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Old 20th October 2017, 07:06 PM   #441
theprestige
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Smartcooky, your problem is, you conflate "we should explore" with "we should send humans".
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Old 20th October 2017, 07:32 PM   #442
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Smartcooky, your problem is, you conflate "we should explore" with "we should send humans".

I don't see that as a problem
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Old 20th October 2017, 07:51 PM   #443
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I don't see that as a problem
Right?

That's what I'm saying! New Horizons has enriched us all, and you're butthurt because humans haven't set foot on Pluto.

What you don't see is exactly the blindness I condemn.
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Old 20th October 2017, 10:49 PM   #444
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Right?

That's what I'm saying! New Horizons has enriched us all, and you're butthurt because humans haven't set foot on Pluto.

What you don't see is exactly the blindness I condemn.
Never mind flailing, now you are just flat out lying about what I said

"A manned Cassini or manned New Horizons mission would be a death sentence for the astronaut. "

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...7#post12039477

What you fail to understand is that I am not for "man must go everywhere", and I'm all for robot machines going where its impossible for humans to go. The Moon wasn't impossible, and nor is Mars. I'm also in favour of robot machines enhancing human missions.

On the other hand, its quite clear that you are a "man must NOT go anywhere" advocate. You want the human race to be forever planet-bound, and never leave the surface to go into space... not even into LEO if your anti-ISS stance is to be taken seriously... locked in the basement forever.

Well, sorry to disappoint, but that is not going to happen... the bird has already flown.
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Old 21st October 2017, 01:06 AM   #445
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
OK, you have me on a technicality, I'll rephrase for the pedants

If members of the human species always had this attitude to exploration, they would still be living in caves with "Ug" and a few other grunts as the extent of their vocabulary.
I didn't highlight "still" to suggest that you thought it was still going on, that wasn't implied in your post originally at all. What was implied was that it was the case at some point in the past. Cave dwelling certainly existed, but it was also certainly not the norm, so even if we never developed agriculture it's odd to portray a hunter-gatherer lifestyle as dwelling in caves.

That's the rather minor part of my objection, however. The major point is that "'Ug' and a few other grunts as the extent of their vocabulary" was never the case for homo sapiens, but even if it was there's no theory that I'm aware of that links the development of language to the drive for exploration, so your whole point seems to be pure pseudo-science.
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Old 21st October 2017, 01:12 AM   #446
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
What you fail to understand is that I am not for "man must go everywhere",
So there is value in robotic exploration?

Quote:
and I'm all for robot machines going where its impossible for humans to go. The Moon wasn't impossible, and nor is Mars. I'm also in favour of robot machines enhancing human missions.
The question isn't just whether or not it's impossible, but whether it's worth the cost.

Honestly, I think it is. I'm in favour of a great deal more robotic exploration, but I also think there's room for more of a human presence in space. Of course this would call for larger budgets for NASA, for instance, but I also think that with 5 times the funding NASA could do 50 times the science.

That, however, is just my opinion. What's not just my opinion is that those costs do exist. We should look at that objectively.
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Old 21st October 2017, 02:11 AM   #447
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I didn't highlight "still" to suggest that you thought it was still going on, that wasn't implied in your post originally at all. What was implied was that it was the case at some point in the past. Cave dwelling certainly existed, but it was also certainly not the norm, so even if we never developed agriculture it's odd to portray a hunter-gatherer lifestyle as dwelling in caves.

That's the rather minor part of my objection, however. The major point is that "'Ug' and a few other grunts as the extent of their vocabulary" was never the case for homo sapiens, but even if it was there's no theory that I'm aware of that links the development of language to the drive for exploration, so your whole point seems to be pure pseudo-science.
Firstly, if you took my comment that literally, then you failed to spot the Reducto ad Absurdum. My comment was just using the example of the archetypal (even if misleading) caveman as a vehicle to make a point



As for speech not being connected with exploration, well, I sort of disagree

It is well known and well understood that the development of speech and language in early hominids was directly connected to increased intelligence, and as far as I know, humans have been the only species on the planet to explore for the sake of it.
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Old 21st October 2017, 03:34 AM   #448
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On topic, SpaceX have released the slides from Musk's speech at IAC2017

http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/f...etary-2017.pdf
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Old 21st October 2017, 04:13 AM   #449
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Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
On topic, SpaceX have released the slides from Musk's speech at IAC2017

http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/f...etary-2017.pdf

Well that all looks rather impressive.

