Open main menu

SpaceX Mars transportation infrastructure

  (Redirected from Interplanetary Transport System)


Elon Musk and SpaceX have proposed the development of Mars transportation infrastructure in order to facilitate the eventual colonization of Mars. The design includes fully reusable launch vehicles, human-rated spacecraft, on-orbit propellant tankers, rapid-turnaround launch/landing mounts, and local production of rocket fuel on Mars via in situ resource utilization (ISRU). SpaceX's aspirational goal is to land the first humans on Mars by 2024.[1][2]

SpaceX Mars transportation infrastructure
Interplanetary Transport System (29343823914).jpg
Artist's concept of ITS spacecraft (2016) approaching Mars
CountryUnited States
OrganizationSpaceX
PurposeColonization of Mars
StatusPlanned
Program history
First flightc. 2022
First crewed flightc. 2024
Launch site(s)Kennedy LC-39A
Vehicle information
Crew vehicleStarship
Crew capacity≤ 100
Launch vehicle(s)Super Heavy

The key element of the infrastructure is the SpaceX BFR, a two-stage rocket where the upper stage (Starship) is also planned to be used as spacecraft to reach Mars and to return to Earth. To achieve a large payload, the spacecraft first enters Earth orbit, where it is refueled before it departs to Mars. After landing on Mars, the spacecraft is loaded with locally-produced propellants to return to Earth. The expected payload of Super Heavy is for the Starship second stage to inject 150 tonnes (330,000 lb) to Mars.[3]

SpaceX intends to concentrate its resources on the transportation part of the Mars colonization project, including the design of a propellant plant based on the Sabatier process that will be deployed on Mars to synthesize methane and liquid oxygen as rocket propellants from the local supply of atmospheric carbon dioxide and ground-accessible water ice.[4] However, Musk advocates a larger set of long-term Mars settlement objectives, going far beyond what SpaceX projects to build; a successful colonization would ultimately involve many more economic actors—whether individuals, companies, or governments—to facilitate the growth of the human presence on Mars over many decades.[5][6][7]


Contents

HistoryEdit

As early as 2007, Elon Musk stated a personal goal of eventually enabling human exploration and settlement of Mars,[8][9] although his personal public interest in Mars goes back at least to 2001.[7] Bits of additional information about the mission architecture were released in 2011–2015, including a 2014 statement that initial colonists would arrive at Mars no earlier than the middle of the 2020s.[10] Company plans in mid-2016 continued to call for the arrival of the first humans on Mars no earlier than 2025.[11][12]

Musk stated in a 2011 interview that he hoped to send humans to Mars's surface within 10–20 years,[9] and in late 2012 he stated that he envisioned a Mars colony of tens of thousands with the first colonists arriving no earlier than the middle of the 2020s.[10][13][14]

Development work began in earnest before 2012 when SpaceX started to design the Raptor rocket engine which will propel all versions of the BFR launch vehicle (now renamed "Super Heavy") and spacecraft (now renamed Starship). Rocket engine development is one of the longest subprocesses in the design of new rockets.

In October 2012, Musk articulated a high-level plan to build a second reusable rocket system with capabilities substantially beyond the Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy launch vehicles on which SpaceX had by then spent several billion US dollars.[15] This new vehicle was to be "an evolution of SpaceX's Falcon 9 booster ... much bigger [than Falcon 9]." But Musk indicated that SpaceX would not be speaking publicly about it until 2013.[10][16] In June 2013, Musk stated that he intended to hold off any potential IPO of SpaceX shares on the stock market until after the "Mars Colonial Transporter is flying regularly."[17][18]

In August 2014, media sources speculated that the initial flight test of the Raptor-driven super-heavy launch vehicle could occur as early as 2020, in order to fully test the engines under orbital spaceflight conditions; however, any colonization effort was reported to continue to be "deep into the future".[19][20]

In January 2015, Musk said that he hoped to release details in late 2015 of the "completely new architecture" for the system that would enable the colonization of Mars. But those plans changed and, by December 2015, the plan to publicly release additional specifics had moved to 2016.[21] In January 2016, Musk indicated that he hoped to describe the architecture for the Mars missions with the next generation SpaceX rocket and spacecraft later in 2016, at the 67th International Astronautical Congress conference,[22] in September 2016.[23][24] Musk stated in June 2016 that the first unmanned MCT Mars flight was planned for departure in 2022, to be followed by the first manned MCT Mars flight departing in 2024.[11][25] By mid-September 2016, Musk noted that the MCT name would not continue, as the system would be able to "go well beyond Mars", and that a new name would be needed. This became the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS),[26] a name that would, in the event, last for just one year.

