SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System (updates)


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Unobscured Vision

Wow. Bet that was an impressive kaboom when it let go ... ;) 

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FloatingFatMan
9 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

Wow. Bet that was an impressive kaboom when it let go ... ;) 

Bah, couple of rolls of duct tape and she'll be fiiiiine! :p

 

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  • 1 month later...
DocM

At the post-flight SES-10 presser Musk said there will be an ITS update posted in about a month, so the end of April to early May.

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Beittil

I guess we can at least expect some words on that composite tank they blew up at sea :)

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DocM

The info was that test #1 would be to 2/3 burst pressure, so what do you do in test  #2 to surpass that?  Test to boomski.

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  • 5 weeks later...
DocM

 

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Unobscured Vision

Awesome. That's just about the time they should be finalizing the design and going full-tilt with securing Partners. This build is gonna be a "all hands on deck" with Manufacturing, folks. It'll be the "Apollo Push" of our time -- and then some. :yes: 

 

And just wait 'till you folks get a load of how much technology and science is going into ITS/BFR/MCT/Whatever-it-ends-up-being-called. It'll blow your minds. :D 

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  • 2 weeks later...
DocM

 

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DocM

Non-Mars uses of ITS confirmed!

 

From a Tom Mueller (SpaceX CTO) interview

 

 

Quote

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If you’re here in LA and you pull up some viral video, it’s probably stored locally; it’s not coming from wherever the; wherever it’s generated. And moving that information from city to city and from place to place is called backbone; and the example I got was, if you wanted to move data from LA to South Africa right now, it goes across the US to New York, it jumps across the Atlantic to Europe, it travels down through the MIddle East, and gets to South Africa. It’s a lot of server hops and a lot of latency. <inaudible> you know, gigabytes of data to South Africa.
>
With our satellite network, it’d be line-of-sight straight to South Africa with low-latency, with laser links. That’s what we’re working on. And imagine if you had a launch vehicle that could put hundreds of tons of satellites equivalent in a single launch for just a few million dollars. It just completely changes the game. Then you start thinking about putting, you know, big satellites up, hundreds of them up there, and being able to service them; it really changes the whole dynamic. So that’s what we’re working on right now.
>

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DocM

More.....And WOW!!

 

>


So I’m really excited about what we’re doing; we’re kind of hitting the limits of chemical rocket technology; the new engines we’re developing for the Mars ship are very high-pressure staged combustion engines. Getting all the energy you can out of fossil fuel propellants; you know, 99% combustion efficiency over four thousand PSi combustion chamber pressure; full-flow. So all of the propellant goes through the main combustor; it’s not an open-cycle; it’s a closed-cycle. It’s basically, you can’t get any more energy out of a chemical propellant. You can get a little bit more performance if you went to hydrogen and oxygen, but it actually; the rocket gets much bigger and more expensive, so the sweet spot is not hydrogen and oxygen; a lot of people thought that, and I did too. The original Raptor engine was hydrogen and oxygen, and we did the studies that showed if we used hydrogen and oxygen, the rocket is lighter, because the propellant is lighter, but the propellant costs more, it’s harder to make on another planet (it takes a lot more energy), and the rocket is bigger; the structure is bigger, the engines are bigger. So it costs more to make it even though it’s carrying less weight.
>

 

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Unobscured Vision

:yes: We knew this was coming. Fifty-unit, one hundred-unit launchers in one go ... reuse the entire rocket, S1 and S2 ... yeah. This is the future. This is the near-present. 

 

And it's COMPLETE reusability. Only thing that gets expended is the fuel and the wear-n-tear on components. Win-win-win-win-WIN. The Bean-Counters are happy, the Mission Engineers are happy (because they aren't as constrained to weight budgets), Management is happy because they can get stuff launched way more quickly (ride sharing), SpaceX is happy because they have LOTS of business ... and we're happy because we get to see ITS launching. :D 

 

And I'll echo you as well, @DocM. CH4+LOX made way, way more sense because it can be made pretty much anywhere. Sure, there's gonna be places where it's easier to make LH2+LOX (think Enceladus, Europa, Ceres), but other places like Titan pretty much just stick a hose into the lake and turn on the pump. :p 

 

 

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DocM

If they get a LEO/MEO/HEO/GEO full reusable cargo dispensing behemouth operational, every medium and higher class rocket flying today goes on the endangered species list. Back to the drawing board for everyone.

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Unobscured Vision

I've already got a reclosable fairing in mind. A very large one, possibly four-section to minimize torque stresses on the hardware since they'll be quite heavy. :yes: When all the birds are ejected, close it up and prep for S2 Entry and Landing Ops. 

 

And yeah, @DocM -- a Cargo/General Purpose BFR will debut being able to haul insane amounts of stuff to GEO. Let's see ... with gravity losses ... 210 MT, give or take. We gotta figure in that it will be delivering itself there as well as back too. Wouldn't be much of a Sat Launcher if it didn't do the job itself. A hundred per launch .... or more. :laugh::woot: No pressure.

