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i know you guys are a head of me, but are we still talking about red dragon launching in the 2018 window or has it slipped to the 2020 window now?

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It has slipped to the 2020 launch window.

 

SpaceX is deffo working on it, but with the massive amount of other items on their plate it just wasn't feasible.

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Not to mention waiting for the 2020 synod allows NASA to prepare some payloads they wanted to go uphill but wouldn't be ready for 2018.

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SpaceX, NASA, European and commercial payloads.

 

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How long are these windows?

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Posted (edited)

3-5 month windows, I believe. 2 1/2 months on either end of Mars' closest approach and then recession away from Earth. That's the best time for arrival at Mars, anyway.

 

IIUC, the trick is to leave just at the beginning of that window or optimally a week or two into it. That way you're arriving at a point where Mars will be with as little fuel expenditure to get there and slow down as necessary. You'll need that fuel to land. :D 

 

[EDIT] AND you haven't spent more than 4-6 months actually getting there, either. Radiation is a big concern on trips like that.

Edited by Unobscured Vision
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