None of it looks too unfeasible, apart from the fuel on Mars thing. And the money.
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Old 21st October 2017, 04:43 AM   #450
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Well that all looks rather impressive.

None of it looks too unfeasible, apart from the fuel on Mars thing. And the money.
I heard a rumour (so inoculate yourself with some sodium chloride) that a small team at SpaceX has been working on robotic ISRU for a while now and have made progress.
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Old 21st October 2017, 04:55 AM   #451
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Its early days yet.

The safety record of jet airliners in their early years wasn't all that great either.
You're comparing apples to oranges. And it isn't early days. The technology has been there since the 40s, and even when launches are regular an the quality excellent, the failure rate is still a lot more than planes. Also, planes are used commercially thousands of times a day for about the same amount of time. It's not as if rockets are new technology. But when a plane crashes, at least the passengers have a fair chance to survive.
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Old 21st October 2017, 07:37 AM   #452
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Firstly, if you took my comment that literally, then you failed to spot the Reducto ad Absurdum.
Making arguments based on falsehoods doesn't tend to lead you anywhere useful.

Quote:
My comment was just using the example of the archetypal (even if misleading) caveman as a vehicle to make a point
And as such was based on and perpetuating a falsehood.

Quote:
As for speech not being connected with exploration, well, I sort of disagree

It is well known and well understood that the development of speech and language in early hominids was directly connected to increased intelligence, and as far as I know, humans have been the only species on the planet to explore for the sake of it.
Your point required a very specific truth to be true. There's no evidence for exploration as the driver for the evolution of language in humans.
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Old 21st October 2017, 09:25 AM   #453
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Originally Posted by phunk View Post
100% reusability. The Falcon Heavy still has an expensive disposable second stage.
Yes, that gets you about 25% reduction in cost (upper stage and fairing). Where does the rest of the magic come from?
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Old 21st October 2017, 09:41 AM   #454
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
Yes, that gets you about 25% reduction in cost (upper stage and fairing). Where does the rest of the magic come from?
Faster, cheaper reuse coupled with more flights per booster before refurbishment. And methane fuel instead of rp-1
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Old 21st October 2017, 09:56 AM   #455
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
DOH! The BFR is a 100% REUSABLE rocket!

The $2,200/kg you are quoting for Falcon Heavy INCLUDES THE TOTAL COST OF THE WHOLE BLOODY ROCKET!!!!!!!
Here's the thing. Today, what we have is a $65 million pricetag. Now, it's possible that Musk's reusability will bring down the price. However, reusing the upper stage and shroud would only reduce the price by about $15 million. We'll know it's working when Musk offers a lower price for launch. Until then you don't have much.

To be honest, I think talking about the cost of a BFR rocket which hasn't been designed yet using a Raptor engine that has no service life and hasn't even flown yet from a company that still doesn't have a man-rated vehicle is a bit ... premature. There's no argument quite as robust as emotion-driven special pleading. And, nothing shinier than a double standard polished to a high gloss.
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Old 21st October 2017, 11:00 AM   #456
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
Here's the thing. Today, what we have is a $65 million pricetag. Now, it's possible that Musk's reusability will bring down the price.
It already has. It's significantly cheaper to reuse, they just aren't passing most on those savings to the customer yet because they need to fund their development.
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Old 21st October 2017, 12:48 PM   #457
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Making arguments based on falsehoods doesn't tend to lead you anywhere useful.

And as such was based on and perpetuating a falsehood.

