on Falcon 9, but it can be under fairing on Falcon Heavy?

Why not?

18 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

Sure, it costs, but if it's a requirement, then it has to be there.

However, I'm not sure that a payload fairing is enough to enforce planetary protection standards. Interplanetary payloads need to be packaged in a sterile white room (typically, the payload is encapsulated separately from the from the launch fairing. I'm not sure if SpaceX's payload processing facilities and procedures are compatible.

It was for the Atlas V and Centaur. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LCROSS

17 hours ago, Frozen_Heart said:

A Falcon Heavy Launch does not cost 500 million. The listed price is 150 million. The Only Dragon 2 cost I can find is 160 million but that is fully crewed. But at 20 million per person that makes the Dragon 2 million unmanned.

Flight is likely to end up close to 200 million. This isn't the SLS or Saturn V that they're launching here. 

But a crewed Dragon V2 isn't more expensive than a unmanned one. It's not like Soyuz is any cheaper unmanned...

And adding up development costs, I would say $200-$150 million. Dragon V2 needs to survive dust, 8 months in Transit (way longer than designed), better and bigger chutes...

$500 Million is reasonable.

In fact, that's the low end of the scale for planetary missions in cost.

15 hours ago, PB666 said:

Well nasa has done a crane landing and two inflatable bouncy ball landings. they want to have an inflatble low atmosphere drag shield but that is currently not working out fir them in testing. Thus it is science of a sort to do a fire retro landing. It kind of reminds me of Mech Jebs lander though. Anyway theres two years to add small sciens packages if they like. Might i recommend a small tethered crawler. Just land at the beagle site and pull open the solar panels for the brits, then give it a booster cable. :D

The inflatable heat shield worked perfectly every time. Only the supersonic chute didn't.

 

And 2 years is way too little time for a science payload. Give me one example of a space probe with decent capability that was built from concept to launch in only 2 years.

14 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

V2 isn't primarily a crew capsule; it's primarily a lander. It's designed with broad enough margins to land propulsively on Earth, the moon, Mars, or most other worlds with only minor modifications. I'm sure this will be the unpressurized variant. The aeroshell is pretty important, though. 

Falcon Heavy is not exactly a paper rocket. Falcon 9 has flown enough times that we can readily identify the performance range of FH.

:D:D

You know, because NASA is paying SpaceX for Dragon V2 to land people on the Moon, and not send people to the ISS...

That was a great laugh. Wait, you were serious?

 

The only reason you need an aeroshell is to protect against Mars dust, and even then, the Dragon V2's design means that its hatch is the only way out of it.

Not great at all for a science payload. For one, you would need wheels for anything very big to obtain enough power. And "BIG" payloads is the only reason you would do this over a pheonix-based lander, or Skycrane- based rover.

13 hours ago, tater said:

Regarding planetary protection... what would happen on any (distant) manned Mars landing? If someone coughs while suiting up is going on (even assuming the suits were isolated from the crew cabin before that process) then that's contamination, as would be just exposing the suits to the crew cabin. 

Honestly, it seems to me once people are involved contamination needs to be assumed.

...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suitport

NASA's preferred solution for Mars and Lunar EVAs.

13 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Sorry, but how then they intend to get out for EVA? Probably, there is no airlock chamber.

They don't. Dragon V2 isn't designed for that.

12 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

I had exactly the same thought. They've touted the precision landing capability of the design, we know where most of the failed missions are, so land near by, plop down a rover, and go examine one! :cool:

 

I think the word you're looking for here is "prototype" :wink: The first flight may be a custom one-off thing, but it's intended that many similar ones will follow...

No, the Dragon V2's precision landing has not been proven yet. It hasn't even gone to space...
 

And why would SpaceX build multiple? Tell me. Your power capability will be severely limited, as everything (including the solar panels) will have to deploy out of its tiny hatch.

Your capability in science is about as good as pheonix, for a huge amount of extra, useless mass.

