SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System (updates)


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IsItPluggedIn

I suppose the "travel to" really isnt the biggest problem though. I remember Elon saying previously that SpaceX is a transport company. Im guessing the habitats on the moon/mars will be funded by governments and may be unwilling to allow non citizens to utilize their Habs. 

 

It will require a large amount of funding from some very wealthy individuals to build a commercial one with continued resupply.

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DocM

For early scout missions with a crew of up to 20 or so, the ship can be the habitation. The version at the last IAC had a capacity of up to 100 persons with 300+ tonnes of cargo.  That's a lot of burritos.

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patseguin
14 hours ago, SALSN said:

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.

Good point. I guess if I took a row boat to Europe and it took me 5 years to get there, it would still be an intercontinental boat. ;-)

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bguy_1986
On ‎6‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 11:53 PM, IsItPluggedIn said:

I suppose the "travel to" really isnt the biggest problem though. I remember Elon saying previously that SpaceX is a transport company. Im guessing the habitats on the moon/mars will be funded by governments and may be unwilling to allow non citizens to utilize their Habs. 

 

It will require a large amount of funding from some very wealthy individuals to build a commercial one with continued resupply.

idk, I could see us working together with another country on moon/mars habitats just like we have with the ISS.  Setting up a hab on another planet is a very large and expensive project.  I think we'll need another government to help put resources towards it.  However, price keeps coming down after we get rid of the waste and companies that take advantage of the dummies in government, so who knows.

 

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FloatingFatMan

Y'know... People keep saying they can use 3D printers to build on the Moon or Mars using local regolith, or using inflatable habs covered in local regolith to protect from radiation etc, but I've yet to see a working demonstrations of this technology here on Earth...  I think they kinda need to prove the tech can work, being built entirely by robots as they claim, before spending the megabucks needed to send it to space...

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DocM

There are two Below testbeds (Genesis I & II) that have been inflated and in orbit since 2006 and 2007 respectively and they're still good, and their BEAM module has been attached to ISS for a year and it's also still good with a year left on its official mission.

 

Modules can be the cylindrical we've seen, a hemispherical dome "igloo" or the half cylinder shape of a Quonset hut. The tech works.

 

That regolith; Lunar, Martian, or plain old Terran, can shield against radiation is Radiation Physics 101 and has been tested on Earth. Bigelow proposes simply filling tubes made of Kevlar and the well proven beta cloth (silica fibers + teflon, used by NASA since forever) with regolith and draping them over the hab, which has been tested in 1G (on Earth) so .38G or less shouldn't be an issue. That or simply bury the hab as ESA proposes for the Lunar Village.

 

KISS.

 

The 3D printing of structures on Earth is a fast moving tech that'll seriously impact the construction industry worldwide. NASA, ESA and and commercial outfits are rapidly adapting techniques to use it on the Moon, Mars, asteroids, whatever.

 

There are already missions planned to test 3D manufacturing in orbit such as one by Tethers Unlimited for NASA which prints girders for solar arrays, kilometer wide antennas and even habitats. Look up Spiderfab.

 

 

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+John.
2 hours ago, DocM said:

There are two Below testbeds (Genesis I & II) that have been inflated and in orbit since 2006 and 2007 respectively and they're still good, and their BEAM module has been attached to ISS for a year and it's also still good with a year left on its official mission.

 

Holy hell. I thought when they retired it they'd put it into a controlled deorbit. 

 

To know they're still up there plodding along is mindblowing. It's ridiculous to think we've not pushed harder with this tech.

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FloatingFatMan
4 hours ago, DocM said:

 

There are two Below testbeds (Genesis I & II) that have been inflated and in orbit since 2006 and 2007 respectively and they're still good, and their BEAM module has been attached to ISS for a year and it's also still good with a year left on its official mission.

 

Modules can be the cylindrical we've seen, a hemispherical dome "igloo" or the half cylinder shape of a Quonset hut. The tech works.

 

That regolith; Lunar, Martian, or plain old Terran, can shield against radiation is Radiation Physics 101 and has been tested on Earth. Bigelow proposes simply filling tubes made of Kevlar and the well proven beta cloth (silica fibers + teflon, used by NASA since forever) with regolith and draping them over the hab, which has been tested in 1G (on Earth) so .38G or less shouldn't be an issue. That or simply bury the hab as ESA proposes for the Lunar Village.

 

And what about the machinery to deploy all this, or are we expecting the astronauts to build and dig manually for a few weeks after arrival?

 

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DocM

Bigelow's test of covering modules with regolith filled tube bags was done manually, but could be automated.  

 

A full scale ITS could haul upwards of 400 tonnes to Mars, which would include electric or methalox powered construction robots. NASA and Caterpillar have been working on them for ages, and another possibility for contoured trenching or tunnel work would be a robotic roadheader, a COTS item. Change the cutting head for the work required.

 

I'd be shocked if Musk & Tesla didn't have their own ideas.

 

AQM150--Roadheader.jpg

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IsItPluggedIn

I thought that was the real reason behind the boring company, to eventually be used on Mars.

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Unobscured Vision

:yes: All roads lead to Mars right now.

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DocM
46 minutes ago, IsItPluggedIn said:

I thought that was the real reason behind the boring company, to eventually be used on Mars.

