SpaceX Mars presentation: IAC 2017


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Unobscured Vision

So BFR Junior ends up being the 1.0 model. Elon alluded to future versions being larger and more powerful like in last year's presentation when the platform as a whole was first unveiled. Makes a lot of sense simply because it can fill roles that are currently occupied by more complex (but partially disposable) platforms on up to Saturn V's LEO capability. At the same time it doesn't "step on NASA's toes" .... yet.

 

Interesting to see where this leads.

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DocM

Upfates via Gwynne Shotwell at an event

 

Larger Raptor production soon. (They were testing a 200 bar pressure engine, now moving up)

 

First BFR factory at Port of LA, shipped by barge. 

 

Later BFR factories at the launch sites. 

 

Boca Chica is a BFR launch site.

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Beittil

Looks like SpaceX is going to need a bigger fleet of boats :)

 

I wonder why they go for a factory in LA first, Boca Chica would make much more sense. 

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DocM

For early tests they can ship them through the Panama Canal to Boca Chica for testing and  early launches. Low volume.

 

Later, the LA factory can serve Vandenberg and they can build new factories at each BFR/BFS launch site; KSC, Boca Chica, maybe another in Camden County, Alabama where a new Spaceport is ramping up. Camden was runner up to Boca Chica during SpaceX's selection process.

 

http://spaceportcamden.us

 

Spaceport Camden 

 

Spaceport-Map-a.thumb.jpg.09cc3b4c35b2f0a714862bf4f4c0d2a8.jpg

Edited by DocM
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Unobscured Vision

The facilities down there are still under design and development, and won't be finished for at least three years. They'll need another year or two after that to shake it down and get it operational. Should be good to go around 2021-2022.

 

SpaceX needs other stuff up and running before then, that's why they're doing it the way they are. Expect more buildings at the Cape (and probably VAFB) to spring up almost overnight. BFR/BFS is a massive project and needs lots and lots of infrastructure.

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Unobscured Vision

Oh, and there's some interesting talk about BFR/BFS's flight profile in Academic circles. Anything on the Gulf will be fine, doesn't have to be Florida-launched. NASA guidelines dictate that rockets need to fly over water, but a "dogleg maneuver" that changes inclination mid-launch is acceptable -- and BFR has plenty of excess delta-v to work with most of the time. Only time it won't is when it's launching 100+ mT of hardware.

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DocM

They recently said Boca Chica was going to be ready at the end of 2018 or early 2019.

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Unobscured Vision

Depends on which phase of construction we're talking about.

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FloatingFatMan
On 9/29/2017 at 7:02 AM, DocM said:

 

I've been doing some thinking about this and, tbh, I don't think it's going to be even remotely possible to do this.  Not in 30 minutes anyway.

 

1.  It will take more than 30 minutes to load passengers from terminal to launcher.

2.  You can't fuel the ship until its ready to launch, and that will take more than 30 minutes, easy.

3.  No city in its right mind will allow a rocket to land or take off just off the shore like that video shows. The acoustic shock alone will cause untold damage to windows etc, not to mention what could happen if there's a failure. (BIG kaboom).

4.  There's no way they're going to get the travel cost down to the area of even first class air travel IMO.

5.  Who's going to run the very high risk of getting blown to pieces for a (not even) faster trip to your destination?

 

So, nice idea, but IMO, just not workable at all for Earth to Earth transport. There's a reason NASA gave up on this idea decades ago, you know...  I'd rather Musk just concentrate on getting us out into space.

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DocM

When talking about a suborbital trip to OZ, they're talking a 30 minute flight time versus 15+ hours for an aircraft. BFS wins even with terminal transfers, gassing up, etc. Those are not going to eat up 14.5 hours.

 

An offshore launch complex platform, similar to an oil platform, could be served by a high speed ferry relatively easily, and quickly. The Island airport at Toronto can be reached in under 2 minutes of ferry trip time for the 150 meters or so ride. Somehow they manage to load/unload the ferry expeditiously, which is the long pole when you're only talking a trip of a 10 miles or less.

