Sun, China, 2022, Solar flare, Earth, Space ship's Secret Tanker Problem & Why The Moon Is The Key To SpaceX's Mars Colony!
. It looks quite nice, of course, but there is a problem which SpaceX isn’t really telling you about., Namely that six refueling tankers will be needed to fill up just one single Starship with enough fuel to be able to land on the surface of Mars.. So for launching Elon’s famous 1000 Starships to Mars, complete with personnel and cargo we’d need 6000 refuelings from Earth. Doesn’t sound very practical. Now does it. We want to therefore show why it could make a lot of sense to build a Moon infrastructure asap and then launch Mars missions from the Moon instead of from Earth.. There is always the old debate. Should we settle the Moon first or Mars? Both celestial bodies have pros and cons, and we already made two videos summarizing all the pros for Moon. First vs, all the pros for Mars. First approach and we add the links to those videos in this video’s description., And we admit, if you just look at the celestial bodies themselves. Mars, is of course a much more interesting object and it is much more suitable for long term habitation than the Moon.. It has a non neglectable atmosphere compared to the Moon, a gravity that is 2.29 times higher than the moon’s. Much more interesting surface features, so Mars is in many regards much more Earth like and even has a day night cycle duration only slightly higher than earths. With 24h and 37 minutes for one rotation. So Mars definitely is the cooler target.
, But why do we still think that it might be a better idea to first build large cities on the Moon and, if Mars, then only small bases at first Well? There are, of course, multiple reasons for that.. The first big reason is because we are total noobs. Like seriously. We are such noobs when it comes to living on other worlds, that compared to that level of noobishness, you would already be called a pro gamer after one day of playing Starcraft 2.. Humanity has no experience whatsoever with living on a Moon or another planet than Earth.. The only times when people spent some time on the Moon was during the Apollo missions., But back then the stay time was really short, with a maximum stay time of 3 days, 2 hours and 59 minutes during the last Apollo mission, Apollo 17. – And that was almost 50 years, ago. So directly, aiming to build a Mars base seems to us like playing a PC game for a few days, then taking a huge break and then, when you return to the game 50 years later, you immediately want to play e sports championships.. You probably will end up seriously getting your ass kicked.. So this is one point, our sheer noobishness., But there is also another very important point, namely economics.. So we mentioned that one complete Starship journey to Mars would require six Starship tanker refuelings in low Earth orbit until the Starship has enough fuel to leave Earth so to perform a Mars insertion burn and then, when arriving on Mars.
Of course, you will need an additional amount of fuel to slow down the spacecraft for a landing on the surface and then the landing burn before touchdown itself., Because we must keep in mind that Mars’s atmosphere is, on average a bit less than 1 Earth atmosphere density. So that you cannot brake the spacecraft entirely only using aerobraking in Mars’s atmosphere.. Many of you have certainly heard the term delta V thrown around quite a few times when dealing with rockets, and we thought this might now be good time to explain what it actually means.. In mathematical terms, delta V is thrust over mass for any given time t integrated over the entire time of the fuel burning process., So the higher the thrust of a spacecraft and the lower its mass, the higher the delta V it can achieve.. But since the thrust and the mass change all the time we have to integrate over the whole time where fuel is burned. In simple terms, delta V is the change of velocity. A spacecraft would need in order to get from point A in the solar system. To point B. – And this change in velocity is proportional to the amount of fuel you would need., So a higher delta V means you will need more spacecraft, propellant. And please subscribe to our channel, because we talk about all disruptive technologies, not only spaceflight. Bu. Unfortunately, we need your support to continue to do so because the YouTube algorithm doesn’t like that.
, So we really need your support and thank you very much in advance. Let’S, look at landing on Mars as an example.. Fortunately, some amazing people have created a really nice delta V map for Earth. The Moon and Mars.. Getting a spacecraft to low Earth orbit already requires a delta V of 9.3 kms. That’s how brutal Earth actually is.. We live on a planet with a quite high surface. Gravity., Had it been only slightly higher, then we wouldn’t be able to reach orbit with conventional chemical propulsion.. So alien civilizations, living on super earths will need to come up with better technology than regular chemical propulsion. In order to be able to leave their home planet. Anyways, then getting from low earth orbit to Mars capture orbit requires an additional 4.3 kms. And then, of course, we need to decelerate if we don’t want to brutally crash on Mars. So we need an additional 5.5 kms of delta V for slowing down the spacecraft., Adding all these up we’d get a delta V of 19.1 kms., Ok, that’s, interesting and all, but we need some context to better understand what this means.. What is the delta V for landing on the Moon? So we again have the 9.3 kms to get to LEO. From LEO to Moon orbit. We have 4.0 kms. And then landing on the Moon is another 1.9 kms so that we get added up in total a delta V of 15.2 kms.. So this value is lower than landing on Mars, but fascinatingly.