TBM's are good for the big, round tunnels, but roadheaders are better for mining, shaping/enlarging that round tunnel into another configuration such as a floored tunnel, doing a shorter primary dig, or for smaller jobs including trenches, connectors, alcoves etc.

 

 

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FloatingFatMan
12 hours ago, DocM said:

A full scale ITS could haul upwards of 400 tonnes to Mars, which would include electric or methalox powered construction robots. NASA and Caterpillar have been working on them for ages, and another possibility for contoured trenching or tunnel work would be a robotic roadheader, a COTS item. Change the cutting head for the work required.

Lots of possibilities yes, but no actual proven hardware yet, which is my point!  This stuff takes just as long to develop and get right as does the transport, so where is it? Not CGI concepts, actual functioning prototypes!

 

You can't just take some standard Earth based equipment and use it on another planet.  For a start, it's got to be able to work on a vacuum, and it's got to be able to function with low gravity which makes digging rather a lot more difficult...

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DocM

Weight: yes, the machine weighs .3711 of Earth. So does a scoop full of Martian regolith. And if you're smart you add a ballast box to the each end of the digger and fill it with rocks as needed. Empty ballast boxes are lighter to fly there than ballast weights.

 

NASA Chariot B: multipurpose planetary vehicle chassis. Add the cab/config you need. Made for dirty places, and a vacuum. 19 kph. Different wheels on Mars, of course. Want to make a pickup truck, back-hauler, grader, scoop etc? Build and attach it to the Chariot drive system.

 

Tested for extended periods at the NASA Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) simulated Mars base in the middle of the Black Point Lava Flow in northern Arizona - very similar to Mars. The "astronauts" even have to wear suits when venturing outside.

 

 

Chariot B with an early version of the Space Exploration Vehicle lunar/Mars buggy. The two rectangular "doors" at the rear are suit ports; the back of the suit docks to the port, allowing the astronaut to re-enter the SEV while the suit, and all the fine dust on it, stays outside.

 

 

Later version of SEV, outfitted as a free-flying Pod, tested on an air table for floatation.

 

6521732985_453d600683_b.jpg

 

One of the Desert RATS setups

 

1280px-Space_Electric_Vehicles_and_Habit

 

Edited by DocM
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FloatingFatMan

I wasn't aware of the Chariot B chassis, so thanks for that, but I've seen the SEV before and, IMO, it's far too big and heavy and slow to ever actually get flown off planet.  They might have decent capacity on the launchers, but those things are still too heavy.

 

Why are they using such heavy materials still? Wouldn't carbon fibre composites be much stronger and far far lighter? As for those wheels... OMG... Maybe these designers should talk to people in the offroad car industry for some ideas on how to build for rough terrain...  Here's a clue, teeny tiny wheels are not good, no matter how many of 'em you've got.

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DocM

Composites will be used - the ITS Booster and Spaceship are almost entirely composites. An SEV derived vehicle would be no different; metal where needed, composites where logical.

 

I noted the wheels for Moon/Mars would differ, and off-road wheels for Earth would not work. They'd be shredded in a few miles. 

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FloatingFatMan
1 hour ago, DocM said:

and off-road wheels for Earth would not work. They'd be shredded in a few miles. 

Why? Because of materials?  You don't use actual earth wheels, just take inspiration from their designs. Besides, no Moon/Mars buggy is going to be doing 60mph...

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DocM
2 hours ago, FloatingFatMan said:

Why? Because of materials?  You don't use actual earth wheels, just take inspiration from their designs. Besides, no Moon/Mars buggy is going to be doing 60mph...

Because polymer tires are no good at 120° K, and sharp volcanic and meteoric rocks will shred it even if warmer. Curiosity uses aluminum wheels, and they're wearing through. Odds are larger vehicle wheels will need to be made with a tougher hub and wear surfaces of a hard superalloy like Inconel.

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FloatingFatMan

Like I said, you don't use normal materials.  It's the design that matters most.

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DocM
4 minutes ago, FloatingFatMan said:

Like I said, you don't use normal materials.  It's the design that matters most.

Still needs to be different. Earth tires have grooves from center to edge to channel water out, preventing hydroplaning. Not an issue on Mars or the Moon. They need wheels with high chevron shaped ridges to prevent sliding on hillsides, digging through sand & gravel etc.

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FloatingFatMan
2 minutes ago, DocM said:

Still needs to be different. Earth tires have grooves from center to edge to channel water out, preventing hydroplaning. Not an issue on Mars or the Moon. They need wheels with high chevron shaped ridges to prevent sliding on hillsides, digging through sand & gravel etc.

*sigh* Doc, have you even been reading what I've posted?  I'm talking about OFFROAD tyres, which have exactly the chevron ridges you're talking about...

 

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DocM

And channels with broad, elevated,  faceted traction surfaces; a hybrid traction surface. I have a set on the pickup.  Not like this

 

20140818_wheel-diagram_f840.jpg

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DocM

 

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Unobscured Vision

Evolving plans built on honesty and critical thought are the most likely to succeed, but I'd caution Musk & Co. against too much feature creep. Solidify things that can be set in stone and get it moving posigrade.

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