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Colonize Mars - part 1, a really big rocket (updated 12 July with corrections)

12 Jul 2016, 15:52 UTC
Colonize Mars - part 1, a really big rocket (updated 12 July with corrections)
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

I had a burning vision of a spacecraft in my head that simply demanded to be written down. In a rush I threw together a bulky, dense post that isn't terribly useful for me so it must be opaque and meandering for anyone else reading. This is not the direction I want to go. The solution is to break the whole project into smaller pieces, go deeper into the details, show my work and hopefully try to put some graphics together. We'll see how well it goes.{{I made a pretty serious mistake in the initial version of this post, one that led to inflated payload capacity. This has since been corrected throughout; I've also removed some commentary that is no longer supported by the numbers.}} The first thing you need for a giant transit habitat is a giant rocket. I want a single module to be big enough for Mars gravity at no more than 4 rpm, which works out to 43 meters in diameter. That means a massively large rocket is needed to loft this module in one piece. Working on rumor, innuendo, published interviews and Wikipedia it is clear that Elon Musk plans to build such a giant ...

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