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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Elon Musk answered questions on Reddit Space yesterday about the Spacex BFR

• https://www.nextbigfuture.com, brian wang

* Elon on space radiation – Ambient radiation damage is not significant for our transit times. Just need a solar storm shelter, which is a small part of the ship.
Buzz Aldrin is 87.

* Our goal is get you there [to Mars] and ensure the basic infrastructure for propellant production and survival is in place. A rough analogy is that we are trying to build the equivalent of the transcontinental railway. A vast amount of industry will need to be built on Mars by many other companies and millions of people.

* Best mass ratio is achieved by not building a box in a box. The propellant tanks need to be cylindrical to be remotely mass efficient and they have to carry ascent load, so lowest mass solution is just to mount the heat shield plates directly to the tank wall.

* Wouldn't call what BFS has a delta wing. It is quite small (and light) relative to the rest of the vehicle and is never actually used to generate lift in the way that an aircraft wing is used.
It's true purpose is to "balance out" the ship, ensuring that it doesn't enter engines first from orbit (that would be really bad), and provide pitch and yaw control during reentry.

* Some parts of Raptor will be printed, but most of it will be machined forgings. We developed a new metal alloy for the oxygen pump that has both high strength at temperature and won't burn. Pretty much anything will burn in high pressure, hot, almost pure oxygen.

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