Well folks, we are going to Mars. There is an actual plan for transport to the red planet. It was recently outlined by CEO/CTO of SpaceX, Elon Musk.
Let’s start with this gorgeous video of SpaceX’s Interplanetary Transport System through all phases of flight.
Great! A huge new rocket and some pretty renderings! But plans are just plans, has anything been built yet?
Yes actually, well sort of.. first the renderings are all based on real engineering CAD models, they are not just an artist’s design. As far as “bending metal” two of the most difficult items are the gigantic fuel tanks, and the new cryogenic methane/oxygen fueled rocket engines.
Here we have a test liquid oxygen tank, it will be tested at two thirds of burst pressure on a barge in the Pacific later this year.
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The Interplanetary Transport System will be powered by Methane and Liquid Oxygen (LOX) – both can be made on Mars – with the majority of the rocket and tanks being made out of advanced carbon fiber. The development tank shown here would be in the Spaceship and house the LOX.
Turn the volume down for this video.. That’s a 1/3 scale, brand new rocket engine fueled by methane and oxygen .
The full presentation is an hour long, but it is not overly technical. Please take the time to watch it in its entirety, it is well worth it. Welcome to Mars 101.
For much more information you should read Tim Urban’s Wait but Why story with exclusive access to SpaceX. Please be aware that it is not appropriate for children due to language.
Most recently Mr. Musk held an AMA(Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, here is a basic breakdown of what was covered.
All images and videos from SpaceX
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