11 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

The Dragon 1 already has the option of flying pressurized or unpressurized (final bullet, page 6 here). The Dragon V2 will have the same capability: it can fly with unpressurized cargo, pressurized cargo, or pressurized with crew. Page 5 of the House Subcommittee Statement by Garrett Reisman states, "Crew Dragon carries sufficient breathable gas stores to allow for a safe return to Earth in the event of a leak of up to an equivalent orifice of 0.25 inches in diameter. As an extra level of protection, the crew will wear SpaceX-designed spacesuits to protect them from a rapid cabin depressurization emergency event of even greater severity. The suits and the vehicle itself will be rated for operation at vacuum." So yeah, it's vacuum-hardened already.

Like I said, Dragon V2 is over-designed for these express purposes. It will not need substantial redesign for its Martian debut.

Well, it would be a completely new craft inside the Dragon body to be sure, but the Dragon V2 itself would still be substantially the same.

I wonder if adding vacuum nozzle extensions to the SuperDracos would boost its isp enough to give it Martian SSTO capability with expanded internal auxiliary tanks.

But that's for an emergencies. The Dragon V2 has a trunk for unpress. Cargo, but the capsule is certainly not designed for depressurization for extended periods of time.

Why would it? It doesn't have EVA capacity either.

 

Also, what you suggest (internal aux. tanks) is more than enough to validate building a new Spacecraft due to the modifications needed.

 

10 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

Once on the ground, the Martian atmosphere provides air-cooling to components.

Not very good air cooling, considering the thin atmosphere.

10 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

New navcom, yes, but the existing trunk is just fine, the hatch is already automated, and the deployment mechanisms, planetary protection provisions, and auxiliary power systems are really just part of payload.

Yes, and "payload" still needs development costs. You think Orion has no development costs, since it is part of the "payload"?

10 hours ago, sevenperforce said:
10 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

 

Like I said, presumably by pressurizing it and opening the hatch. Even unpressurized cargo in the trunk is typically brought out and then brought within an airlock if it is intended for use inside the ISS. The only reason to fly pressurized is if the cargo cannot be vacuum-hardened.

Actually, any cargo that needs to go inside the ISS (including cubesats) uses pressurised cargo bays, in simplifies things enormously.

10 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

Not...really?

I mean, it depends, but if you're merely removing the docking hatch and bolting a tube into the center of the cabin area, you can really put anything inside.

Conveniently, the Dragon's TWR is tripled on Mars. Hydrazine+NTO can have a vacuum ISP of 339 s with the right nozzle; 4.1 km/s thus requires a mass ratio of 2.5:1. Should be entirely realizable.

You need to modify that top docking port to withstand the heat of launch.

4 hours ago, B787_300 said:

@Nibb31

 

Also planetary protection for going to mars is just a simple sterilization process that SpaceX is not bound to follow (the scientists would like it but the Russians have not sterilized some of their mars landers). And a sterilization is a simple thing to do (and no it does not have to be in the fairing to not get recontaminated)

...Really?

There are bacteria in the atmosphere of Earth. Yes, it needs to be in a fairing. http://www.livescience.com/26645-microbes-in-the-sky.html

and Sterilization is not "simple."https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_protection

Mars especially since it actually has a decent chance of supporting native life.

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33 minutes ago, fredinno said:

...Really?

There are bacteria in the atmosphere of Earth. Yes, it needs to be in a fairing. http://www.livescience.com/26645-microbes-in-the-sky.html

and Sterilization is not "simple."https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_protection

Mars especially since it actually has a decent chance of supporting native life.

Yes really.  I have been working on a Senior Design Project that goes to Mars.  Planetary protection is a thing that is nice but is very much optional.  Especially if SpaceX is self funding it.   Also If you think Mars is a pristine environment it is not as I said before the Russians (soviets as they were called back then) did not bother to do it.  also while there are microbes in the Sky that could attach themselves to the spacecraft, most of them would not survive the 6 mo trip to Mars and those that would are the type that would probably make it through the sterilization process. Plus it doesnt really matter as the whole Mission of SpaceX is to COLONIZE Mars and Terraform it. 

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I mentioned "suit port," just not by name (the bit about climbing into the suit from behind). I'm still thinking that once humans are there for any length of time, it becomes a matter of how much contamination, not if there will be.

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"Give me one example of a space probe with decent capability that was built from concept to launch in only 2 years."