On September 27, 2016, at the 67th annual meeting of the International Astronautical Congress, Musk unveiled substantial details of the design for the transport vehicles—including size, construction material, number and type of engines, thrust, cargo and passenger payload capabilities, on-orbit propellant-tanker refills, representative transit times, etc.—as well as a few details of portions of the Mars-side and Earth-side infrastructure that SpaceX intends to build to support the flight vehicles. In addition, Musk championed a larger systemic vision, a vision for a bottom-up emergent order of other interested parties—whether companies, individuals, or governments—to utilize the new and radically lower-cost transport infrastructure to build up a sustainable human civilization on Mars, potentially, on numerous other locations around the Solar System, by innovating and meeting the demand that such a growing venture would occasion.[5][6] In the 2016 iteration, the system technology was specifically envisioned to eventually support exploration missions to other locations in the Solar System including the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.[27]

In July 2017, SpaceX made public plans for ITS based on a smaller launch vehicle and spacecraft. The new system architecture has "evolved quite a bit" since the November 2016 articulation of the very large Interplanetary Transport System. A key driver of the new architecture is to make the new system useful for substantial Earth-orbit and cislunar launches so that the new system might pay for itself, in part, through economic spaceflight activities in the near-Earth space zone.[28][29] The Super Heavy is designed to fulfill the Mars transportation goals while also launching satellites, servicing the ISS, flying humans and cargo to the Moon, and enabling ballistic transport of passengers on Earth as a substitute to long-haul airline flights.[30]

 
Artist's concept of the Starship following stage separation, 2018

SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell expressed in early 2018 that, even with the smaller 9-meter architecture, she sees the BFR program as only the first step to interplanetary and interstellar spaceflight endeavors for SpaceX.[31]

Musk indicated in November 2018 that "We've recently made a number of breakthroughs [that I am] just really fired up about." and that, as a result, he foresees a 70 percent probability that he personally would go to Mars. He answered an interviewer's question that included a presumption that "a Mars voyage could be an escape hatch for the rich" by saying:[32]

"No. Your probability of dying on Mars is much higher than Earth. Really the ad for going to Mars would be like Shackleton’s ad for going to the Antarctic [in 1914]. It’s gonna be hard. There’s a good chance of death, going in a little can through deep space. You might land successfully. Once you land successfully, ... there's a good chance you'll die there. We think you can come back; but we're not sure."

DescriptionEdit

 
Artist's concept of ITS spacecraft (2016) departing Earth, passing the Moon.

SpaceX's Mars objectives, and the specific mission architectures and launch vehicle designs that might be able to participate in parts of that architecture, have varied over the years, and only partial information has been publicly released. However, once the architecture was unveiled in late 2016, all launch vehicles, spacecraft, and ground infrastructure have shared several basic elements.

Overview and major elementsEdit

The SpaceX Mars architecture, first detailed publicly in 2016, consists of a combination of several elements that are key—according to Musk—to making long-duration beyond Earth orbit (BEO) spaceflights possible by reducing the cost per ton delivered to Mars:[33][34][35]

Additional detail on the Mars transportation architecture was added by Musk in 2017.[36]:33:30–36:55

  • a new fully reusable super heavy-lift launch vehicle that consists of a reusable booster stage and a reusable integrated second-stage-with-spacecraft that comes in at least two versions: a large, long-duration, beyond-Earth-orbit spacecraft capable of carrying passengers, bulk cargo, or propellant cargo, to other Solar System destinations.[37][21] The combination of a second-stage of a launch vehicle with a long-duration spacecraft is unusual for any space mission architecture, and has not been seen in previous spaceflight technology.
  • refilling of propellants in orbit, specifically to enable the long-journey spacecraft to expend most all of its propellant load during the launch to low Earth orbit while it serves as the second stage of the launch vehicle, and then—after refilling on orbit—provide the significant amount of energy necessary to put the spacecraft onto an interplanetary trajectory.
  • propellant production on the surface of Mars: to enable the return trip back to Earth and support reuse of the spacecraft, enabling significantly lower cost to transport cargo and passengers to distant destinations. Once again, the large propellant tanks in the integrated space vehicle are filled remotely.
  • selection of the right propellant: Methane (CH4)/oxygen (O2)—also known as "deep cryo methalox"[33]:16:25—was selected as it was considered better than other common space vehicle propellants like Kerolox or Hydrolox principally due to ease of production on Mars and the lower cost of the propellants on Earth when evaluated from an overall system optimization perspective. Methalox was considered equivalent to one of the other primary options in terms of vehicle reusability, on-orbit propellant transfer, and appropriateness for super-heavy vehicles.[7]

Rocket technology developmentEdit

SpaceX has articulated that a completely new, fully reusable, super heavy-lift launch vehicle is needed, and is developing designs that consist of a reusable booster stage and a reusable integrated second-stage/long-duration-spacecraft. They have developed more than one comprehensive set of booster and spacecraft designs that they believe would best achieve their Mars vision.

The current vehicle designs, unveiled in September 2017, include four vehicles that each use what Musk called by the internal codename "BFR": the Super Heavy and Starship.[38][36]

Super HeavyEdit

 
Artist's concept of the 2016 ITS launch vehicle during return-to-the-launch-site (RTLS) operations

Super Heavy,[39] the first stage, or booster, of the SpaceX next-generation launch vehicle is 63 meters (207 ft) long and 9 m (30 ft) in diameter and expected to have a gross liftoff mass of 3,065,000 kg (6,757,000 lb)[40] It is to be constructed of stainless steel tanks and structure, holding subcooled liquid methane and liquid oxygen (CH
4
/LOX) propellants, powered by 31 Raptor rocket engines[41] providing 61.8 MN (13,900,000 lbf) total liftoff thrust.[40] The booster was originally projected to be developed to have the capability to return to land on the launch mount,[42][38][43][44] although it will land on legs, off the launch mount, initially.[45]