 

Noise,

 

A Falcon Heavy launch meets FAA noise guidelines at only 2.7 miles away from Boca Chica Village, per the EIS. BFS in single stage to orbit mode has about 2/3 the thrust of a Falcon Heavy. 

 

A full Booster+BFS stack would have a little more than double the thrust of a Falcon Heavy, 12+ mlbf vs 5.2 mlbf, putting the FAA noise level limit at more like a few miles given spherical acoustic dispersal. Using modern ferrys that's still not a very long trip.

 

 

 

 

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Skiver
9 minutes ago, DocM said:

An offshore launch complex platform, similar to an oil platform, could be served by a high speed ferry relatively easily, and quickly. The Island airport at Toronto can be reached in under 2 minutes of ferry trip time for the 150 meters or so ride. Somehow they manage to load/unload the ferry expeditiously, which is the long pole when you're only talking a trip of a 10 miles or less.

 

 

 

 

 

1

I mean surely a hyperloop is the obvious thing to use here? 

 

Boring company does an unground/water tunnel X miles out and then hyperloop gets you there in seconds/minutes.

 

I was thinking the same as FFM however with regards to cost. Surely the cost of sending one of these things up is going to outweigh a 747 going pretty much anywhere in the world, may be cheaper over time but I can't imagine your average joe being able to afford a trip on one of these.

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+Mirumir

RE: Becoming Multiplanet Species

 

This is a very intriguing thought.

 

I wonder about the evolutionary processes of our successors living on separate plants, how their genetic make-up will differ in thousands of years. The human race may diverge into separate species.

 

One day, once we've colonized some distant planets, we'll split into Harkonnen and Atreides.

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DocM
40 minutes ago, Mirumir said:

RE: Becoming Multiplanet Species

 

This is a very intriguing thought.

 

I wonder about the evolutionary processes of our successors living on separate plants, how their genetic make-up will differ in thousands of years. The human race may diverge into separate species.

>

Virtually guaranteed, and it won't take thousands of years.  Some may well be intentional, such as the work DARPA and others are  doing on genetic modification for radiation resistance.

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FloatingFatMan
17 hours ago, Mirumir said:

RE: Becoming Multiplanet Species

 

This is a very intriguing thought.

 

I wonder about the evolutionary processes of our successors living on separate plants, how their genetic make-up will differ in thousands of years. The human race may diverge into separate species.

 

One day, once we've colonized some distant planets, we'll split into Harkonnen and Atreides.

They will almost certainly be taller and physically weaker compared to Earth humans, due to the lower gravity.  They'll probably be able to manage much better at lower air pressure's too.

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+John.
1 hour ago, FloatingFatMan said:

They will almost certainly be taller and physically weaker compared to Earth humans, due to the lower gravity.  They'll probably be able to manage much better at lower air pressure's too.

*cough* Belters *cough* #theexpanse

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Beittil
1 hour ago, John. said:

*cough* Belters *cough* #theexpanse

Lol, I was just going to say the same :D I really love how they described that in the books, since in the TV show Belters more or less look the same as Earthers... but with tattoos :p

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flyingskippy

Also, with point to point there isn't anything saying that SpaceX couldn't use sea water to produce the fuel and LOX for the flight. If they are developing the technology to use on Mars, why not use it here....

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DocM
1 hour ago, flyingskippy said:

Also, with point to point there isn't anything saying that SpaceX couldn't use sea water to produce the fuel and LOX for the flight. If they are developing the technology to use on Mars, why not use it here....

Atmospheric CO2 + H2 + O2  (both extracted from seawater, as subs do) + some ambient O2 gives you both propellants, water and heat. Sabatier process.

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Unobscured Vision

We just did a study using some next-gen ISRU tech with Sabatier and Fischer–Tropsch processes for converting Earth-based soil pollutants and excess CO2 into usable things. It works better than advertised, folks. WAY better. Earth-based ISRU stuff is gonna cure ALL of what ails us, and soon.