Your point required a very specific truth to be true. There's no evidence for exploration as the driver for the evolution of language in humans.
Nitpick, nitpick, nitpick... whatever!
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Old 21st October 2017, 01:15 PM   #458
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
Here's the thing. Today, what we have is a $65 million pricetag.
You are confusing the "retail" pricetag with the cost of a launch. When you buy a car for $49,000, that is what it costs you , but it isn't the cost of making the car.

http://spacenews.com/spacexs-reusabl...for-customers/

Confusing and occasionally contradictory statements about the cost savings to SpaceX — and to its customers —derived from multiple reuse of the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage has made it difficult to forecast reusability’s impact. Investment analysts at Jefferies have made a disinterested attempt to look at what satellite fleet operators might expect in savings. Conclusion: between 21 and 40 percent from current prices. Credit: Jefferies

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has said the first stage accounts for about 75 percent of the total vehicle cost. If the 40 percent gross-margin estimate were correct, that would mean a total first-stage cost of $27.5 million.

Musk has said the first-stage engine could be reused dozens of times. Jefferies assumes it is used 15 times.

If SpaceX passed on to its customers 50 percent of the cost savings, the company could reduce today’s Falcon 9 price by 21 percent, to $48.3 million, Jefferies concludes.

If SpaceX gave customers 100 percent of the savings, the launch price would drop by up to 40 percent, to $37 million.


Compare that with what it cost NASA to laucnh the Space Shuttle

STS
payload to LEO - 27,500 kg @ $450m

SpaceX FT
payload to LEO - 22,800kg @ $48m (50% cost saving)
payload to LEO - 22,800kg @ $37m (50% cost saving)
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Old 21st October 2017, 01:34 PM   #459
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
To be honest, I think talking about the cost of a BFR rocket which hasn't been designed yet using a Raptor engine that has no service life and hasn't even flown yet from a company that still doesn't have a man-rated vehicle is a bit ... premature. There's no argument quite as robust as emotion-driven special pleading. And, nothing shinier than a double standard polished to a high gloss.
In other words, don't comment based on speculation; don't declare things to be impossible when no actual details have been given, and especially don't criticize based on cynicism.

I can go with that (its what I have been suggesting since the beginning of the thread).

I would have thought that those who declared landing first stages using the rocket motor to be a pipe-dream, would have learned a valuable lesson on the dangers of making premature declarations of impossibility... apparently not.
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Old 8th November 2017, 05:45 PM   #460
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It's been reported that one of Musk's rockets exploded on Sunday. Sorry I don't have a link yet.
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Old 8th November 2017, 05:53 PM   #461
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Elon Musk's SpaceX suffers a rocket-engine failure during testing

Originally Posted by Washington Post
SpaceX is investigating why one of its rocket engines exploded during a test earlier this week at the company’s facility in Texas, the company confirmed Wednesday.

The explosion involved the next generation of the company's Merlin engine. The mishap occurred Sunday during what the company called a “qualification test.” No one was injured, but now the company founded by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk once again has to figure out what went wrong with its hardware...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...during-testing
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Old 8th November 2017, 09:08 PM   #462
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This was LOX Drop test, the engine wasn't running when it exploded...

We're also talking about a Block 5 Merlin engine here... they aren't even in service yet; currently, all Falcon 9s including the upcoming Falcon 9 Heavy due for launch on December 29, are using the proven Block 4 engines.
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Old 9th November 2017, 04:41 PM   #463
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Looking back over the last couple of pages.

Robotic exploration is excellent as far as it goes, it's great for relatively cheap initial exploration, recce, and detailed, pre-planned, scientific exploration.

For a first step a human presence in orbit controlling rovers would allow much faster response and produce at least a magnitude increase of the science performed. The limiting factor will them be the speed of the rovers, rather than the turn-around time for the commands.

Eventually, human exploration will be able to respond much faster. The present rovers have been phenomenally successful, but most of the work undertaken, could be done in less than a week of human exploration, but at fantastic cost.

So it boils down to how much we really want to spend. At the moment it is very expensive and will involve a huge amount of development, particularly for fuel production (ISRU technology). But these issues are not insurmountable. Costs for local human exploration are going to drop.