StarshipEdit

 
Artist's concept of ITS spacecraft (2016) entering the Martian atmosphere

Starship is the fully-reusable second stage and spaceship of the SpaceX BFR "Super Heavy" rocket. It is a long-duration cargo- and passenger-carrying spacecraft that also serves as the BFR launch vehicle second stage and integrated payload section.[39][46]

Starship will eventually be built in at least three operational versions:[38]

Mars propellant plant and baseEdit

Musk plans to build a crewed base on Mars for an extended surface presence, which he hopes will grow into a self-sufficient colony.[47][48] A successful colonization would ultimately involve many more economic actors—whether individuals, companies, or governments—to facilitate the growth of the human presence on Mars over many decades.[5][6][49]

Since the spaceships (Starships) are also reusable, Musk plans on refueling them in low Earth orbit first, and then again on the surface of Mars for their return to Earth. During the first phase, he plans to launch several BFRs to transport and assemble a propellant plant and start to build up a base.[50] The propellant plant would produce methane (CH
4
) and liquid oxygen (O2) from sub-surface water ice and atmospheric CO
2
.[38]

Two robotic cargo flights, the first of which may be named "Heart of Gold",[51] are aspirationally slated to be launched in 2022 to deliver a massive array of solar panels,[48] mining equipment,[50] as well as deliver surface vehicles, food and life support infrastructure.[52] In 2024, the mission concept would have four more Starships follow: two robotic cargo flights, and two crewed flights will be launched to set up the propellant production plant, deploy the solar park and landing pads, and assemble greenhouses.[52] Each landed mass will be at least 100 tons of usable payload, in addition to the spaceship's dry mass of 85 tons.[52]

The first temporary habitats will be their own crewed Starships, as they have life-support systems.[47][52] However, the robotic Starship cargo flights will be refueled for their return trip to Earth whenever possible.[47] For a sustainable base, it is proposed that the landing zone be located at less than 40° latitude for best solar power production, relatively warm temperature, and critically: it must be near a massive sub-surface water ice deposit.[52] The quantity and purity of the water ice must be appropriate. A preliminary study by SpaceX estimates the propellant plant is required to mine water ice and filter its impurities at a rate of 1 ton per day.[52] The overall unit conversion rate expected, based on a 2011 prototype test operation, is one metric ton of O2/CH4 propellant per 17 megawatt-hours energy input from solar power.[53] The total projected power needed to produce a single full load of propellant for a SpaceX BFR is in the neighborhood of 16 gigawatt-hours of locally Martian-produced power.[54] To produce the power for one load in 26 months would require just under one megawatt of continuous electric power. A ground-based array of thin-film solar panels to produce sufficient power would have an estimated area of just over 56,200 square meters; with related equipment, the required mass is estimated to fall well within a single BFR Mars transport capability of 150 metric tons. Alternatively, extrapolating from recent NASA research into fission reactors for deep space missions, it is estimated that sufficient fission-reactor based electric power infrastructure might mass between 210 and 216 tonnes, requiring at least two BFRs for transport. A Mars power system using solar and vertical axis wind turbine design to produce sufficient power might mass just over 3.15 tonnes.[55]

The biggest lingering questions about SpaceX's Mars habitation plans have to do with health hazards of prolonged space travel, radiation, weightlessness, and habitation in the low gravity of Mars, which is 38% of the gravity of Earth.[56][57][58]

Launch siteEdit

As of September 2017, SpaceX stated that their next-generation launch vehicle, Super Heavy (formerly BFR), will be used to replace the existing SpaceX launch vehicles—Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy—as well as the Dragon spacecraft, and that is the launch vehicle that will be used to support the SpaceX Mars space transport architecture.[38] The SpaceX leased launch facility at LC-39A will be used to launch Super Heavy.[37]

When their earlier concept, then-named "Mars Colonial Transporter," was initially discussed in March 2014, no launch site had yet been selected for the super-heavy lift rocket and SpaceX indicated at the time that their leased facility at historic Launch Pad 39A would not be large enough to accommodate the vehicle as it was understood conceptually in 2014, and that therefore a new site would need to be built in order to launch the >10-meter diameter rocket.[59] However, it was later revealed that the optimized size of the Raptor engine would be fairly close to the physical size of the Merlin 1D (although each engine will have approximately three times the thrust), allowing the use of LC-39A for Super Heavy.[37]

During a groundbreaking ceremony for the SpaceX South Texas Launch Site in September 2014, Elon Musk mused that the first person to go to another planet could possibly launch from Texas,[60] but did not indicate at the time what launch vehicle might be used to carry humans to orbit. Musk stated in September 2016 that the launch vehicle may launch from more than one site.

Mission conceptsEdit

Lunar tourism missionEdit

On September 14, 2018, SpaceX announced that a contracted passenger would be launched aboard the BFR to flyby the Moon in 2023. The passenger is the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.

