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daily 09/28/2016

    • As rumored, the Mars vehicle will be reusable and the spaceship will refuel in orbit. This is key, according to Musk, because refueling in orbit makes the trip much cheaper and hence more doable. Similarly, it’s inefficient to bring propellant for the return trip. Ideally, a team would build a propellant plant on Mars and send the ships back that way. (This is supposedly possible given the natural resources on the Red Planet.)
    • Back on Earth, the booster lands on a launch mount and a propellant tanker is loaded onto the booster. The entire unit — now filled with fuel — lifts off again. It joins with the spaceship, which is then refueled in orbit. The propellant tankers will go up anywhere from three to five times to fill the tanks of the spaceship.
    • At the rate of 20 to 50 total Mars trips, it will take anywhere from 40 to 100 years to achieve a fully self-sustaining civilization with one million people on Mars, says Musk.
    • This will not be a one-way trip: it’s important to give people the option of returning, even if they decide not to go. And, in any case, “we need the spaceship back.”
    • Being close to the equator allows rockets to snag a bigger velocity boost from the rotation of the Earth.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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