10 thoughts on “More Mars 2018 Stories”

  1. I weep for humanity… planetary protection? Reminds me of the first moon astronauts being put in contamination chambers.

    You can’t sterilize a live human. Mar’s surface is however sterilized.

    Then the fact that you are talking about a land area equal to the earth.

    Then there’s the moron that brings up property taxes. No sovereign claim equals no property tax.

    Whenever Musk succeeds it won’t be on the shoulders of giants… it will be over the backs of morons.

  2. Musk is a master at keeping the hype machine in high gear. Even if he doesn’t have a realistic shot of making the 2018 deadline, he will push his team anyway, make more loud noises at regular intervals, keep the thumb screws on.
    Excellent way to bring more like minded top talent on board, too.

    All of this is working in their favor.

    BTW, whats an ‘unfunded’ space act agreement anyway, civil servants don’t get paid while sitting in review meetings for SpaceX ? 😉 And how many civil servants for how many months can they borrow ?

      1. Sure. But in theory all these NASA people are not slacking off or anything, they already have other projects to work on. In practice, there would be some limits to many manhours, assets and resources can NASA dedicate to this, as long as it stays ‘unfunded’. Even though i’m sure there are plenty of people at APL, Goddard, Ames, JPL that would like to be involved a lot.

  3. Any guesses on what this will cost SpaceX? It seems like it has to be at least $100m. It’s a big investment for a company that, as far as we know, isn’t running very far above break-even.

      1. You mean a used Dragon 2? I don’t believe Dragon V1 can do propulsive landing. Also a lot has been written to say how different a Red Dragon would be from a Dragon 2. So I suspect rather than a used Dragon 2, either a highly modified used Dragon 2 or more likely a Red Dragon prototype.

    1. If where SpaceX is operating now was ground level and break-even was the bottom of a well, you could toss in a stone and wait days to hear the splash.

      As for the mission costs, SpaceX should get the entire FH back – barring recovery misadventure(s) – with the exception of the 2nd stage. The Red Dragon will be a hull with engines that gets pulled off the line for special sterilization and final assembly in a clean room where instrumentation and experiment hardware get crammed in. Much of that is likely to be NASA-supplied. A minimal climate control borrowed from the current cargo Dragon is probably enough to keep the electronics happy.

      No human-rated environmental control. No ISS rendezvous and docking hardware or avionics. No crew couches. No control console. No lighting. No aircraft-style interior. No in-flight magazines. No beverage service. Red Dragon will be a cheap Dragon.

      The bottom line will probably be in the $10 – 20 million neighborhood, all up.

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