Mars early missionsEdit

Musk has indicated that the earliest SpaceX-sponsored missions would have a smaller crew and use much of the pressurized space for cargo.[61]

As envisioned in 2016, the first crewed Mars missions might be expected to have approximately 12 people, with the primary goal to "build out and troubleshoot the propellant plant and Mars Base Alpha power system" as well as a "rudimentary base." In the event of an emergency, the spaceship would be able to return to Earth without having to wait a full 26 months for the next synodic period.[61]

Before any people are transported to Mars, some number of cargo missions would be undertaken first in order to transport the requisite equipment, habitats and supplies.[62] Equipment that would accompany the early groups would include "machines to produce fertilizer, methane and oxygen from Mars' atmospheric nitrogen and carbon dioxide and the planet's subsurface water ice" as well as construction materials to build transparent domes for crop growth.[10]

The early concepts for "green living space" habitats include glass panes with a carbon-fiber-frame geodesic domes, and "a lot of miner/tunneling droids [for building] out a huge amount of pressurized space for industrial operations." But these are merely conceptual and not a detailed design plan.[61]

Mars settlement conceptEdit

As of 2016 when publicly discussed, SpaceX the company is concentrating its resources on the transportation part of the overall Mars architecture project as well as an autonomous propellant plant that could be deployed on Mars to produce methane and oxygen rocket propellants from local resources. If built, and if planned objectives are achieved, then the transport cost of getting material and people to space, and across the inner Solar System, will be reduced by several orders of magnitude. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is championing a much larger set of long-term Mars settlement objectives, ones that take advantage of these lower transport costs to go far beyond what the SpaceX company will build and that will ultimately involve many more economic actors—whether individual, company, or government—to build out the settlement over many decades.[5][6]

In addition to explicit SpaceX plans and concepts for a transportation system and early missions, Musk has personally been a very public exponent of a large systemic vision for building a sustainable human presence on Mars over the very long term, a vision well beyond what his company or he personally can effect. The growth of such a system over decades cannot be planned in every detail, but is rather a complex adaptive system that will come about only as others make their own independent choices as to how they might, or might not, connect with the broader "system" of an incipient (and later, growing) Mars settlement. Musk sees the new and radically lower-cost transport infrastructure facilitating the buildup of a bottom-up economic order of other interested parties—whether companies, individuals, or governments—who will innovate and supply the demand that such a growing venture would occasion.[5][6]

While the initial SpaceX Mars settlement would start very small, with an initial group of about a dozen people,[61] with time, Musk hopes that such an outpost would grow into something much larger and become self-sustaining, at least 1 million people. According to Musk,

Even at a million people you’re assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars. You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth. There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil.

Excluding organic growth, if you could take 100 people at a time, you would need 10,000 trips to get to a million people. But you would also need a lot of cargo to support those people. In fact, your cargo to person ratio is going to be quite high. It would probably be 10 cargo trips for every human trip, so more like 100,000 trips. And we’re talking 100,000 trips of a giant spaceship.[63]

The notional journeys outlined in the November 2016 talk would require 80 to 150 days of transit time,[49] with an average trip time to Mars of approximately 115 days (for the nine synodic periods occurring between 2020 and 2037).[34] In 2012, Musk stated an aspirational price goal for such a trip might be on the order of US$500,000 per person,[10] but in 2016 he mentioned that long-term costs might become as low as US$200,000.[49]

As of September 2016, the complex project has financial commitments only from SpaceX and Musk's personal capital. The Washington Post pointed out that "The [US] government doesn't have the budget for Mars colonization. Thus, the private sector would have to see Mars as an attractive business environment. Musk is willing to pour his wealth into the project" but it will not be enough to build the colony he envisions.[64]

In March 2019, Musk suggested it would be theoretically possible for a self-sustaining city on Mars to emerge by 2050.[65]

Outer planet conceptsEdit

 
Artist's impression of the ITS spacecraft (2016) over Saturn.

The overview presentation on the Mars architecture given by Musk in September 2016 included concept slides outlining missions to the Saturnian moon Enceladus, the Jovian moon Europa, Kuiper belt objects, a fuel depot on Pluto and even the uses to take payloads to the Oort Cloud.[37] "Musk said ... the system can open up the entire Solar System to people. If fuel depots based on this design were put on asteroids or other areas around the Solar System, people could go anywhere they wanted just by planet or moon hopping. 'The goal of SpaceX is to build the transport system ... Once that transport system is built, then there is a tremendous opportunity for anyone that wants to go to Mars to create something new or build a new planet.'"[7] Outer planet trips would likely require propellant refills at Mars, and perhaps other locations in the outer Solar System.[49] Plans for the 2018 Starship have reiterated the idea of using it for missions to outer planets.[31]

FundingEdit

The extensive development and manufacture of much of the space transport technology has been through 2016, and is being privately funded by SpaceX. The entire project is even possible only as a result of SpaceX multi-faceted approach focusing on the reduction of launch costs.[37]

As of October 2016, SpaceX was expending "a few tens of millions of dollars annually on development of the Mars transport concept, which amounts to well under 5 percent of the company’s total expenses",[49] but expects that figure to rise to some US$300 million per year by around 2018. The cost of all work leading up to the first Mars launch was expected to be "on the order of US$10 billion"[49] and SpaceX expected to expend that much before it generates any transport revenue.[6] No public update of total costs before revenue was given in 2017 after SpaceX redirected to the small launch vehicle design of the BFR.

