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Thread: Hermes, from "The Martian" -- will we need one?

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    Question Hermes, from "The Martian" -- will we need one?

    Everyone who has seen The Martian knows the huge Earth-to-Mars-and-back shuttle vessel, the Hermes. I was stuck by how logical and necessary it would be to have such a transport in the early years of Martian exploration and even colonization. It's the biggest bus ever.

    Is building such a vehicle a good idea, however? Would it be too costly, or would smaller spacecraft flying back and forth do much better?

    https://www.space.com/30739-the-mart...fographic.html (details)

    https://free3d.com/3d-model/uss-hermes-18890.html (if you want a model of it)
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    I like that better than "Starship"

    Now if SpaceX's Super Heavy does well, then the launch costs for this "Nautilus X on steroids" should be do-able.

    This craft, an NTR/NEP combo, should be the minimum:
    https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/c...0140017159.pdf

    This (more so than the LEM in my opinion) would be the first true space ship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Is building such a vehicle a good idea, however? Would it be too costly, or would smaller spacecraft flying back and forth do much better?
    Assembling it in space is doable. The ISS proved that. But "too costly" is way too vague a variable, when we don't really know how the launch costs will shake out and what the purse holders will allocate for the mission.

    Personally I think it will come to using something like the Hermes. Whether that's allowed or not is an open question.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    I guess the point would be whether it's worth waiting for the bus (Hermes) or just going to Mars (or Earth) in your own little rocket. Hauling big landers would be tough, but should we use a truck or send them on their own?
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

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    You would want Super-Heavy for a dedicated Mars lander--hypergolics please.

    I'd prefer the Super-Heavy lander look a bit more like this:
    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/33/8b...312cddc1d2.jpg
    https://www.wired.com/2014/01/nasas-...-nuclear-2001/
    http://old.marssociety.org.au/amec20...full_paper.htm


    Though, The rocketship fan in me wants this:
    https://www.wired.com/2014/01/nasas-...-nuclear-2001/

    Now to get to the cycler, a Falcon Heavy with a fixed up Dragon capsule will do as a fast taxi.

    The landers, rovers, habs--those are sent on their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    I guess the point would be whether it's worth waiting for the bus (Hermes) or just going to Mars (or Earth) in your own little rocket. Hauling big landers would be tough, but should we use a truck or send them on their own?
    "Little rocket" sounds awfully cramped, unsafe, and unsuited for a long trip. We'd need more shielding and more G on the way than a one-launch craft can hold. And that's just for a single return trip if you want working astronauts to arrive; a cycler would need the full package.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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