Assembling Large Frames in Space For Massive Mars Colonization Ship

Gateway Foundation is working on creating orbital assembly line and block construction systems. They would want to create a 244 meter long and 71 meter wide Mars Colonial Transport.

12 thoughts on “Assembling Large Frames in Space For Massive Mars Colonization Ship”

  1. I think the idea behind the in-space construction technique is very promising.
    They can only prove it by going to space.
    What they are building in the example may be lacking and yeah may never happen.

  2. Wouldn’t it be possible to have starships connecting to these Planetliners, then getting the passengers for landing on Mars?

    Meaning… never landing these huge ships on Mars

  3. I concur this is an idea for another time, one that most likely will never exist in this particular form and design.

    When things finally get moving in crewed space, it will be with things that exist and are being developed right now.

    And when the need arises for ships like these, they will be born from experience and tangible pieces, and look probably very different.

  4. Yeah, PowerPoint rockets tend to never fly.

    Physical rockets on a parking lot in Boca Chica and Florida on the other hand, might do it one day.

  5. Yep. If you want Battlestar Galactica to have as efficient a mission profile it has to aerobrake at both ends. Otherwise it uses a lot more propellant even for the same dry mass and it has a lot more dry mass.

    It seems unlikely that these guys know something about assembly and mass production that Elon who has spent hundreds of hours literally sleeping next to his auto assembly line to help get production up Is missing.

  6. However, the current plan involves aerobraking at both ends of the trip to economize on fuel, and the larger the craft, the harder aerobraking becomes, because mass to be accelerated scales as the cube of size, while the area available to dissipate the resulting heat scales only as the square.

    So you can’t make these ships arbitrarily large without substantially altering the mission profile, and relying on fuel instead of aerobraking, with a resulting loss of payload capacity.

    Hypothetically you could get around this by putting rotovators in Earth and Mars orbit, and using them instead of aerobraking. They’d have to be scaled appropriately to the ships, but the scaling laws here at least don’t work against you.

    There are a lot of ways to optimize the Mars trip using new designs. But, as I’ve noted before, SpaceX treats engineering resources as scarce, and tries to concentrate them on solutions with multiple uses, rather than single purpose designs. Perhaps once the effort to colonize Mars is in full swing, it would be worth designing and building ships optimized for the purpose. It’s basically certain that the colonization will start with the current design if it proves out.

    The Mars “gravity” during the trip can be accomplished on almost any scale, by connecting pairs of ships by tethers, and spinning the system. The mass of the required tether is quite small, and it can be brought to the surface after the trip; Having a bit of rope around is always useful.

  7. thats the way to do it, at 71 metres diameter we only need to spin the cylinder a fraction more than twice per minute to get 3.7m/s^2 gravity
    this will allow Martian colonists to acclimatise to the low gravity during the long interplanetary voyage

    additionally, having such large transports will allow SpaceX’s SS/SH stack to focus more on surface to orbit traffic, and will allow for more Martian colonists to bring with them larger stockpiles of supplies and ISRU tools, providing a much better chance of survival and success!

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