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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

TRACKING WITH CLOSEUPS: Starship Mars Missions Before Refuelling on Mars

SpaceX's plans for an Earth-Mars transportation infrastructure assume the ability to refuel Starships on Mars with methane and oxygen propellant manufactured from resources on Mars (carbon dioxide and water, plus electricity generated from solar or nuclear power), a process called “in-situ resource utilisation” (ISRU). But first the propellant plant has to be delivered to Mars, so initial Starship missions will necessarily be one-way, at least until the plant they deliver has produced sufficient fuel to permit them to return. Marcus House looks at the logistics of this, including the mass budget for a solar powered propellant plant.

Posted at October 27, 2021 13:22