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Sun Sep 29, 2019, 09:12 AM

SpaceX Unveils Silvery Vision to Mars: 'It's Basically an I.C.B.M. That Lands'



As you drive east along Texas State Highway 4, it looks like a giant, shiny and pointy grain silo is rising out of the scrubby flatland at the tip of southern Texas.

But it is the first version of a spaceship design that Elon Musk, the entrepreneur and founder of the rocket company SpaceX, hopes will be humanity’s first ride to Mars.

Within a month or two, he says optimistically, this prototype of the Starship spacecraft — without anyone aboard — will blast off to an altitude of 12 miles, then return to the ground in one piece.

“It’s going to be pretty epic to see that thing take off and come back,” Mr. Musk said late on Saturday at a SpaceX facility outside Brownsville, Tex., where Starship is being built.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/29/science/elon-musk-spacex-starship.html

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Reply SpaceX Unveils Silvery Vision to Mars: 'It's Basically an I.C.B.M. That Lands' (Original post)
Zorro Sep 29 OP
unc70 Sep 29 #1
Bayard Sep 29 #2
hunter Sep 29 #3
Zorro Sep 29 #5
Kid Berwyn Sep 29 #4

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Sep 29, 2019, 09:21 AM

1. Does look like a spaceship should

It looks like the spaceships we grew up with in movies.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Sep 29, 2019, 09:56 AM

2. A giant bullet

Hope someone televises it.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Sep 29, 2019, 10:55 AM

3. The liquid methane / liquid oxygen raptor engines are interesting...

... and a departure from the kerosene/lox or liquid hydrogen/lox engines of the past.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raptor_%28rocket_engine_family%29

Personally, I don't see any point in sending humans to Mars.

If I had money to burn for space exploration I'd spend it on robots and artificial intelligence.

Humans are incredibly fragile beings. It's a useless effort to keep them alive beyond low earth orbit.

If we humans don't kill ourselves and our civilization first then the solar system will belong to our synthetic intellectual offspring, creatures who can walk about on the surface of Mars naked.

If our intellectual offspring like us, maybe they'll take us along for the ride someday.

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Response to hunter (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 29, 2019, 11:00 AM

5. I believe Musk chose methane

is because it can be manufactured on Mars for any return trip. Of course there's a few other problems that would need to get ironed out, but that's the thinking.

There's a long but very interesting youtube video on the tradeoffs between different rocket engine designs.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sun Sep 29, 2019, 10:56 AM

4. Great trick, that.

We need a space transportation system, though.

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