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DocM

My cargo concept is a Tanker variant with Shuttle-like cargo doors and either P-Pod-like dispensers or an arm.

 

Cubesat size P-Pod

 

p-pod-orbital-deployer.jpg

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Unobscured Vision

Now we're talking. :yes: It could launch a couple thousand of those at a time and still be waaaaay under-budget on weight. Not necessarily space, but weight. If they can get the ejector system compact enough.

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DocM

The Mk-41 Vertical Launch System on US warships uses the same idea.

 

1280px-US_Navy_030303-N-3235P-503_A_tops

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Unobscured Vision

Oooh .. and the 'Shuttle Doors' concept could integrate a decent Solar Array too on the inside of each half of the door. If they do that x8 for each 1/4 turn ... well, that's efficient use of space and it frees up the problems of thermal regulation too (since the doors doubled as heat dissipators).

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DocM

That pending ITS update is getting interesting'er by the day.

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  • 4 weeks later...
DocM

 

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patseguin

I read a very interesting article about the recent declassifying of the Orion project from the 60's. This was 50+ years ago and they had plans for trips to Mars and Saturn. Why can they not now find a way away from chemical rockets and move to atomic/nuclear? I just have trouble with something called interplanetary when it only travels 20,000 mph.

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Unobscured Vision

Oooh ... so it is going to return in its' launch cradle, as suspected ... that's big.

5 minutes ago, patseguin said:

I read a very interesting article about the recent declassifying of the Orion project from the 60's. This was 50+ years ago and they had plans for trips to Mars and Saturn. Why can they not now find a way away from chemical rockets and move to atomic/nuclear? I just have trouble with something called interplanetary when it only travels 20,000 mph.

Because Nuclear is a dead-end for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being is it is extremely dirty. Can't re-use the ships, so it's extremely wasteful too. And on top of that there's a much better and more promising technology (plural, really, technologies) that are much, much safer. Nuclear fusion can act as a power source in space, though -- but as a propulsive force, no. Just, no.

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DocM

The Orion project was very "dirty" from the nuclear waste aspect, and very complex, being propelled by exploding nuclear bombs behind the vehicle and being pushed by the shockwave and radiation pressure.  Yeah, great idea :rolleyes:

 

Nuclear thermal works for a single burn, but it isn't generally re-startable (you need 2 for a round trip) and it couldn't be used for launching off Earth for safety reasons. 

 

Nuclear-electric using the electrical output to power a plasma rocket engine like VASIMR, an advanced ELF or other electric drive is great, except for the power to weight ratio of the reactor - they're still too heavy and cooling is an issue. Work in progress.

 

Direct fusion drives are MUCH closer. Fusion isn't that hard, it's extracting enough electrical power for use by a utility and contamination of the reaction  chamber that are hard to deal with.  A maker can build a Fusor in his garage and produce fusion reactions for $500 or so. A direct fusion drive would use the fusion by-products from a more powerful device as the reaction mass (exhaust). Examples: MSNW's pulsed fusion drive, an evolved VASIMR using deuterium, etc.

 

ITS goes a LOT faster than 20,000 mph. More like 62,600+ mph.

 

 

Edited by DocM
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DocM

Just before Musk talks about Mars at IAC-2017 (Sept. 25-29, 2017).  Maybe some Raptor updates & video. Hey, we can hope!

 

http://mailchi.mp/marssociety/48wet1x6jk-1101909?e=66242eccde

 

Quote

SpaceX's Tom Mueller to Address 2017 Mars Society Convention

 

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that Tom Mueller, Propulsion Chief Technology Officer for SpaceX, will speak about his company's ongoing development and plans for travel to the Red Planet at the 20th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for September 7-10 at the University of California Irvine.

A founding employee of SpaceX, Mr. Mueller focuses on new technology developments for propulsion, including Mars main propulsion and surface power. Prior to becoming SpaceX CTO  in 2014, he served as the company's Vice President of Propulsion Engineering for 12 years, helping with design and development of propulsion systems for the Falcon launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft.

Mr. Mueller received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Idaho and later graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Master of Science degree in the same field of engineering. He also holds several U.S. patents for propulsion technology.

For additional information about the 2017 Mars Society Convention, including registration details for the four-day convention and evening banquet as well as a list of confirmed speakers, please visit our web site (www.marssociety.org). The full 2017 program itinerary will be posted online in the near future.

 

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SALSN
20 hours ago, patseguin said:

I just have trouble with something called interplanetary when it only travels 20,000 mph.

I just want to point out that the label "interplanetary" has no relation to speed, We all want to get to our destinations fast, but even a generation ship going to Mars would be interplanetary.

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DocM

593c7cf3d7349_kid_Musk_letter.thumb.jpg.0f88b1f6c4475004509821f1186a1131.jpg

 

 

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