Musk indicated in September 2016 that the full build-out of the Mars colonialization plans would likely be funded by both private and public funds. The speed of commercially available Mars transport for both cargo and humans will be driven, in large part, by market demand as well as constrained by the technology development and development funding.[6][49] In October 2017, he reiterated that "the actual establishment of a base was something that would be handled largely by other companies and organizations. ... 'Our goal is get you there and ensure the basic infrastructure for propellant production and survival is in place', he said, comparing the BFR to the transcontinental railways of the 19th century. 'A vast amount of industry will need to be built on Mars by many other companies and millions of people'.[66][67]

In 2016, Elon Musk stated that there is no expectation of receiving NASA contracts for any of the Mars architecture system work, but affirmed that such contracts would be good.[68]

SpaceX tentative calendar for Mars missionsEdit

In 2016 SpaceX announced that there would be a number of early missions to Mars prior to the first trip of the new large composite-structure spacecraft. The early missions are planned to collect essential data to refine the design, and better select landing locations based on the availability of extraterrestrial resources such as water and building materials.[25]

2016 plansEdit

In 2016, SpaceX announced plans to fly its earliest missions to Mars using its Falcon Heavy launch vehicle prior to the completion, and first launch, of any ITS vehicle. Later missions utilizing this technology—the ITS launch vehicle and Interplanetary Spaceship with on-orbit propellant refill via ITS tanker—were to begin no earlier than 2022. At the time, the company was planning for launches of research spacecraft to Mars using Falcon Heavy launch vehicles and specialized modified Dragon spacecraft, called "Red Dragon". Due to planetary alignment in the inner Solar System, Mars launches are typically limited to a window of approximately every 26 months. As announced in June 2016, the first launch was planned for Spring 2018, with an announced intent to launch again in every Mars launch window thereafter.[25] In February 2017, however, the first launch to Mars was pushed back to 2020,[69] and in July 2017, SpaceX announced it would not be using a propulsively-landed "Red Dragon" spacecraft at all for the early missions, as had been previously announced.[70]

The tentative mission manifest from November 2016 included three Falcon Heavy missions to Mars prior to the first possible flight of an ITS to Mars in 2022:[25]

  • 2018: initial SpaceX Mars mission: the Red Dragon, a modified Dragon 2 spacecraft launched by Falcon Heavy launch vehicle.
  • 2020: second preparatory mission: at least two Red Dragons to be injected into Mars transfer orbit via Falcon Heavy launches
  • 2022: third uncrewed preparatory mission: first use of the entire ITS system to put a spacecraft on an interplanetary trajectory and carry heavy equipment to Mars, notably a local power plant.
  • 2024: first crewed ITS flight to Mars according to the "optimistic" schedule Musk discussed in October 2016,[71] with "about a dozen people".[72]

2017 revisionsEdit

In February 2017, public statements were made that the first Red Dragon launch would be postponed to 2020. It was unclear at that time whether the overall sequence of Mars missions would be kept intact and simply pushed back by 26 months. In July 2017, Musk announced that development of propulsive landing for the Red Dragon lander capsule was cancelled in favor of a "much better" landing technique, as yet unrevealed, for a larger spacecraft.[70]

