Thursday, January 22, 2015

MCT payload

Elon promises too tell us more.

The article says MCT will have a 100 metric ton payload. Previously we learned it will have up to 100 colonists. That makes the math easy!

I'm guessing a ballpark of $500 million per launch. So if first landing has 10 colonists that's almost 10 tons per crew. Much better than the 2 ton per I consider minimal.

My mission of a dozen for $2b just got blown out of the water.

MCT cargo about $5m per ton vs. red lander $60m per ton... quite an impressive improvement.

Bad news? This lower the value and amount of personal possessions. A half ton each (the other half being themselves, spacesuit and short term consumables) means personal property may be worth something less than a million but still provide a good financial start.

My speculations in general become more possible as costs lower. This should also cause the value of real property on mars to appreciate faster. I may actually see people living on mars before I die?


C J said...

I'm having a very hard time believing that 100 tons of payload can mean 100 passengers. That's one ton per, themselves included.

Assuming the mass of the MCT and fuel isn't counted in that 100 tons, and that it's all payload, that's still a streach.

For comparison, a 777 airliner has a max payload weight of 112 tons (cargo version). It can carry 325 passengers, but it does so in conditions that most of us consider awful for a 10 hour flight. So, would increasing the per person resources by a factor of three give enough room to live for a journey of months? I rather doubt it... especially if one has to count consumables.

My guess; 100 tons payload would equate, at best, to 50 passengers.

But, there's some good news; I think your 500 million is off by a bit. The reason is the launch vehicle should be fully reusable (as is hoped for MCT too). And, the launch vehicle will almost certainly have its development paid for via use as a commercial launcher. So, my guess is we'll see a MCT mission to Mars closer to 100 mil than 500 - which is good news for your colony plans.

ken_anthony said...

Actually, I really screwed up this post.

Elon has said MCT will be 100 crew, but less on early flights. The linked article says 100 tons. Other news said direct to the surface of mars (not using Dragon landers.)

My mistake in this post is not considering consumables for the 8 month trip. What a whopper!

I've not heard anything about pressurized volume other than Elon claiming it would be spacious.

I look at volume in two regards, private and common. Getting the right balance of whatever you have is the trick.