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Zorro

(15,948 posts)
Sun Sep 29, 2019, 10:12 AM Sep 2019

SpaceX Unveils Silvery Vision to Mars: 'It's Basically an I.C.B.M. That Lands'



As you drive east along Texas State Highway 4, it looks like a giant, shiny and pointy grain silo is rising out of the scrubby flatland at the tip of southern Texas.

But it is the first version of a spaceship design that Elon Musk, the entrepreneur and founder of the rocket company SpaceX, hopes will be humanity’s first ride to Mars.

Within a month or two, he says optimistically, this prototype of the Starship spacecraft — without anyone aboard — will blast off to an altitude of 12 miles, then return to the ground in one piece.

“It’s going to be pretty epic to see that thing take off and come back,” Mr. Musk said late on Saturday at a SpaceX facility outside Brownsville, Tex., where Starship is being built.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/29/science/elon-musk-spacex-starship.html
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SpaceX Unveils Silvery Vision to Mars: 'It's Basically an I.C.B.M. That Lands' (Original Post) Zorro Sep 2019 OP
Does look like a spaceship should unc70 Sep 2019 #1
A giant bullet Bayard Sep 2019 #2
The liquid methane / liquid oxygen raptor engines are interesting... hunter Sep 2019 #3
I believe Musk chose methane Zorro Sep 2019 #5
Great trick, that. Kid Berwyn Sep 2019 #4

hunter

(38,590 posts)
3. The liquid methane / liquid oxygen raptor engines are interesting...
Sun Sep 29, 2019, 11:55 AM
Sep 2019

... and a departure from the kerosene/lox or liquid hydrogen/lox engines of the past.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raptor_%28rocket_engine_family%29

Personally, I don't see any point in sending humans to Mars.

If I had money to burn for space exploration I'd spend it on robots and artificial intelligence.

Humans are incredibly fragile beings. It's a useless effort to keep them alive beyond low earth orbit.

If we humans don't kill ourselves and our civilization first then the solar system will belong to our synthetic intellectual offspring, creatures who can walk about on the surface of Mars naked.

If our intellectual offspring like us, maybe they'll take us along for the ride someday.

Zorro

(15,948 posts)
5. I believe Musk chose methane
Sun Sep 29, 2019, 12:00 PM
Sep 2019

is because it can be manufactured on Mars for any return trip. Of course there's a few other problems that would need to get ironed out, but that's the thinking.

There's a long but very interesting youtube video on the tradeoffs between different rocket engine designs.

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