A 9 m (30 ft)-diameter rocket design, using the same Raptor engine technology and carbon-fiber composite materials of the earlier ITS, was unveiled at International Astronautical Congress on September 29, 2017[3] with the code name "BFR". It was similar to the ITS design, but smaller. Musk announced additional capabilities for the BFR, including Earth missions that could shuttle people across the planet in under an hour (most flights would be less than half an hour), Lunar missions, as well as Mars missions, that would aim to land the first humans on the planet by 2024.[1] SpaceX now plans to focus mainly on one launch vehicle for these missions - the BFR,[73] now given an official name of "Super Heavy". By focusing the company's efforts onto just a single launch vehicle, the cost, according to Musk, can be brought down significantly.[29] SpaceX also plans to use the Super Heavy for Earth-orbit missions, replacing all current SpaceX Falcon launch vehicles. Construction of the first of the Super Heavy vehicles would begin in 2018, according to Musk.[2]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Amos, Jonathan (September 29, 2017). "Elon Musk: Rockets will fly people from city to city in minutes". BBC. Archived from the original on September 8, 2018. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Etherington, Darrell (September 28, 2017). "Elon Musk shares images of "Moon Base Alpha" and "Mars City" ahead of IAC talk". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on September 30, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Brown, Mike (September 25, 2017). "Elon Musk Teases 'Unexpected' Updates to Interplanetary Rocket". Inverse. Archived from the original on September 25, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  4. ^ Paul, Roy A.; Lamontagne, Michael; Senna, Bernardo (September 13, 2017). Proposed ITS Pressurized Cargo Modules To Initiate a Chemical Industry on Mars (PDF). AIAA SPACE Forum. doi:10.2514/6.2017-5335.
  5. ^ a b c d e Berger, Eric (September 28, 2016). "Musk's Mars moment: Audacity, madness, brilliance—or maybe all three". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on October 13, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Foust, Jeff (October 10, 2016). "Can Elon Musk get to Mars?". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on October 13, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d Richardson, Derek (September 27, 2016). "Elon Musk Shows Off Interplanetary Transport System". Spaceflight Insider. Archived from the original on October 1, 2016. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  8. ^ Hoffman, Carl (May 22, 2007). "Elon Musk Is Betting His Fortune on a Mission Beyond Earth's Orbit". Wired Magazine. Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Elon Musk: I'll Put a Man on Mars in 10 Years". Market Watch. New York: The Wall Street Journal. April 22, 2011. Archived from the original on December 1, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Huge Mars Colony Eyed by SpaceX Founder". Discovery News. December 13, 2012. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Davenport, Christian (June 13, 2016). "Elon Musk provides new details on his 'mind blowing' mission to Mars". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 14, 2016. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  12. ^ Foust, Jeff (September 27, 2016). "SpaceX's Mars plans call for massive 42-engine reusable rocket". SpaceNews. Retrieved October 14, 2016. Musk stated it's possible that the first spaceship would be ready for tests in four years, with the booster ready a few years after that, but he shied away from exact schedules in his presentation. 'We're kind of being intentionally fuzzy about the timeline,' he said. 'We're going to try and make as much progress as we can with a very constrained budget.'
  13. ^ Carroll, Rory (July 17, 2013). "Elon Musk's mission to Mars". TheGuardian. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  14. ^ Messier, Doug (February 5, 2014). "Elon Musk Talks ISS Flights, Vladimir Putin and Mars". Parabolic Arc. Archived from the original on September 16, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  15. ^ Zach Rosenberg (October 15, 2012). "SpaceX aims big with massive new rocket". Flight Global. Archived from the original on July 3, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  16. ^ Coppinger, Rod (November 23, 2012). "Huge Mars Colony Eyed by SpaceX Founder Elon Musk". Space.com. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. an evolution of SpaceX's Falcon 9 booster ... much bigger [than Falcon 9], but I don’t think we’re quite ready to state the payload. We’ll speak about that next year. ... Vertical landing is an extremely important breakthrough — extreme, rapid reusability.
  17. ^ Schaefer, Steve (June 6, 2013). "SpaceX IPO Cleared For Launch? Elon Musk Says Hold Your Horses". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 6, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  18. ^ Ciaccia, Chris (June 6, 2013). "SpaceX IPO: 'Possible in the Very Long Term'". The Street. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  19. ^ Boyle, Alan (January 5, 2015). "Coming Soon From SpaceX's Elon Musk: How to Move to Mars". NBC News. Archived from the original on January 8, 2015. Retrieved January 8, 2015. The Mars transport system will be a completely new architecture. Am hoping to present that towards the end of this year. Good thing we didn't do it sooner, as we have learned a huge amount from Falcon and Dragon.
  20. ^ Bergin, Chris (August 29, 2014). "Battle of the Heavyweight Rockets -- SLS could face Exploration Class rival". NASAspaceflight.com. Archived from the original on March 16, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  21. ^ a b Heath, Chris (December 12, 2015). "How Elon Musk Plans on Reinventing the World (and Mars)". GQ. Archived from the original on December 12, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  22. ^ 2016 StartmeupHK Venture Forum - Elon Musk on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. StartmeupHK Venture Forum--2016. Hong Kong: Invest Hong Kong. January 26, 2016. Archived from the original on January 28, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2016. (SpaceX discussion at 30:15-31:40) We'll have the next generation rocket and spacecraft, beyond the Falcon and Dragon series […] I'm hoping to describe that architecture later this year at the International Astronautical Congress. which is the big international space event every year. […] First flights to Mars? We're hoping to do that in around 2025 […] nine years from now or thereabouts.
  23. ^ http://www.iac2016.org/, accessed January 28, 2016.
