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NASA Mars Space Science

SpaceX Dragon As Mars Science Lander? 146

FleaPlus writes "Besides using the SpaceX Dragon capsule to deliver supplies to the ISS this year and astronauts in following years, the company wants to use Dragon as a platform for propulsively landing science payloads on Mars and other planets. Combined with their upcoming Falcon Heavy rocket, 'a single Dragon mission could land with more payload than has been delivered to Mars cumulatively in history.' According to CEO Elon Musk, SpaceX is working with NASA's Ames Research Center on a mission design concept that could launch in as early as 5-6 years."
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SpaceX Dragon As Mars Science Lander?

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  • Re:SpaceX, Tesla (Score:4, Informative)

    by Afforess ( 1310263 ) <afforess@gmail.com> on Friday July 15, 2011 @11:45AM (#36775898) Journal
    Speculate being the key word. If you had in fact, read the article, you'd know that the Roadster was primarly a proof-of-concept and they are gearing up production for newer cars, using the technology behind the roadster and the knowledge they gained from building it.
  • Re:SpaceX, Tesla (Score:4, Informative)

    by afidel ( 530433 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @11:48AM (#36775936)
    They can no longer get chassis from Lotus because Lotus updated their design and Tesla isn't going to redesign and recertify such a low volume car when their resources can better be used on the S and providing engineering resources to their OEM customers. The company is not going to fold because they are no longer producing a small number of fairly low profit cars. The roadster was always meant to be a technology demonstration and engineering research platform that just happened to bring in some revenue.
  • Re:From TFA (Score:4, Informative)

    by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Friday July 15, 2011 @12:02PM (#36776114) Journal
    The shuttle had the life support endurance capabilities to get into orbit around the moon. What it didn't have was sufficient fuel to do so. Even if it did, it couldn't land there. However, there was probably enough room in the cargo bay to carry a lander and the extra propellant needed for a "flags and footsteps" mission. It would mean modifications to the tanks in the Orbital Maneuvering System (The bulges on either side of the tail fin).

    The shuttle does not have the endurance capabilities to get to Mars, nor could it land there if it did.

In the realm of scientific observation, luck is granted only to those who are prepared. - Louis Pasteur