SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System (updates)


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The real surprise is the mass-to-LEO number for ITS. It's now expected to max out at 550 mT (for anyone who hasn't read the revised .pdf, here, Fig.7 on page 6).

 

What can be attributed to this improvement? Only SpaceX can say right now, but I assure you that it's not only gonna be an improvement in the engines. That's one factor, but not the only factor.

 

What does this mean? Raptor's a darn good engine. SpaceX wants to capitalize on that strength -- and they should -- but SpaceX needs to be careful not to overstate or oversell. I'm urging, if anything, for SpaceX to do what it does best: unique and innovative design, great Engineering, achieve feats once thought impossible, but don't shoot themselves in the foot by "being the hype".

 

I'm a Disciple in the Church of Elon too ... but what's needed now is speaking truth to power. :yes: 

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I'm thinking they've already squeezed more thrust, a few points of Isp and mass optimizations out of Raptor than expected. These alone would make for a damned sight bigger push uphill.

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Agreed. :yes: Sometimes all the above just needs to be said for the sake of being said.

 

And now that it's been stated ... insert launch keys and push da button. :D 

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  • 1 month later...

Blows the 12-Meter speculation out of the water. Okay then. Expect ITS-Junior to be Saturn-Class with a 25% bump in lifting power. And that's going to be for LEO/GTO ops, and lighter-duty TLI+.

 

(Heh ... "lighter-duty" ... lmao ... relative to ITS proper.)

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Oh ... my ... giddy ... Aunt ... :woot::yes::D

 

ITS Junior is gonna be something truly special, folks. Just when ya think you've read it all, heard it all, and seen it all ... 

 

Okay picture this: what ITS is going to do for Mars and Ceres (and likely elsewhere), Junior is going to do for the Moon and Earth SOI stuff ... at DOUBLE the passenger capacity. That's right, because of the short amount of time Earth SOI (sphere of influence) flights will take, namely a few days at the most, ITS Junior will be set up more like a "passenger carrier" than anything else.

 

I wanna buy a ticket. :D 

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The guys at NSF have taken to calling the subscale launcher ITSy (implication being BITSy is the Booster or Big ITS).

 

The net lift of ITSy will depend on the thrust of the first generation Raptors, and how many they pack into its 9 meter core. Assuming they keep the 7 engine center cluster from BITSy for commonality, the engine count comes down to the number in the outer ring. This could be any number up to perhaps 14 (yielding 21 engines) or so. I'm of the opinion this will be an even number so if an engine fails thrust balancing can be done by shutting down the opposite engine; KISS.

 

Pick a number, then make your bets for September 29.

 

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Wow. That'll keep the thrust numbers above Saturn-V's output by a LOT too. My subscription at NSF ran out and I haven't renewed yet, so I don't have access to any of this info right now.

 

[EDIT] Well, I was going to say that 21 was too many. I almost hit 'submit reply' with my guesstimation that put the engine count at 18 ... then I thought about it a little more.

 

If SpaceX uses a 2:1 scheme at 9 meters, that would give them room to do all of the sensors, thermal stuff, plumbing, etc that they'd need to do for the lower ring including whatever hardware they'd need for the landing cradle. Then I thought about "well, what would go in the center of the ring?" .. three more engines. Brings the count up to 21.

 

So, 21 engines is completely plausible. It'll be a really tight fit, no doubt, but it's do-able. And who's gonna argue with 14,490,000 lbf of thrust (a 49.38% increase over Saturn V)??

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That evaluation isn't L2, it's been public side.

 

Even if this vehicle isn't as tall as Atlas V or SLS it could potentially out-lift them, depending on the engine count etc.

 

OTOH, they may go for a lighter class launcher, say 100 tonnes or so. 

 

Coin flip.

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I see. Okay.

 

Even if they limit the count to 16, it'll still be cranking out 11,040,000 lbf at launch. If we factor in the massive improvements in weight reduction (materials used in construction, etc), it'll absolutely outperform anything and everything before or since from an efficiency standpoint. I think it'll even do better than the Falcon-9. :D 100 mT will be easy for it to push uphill.

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Yessir. :yes: Entire orbital planes launched at once, up to and including constellations in a single go if the birds are light enough and there's enough fuel for the 360-degree inclination changes that are needed to pull it off. Granted, it'd get easier as the birds are deployed (less fuel needed per inclination change).

 

I could see OneWeb being launched like this as sort of a proof-of-concept to demonstrate the potential of ITSy. :D Only thing that would limit it is the space to put all of the birds inside the S2, really.

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There is discussion of adding a second launch mount on LC-39A for ITSy (the 9 meter ITS). This would be positioned closer to the flame trench outlet, and would be fed rockets by a new ramp and very large hangar at up to 90° to the existing F9/FH ramp.

 

The concept came out of the black of L2 in an article by Chris Bergin of NASASpaceFlight.com about LC-39B, and was picked up by Teslarati.com - which also published concept images,

 

NSF (the LC-39A stuff is in the last half, but the entire article is worth the read!)

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/07/installation-flame-deflector-sls-begins-39b/

 

Teslarati

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-florida-launch-pad-falcon-mars-vehicle/

Edited by DocM
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Can't say we didn't see this coming either. ;) Cooperative use of 39-B, I mean ... if SpaceX is tempted to bite on an offer for its' use.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 1 month later...

They go on to talk about this being a sign of  BFR flights from Boca Chica rather than Cape Canaveral, but that's not so because a second BFR factory is in the works for the Cape. More likely they'll fly the beasts from both.

 

Google Map....

 

https://www.wired.com/story/spacex-gears-up-to-finally-actually-launch-the-falcon-heavy/

 

Quote


>
WIRED has learned that SpaceX is actively considering expanding its San Pedro, California facility to begin manufacturing its interplanetary spacecraft. This would allow SpaceX to easily shift personnel from headquarters in Hawthorne.
>

 

San Pedro, CA ASDS Just Read the Instructions ops site

 

Screenshot_20180201-224315.thumb.jpg.888cb0d36b2ec4661105bc38f732ebfc.jpg

 

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Yeah ... unless they're planning to fly cargo BFR/BFS from Vandy -- or if they're seriously going to pursue point-to-point BFS Passenger travel. Then they'd need as much mfg capacity as possible.

 

I still think that they're going to do some component fab work there, then ship out to the other places for assembly. There's stuff that can only be done at Hawthorne after all, at least right now.

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Are you guys familiar with Curious Droid and his YouTube channel?  A really good, fact based channel about all things space.  He's just done a fascinating video about the history of manned Mars missons since the start of rocketry.  Take a look if you have a spare 14 minutes!

 

 

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YESssssss.....

 

US Department of Commerce OSC is getting on board for NewSpace Earth? Point-2-Point transport.

 

This goes along with the first National Space Council meeting where the Secretary of Transportation and others showed a high interest.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

SpaceX's Paul Wooster, Principal Mars Development Engineer, will be giving an MIT talk,

 

"Beyond the Cradle 2018: Envisioning a New Space Age"

 

Saturday March 10, 2018 at 1330 Eastern. 

 

https://www.media.mit.edu/events/beyond-the-cradle-2018/

 

Livestream (Track A)

 

http://legacyweb.media.mit.edu/events/medialabtalk/

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