  24. ^ Boyle, Alan (January 27, 2016). "SpaceX's Elon Musk wants to go into space by 2021 and start Mars missions by 2025". GeekWire. Archived from the original on January 30, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  25. ^ a b c d Boyle, Alan (June 10, 2016). "SpaceX's Elon Musk teases "dangerous" plan to colonize Mars starting in 2024". GeekWire. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  26. ^ Berger, Eric (September 18, 2016). "Elon Musk scales up his ambitions, considering going "well beyond" Mars". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on September 20, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  27. ^ Chang, Kenneth (September 27, 2016). "Elon Musk's Plan: Get Humans to Mars, and Beyond". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 29, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  28. ^ Elon Musk (July 19, 2017). Elon Musk, ISS R&D Conference (video). ISS R&D Conference, Washington DC, USA. Event occurs at 49:48–51:35. Retrieved September 13, 2017. the updated version of the Mars architecture: Because it has evolved quite a bit since that last talk. ... The key thing that I figured out is how do you pay for it? if we downsize the Mars vehicle, make it capable of doing Earth-orbit activity as well as Mars activity, maybe we can pay for it by using it for Earth-orbit activity. That is one of the key elements in the new architecture. It is similar to what was shown at IAC, but a little bit smaller. Still big, but this one has a shot at being real on the economic front.
  29. ^ a b Grush, Loren (September 29, 2017). "Elon Musk plans to put all of SpaceX's resources into its Mars rocket". The Verge. Archived from the original on September 29, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  30. ^ Blewitt, Richard Tyr (September 29, 2017). "Elon Musk's plans for the Big Fucking Rocket: Mars, Moon, and Earth". Neowin. Archived from the original on September 29, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  31. ^ a b Ralph, Eric (April 24, 2018). "SpaceX execs bullish on BFR as Mars rocket test facilities expand in Texas". Teslarati. Retrieved August 16, 2019. [Shotwell] believed that spreading human presence throughout the Sol System was only 'the first step [towards] moving to other solar systems and potentially other galaxies; I think this is the only time I ever out-vision Elon.'
  32. ^ Allen, Mark; VanderHei, Jim (November 26, 2018). "Elon Musk: There's a 70% chance that I personally go to Mars". Axios. Archived from the original on November 25, 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2018. We've recently made a number of breakthroughs [that I am] just really fired up about.
  33. ^ a b Elon Musk (September 27, 2016). Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species (video). IAC67, Guadalajara, Mexico: SpaceX. Event occurs at 9:20–10:10. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016. So it is a bit tricky. Because we have to figure out how to improve the cost of the trips to Mars by five million percent ... translates to an improvement of approximately 4 1/2 orders of magnitude. These are the key elements that are needed in order to achieve a 4 1/2 order of magnitude improvement. Most of the improvement would come from full reusability—somewhere between 2 and 2 1/2 orders of magnitude—and then the other 2 orders of magnitude would come from refilling in orbit, propellant production on Mars, and choosing the right propellant.
  34. ^ a b "Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species" (PDF). SpaceX. September 27, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2016. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  35. ^ This Is How SpaceX Will Explore Mars and Beyond Archived 2016-10-22 at the Wayback Machine, Seeker, September 27, 2016.
  36. ^ a b Elon Musk speech: Becoming a Multiplanet Species Archived March 9, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, September 29, 2017, 68th annual meeting of the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia
  37. ^ a b c d e Bergin, Chris (September 27, 2016). "SpaceX reveals ITS Mars game changer via colonization plan". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  38. ^ a b c d e f Musk, Elon (March 1, 2018). "Making Life Multi-Planetary". New Space. 6 (1). Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  39. ^ a b Lawler, Richard (November 20, 2018). "SpaceX BFR has a new name: Starship". Engadget. Archived from the original on November 20, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  40. ^ a b Musk, Elon (September 17, 2018). First Private Passenger on Lunar BFR Mission. SpaceX. Archived from the original on September 18, 2018. Retrieved September 18, 2018 – via YouTube.
  41. ^ SpaceX Aims to Begin BFR Spaceship Flight Tests as Soon as Next Year Archived May 29, 2019, at the Wayback Machine. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics. February 7, 2018.
  42. ^ Gaynor, Phillip (August 9, 2018). "The Evolution of the Big Falcon Rocket". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  43. ^ Jeff Foust (October 15, 2017). "Musk offers more technical details on BFR system". SpaceNews. Retrieved October 15, 2017. [Musk wrote,] "The flight engine design is much lighter and tighter, and is extremely focused on reliability."
  44. ^ "Making Life Multiplanetary: Abridged transcript of Elon Musk's presentation to the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia" (PDF). SpaceX. September 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  45. ^ Elon Musk on Twitter: Prob wise for version 1 to have legs or we will frag a lot of launch pads Archived June 17, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, February 7, 2019
  46. ^ Boyle, Alan (November 19, 2018). "Goodbye, BFR … hello, Starship: Elon Musk gives a classic name to his Mars spaceship". GeekWire. Archived from the original on November 22, 2018. Retrieved November 22, 2018. Starship is the spaceship/upper stage & Super Heavy is the rocket booster needed to escape Earth’s deep gravity well (not needed for other planets or moons)
  47. ^ a b c "SpaceX wants to use the first Mars-bound BFR spaceships as Martian habitats" Archived November 9, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Eric Ralph, TeslaRati. August 27, 2018.
  48. ^ a b "We're going to Mars by 2024 if Elon Musk has anything to say about it" Archived February 3, 2019, at the Wayback Machine. Elizabeth Rayne, SyFy Wire. August 15, 2018.
  49. ^ a b c d e f g Boyle, Alan (September 27, 2016). "SpaceX's Elon Musk makes the big pitch for his decades-long plan to colonize Mars". GeekWire. Archived from the original on October 3, 2016. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  50. ^ a b "Everything SpaceX revealed about its updated plan to reach Mars by 2022" Archived December 30, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch. September 29, 2017, accessed September 14, 2018.
  51. ^ Brandom, Russell (September 27, 2016). "Elon Musk might name his first Mars-bound spaceship after Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". The Verge. Archived from the original on September 19, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.  'We're thinking about names,' Musk told the crowd. 'The first ship that goes to Mars, my current favorite for it is "Heart of Gold" from The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy.'