It is almost 80 of the delta V to Mars., But the most interesting part is from the Moon to Mars.. What would it require to get from the surface of the Moon to the surface of Mars, Adding up the delta Vs? The way we did before yields a delta V of 9.7 kms.. Aha, now this is interesting.. This is a lot lower than the 19.1 kms we had for delta V when attempting to land on Mars directly from Earth.. This means that the fuel requirements for a spacecraft leaving the moon for Mars will be about half as high as leaving from Earth to Mars.. So here you can see why it might be an excellent idea to first settle on the Moon.. Imagine we build a Moon colony and a Moon infrastructure first before we settle on Mars. Getting to the Moon would require quite some effort. That is true and would, as we saw, require a delta V. That is really not so small about 80 of what we’d need to go directly to Mars., But the big advantage is that the moon has such a low gravity.. When the Moon colony grows larger, we can basically build mass drivers on the Moon and shoot the propellant required for trips to Mars directly into Moon orbit.. This way we would save the delta V required to reach Moon orbit.. Imagine if we could shoot up the parts for spacecraft with those mass drivers too, after we’ve established a Moon infrastructure and Moon mining.
, We could harvest metals on the Moon and build parts for large spacecraft on the Moon directly.. Then we would shoot the parts into Moon orbit, assemble the spacecraft there and shoot the propellant in capsules to Moon orbit.. Then from Moon orbit. We could get to mars with an insanely low delta V of 7.8 kms. Or even more insane to Phobos, with an insanely low, 3.2 kms or Deimos, with only a delta V of 2.9 kms., Quite impressive right. That is by the way, to reason why many propose to first build a colony on Deimos or Phobos, or both and also estabilish, refueling depots. There. Because the delta V needed to reach Deimos or Phobos is a lot lower than to actually land. On the surface of Mars., From Deimos or Phobos, we could refuel spacecraft and conveniently choose when to land on Mars.. Also, this could be a big advantage when Mars encounters a global dust storm.. It might not be the best idea to attempt a direct landing on Mars when the planet is covered in a dust storm, because the static electricity buildup when entering mars’ atmosphere in such a scenario might be really dangerous.. The static electricity might damage the Ship’s electronics and risk a crash landing on Mars., So the most economical approach to reach Mars would be 1. Build. A Moon base with Starship. Send many Lunar Starships to the Moon, bring habitat modules, power systems and propellant production. 2. Start Moon mining and build Moon factories.
Asap 3. Build a mass driver which is basically a giant railgun and shoot up. Spacecraft parts and propellant into Moon orbit 4. Build Mars cyclers.. These are rotating spacecraft which would travel between the Moon and Mars and never actually land on the surface. 5.. These cyclers can then be refueled in Moon orbit and at Deimos or Phobos 6.. The cyclers would also provide artificial gravity and would be much roomier than Starship. 7., You would land on Mars from Deimos or Phobos, with Starship. 8. People traveling to Mars could first get used to living off world for a while on the Moon and practice there. Of course. Ideally, in the far future, you would also have a space elevator to overcome those nasty delta V of 9.3 kms to low Earth orbit.. So this approach, although it sounds a lot more complicated, would make a lot more sense, economically long term., Especially with refueling in moon orbit and at Deimos and Phobos. We could have a really excellent and super efficient way to travel between the Earth, Moon system and Mars.. Because again, the delta V from Moon orbit to the moons of Mars is really only a staggeringly low 3.2 and 2.9 kms respectively.. So these cyclers would be ultra efficient and wouldn’t require these gigantic amounts of refueling, which we would need if we wanted to fly to Mars directly from Earth.. But the drawback is, of course, that this requires a complete Moon, infrastructure and industry, which will take many decades to build.
Flying directly to Mars, even though not so economical will, of course, enable us to be there much sooner.. In the end, we think we’ll see some kind of mixture of both approaches. We’ll land on the Moon and build a Moon base by the end of the 2020s, while simultaneously also traveling to Mars.. However, we believe that it will quickly be realized that flying large cargo ships to Mars will turn out to be too insane with all those thousands upon thousands of Starship tankers having to start from earth and refuel the Starships in low Earth orbit.. So, while the Moon economy will grow, fewer and fewer Starships will actually be used to fly directly to Mars. Instead, more and more cyclers will journey between the Earth, Moon and Mars system.. So what do you think? Which approach is the best? Should we first colonize the Moon, or should we aim directly for Mars? Our preferred scenario is, of course, doing both at first and then switching more to a Moon economy with Moon, mass drivers and the Moon Mars cyclers, but other approaches could also be viable. So be sure to. Let us know what you think in the comment: section. And another reason why it might be a good idea for the US or SpaceX to go to the Moon is because China also wants to build a Moon base about which we talked in this video here..