7 thoughts on “The Space Show”

  1. Why is SpaceX putting the Starlink satellites into an elliptical orbit this time, requiring them to correct to a circular orbit? Surely that costs them; what is the gain? They obviously are able to do it the other way.

    1. It’s easier, to de-orbit from a more elliptical orbit.
      It also seems like it could easier to place each satellite in the spot in the sky, that you want it.
      And I believe each satellite has ample delta-v and it seems possible later satellite could be launched with less delta-v, if it proves that satellite needs only a certain amount in order to be economically operated.
      Or risk management could indicate one has more than adequate station keeping ability, and with operation experience, one could learn that you could get by with less.

  2. L-5 vs planets and how to make a living on Mars.

    I think making a living on Mars, will depend on cheap water on Mars, and cheap water on Mars is Mars water which less than 100 times the cost of water on Earth. But vs L-5, I expect water to be as cheap as water on Earth.
    Also to make a living on Mars, will depend on having electricity being less than 100 times the price of electricity on Earth.
    And I expect electricity will be cheaper on L-5 than on Earth surface.
    Or assuming Mars has more expensive water and power as compared to L-5, I think one make living on Mars.
    But with Mars water and power more than 1000 times Earth’s prices, it seems unlikely one can make living.

    And one mine water and have industry on Moon with water and electrical power, thousand times price of water and electrical power on Earth, but the Moon needs a future [a few decades] where one can expect power and water to be less than 100 times Earth costs.

    Now an issue related with making a living on Mars would be any health consequence of years of living in 1/3 gravity of Mars.
    And it seems with L-5 it would easier/ much cheaper if artificial gravity was 1/2 Earth rather than needing one earth gravity.

    If there is not health problems with Mars gravity in terms of life in general and human life, it seems the low gravity is selling point of Mars.
    And the low gravity of Mars, doesn’t seem like much of problem vs L-5. Now there is advantage with L-5 if you want dock a billion tonnes to it, but you don’t want anything getting close to L-5 which traveling at a high velocity.
    And with Mars one get within 200 km of surface and be going 20 km/sec. It could hit atmosphere and vaporize, but there not much danger to those living on Mars surface- unless it’s massive object.
    Whereas one probably don’t want traffic going over 1 km/sec within 200 km distance of a L-5 location
    And leaving Mars surface, one can have very low gravity and atmospheric drag. So, at Mars surface, go to orbit in few minutes, and perhaps refuel in orbit {or not} and get to place thousands or millions km away, pretty quickly. But if starting on L-5, it could take quite while to go a 1000 km distance. If say going from one L-5 to another L-5, it could take days to get there.
    Or on Mars your speed limit could be much faster. The atmosphere limits hyper velocities {ie meteor showers]. And you can bring billion ton things to Mars, if you don’t mind that it makes impact crater.

    Also I think you have to start with Moon and/or Mars, before one could do L-5.And I think you grow food on Mars for places like the Moon and L-5s.

  3. I just listened to the Zubrin interview last night. Elon met with him and took him on a tour of Boca Chica.

    *As I had long suspected, most of the differences between their positions were because Zubrin has spent decades optimizing mass budgets for reference missions, and Elon thinks he can break the $$$ budget so badly that the mass budget becomes almost irrelevant. Zubrin sounds much more open to accepting Elon’s point of view than he has in the past, although he still isn’t fanboying (yet).
    *Case in point. Zubrin stated that Elon’s current focus isn’t on building a StarShip, but a ShipYARD. BC should go from 300 workers to 3,000 in less than a year. Elon expects full production to reach 2/week and $5 million(!) flyaway cost per StarShip. Zubrin thinks that $20 million is more realistic, but still… that’s truly absurd. It means that Elon doesn’t care if the first half dozen wind up not being able to make orbit, because the next half dozen WILL. And “wasting” StarShips by leaving them rusting on Mars or even scrapping them there is almost irrelevant to SpaceX’s profits as well.
    *Another example. Elon plans to use solar to power everything. Zubrin objected that the Sabatier chemical reactor alone would require 5-6 football fields’ worth of panels just to refuel a single StarShip between launch windows. Elon’s response? “Then that’s what we’ll ship.” I got the vague impression that Elon might not *object* to a Martian nuclear reactor, but he refuses to allow anything into his critical path that will slow him down.

    If SpaceX comes even close to hitting some of those numbers… it’s pretty much the end of the industry as we’ve known it.

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