Interior Design

of long-duration space ships. I’d like to attend that event, but it looks like it coincides with the Space Transportation Conference in DC.

These issues are why I’ve never taken any Mars plans by NASA seriously. Until we dramatically reduce the cost of access to space, so we can afford an armada of spacious vehicles, sending humans to Mars will be a pipe dream, but at least Elon is taking that problem seriously, even if he’s doing nothing about the partial-gravity issue.

[Update a few minutes later]

Oops, there is no conflict, but I still can’t go; it starts tomorrow. I wonder if Lurio will attend?

7 thoughts on “Interior Design”

  1. Until we dramatically reduce the cost of access to space, so we can afford an armada of spacious vehicles, sending humans to Mars will be a pipe dream, but at least Elon is taking that problem seriously, even if he’s doing nothing about the partial-gravity issue.

    It seems to me that the transportation issue is the only problem that Musk is dealing with. He appears to be expecting (hoping?) that others will take care of the rest.

    1. He always says it will take a group effort.

      It is also so far off in the future that SpaceX can’t devote much resources to it when their current tasks are immediately important.

    2. Boring technology could be used on Mars.
      Hyperloop could be used on Mars.
      Solar energy could be used on Mars.
      Electrical power vehicles could be used on Mars.
      High Capacity Storage Batteries could be used on Mars.

      I don’t know .. he seems to be involved in a lot of technologies that could be shipped to Mars.

  2. To me, if it doesn’t have radiation shielding and some level of artificial gravity, then it’s just a raft, not a real ship, and it’s more of a human endurance stunt, not a transportation system.

    I won’t belabor all the reasons why gravity will make life aboard ten times easier, from cooking to pooping to making and repairing equipment, but will note that the fundamental differences between having gravity and not having gravity means any interior design work that assumes zero-G will not be very applicable to the other.

    I’ll also note that it’s trivial to fully test the functionality and livability of a gravity-ship’s interior designs on Earth, whereas the zero-G ship’s designs would involve a lot of speculation based mostly on ISS experience.

  3. If SpaceX StarShip works out, there will never be any 520 dat trips to Mars. SpaceX is talking 90 to 120 days, depending on planetary alignments. We know from Skylab, Salyut, Mir, and ISS that people have no trouble with that. All the talk of slow Hohmann trajectories, Aldrin Cyclers, and the like is just clinging to the past at this point. And an important point that people miss is, Cyclers have to maintained in flight, for the lifetime of the vehicle. StarShip is maintained on the ground, on Earth.

    1. The problem is how to make the ticket price affordable. Reusability lowers prices by ammortizing costs over uses and a vehicle which is used infrequently wont be able to realize the full potential of that benefit. Using an intrasolar transport ship would allow for a single spacex super heavy spaceship to make flights as fast as they could turn them around. A small fleet could deliver a lot of people to space in a short period of time. Who knows how affordable a transport ship would be?

      What spacex is doing is amazing and potentially cheaper than anything before but it wont be affordable enough for colonization. It will be great for intensive human prospecting. There is probably a better case for cislunar activities without intermediary transport ships though.

      1. Musk has stated the price of a ticket to Mars (with repatriation right if you can’t take Mars) is $500K, which is based on fully leveraged cost of what was then called ITS. My surmise has always been that’s the price when there’s a growing colony site on Mars able to take an inflow of colonists. That’s bound to be quite a while down the road.

        The problem with a cycler is it’s built in space and must be maintained in space (so picture an interplanetary ISS), and makes hyperbolic passes by Earth and Mars. That means you have to have StarShip class transports available at both ends of the cycle. That all amounts to major in-space infrastructure. A transport that leaves LEO, goes to LMO and back requires most of the same, just cheaper and easier because the infrastructure lives in LEO and LMO.

        Ground to ground Earth-Mars and back is going to be cheaper and stay cheaper (and more flexible) until space infratructure is in place. and the reason is because the ground infrastructure (which is to say the industrial ifrastructure of a major industrial nation-state) already exists. Sure, there will one day be giant versions of NautilusX plying the Solar System, but it’ll be a hundred years after SpaceX StarShip (and/or Blue Origin New Armstrong) gets the ball rolling.

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