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Thread: Mars One Dragon

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beached View Post
    Mars3,
    Let me start by saying thank you for asking the tough questions. Most of us here wish for this mission to occur, and as a result we can have "Rose colored glasses" when it comes to some of the issues. It is nice to have people who ask the challenging questions.
    Thank you! I am after answers, what interests me is that none of the people here seen connected woith the project, they are just the same as me, interested members of the public.


    As far as the dragon capsule goes, much of the research and development of the technology for the crewed version of dragon has already been done. Note that even the supply version of the dragon capsule is designed with a crewed version in mind. And as a result testing has already begun for a majority of the technology required. Also, a crewed version of the dragon capsule would technically be able to make it to mars without enlarging it (although would be INCREDIBLY uncomfortable), the extra space is just that, extra space for more comfort and cargo. the same technologies that apply the the smaller crewed capsule (Currently in active development) should be directly applicable to the larger version with very little modification (Larger fuel tank, extra redundancy systems, more solar panels/ larger battery banks, etc.) Although obvious non critical modification will be made, such as different compartment hatches so rovers can open them.
    I have to disagree here, a Dargon is nowhere near big enough to send someone to Mars in, it does not have the payload or volume needed.

    Like I said earlier, the technology they will be using for the crewed version should be completed by 2015, leaving about half a year to focus on the mars dragon capsule. also 2016 is a supply run, meaning that only the basic components need to be in place. life support systems and redundancy is not required to be in place, and as a result SpaceX can narrow their focus to just getting a bare bones capsule to mars and then have time to analyze data and make needed adjustments before 2021. (this has been the intent of the 2016 supply run all along)
    As Marsman says, it is much more complicated than that. An enlarged Dragon will have to be tested, extensively, this will take several years. And there is no sign that SpaceX are doing this. Without evidence of work this is just wishful thinking on Mars One's part.


    Funding for Dragon is currently being provided by NASA! SpaceX was funded with putting humans on Mars as Elon’s goal; he is investing some of his own money into the company. Current he doesn’t have to because spaceX is profitable and has external funding. Obviously, I am not Elon and I do not work for SpaceX. But I would be freakin shocked if SpaceX is going to demand a profit or even make a profit off of Mars-One. At cost funding for dragon will be provided by SpaceX’s profits, largely from the NASA contracts most likely, and partially from Mars-One sponsors. If I remember correctly, tv broadcasts for crew selection and training should begin either late next year or early the year after. This should generate a lot of revenue to pay for dragon and the other equipment needed.
    NASA is funding the Cargo Dragon, they are not funding a hypothetical larger version that might put people on Mars.

    One more thing to note is that SpaceX is not your normal space company. Old expectations should be expected to be broken. Elon came into this industry because he saw a slowing and stagnated industry that needs a kick in the arse. That is what he is doing, try to relate SpaceX to the Gemini missions, not the shuttle missions. 
    Be that as it may, SpaceX still needs time, people and money to develop new hardware. All the signs are they have their hands full developing crewed Dragon, reliable supply runs to the ISS, the Falcon Heavy and the Grasshopper program. They have already dropped some programs becausde they were stretched too thin (Falcon 1E for example).
    Last edited by Mars3; 11-09-2012 at 11:52 AM.

  2. #12
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    I've just sent this to the Mars-One contact email:
    Greetings Mars-One,

    January 2016 is only three years one month and a couple of weeks away.

    Can SpaceX really have the 5m Dragon variant ready to go by then?

    It seems unlikely; they have a reputation for late delivery of new developments.

    In case not, what's the contingency?

    This seems to be the number one objection of your arm-chair technical critics and fans so would be well worth addressing somewhere soon.

    Regards,

    Arb
    They are busy and cagey people so there may well be no response but one lives in hope.

    Until this is answered I'll remain very skeptical of their schedule and credibility.

  3. #13
    Ok, I see some of my comments here need a little more clarification!

    "As far as the dragon capsule goes, much of the research and development of the technology for the crewed version of dragon has already been done"

    When I mentioned this point, I meant the transition to the crewed dragon from the cargo dragon. Not Red Dragon.
    Many components such as hull structure, heat shield, pressure, temp, navigation and control, are all already completed. Many other components are already actively being tested with success. There is still 2.5 years to complete the capsule, which has been going since 2004.

    “Funding for Dragon is currently being provided by NASA!”

