I don’t think its just escapism, there will be plenty of serious and important science work to be done if you can get people to Mars, or the Moon or Ceres or where ever, Musk thinks he could build his system for about $10 billion which sounds cheap when you know that by 2017 NASA will have spent 10 billion on the SLS and another 6 billion on the Orion, and they have SFA to show for it, a total joke, once the SLS is finished it will than cost close to 2 billion a year for maybe one flight a year, Musk’s system could do multiple flights for a fraction of the cost
It far bigger than he had talked about in the past, maybe too big, less chance of it being built
When Musk talks about fuel rich he’s talking about the combustion cycle of the engine
Well only if they can get it built and flying for a number of years
Thanks for the info TI, no matter what one thinks of it it sounds like fun. Btw, I may have misheard but I was sure he said $220k per ticket – the median price of a house in the US. Minor point anyway.
Yes, thanks TI for v interesting post. Musk’s plans are fascinating, but surely should be separated into two elements. First, developing craft capable of bringing humans to Mars for exploration and temporary residence. The second part, trying to develop a self-sustaining community of many thousands of ‘colonists’ within the next 40-50 years is pure fantasy. You might get small groups of individuals willing to risk death for the dubious pleasure of living in an enclosed world lacking virtually all of the necessities of life, but tens of thousands? Only if Earth, in the meantime, has suffered some catastrophic calamity. If Musk’s plans depend on tens of thousands of people forking over hundreds of thousands of dollars to up sticks and live on Mars, then they are pie in the sky.
And the first neo-pioneering group can’t be a random group but would have to include a bunch of miners/blacksmiths/and a variety of other technical craftspeople to develop tools and building materials from first principles since they will hardly carry much of these in the payload. I haven’t been reading the SpaceX material but what are the plans to grow food and make water to sustain a colony there?
Maybe Musk is hoping on a scenario where Trump gets elected and things get really bad on Earth.
It was a glider during landing. The ‘jet’ noise that is obvious during touch down and roll out on countless videos is the sound of the three hydrazine-fueled Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) working away to power the craft’s hydraulics. But they didn’t provide any thrust.
The Buran orbiter had two jet engines to assist approach and landing. They were located above the fuselage against either side of the vertical stabiliser. The craft seen flying in the video was an aerodynamic test vehicle incapable of going into space and had an additional two jet engines in pods either side of the rear fuselage to permit independent runway take off.
Buran had one unmanned launch into orbit and a successful re-entry and autonomous runway landing (apparently including a go around due to high cross winds - those engines came in handy!).
The would have cancelled it any way, the Russians could never understand why the Americans were building the Shuttle so the copied them anyway so as not to be left behind, in the end they figured out that it was nothing more than a gigantic pork project, the US public still don’t get it, which is why they continue to waste billions on the SLS
Since the SLS is a rocket built with engines and boosters left over from the Shuttle program, could you tell me exactly what is costing so many billions ? and why is it such a good idea to waste even more ? interest rates are low, so lets waste money, amazing
And this is for a rocket that won’t be much better than the Falcon heavy or the new Blue Origin rocket, even the next ULA rocket will end up being cheaper
It aint your money so put your panties back on, its easy to be an internet keyboard warrior when the problem does not affect you in any way.
Right now all of the above mentioned rockets are non existent, with the SLS being the one furthest along of actually flying. 18 billion is pocket change for Uncle Sam, be happy this is money not being spent on weapons.
Also competition is good, the more the merrier and its keeping engineers sharp and training new generation.
I’m firmly with @the dude on this one.
The SLS is a rocket from the 70’s on literally a mission to nowhere (there is no mission objective) sucking a huge amount of money that could be better spent on other space projects. While not my money it could be better spent to further humanity’s access / use of space or to further our understanding of the universe. Flagship missions like Casini or the Curiosity rover cost circa $2 bn. SLS is preventing amazing science from happening.
The SLS is a fully disposable very expensive system using tec designed in the 60’s and 70’s it is also designed to fly only twice per year, by the time it is built it will be massively out classed by the Falcon Heavy The ITS and Blue Origin’s new Glen. The ONLY reason SLS is even a project is because it sucks government money into particular Senators constituencies.
By way of example. Nasa has publicly said that it would have cost them circa $4 bn to develop the Falcon 9 rocket (without the reusability) SpaceX did it for $300m!!
NASA does deep space and science really really well. It cannot build cheap rockets.
US space policy actually mandates NASA to use Private launch vehicles where available. Hence the commercial crew and ISS resupply programs which are 100% private.
SLS is the biggest waste of mone on a space project ever.
Bad design or not bringing my little ones to various NASA facilities (I seen the last shuttle few days before final liftoff, and been back since) and where one of the Shuttle’s is now proudly displayed for all to see, was a memorable experience for all of us. If it lights an interest in them in science and technology then great!
Once again its easy to be cribbing and moaning from the sidelines but at least the Americans are spending gobs of money both publicly and privately on pushing science and technology forward, while here in Ireland we are busy as always selling homes to one another. What does that teach our kids? being a Savy McCanny Politician is a better career choice than engineering?
This was the fith flight of thier sub orbital rocket (SpaceX has yet to refly one of theirs) this was also the one that the CEO thought there was a “non zero” chance of the booster surviving. Spoiler: It survived!