More details about the Space-X mission to Mars. It is a basic research mission for both Space-X and NASA. Looks achievable. It is a great public-private partnership.
NASA estimates that SpaceX is spending on the order of $300 million on its Red Dragon Mars lander mission, a down payment on the company’s long-term ambitions for human Mars missions.
At a meeting of the NASA Advisory Council’s technology committee in Cleveland July 26, Jim Reuter, deputy associate administrator for programs in NASA’s space technology mission directorate, provided an overview of NASA’s agreement with SpaceX, announced in April, to support that company’s plans for an uncrewed Mars landing mission that could launch as soon as May 2018.
It’s a win-win for NASA and Space-X
For $30 million, NASA gets important research on novel re-entry systems years sooner and much cheaper than it could alone. And Space-X gets the access to the experts it needs.
Space-X will get to learn more about its Dragon capsule – something it would have to do anyway so why not go to Mars instead of just LEO?
Space-X is still working on various unmanned Falcon 9 Heavy techologies so why not go to Mars instead of just LEO? The cost of the onluy other vehicle that could lift as much to space – The Delta Heavy – costs about $300 million just to get into LEO.
For the same cost, Space-X plans to go to Mars. And it will learn a lot about its technologies anyway.
So why not go to Mars?