SpaceX has already severely affected costs to orbit, with BFR, it will affect costs to Lagrange, Moon and Mars. It will take time and money. But nothing is insurmountable.
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Old 11th November 2017, 10:37 PM   #464
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
You are confusing the "retail" pricetag with the cost of a launch.
Am I? Let's see:

Quote:
If SpaceX passed on to its customers 50 percent of the cost savings, the company could reduce today’s Falcon 9 price by 21 percent, to $48.3 million, Jefferies concludes.
This is almost exactly what I said.
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Old 11th November 2017, 10:46 PM   #465
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
In other words
Don't make projections on a rocket that hasn't been designed and doesn't even have a working motor yet. You know, that motor that keeps getting reduced in thrust for some reason.

We aren't talking about the current Falcon 9's. Those have been demonstrated to work. Hopefully we will soon have a demonstration of Falcon Heavy. But Musk's giant spaceship is nonsense and you know it.

Quote:
I would have thought that those who declared landing first stages using the rocket motor to be a pipe-dream, would have learned a valuable lesson on the dangers of making premature declarations of impossibility... apparently not.
You've lost me. Who are you talking about? Who declared it to be a pipe-dream? As far as I am aware this was demonstrated back with DC-X. Musk then duplicated the DC-X experiments with Grasshopper.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 03:53 PM   #466
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The Falcon Heavy is scheduled to launch in January or so. There has been speculation as to the payload, especially given that even Musk himself admits a great deal of uncertainty as to whether not it will even get far enough from the launch pad before it blows up.

Elon Musk, ever the merry prankster, plans to launch a Tesla to Mars on a SpaceX rocket

Quote:
In tweets on Friday and Saturday, Musk said that SpaceX plans to pursue putting a Tesla Roadster on to the top of the rocket, launching it into an orbit around Mars, while playing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”
....or maybe not?

Elon Musk told us he was sending a car to space, then said he totally made it up

Quote:
But confirmation followed a bizarre exchange between The Verge and Musk. After Musk tweeted the plan, we asked him to confirm that it was real. Musk replied to us first by email, confirming that it was real. Then, after The Verge published a story about the plan, Musk sent us a response in a direct message on Twitter saying he “totally made it up.” We now know that response was false; a person familiar with the matter told The Verge Saturday evening that the payload is in fact real.

The first Falcon Heavy’s “payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity,” Musk wrote on Twitter, referencing the famous David Bowie song. “Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”

Musk has spoken openly about the non-zero chance that the Falcon Heavy will explode during its first flight, and because of that he once said he wanted stick the “silliest thing we can imagine” on top of the rocket. Now we know what he meant. It’s unclear at the time of publish whether SpaceX has received any necessary approvals for this plan.
Other reports I've seen (but can't find again now) also suggest the there will be a copy of Isaac Asimov's Foundation in the car.

This is the car, btw.

Love him or hate him, Musk sure knows how to keep people interested.

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Old 7th December 2017, 02:21 AM   #467
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For those interested, SpaceX successfully completed a static fire of their Falcon 9 rocket at pad SLC-40 at CCAFS today around 3pm local time.

This is in prep for the December 12 launch of the SpX-13 Dragon resupply mission to the ISS. Both the first stage and the Dragon capsule for this flight have flown before, making this mission almost competely reused (2nd stage and Dragon Trunk are both new obviously as these aren't recovered).

This will mark the return to service of SLC-40 after the AMOS-6 pad explosion in September last year completely destroyed the pad.

Reports indicate that the pad has been rebuilt with underground infrastructure and sources believe that in the event of another pad destruction, it could be returned to service within 2 months, thanks to the new pad construction.

On the Falcon Heavy front, pictures are starting to appear and it is known that the entire Heavy Stack is on site at pad 39A and are stored in the HIF next to 39A.
Launch is tentatively scheduled for early January, with static fires and WDR's scheduled for late December.

