According to the founder and head of the private space company SpaceX, one day, flights to Mars will be available to a very large number of people. Suffice it to sell your housing on Earth and invest the money in space travel. In addition, Musk even offered a bonus for those who still dare to do so: the opportunity to return back to Earth will be completely free. If you survive.
On the question of one of his readers on Twitter about whether it would be expensive to fly to the Moon / Mars with regard to the use of rockets for reusable launches, Musk replied that everything would depend on the volume of these launches.
(Ibid return ticket is less than $ 500k & maybe even below $ 100k. If you want.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 11, 2019
“I’m sure that once moving to Mars will cost less than 500,000 dollars, and maybe even less than 100,000 dollars,” wrote Musk.
According to the head of SpaceX, such a cost would mean that most people from countries with developed economies, if they wish, will be able, having sold their house, to finance the move to another planet.
Elon Mask wants to make such space flights with the help of Starship, a fully reusable spacecraft designed for the comfortable delivery of a centurion to Mars in one launch, and also in the future and beyond. Recently, the company has already conducted the second fire tests of a substantially upgraded Raptor engine, which will be used for test suborbital flights. They are planning to start in March of this year.
Burning Raptor for Starship
In the same "Twitter" Mask said that the rocket engine for the Starship spacecraft ahead of the RD-180 in terms of pressure in the combustion chamber.
“According to the plan, traction should be at least 170 tons. The engine reached 172 tons, and the pressure in the combustion chamber reached 257 bar, ”explained Musk.
A little later, he added that the pressure exceeded 268.9 bar, which allowed SpaceX to break the record of the Russian RD-180 engine.
Of course, such a statement could not stay away. The words Ilona Mask decided to comment on the chief designer of NPO Energomash, as well as the designer and manufacturer of engines of the RD-180 family Pyotr Lyovochkin, whose words are quoted on the official website of the Roscosmos state corporation:
“The SpaceX company creates the Raptor engine on oxygen and methane components or, as is customary in the Russian classification, the gas-gas scheme. In such schemes, such a pressure level in the combustion chamber is not something extraordinary – in our designs for these schemes we lay down the pressure level in the chamber over 300 atmospheres. And the parameter pressure in the chamber is not the output characteristic of the engine, such as thrust and specific impulse.
However, Mr. Musk, not being a technical specialist, does not take into account that the RD-180 engine for the Atlas launch vehicle uses a completely different fuel circuit – “oxygen-kerosene”, and these are other parameters of the engine operation. It is like comparing a diesel and a gasoline internal combustion engine. And if we take into account the fact that Energomash certified the engine with a 10% reserve, then the pressure in the RD-180 combustion chamber is above 280 atmospheres.
Despite the fact that our companies are competitors, we as engineers welcome the first successes of colleagues from SpaceX in the field of rocket engine building. Indeed, during the development of the Raptor engine, American engineers reached a record pressure level in the chamber. This indicates a fairly high level of development and production processes at SpaceX. ”
In the future, SpaceX is going to create a universal version of Raptor, which will be used both in the launch vehicle for launching spacecraft, and in the vehicles themselves for reaching the desired orbit and maneuvers. This will not only save development time, but also reduce the cost of assembly and launch.
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