    You are correct; NASA is not funding a hypothetical larger dragon capsule for mars. That’s Orion.
    But NASA has funded the cargo dragon, and is paying a very meaty price for it at over 133 million per launch. (They are making profit on this) Also, they are funding a lot for the development of the crewed version (not the mars version) of dragon as well.
    Much of the technology for the crewed version is almost guaranteed to be used in the mars capsule as well. There is no need to start over, just amp up the size, redundancy, and fuel capacity, (and landing?) in order to meet the 2016 projection.
    The components that are more complicated such as life support, radiation shielding, and resource recycling(Water/waiste/etc) will not have to be ready for the 2016 launch, those only have to be ready for the 2021 or 2023 launch. (Which as marsman agrees is still very likely)

    “the technology they will be using for the crewed version should be completed by 2015,”

    This is the projected date for the first launch of the crewed capsule, not Red Dragon.
    This quote came out of a news update released by SpaceX: “SpaceX's first manned flight is expected to take place in 2015.” Sep. 21 2012, http://www.spacex.com/updates.php

    “leaving about half a year to focus on the mars dragon capsule.”

    The first launch to mars is planned in 2016, this will be an unmanned cargo only delivery. This is a test run! Its purpose is to test the basic components of the mars capsule, and to do data collection. They already have a cargo delivering capsule, I do not see how it would take 4 years to make it 25% larger.
    Technically, SpaceX does not have to have to have the capsule completed for human flight until 2023, although the launches taking place in 2021 will most likely be man rated. This means that SpaceX has 11 years to complete the human capsule (Dragon went from nothing to docking with the ISS in 8 years)

    @marsman, you bring up a good point when you mention that almost all of SpaceX’s launches get pushed back. It’s very true and is a very probable cause for concern. I am interested to see if this will continue or if they will get it together and stay on top of the launches.
    @Arb, please let us know as soon as you hear back. I would love to hear the insiders answers as opposed to my armature opinion.

  4. #14
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    A reply from Mars-One. Interesting and informative:

    From: Mars One Marketing (marketing@mars-one.com)
    Sent: 11 November 2012 18:12:13
    To: Arb
    Dear Arb,

    Thanks you for your email.

    We have proposed to our contacts at SpaceX to delay the mission by two years, but they insist that they can launch the first one in 2016.

    Two contingency solutions could be to send a 3.8m Dragon or to delay by two years. Of course we take the occurrence of either contingency into account in our financial planning.

    Don't forget that they already have a working capsule and they already have the rockets to slow the capsule down and land on Mars, for the escape system of the Dragon capsule.

    Regards,

    Mars One
    Last edited by Arb; 11-11-2012 at 09:40 PM. Reason: Remove my email address

  5. #15
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    Very quick answer and really very interesting! What is the most important from this, in my opinion: SpaceX seems to be very supportive of the project, since they don't want to delay it. Good sign!
    Last edited by Vastitas Borealis; 11-11-2012 at 07:16 PM.

  6. #16
    I'm glad they gave a pretty clear answer. Mars-One has been known to give politician answers in the past, lol.
    I like their backup plan, and the fact that even though mars-one seems doubtful of the fast turn around, that spaceX is so confident.

  7. #17
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    This is great news. As Vastitas Borealis said it gives the impression SpaceX is very supportive.

    I would like to here though an official statement from Elon of SpaceX.
    Last edited by hbm11; 11-13-2012 at 10:53 AM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbm11 View Post
    1. The current dragon is 3.66m in diameter while Mars One has spoken to SpaceX and have confirmed that it is possible to build a 5m diameter one.
    If the diameter of the Mars One dragon is 5m, then the diameter of the payload room of the Falcon Heavy is not big enough, its only 4.6 meter.

    http://www.spacex.com/falcon_heavy.php

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leguatorre View Post
    If the diameter of the Mars One dragon is 5m, then the diameter of the payload room of the Falcon Heavy is not big enough, its only 4.6 meter.
    Above the diagram it says "Below are the standard fairing dimensions for Falcon Heavy. Dimensions are in meters and in inches inside the brackets. Custom fairings are available at incremental cost." I would also point out that the width including walls of the faring is 5.2m so I'm sure SpaceX will find room for a 5m Dragon.

  10. #20
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    Or it can be MCT, not FH. Falcon heavy can deliver only 20 mt on GTO and i doubt that this is enough for heavy Dragon.

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