There's a first for everything. I doubt there was one example of a successful manned moon landing before Apollo 11.

 

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32 minutes ago, KerbalSaver said:

"Give me one example of a space probe with decent capability that was built from concept to launch in only 2 years."

There's a first for everything. I doubt there was one example of a successful manned moon landing before Apollo 11.

 

Only problem is that we have huge amounts of space probes built. Not one of them went from concept to launch in 2 years, even those (like Mariner and InSight) based heavily off previous tech.

2 hours ago, B787_300 said:

Yes really.  I have been working on a Senior Design Project that goes to Mars.  Planetary protection is a thing that is nice but is very much optional.  Especially if SpaceX is self funding it.   Also If you think Mars is a pristine environment it is not as I said before the Russians (soviets as they were called back then) did not bother to do it.  also while there are microbes in the Sky that could attach themselves to the spacecraft, most of them would not survive the 6 mo trip to Mars and those that would are the type that would probably make it through the sterilization process. Plus it doesnt really matter as the whole Mission of SpaceX is to COLONIZE Mars and Terraform it. 

Still, it's probably better to put it in a payload fairing and sterilise it- the Dragon can fit in one, and it makes sure we contaminate as little of Mars as we can until men set feet on it (then all bets are off).

 

It's like space junk management. Better to deorbit if you can than not deorbit.

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7 hours ago, fredinno said:

So this basically confirms my speculation. SpaceX is sending a ~6.4T brick to Mars. A very advanced brick, but still a brick, since it probably won't carry more than a few sensors and an HD camera.

Regardless of anything else, that's still an impressively heavy brick to be landing on Mars. It's not strictly comparable of course but the Curiosity rover only(?) weighed 0.9 T, with the entire rover and EDL package weighing in at about 3.3 T.

Plus a minimal surface science package means much less redesign and testing of the Red Dragon will be required. I'm betting that the capsule itself will be wired up every which way so that SpaceX can get as much data on the descent and landing as they possibly can.

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From what I've read on it the main purpose is to test retro propulsion on Mars, nothing more than that. It isn't meant to be a ground-breaking super fancy space probe with every scientific instrument known to man. Not every vehicle has to be made to perform to the very best it can. SpaceX's philosophy is just to get something simple and mass produce to save cost even when something more specialised may get the job done slightly better.

 

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21 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

The SpaceX suits will be compressive rather than overpressure-based.

How do you know?  You mean the dragonv2 suit?  or a mars mct suit?  

22 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

I wonder if adding vacuum nozzle extensions to the SuperDracos would boost its isp enough to give it Martian SSTO capability with expanded internal auxiliary tanks.

But if you had extensions, these will melt with the heat, or you will waste all that extra deltav to kill enough speed before enter in the atmosphere like the falcon9 stage, Dv2 heat shield is very good, it can stand high temperatures, but its spacecraft density (even if is almost empty inside) is still high in comparison to its low heatshield area due the V3 S2 rule, so even at low altitudes they still need to kill a lot of velocity, that is when you need to fire your engines (protected by the capsule shape).
In addition, I am sure that in this case an added inflatable heat shield or a special drogue chute will not help for this mission.

12 hours ago, fredinno said:

I agree with everything you said, until this part. FH can carry 13.2 T to Mars (Transfer) in Expendable mode, more than enough for a Fully-loaded Dragon (and this won't be fully loaded). It might even be able to launch with Booster reuse.

It can only transport 45 tons to LEO in expendable mode without crossfeed, your number is taking into account crossfeed and 53tons to LEO, in this case it will be close to 10tons to Mars transfer or a bit less.
I think is not enough to recover the first 2 boosters unless they use 2 barges.
About crossfeed, I don't think they can achieve it in 2 years with the added risk for this mission, but they will get it eventually.

Edited by AngelLestat

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13 hours ago, fredinno said:

You know, because NASA is paying SpaceX for Dragon V2 to land people on the Moon, and not send people to the ISS...

That was a great laugh. Wait, you were serious?

Dragon V2 was sold as a crew capsule but was designed as an interplanetary lander, and Elon has specifically discussed its use for landing on the moon and elsewhere.

