Conmen will always seek out a ready collection of trusting suckers. Charlotte 16 September at 3: If it sounds too good to be true, it IS.
It can carry more than twice as much payload as the Heavy. It will be fully reusable, which will drastically cheapen the cost of putting objects and people into space even beyond what SpaceX has achieved so far.
Elon Musk is building it because he wants to send people to Mars, but the rocket has the potential to do a lot of other stuff too: The rocket would take off from somewhere near a city, launch at sub-orbital speed into space, coast for a few tens of minutes, re-enter the atmosphere, fire its rockets and land at the destination city.
Essentially, it would be an ICBM for passengers. Elon Musk has claimed the an Earth-to-Earth BFR ticket should be around the same price as a commercial economy flight ticket, offering a faster, competitive alternative to air travel.
This boggled my mind, so I decided to do a whole heap of napkin math to answer the question: How crazy is this?
Is it even crazy at all? Is it possible to bring the cost of a ride on an honest-to-god spaceship down to that level? A Mars trip is a multi-month journey, so in order to offer everyone living quarters, entertainment, amenities, and cargo space to carry equipment for living on Mars, the spaceship tops out at a maximum capacity of around people.
But for a 30 minute intercity trip, none of those amenities will be necessary, and that means we can fit a lot more people on board. So realistically, the intercity BFR could carry 5 to 10 times as many people as the Mars ship.
The Mars journey is much longer, too.
The absolute number of a number a is written as $$\left | a \right |$$ And represents the distance between a and 0 on a number line. An absolute value equation is an equation that contains an absolute value expression. Historically, the first approach has been increasing the exhaust velocity by inventing more and more powerful rocket engines. Unfortunately for the anti-nuclear people, chemical propulsion exhaust velocity has pretty much hit the theoretical maximum. I am sorry if this comes across as snarky but it really has to be said. “CEO pay is mostly justified” is not “A known fact”. It is a deeply contested claim debated by mounds of .
So much longer, in fact, that SpaceX will have to launch five more BFRs into low Earth orbit just to fuel up the passenger vehicle before it departs for interplanetary space. So to go to Mars, those passengers are actually paying for at least 6 complete BFR launches from the surface of the Earth.
After rockets are fully reusable, the non-fuel costs could go way down. Perhaps the biggest factor in ticket price is reusability, or the number of flights the rocket can make.
An intercity rocket could do many, many more launches than an interplanetary one: The former could launch every day; perhaps multiple times per day, while the latter could realistically make only one round trip every 26 months, at every Hohman transfer window.
In 10 years of life, that means a Mars ship could run only 5 flights, while an Earth-to-Earth rocket could run about flights in the same time period at once a day — another x improvement.
This is only a factor of 2 improvement over the schedule-constrained limitations of a Mars route. Airplanes, by contrast, can service about 60, flights before reaching the end of their life. Few materials can survive this for very long, which means heat shielding burns away or becomes ruined after only a few uses.
The BFR will likely need to use as-yet uninvented technology to avoid completely rebuilding the heat shield every 10 trips or so, and SpaceX might have to look at new solutions like liquid cooling.
Given that the Mars ship is only ever going carry passengers in its entire life, buying a ticket to Mars is essentially like going in on purchasing an interplanetary spaceship with other people: But getting a ride on a durable intercity rocket is like buying it with 2 million other people, and then paying for ground operations, fuel, staffing, maintenance, and other overhead for every flight.
Suddenly the vehicle cost is unimportant and the operations costs are the ones that matter.A new threaded post on this topic can be found here. For previous posts about the Harreld hire, click the tag below.
02/04/18 — Another One Bites the Dust: Administrative Turnover in the Time of Harreld. 01/28/18 — Iowa’s Rapidly Devolving Higher-Ed Budget Battle.
01/21/18 — Wendy. The details about these tools will be brief as books are written about each item. Think of the presentations below as hors d’oeuvres (a little snack food or starters)—not the main course. The most important reliability tool is a Pareto distribution based on money—specifically based on the cost of unreliability which directs attention to work on the most important money problem first.
Effective Modeling for Good Decision-Making What is a model? A Model is an external and explicit representation of a part of reality, as it is seen by individuals who wish to use this model to understand, change, manage and control that part of reality.
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EDITOR: I would like to thank all the firefighters of the Central Platte Fire Department for the wonderful help on Sunday morning, Nov. With all their help, we were able to check and replace bad Christmas lights with bulbs and sockets on the buildings on Main Street in Platte City.
Historically, the first approach has been increasing the exhaust velocity by inventing more and more powerful rocket engines. Unfortunately for the anti-nuclear people, chemical propulsion exhaust velocity has pretty much hit the theoretical maximum.