  52. ^ a b c d e f Paul Wooster (August 29, 2018). SpaceX's Plans for Mars. 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention. Mars Society. Archived from the original on September 4, 2018. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  53. ^ "Engineering Mars commercial rocket propellant production for the Big Falcon Rocket (part 1)" Archived October 19, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Steve Hoeser, The Space Review. April 23, 2018.
  54. ^ "Engineering Mars commercial rocket propellant production for the Big Falcon Rocket (part 2)" Archived April 8, 2019, at the Wayback Machine. Steve Hoeser, The Space Review. April 30, 2018.
  55. ^ "Engineering Mars commercial rocket propellant production for the Big Falcon Rocket (part 3)" Archived April 8, 2019, at the Wayback Machine. Steve Hoeser, The Space Review. May 7, 2018.
  56. ^ "The biggest lingering questions about SpaceX's Mars colonization plans" Archived December 27, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Loren Grush, The Verge. September 28, 2016.
  57. ^ "SpaceX is quietly planning Mars-landing missions with the help of NASA and other spaceflight experts. It's about time" Archived March 6, 2019, at the Wayback Machine. Dave Mosher, Business Insider. August 11, 2018. Quote: "Keeping the human body healthy in space is another challenge that Porterfield said SpaceX needs to figure out."
  58. ^ "What SpaceX Needs to Accomplish Before Colonizing Mars" Archived October 29, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Neel V. Patel, The Inverse. June 30, 2016. "Space radiation is perhaps the biggest issue at play, and it's not quite clear if Musk has a good understanding of how it works and the extent to which it's stopping us from sending astronauts to far off worlds. ... For Musk and his colleagues to move forward and simply disregard the problem posed by cosmic rays would be insanely irresponsible."
  59. ^ Gwynne Shotwell (March 21, 2014). Broadcast 2212: Special Edition, interview with Gwynne Shotwell (audio file). The Space Show. Event occurs at 20:00–21:10 and 22:15–22:35. 2212. Archived from the original (mp3) on March 22, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  60. ^ Solomon, Dan (September 23, 2014). "SpaceX Plans To Send People From Brownsville To Mars In Order To Save Mankind". TexasMonthly. Archived from the original on September 28, 2014. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
  61. ^ a b c d Boyle, Alan (October 23, 2016). "SpaceX's Elon Musk geeks out over Mars interplanetary transport plan on Reddit". GeekWire. Archived from the original on October 24, 2016. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  62. ^ Gwynne Shotwell (March 21, 2014). Broadcast 2212: Special Edition, interview with Gwynne Shotwell (audio file). The Space Show. Event occurs at 29:45–30:40. 2212. Archived from the original (mp3) on March 22, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2014. would have to throw a bunch of stuff before you start putting people there. ... It is a transportation system between Earth and Mars.
  63. ^ Ross Andersen (September 30, 2014). "Elon Musk puts his case for a multi-planet civilisat..." Aeon. Archived from the original on June 12, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  64. ^ Achenbach, Joel (September 28, 2016). "Elon Musk unveils Mars colonization plan, but don't pack your bags just yet". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  65. ^ possible to make a self-sustaining city on Mars by 2050 Archived April 2, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, 25 March 20190, accessed March 27, 2019.
  66. ^ Fredette, Meagan (October 15, 2017). "SpaceX Will be the "Transcontinental Railway" to Mars, Says Elon Musk". Inverse. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved April 1, 2019. Musk: Our goal is [to] get you there and ensure the basic infrastructure for propellant production and survival is in place. A rough analogy is that we are trying to build the equivalent of the transcontinental railway. A vast amount of industry will need to be built on Mars by many other companies and millions of people.
  67. ^ Foust, Jeff (October 15, 2017). "Musk offers more technical details on BFR system". SpaceNews. Retrieved October 15, 2017. [the] spaceship portion of the BFR, which would transport people on point-to-point suborbital flights or on missions to the moon or Mars, will be tested on Earth first in a series of short hops. ... a full-scale Ship doing short hops of a few hundred kilometers altitude and lateral distance ... fairly easy on the vehicle, as no heat shield is needed, we can have a large amount of reserve propellant and don’t need the high area ratio, deep space Raptor engines. ... since the presentation last month, SpaceX has revised the design of the BFR spaceship to add a 'medium area ratio' Raptor engine to its original complement of two engines with sea-level nozzles and four with vacuum nozzles. That additional engine helps enable that engine-out capability ... and will 'allow landings with higher payload mass for the Earth to Earth transport function.' ... The flight engine design is much lighter and tighter, and is extremely focused on reliability.
  68. ^ "Marcia Smith on Twitter".
  69. ^ Grush, Lauren (March 17, 2017). "SpaceX is pushing back the target launch date for its first Mars mission". The Verge. Archived from the original on September 14, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  70. ^ a b Grush, Loren (July 19, 2017). "Elon Musk suggests SpaceX is scrapping its plans to land Dragon capsules on Mars". The Verge. Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  71. ^ "Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species, (full webcast)". SpaceX. September 27, 2016. Archived from the original on September 27, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2016 – via YouTube.
  72. ^ "I am Elon Musk, ask me anything about becoming a spacefaring civilization". Reddit. October 23, 2016. Archived from the original on November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2016. First crewed mission would have about a dozen people ...
  73. ^ Gebhardt, Chris (September 29, 2017). "The Moon, Mars, & around the Earth – Musk updates BFR architecture, plans". NASASpaceflight.com. Archived from the original on October 1, 2017. Retrieved October 2, 2017. In a move that would have seemed crazy a few years ago, Mr. Musk stated that the goal of BFR is to make the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy rockets and their crew/uncrewed Dragon spacecrafts redundant, thereby allowing the company to shift all resources and funding allocations from those vehicles to BFR. Making the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, and Dragon redundant would also allow BFR to perform the same Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Beyond LEO satellite deployment missions as Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy – just on a more economical scale as multiple satellites would be able to launch at the same time and on the same rocket thanks to BFR’s immense size.

External linksEdit