13 hours ago, fredinno said:

Also, what you suggest (internal aux. tanks) is more than enough to validate building a new Spacecraft due to the modifications needed.

SpaceX has said they would add additional fuel capacity for selected applications rather than building a new lander, so...

13 hours ago, fredinno said:

You need to modify that top docking port to withstand the heat of launch.

Only if you want the top docking port to survive. Which isn't really necessary in this case.

Not that there was any actual intent to do a sample return on this first mission.

How do you know?  You mean the dragonv2 suit?  or a mars mct suit?  

The Dragon V2 suit. I wouldn't typically cite PopSci, but the article claims to be based on actual SpaceX contracts so I think it's a safe source.

Edited by sevenperforce

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The suits thing has been out there for a while. SpaceX hired Orbital Outfitters to come up with a suit that apparently Musk said should be, "badass."

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10 hours ago, fredinno said:

Only problem is that we have huge amounts of space probes built. Not one of them went from concept to launch in 2 years, even those (like Mariner and InSight) based heavily off previous tech.

True, but my point is that we shouldn't dismiss the possibility of them being on time merely because no-one has built a probe in such a short amount of time.

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It's not about being on-time. It's about being faster than anything that has ever been done in the space industry. And SpaceX doesn't exactly have a great track record of being on-time or even staying focused on any specific project.

Edited by Nibb31

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2 hours ago, AngelLestat said:

It can only transport 45 tons to LEO in expendable mode without crossfeed, your number is taking into account crossfeed and 53tons to LEO, in this case it will be close to 10tons to Mars transfer or a bit less.
I think is not enough to recover the first 2 boosters unless they use 2 barges.
About crossfeed, I don't think they can achieve it in 2 years with the added risk for this mission, but they will get it eventually.

No it is not. It is in between the two number earlier posted. (at 11877 kg to a C3 of 7) http://www.silverbirdastronautics.com/cgi-bin/LVPcalc.pl  is a wonderful website and pretty decently accurate

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32 minutes ago, KerbalSaver said:

True, but my point is that we shouldn't dismiss the possibility of them being on time merely because no-one has built a probe in such a short amount of time.

Has SpaceX ever done anything at the time they initially announced they would?

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3 minutes ago, Kryten said:

Has SpaceX ever done anything at the time they initially announced they would?

Good question. I think some of it has to do with funding, which shows they are less a billionaire plaything, and actually a shoestring business. If commercial crew gives them less money... they delay, for example. It gives the lie to the "Elon will colonize Mars" meme, since there's no plausible way to pay for it.

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19 minutes ago, Nibb31 said:

It's not about being on-time. It's about being faster than anything that has ever been done in the space industry. And SpaceX doesn't exactly have a great track record of being on-time or even staying focused on any specific project.

Oh boy, I can only see where this conversation is going.

But before we get the yardsticks out for the [cough] measuring contest.

Shuttle program came to a virtual halt because some hawk could not delay a shuttle launch for warmer weather. And how many supply runs to ISS have recently been botched, even a few by the RSA and their wonderfully perfect rocket program. Defining who measures up these days is not as easy as one might think. Rushing is sometimes more dangerous than delaying. Its a way better to find an error before your main engine lights up than afterwards. As far as focus concerns, trial, trial, trial, barge-failed, land-success, barge-success. That looks a alot like some kind of focus to me.

 

Edited by PB666

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Seems that Elon does claims that he will do something in a year, everyone says it can't be done at all, he does it in 5 years and ppl complain. Despite the fact that a traditional company would never do it. E.g. the barge landings.

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I dont think the 2018 schedual will slip, though, because it's not based on anything spaceX can control, so there's no room for optimistic elon-guesses. If they get Falcon Heavy ready anytime in the next 2 years, and if they get a Dragon 2 ready anytime in the next two years, then at the appropriate time in 2018, SpaceX will tell everyone to hold their calls, reserve a window of launch schedule, and just go.

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24 minutes ago, Frozen_Heart said:

Seems that Elon does claims that he will do something in a year, everyone says it can't be done at all, he does it in 5 years and ppl complain. Despite the fact that a traditional company would never do it. E.g. the barge landings.

