Elon Musk is still thinking big with SpaceX's Starship Mars-colonizing rocket. Really big.

Dec 20, 2019
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18 years trying and he's still focused on making his dream come true. I remember him stating he would launch the Falcon 1 from a drilling rig in international waters if the gov didn't let him fly. The flight path would have taken the Falcon 1 over Mexico and the Gov said "Oh No, We can't have that !". So after some problems with Vandenberg they gave him a spot on Kwajalein Atol not believing he'd succeed. Were they surprised. LOL

All the cards looked like they were stacked against Elon and probably were. I think it was the article here on Space.com by Leonard David that got the people rallying for Elon and SpaceX,
 
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Jan 18, 2020
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He’s not crazy... he’s already proven the reusable rocket model for satellite launch biz... it’s the customers that launch satellites that are going to pay for the 1000 rocket fleet... he just needs to build an extra spaceship for each satellite launch booster... given the satellite launch industry doesn’t care about throwing away rockets that are used only once ... he could easier save 10 rockets a year for free... after 10 years you have 100 rockets going to mars...
 
Dec 20, 2019
35
12
1,535
He’s not crazy... he’s already proven the reusable rocket model for satellite launch biz... it’s the customers that launch satellites that are going to pay for the 1000 rocket fleet... he just needs to build an extra spaceship for each satellite launch booster... given the satellite launch industry doesn’t care about throwing away rockets that are used only once ... he could easier save 10 rockets a year for free... after 10 years you have 100 rockets going to mars...
SpaceX will pack as many Sats as possible into each Starship. His first priority is generating revenue. When he's got a reliable Starship, one will be used for the private Moon return flight. Then he has a couple moon deliveries to make. Those ships will most likely not come back. The first 3 to Mars won't be coming back either.

Elon has stated many times that the revenue from StarLink will pay for the Mars fleet.

To make this post shorter than it could be; You must learn to separate the hype from reality. There won't be a 1,000 fleet of ships.
 
Dec 23, 2019
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Elon has nailed it with his reusable rockets, and now Starship.
And I would love to see humans living on Mars.
But in my opinion, the biggest thing they are going to need is a large potable water source. Cutting ice blocks and melting them down will take too much time and effort to sustain more than an outpost. For colonization, they are going to have to find water reservoirs like we have on earth. And no one is talking about drilling wells...yet.
It is estimated that there is between 10 to 20 times as much subsurface water on the earth as there is surface water. We know Mars used to have oceans, it is possible that it has underground reservoirs like the earth. But someone has to figure out how to find it, and then how to drill for it.
 
Feb 1, 2020
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Finding water appears to not be a problem on Mars. We need a small nuclear reactor to make chemical processing fast and simple, using heat derived from the reactor or electricity from a generator attached to the reactor to produce heat. Life on Mars and especially the Moon will not be possible without a nuclear reactor to support every aspect of any colony that is started. Even a basic habitat will require a reactor for heat and light during the two weeks in the shade. There are a few locations that have continuous sunlight, but we are going to want to go beyond those. On Mars, a reactor can both support melting initially and drilling beyond that. We need to be careful, though, because we might drill into more than water if Mars went through a "swamp" phase.

Secondly, Starships and Super Heavies that can withstand years of service are going to require one of two techniques. One, reinforcing bands for the welds, which will be too heavy, or two, using friction-stir welding for joining all the cylinders and the tank headers and nose cones. Two will require a little cleaner environment than the current method, but the results will be segments joined as if they were single pieces of metal, with no impurities from the welds. That is the method currently used on F9 tanks and headers and it is available for stainless steel, All that is required is jigs to support and align the equipment and a fairly clean environment, which can be provided by pressurized gases as are already used for normal welding. If there are tensions left in the metal, the whole thing can be annealed in the equivalent of a paint oven.

The method laid out in "two" above is reasonably simple and uses available technology whose cost can be recovered over the many rockets he plans to build. The current welding techniques are expensive and weak and need to be superseded.

If he needs welders, all he has to do is go up the coast to Del Mar Technical Vocational school in Corpus Christi. It produces top notch welders that can pass X-ray on any job in the world. If Elon will work with them, they can train welders and mechanics to any standard he will like. They also produce diesel mechanics who are used to working in a clean room because of the fine tolerances in diesel injectors.

And anyone who goes to Del Mar is used to working in the heat and humidity of the Gulf Coast. I know these things because I am the son of the man who started the school and the master welding instructor was my godfather. They are both gone now, but they left behind a fine school.
 

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