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Sturgeon

The Space Exploration Achievements Thread

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Copypasta from FB, but relevent.

 

I'll say this. Today was a day I was very glad to be able to share with my child. To be with her and experience the test launch of a vehicle that paves our way as a species to go beyond our planet and to see her excitement and to be able to answer her questions as to why this was important.... Freaking magical. We stopped on the sidewalk to watch the launch on my phone.  -15 C windchill, and all.  She looked at me as I cheered and told me to keep it down because we were on a public street, but she was still super enthused.  I don't think I've had a moment as a parent that was more important.  And to see the Podling take that, and grasp for MORE knowledge, asking questions that I didn't immediately have the answer to?  FUCK YES.

 

 

 

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Everyday Astronaut gives a great little rundown on the evolution of the BFR:

 

 

Before the launch of Falcon Heavy, I would have... Reserved healthy skepticism about the BFR.


Now... Fuck it. Musk can do anything, it seems. Go, SpaceX, go.

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I'm still highly skeptical on BFR to Mars in 2022, given Musk's tendency toward optimism in schedules. Gonna take a wild guess and say 2026.

 

Also, calling it now: BFR continues to shrink to become more economical, Musk unveils HFR for Mars trips.

 

Edit: Holy shit that propellant transfer method

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21 minutes ago, LostCosmonaut said:

I'm still highly skeptical on BFR to Mars in 2022, given Musk's tendency toward optimism in schedules. Gonna take a wild guess and say 2026.

 

Also, calling it now: BFR continues to shrink to become more economical, Musk unveils HFR for Mars trips.

 

Edit: Holy shit that propellant transfer method

 

Isn't it magical?

I think the point with the current BFR is that you can get airliner-like payload densities. Since BFR will be versatile enough to act as a point-to-point transport as well as an orbital launch vehicle and an interplanetary system, the launch costs will go way down and the fact that it's huegg won't matter as much. After all, you're just paying for fuel at that point.

Now... How much of this will be realized, and how much will be compromised? Hard to tell. If I had to guess, I'd say the first thing to go would be the BFR's orbital/crew segment being used as an interplanetary vessel is probably less realistic than Musk thinks. The actual system as a launch vehicle does make sense to me, though, and the fact that it's way more ambitious and flexible than anything anyone's done before seems like less and less of a barrier to SpaceX as time goes on.

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If superfast point to point transport had a market, we'd still have supersonic passenger jets. What worries me is that spaceX might be betting the farm on economies of scale with the scale that comes with point to point transport, and when that doesn't take off they are going to run out of money before they get to mars

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2 minutes ago, Xlucine said:

If superfast point to point transport had a market, we'd still have supersonic passenger jets.

 

I don't think this is true. SSTs are a much different animal than a rocket, and they also have no secondary purpose, driving costs high. So remember that the BFR will be handling their orbital launches, as well as PtP transport, and interplanetary travel. This diversification should drive down costs, and keep in mind that BFR can take you anywhere in the world much faster than an SST can.

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I'm guessing everyone has heard about the SpaceX party balloon by now;

 

 

 

A lot of people (at least in parts of the internet that I frequent) did think he was crazy;

 

lqx3fN7.png

 

Thing is, it's not actually that stupid of an idea. NASA has looked at the idea; https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20030106138.pdf

 

And their analysis shows that a ballute can save a lot of mass when used for aerocapture from interplanetary trajectories. The second stage will be reentering from LEO, at a significantly lower velocity. The second stage already has a pretty low ballistic coefficient, so I'd guess it sheds a bunch of energy in the upper atmosphere. Adding the ballute/party balloon will let it dump even more energy high up. Also, by massively increasing the surface area, the heat flux per unit area goes down, which gets to the real reason why Musk is probably doing this; to avoid sticking a heat shield on the second stage. (There isn't really a great place to put one anyway.)

 

Presumably, at a low speed / altitude, the second stage will ditch the party balloon and deploy regular parachutes. A re-entry capable balloon won't be cheap, but it should be a lot less expensive than a whole second stage.

 

 

 

Bonus scene from 2010

 

 

 

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On 6/7/2018 at 8:24 PM, Legiondude said:

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/mars-nasa-announcement-latest-organic-matter-red-planet-a8388591.html

Basically we found ancient space poop

But it means something was around to make that, recently or in the far distant past

 

Not exactly. We found organic matter, which could have been made by nonbiological processes but is indicative of life.

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These reports say Falcon Heavy; http://spacenews.com/spacex-wins-130-million-military-launch-contract-for-falcon-heavy/

https://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2018/06/21/spacexs-falcon-heavy-rocket-wins-air-force-launch-contract/723478002/

 

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