During a talk at the ISS R& D seminar on Wednesday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk rendered a number of updates about progress on the Falcon Heavy rocket, crewed Dragon capsule development and his eyesight for an eventual crewed mission to Mars with the ultimate goal of human colonization of the red planet. Spoiler alert for those looking into the Falcon Heavys inaugural flight its likely going to explosion shortly after launch.
[ Falcon Heavy] necessitates the simultaneous ignition of 27 orbit class rockets, Musk mentioned, adding that theres a lot of hazard associated with Falcon Heavy as a result.
Theres a real good chance that it does not make it to orbit, he continued. I hope it gets far enough away from the launch pad that it does not make pad damage I would consider that a win. He qualified that while Falcon Heavys going to be a great vehicle, there merely isnt a lot you are able to test on the ground.
Musk admitted that developing Falcon Heavy, which uses the equivalent of three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together, purposed up being lane, lane more difficult than SpaceX originally foresaw. Musk said the team was fairly naive about that ultimately. Musk half-joked about eventual initial crew flights applying a Falcon Heavy.
No question, whoevers on the first flight brave. Brave. he said.
Still, SpaceX hopes to focus on a Crew Dragon orbital launch, as well as testing its automated docking capabilities, which dont necessitate capture and attachment via the Space Stations robotic limb, as is the case with the present capsule. Crew Dragon( also known as Dragon 2) wont have propulsive landing capabilities, however, as was schemed on an earlier roadmap.
Musk noted in response to an audience question that Dragon 2 technically still is capable of landing propusively( controlling descent via retrorockets, instead of swimming back to Earth via parachutes ), but its not being pursued for the final spacecraft at the moment. SpaceX decided to abandon developing that ability in part because it wouldve taken a tremendous great efforts to quality it from a safety view, and also because while SpaceX originally belief this would be the best track for making a capsule that could land on Mars, theyve since changed their thinking and so propulsive landing is greater required for that purpose.
Asked whether Musk himself was ultimately journey the crew module to the ISS and back, he replied that hed likely make the try eventually.
I would like to at some phase, he mentioned. Assuming things work up, yeah, maybe in three or four years.
Regarding extraorbital developings, Musk noted thatif you want to get the public real fired up, we gotta have a base on the moon at one point, to considerable applause from the audience in attendance.
Having some permanent presence on another heavenly body, he mentioned. Thats the continuance of the dream of Apollo.
On Mars, Musk said hed likely have more details to share on the SpaceX plan unveiled at last years International Astronautical Congress at this years event in Adelaide in September. Still, he shared a little bit of information about what to expect, including a somewhat pared down spacecraft design, which, while still large-scale, is designed to likewise being used for Earth orbit activity in addition to Mars missions, with the former helping to fund the latter. The key question inferno seek to address with plan updates is constructing the plan more real or economically viable.