SpaceX plans to send unmanned Dragon spacecraft to Mars by 2018, with humans to follow


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[quote=“xeni, post:1, topic:77341”]
send unmanned Dragon spacecraft to Mars by 2018, with humans to follow[/quote]

All things considered, I think I’d rather go inside the spacecraft.


Late stage capitalism.


Isn’t this Late Stage Colonialism?


Will Elon Musk claim Mars in the name of SPECTRE?


How many stages does a capitalist Mars rocket need?


As many as the market will bear!


Are these going to be able to deliver payload to Mars, or is this just a proof of concept flight?

We could leave it there, I’m sure Mark Watney will find a use for it :slight_smile:


He’ll science the shit out of it, no doubt.


So, the moon by 2019 in time for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11?


I hope it’s very very early stage Colonialism.


They can’t just land a human crew the same way as “Curiosity?”


This is about Mars, not the moon. But SpaceX is contracted to launch one of the Lunar X Prize rovers, currently scheduled for the second half of 2017.

The first planned flight of the Space Launch System is scheduled to toss an unmanned Orion spacecraft around the Moon on a free return trajectory in 2018.

China, India and Japan have unmanned lunar landers currently scheduled for around that time too.

No-one has any plans - that is, green-lighted, funded plans - to send humans to the moon or Mars.


Nope. The parachutes don’t scale up.

Mars has only about 1% of earth’s atmosphere. Curiosity’s parachute slowed it from about 1000mph to 200mph - before releasing the rover to land on rockets. With the mass needed for a manned landing you’d need a parachute the size of a stadium. You’d be hitting the ground by the time it fully opened.


The alternative landing method, from the ‘Wile E. Coyote’ school of interplanetary flight, uses giant air pillows to cushion a very bouncy landing. I don’t know of any astronaut that would like to be landed in bubble wrap, like a FedEx parcel.


That’s what the Pathfinder, Spirit and Opportunity rovers used. It wasn’t used for Curiosity because Curiosity is much larger and the airbag system didn’t scale up well.

Also the system used heat shields AND parachutes AND rockets AND air bags. And like Curiosity;s sky crane, a separate throw-away lander with it’s own power and computer and other systems to control it all. There was some valid criticism over how complicated it was.


That was actually the point of the joke. It was a joke. Maybe the video didn’t work.


I’m doing my part!


Jokes don’t scale up very well.


First Stage Diasporism?