The secretive Zuma mission has now been moved to SLC-40 so as not to disrupt Falcon Heavy prep work.
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Old 7th December 2017, 06:16 AM   #468
Mikemcc
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Hopefully by saying Zuma will launch in Jan indicates that they have a fix for the fairing issue.
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Old 7th December 2017, 11:00 PM   #469
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Originally Posted by Mikemcc View Post
Hopefully by saying Zuma will launch in Jan indicates that they have a fix for the fairing issue.
Yes, that's the implication. What's interesting is that the Iridium launch wasn't put in hold like Zuma was. This seems to mean the Zuma launch is considered high value and they were being super conservative, while Iridium were presumably happy to launch knowing there might be an issue with their fairing too.
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Old 7th December 2017, 11:59 PM   #470
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Boeing promises to beat Elon Musk to Mars!

Elon's response: "Do it"

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/938816780444745728
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Old 8th December 2017, 03:26 AM   #471
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Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
...

This will mark the return to service of SLC-40 after the AMOS-6 pad explosion in September last year completely destroyed the pad.

Reports indicate that the pad has been rebuilt with underground infrastructure and sources believe that in the event of another pad destruction, it could be returned to service within 2 months, thanks to the new pad construction.

...
These 'pad' things seem quite complicated and rather important
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Old 8th December 2017, 03:35 AM   #472
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
These 'pad' things seem quite complicated and rather important
Rather Such a small, lightweight word to describe a structure that needs to withstand the force of 18 747's at full takeoff power and be ready to do it again a week later.

Engineering on this level just blows my mind.
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Old 8th December 2017, 04:04 AM   #473
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More info on Falcon Heavy payload - the roadsters' glove box will contain a copy of the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, a towel and a don't panic sign...

https://twitter.com/tiamaria68uk/sta...30620511801345
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Old 8th December 2017, 10:36 AM   #474
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Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
More info on Falcon Heavy payload - the roadsters' glove box will contain a copy of the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, a towel and a don't panic sign...

https://twitter.com/tiamaria68uk/sta...30620511801345
Hitchhiker's seems more appropriate than Foundation, which is what I had first heard would be the book to be used.

I understand the motivation to launch a Tesla, but I am beginning to think that a '59 Corvette would have been a better choice:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

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Old 8th December 2017, 10:45 AM   #475
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Originally Posted by Octavo View Post
Rather Such a small, lightweight word to describe a structure that needs to withstand the force of 18 747's at full takeoff power and be ready to do it again a week later.

Engineering on this level just blows my mind.
It does mine too.

But you probably realised why I made that comment - the Mars landers will not have the benefit of such pads. Just the natural Martian surface, as best it can be surveyed to find a relatively suitable spot.
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Old 8th December 2017, 11:43 AM   #476
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
The Falcon Heavy is scheduled to launch in January or so.
How much schedule slip is that by now for Falcon Heavy, 18 months?
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Old 8th December 2017, 11:54 AM   #477
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
It does mine too.

But you probably realised why I made that comment - the Mars landers will not have the benefit of such pads. Just the natural Martian surface, as best it can be surveyed to find a relatively suitable spot.
Which, if course, does not need to "be ready to do it again a week later".
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Old 8th December 2017, 01:17 PM   #478
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Which, if course, does not need to "be ready to do it again a week later".
Exactly. It wasn't 'ready' in the first place and won't be later on. It was extremely dangerous all along.

Am I right in thinking that SpaceX missions need to be approved by some kind of regulatory body? If so, would they allow a (say) landing on semi-random rough ground out in the Arizona desert? If not, why would they allow a landing on even less well surveyed terrain on Mars?
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Old 8th December 2017, 01:26 PM   #479
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They spent several years doing test landings of their grasshopper and F9R vehicles in Texas. I don't see why landing off the concrete pad in similar tests would be a huge problem. They did get FAA approvals for those.

Blue Origin has also been doing similar tests.

I don't think any regulatory agency has jurisdiction over Mars.
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Old 8th December 2017, 01:47 PM   #480
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Exactly. It wasn't 'ready' in the first place and won't be later on. It was extremely dangerous all along.

Am I right in thinking that SpaceX missions need to be approved by some kind of regulatory body? If so, would they allow a (say) landing on semi-random rough ground out in the Arizona desert? If not, why would they allow a landing on even less well surveyed terrain on Mars?
I can't imagine any regulatory body having a legitimate say in where on Mars SpaceX chooses to attempt a landing.
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