Exactly! We've got a private company seriously contemplating a mission to Mars, at their own expense, to test a propulsive landing system that will hopefully pave the way to bigger cargos than ever before being delivered to Mars. Whether that cargo is more rovers, more science experiments in general, prototype ISRU units - whatever floats your boat.

So far, all I've seen on this thread is a lot of naysaying, half-assed backseat engineering and complaining that the thing won't be launched fast enough, won't be launched at all or will be worthless anyway because it's not carrying enough science so why bother.

Bah. Send me your address on a postcard and I'll mail out the slices of humble pie (best eaten with one's own shorts) in 2020. Yeah - I think 2018 is a stretch too - sue me.

 

Edited by KSK

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25 minutes ago, Rakaydos said:

I dont think the 2018 schedual will slip, though, because it's not based on anything spaceX can control, so there's no room for optimistic elon-guesses. If they get Falcon Heavy ready anytime in the next 2 years, and if they get a Dragon 2 ready anytime in the next two years, then at the appropriate time in 2018, SpaceX will tell everyone to hold their calls, reserve a window of launch schedule, and just go.

I'm inclined to agree. 

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44 minutes ago, Frozen_Heart said:

Seems that Elon does claims that he will do something in a year, everyone says it can't be done at all, he does it in 5 years and ppl complain. Despite the fact that a traditional company would never do it. E.g. the barge landings.

If he makes mars at all on his nickle, I won't complain at all. I am a critic, but some forms of criticism simply show bias and ignorance.
There is nothing I have to say about an unmanned attempt at a mars landing, but please pray that they will do a sample return, if not from Mars, get nasa to put up maybe they can do a two land two sample return from the martian Deimos and Charon. Put the darn capsule in HMO or ML1 and have nasa come pick up the sample and return it.

By the way traditional companies don't invent light-bulbs or build 707s or 747s, etc, unless they see a potential future demand. Musk is going after future profit and Name value (equivalent to trust), he's going to make this so cheap that every country that wants a space program will want to ride.  Launch will become like buying weapons systems from US, french or Russian contractos.

The launch vehicle return, most of you have not thought is going to greatly open up the space market and in particular super GSO projects. Once you get to LEO you have half the energy required to leave orbit and most of the 1/SQRT(2) DV, thats the major step, if you can knock the price down to 1/3rd, its a major feat.

 

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Out of curiosity, has there been any suggestion of putting a satelite-type payload in the trunk, to be abandoned in martian orbit before entry? I mean, it's already got the solar panels and it's already going to be in  position in orbit...

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5 minutes ago, Rakaydos said:

Out of curiosity, has there been any suggestion of putting a satelite-type payload in the trunk, to be abandoned in martian orbit before entry? I mean, it's already got the solar panels and it's already going to be in  position in orbit...

Remains to seen if it would enter orbit first, but probably not. Landers usually make direct landings from beyond escape velocity.

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6 minutes ago, Rakaydos said:

Out of curiosity, has there been any suggestion of putting a satelite-type payload in the trunk, to be abandoned in martian orbit before entry? I mean, it's already got the solar panels and it's already going to be in  position in orbit...

A great idea, but it won't be in orbit. Falcon Heavy can deliver a Dragon V2 to a Martian aerobraking trajectory but it can't deliver it to Martian orbit; the dV requirements are too high and I doubt the kerosene would be usable after cruising for that long. The trunk has no RCS of its own.

One possibility would be to put a very RCS-capable SEP module in the trunk and have the Dragon eject the trunk a few thousand km out from re-entry, on a high aerobraking trajectory, while the Dragon itself plunges to a lower aerobraking trajectory and enters. The trunk might conceivably be able to get a very small aerobrake for an eccentric orbital capture and then deliver just enough of an SEP pulse at apoapse to circularize above the Martian atmosphere. Would require some pretty hefty design work, though, and it would be mass-limited because the Falcon Heavy is already straining to put an empty V2 on the aerobraking trajectory.

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8 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

I doubt the kerosene would be usable after cruising for that long

Since you mentioned it, what would happen to kerosene after six months in space? I'd always understood it stores and transports pretty well, hence it's popularity with militaries (also why I drive a diesel :cool:).

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