 

Wait till ya see it go.

 

Derivatives of these processes and technology are going to be implemented on Mars. :yes: 

 

So why a Fischer-Tropsch process? We get hydrocarbons out of it. In getting those hydrocarbons we can make plastics. With plastics we can employ 3D printers for making useful odds and ends. :D 

 

You heard it here first. :rofl::shifty:

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Unobscured Vision

OH -- and it removes chlorides bound to H2O. Scales up to Industrial sizes. We did those experiments today. Ratio 1.05:0.90. Some other stuff in seawater besides the chlorides, but it works quite well and the NaCl/H2O/CO2/CH3 (yep, perchlorates) slurry left over that couldn't be separated out any further can be further refined by other processes. Lots of stuff that can be done with Na, Cl, H2O and CH3. :yes: 

 

Tip of the iceberg, really.

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FloatingFatMan
2 hours ago, Unobscured Vision said:

OH -- and it removes chlorides bound to H2O. Scales up to Industrial sizes. We did those experiments today. Ratio 1.05:0.90. Some other stuff in seawater besides the chlorides, but it works quite well and the NaCl/H2O/CO2/CH3 (yep, perchlorates) slurry left over that couldn't be separated out any further can be further refined by other processes. Lots of stuff that can be done with Na, Cl, H2O and CH3. :yes: 

 

Tip of the iceberg, really.

One has to wonder why such things aren't already being done.  These chemical processes aren't exactly brand new, so what's stopped them being used industrially before?  Cost?

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Unobscured Vision

Well, the technology and processes that make it all work is still being developed. That's what my University and others have been tasked with researching, and I'm pleased to be a part of it. Now we think we understand how to make it possible on the larger scales that should prompt Governments and Corporations to spring into action (finally).

 

It wasn't cost, it was knowing how to do it en masse. The old systems and methods (filtration, etc) are woefully expensive and complicated, requiring lots of maintenance to keep them running, etc., and don't really produce as much as one would think. These new methods are doing it at the molecular level, are quite efficient and the leftover products aren't "waste" since they can and likely will be used elsewhere. There's a big demand for table salt, yes? CH3 (perchlorates) in Chemistry labs all over the world use it too, and the CO2 can be fed into Sabatier cookers to produce CH4 + H + N2 and so forth. Lots of demand for CH4 and free H as well as O2.

 

Speaking of the Sabatier reactors, the new ISRU models are going to enter the Patent Review phase soon, then it'll be on to Licensing and Production to anyone interested. THOSE chomp away at CO2 in the atmosphere, ground, ocean, wherever, and are scalable. Global Warming? NOT FOR LONG ONCE THOSE HIT THE STREETS:yes: 

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FloatingFatMan

Well, I'm no chemist so I don't know the current state of such processes. Maybe my son does... He's the highest scoring chemistry student his school has had for 15 years, is predicted A*'s for all his subjects (Math, Chemistry, Physics & Geography), and currently plans to go on to nuclear physics at university...

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DocM

IMO, ISRU is one of the coming killer apps both on Earth and in space. 

 

Resources from waste hits all the right buttons, and Musk is already talking about generating methane for BFR launches using (Earth) atmospheric CO2 be and the Sabatier process. Methane for power production and other uses could be low hanging fruit, plus it's an exothermic catalytic reaction so in winter you'd be producing methane fuel, water and outrageous amounts of heat. Win-Win-Win.

 

A team of NSF users published a paper at IAC about their proposed chemical factory modules designed to be hauled to Mars or where ever in BFS's cargo holds.  Very cool stuff.

Edited by DocM
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FloatingFatMan

I think what I really want to see is a functioning unit, the same as they intend to use on Mars, operating first in our atmosphere, and then in a simulated Martian one...  It's all well and good saying we'll get this and that out of it, but I like to see the actual results from a working model...

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