Press Release November 7 2017

Press Release November 7 2017

Integrating new SpaceX spacecraft into the Omaha Trail:

a presentation to the British Interplanetary Society

November 7, 2017 – Today the Lake Matthew Team and ISEC Director Dr. Martin Lades announce integration of new SpaceX spacecraft designs into the Omaha Trail proposal for high-efficiency transport between Earth and Mars. Dr. Lades presented the Omaha Trail in conference today at the British Interplanetary Society.

The new SpaceX spacecraft designs, announced by Elon Musk on September 29, 2017, are smaller than the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) spacecraft announced in 2016. Ascent cargo payload is 150 tons. Also there is a new capability to remove over 99% of orbital kinetic energy via aerobraking, prior to landing burn. These changes called for a recalculation of Omaha Trail flight efficiencies and radiation protection. Updated results are summarized below, with all numbers relative to known or estimated baseline numbers for the new SpaceX spacecraft.

Cargo Benefits

Earth launches:

The required number of Earth launches for cargo delivery is cut by 71%.

Propellant:

The required propellant load for cargo delivery is cut by 68%.

Cargo


Cargo flight staging. Deimos propellant. Mars Lift space elevator in gold. Slide 29. Image credit: Lake Matthew Team

Crew Benefits

Earth launches:

The required number of Earth launches for crewed missions is cut by 83%.

Propellant:

The required propellant load for crewed missions is cut by 65%.

Radiation Protection:

A 130-ton water shield, acquired at Deimos, reduces the flux of penetrating solar flare protons by about 90%, en route to Mars. On the return flight, shielding and increased speed reduce net solar proton exposure by more than 95%. This high degree of protection obviates the need for a dedicated solar flare shelter aboard the spacecraft.

Crew


Crew flight staging. Deimos propellant and water shielding. Slide 32. Image credit: Lake Matthew Team

As before, we think modest R&D can advance the Omaha Trail to technical maturity within the next two decades, to enable operation of the Mars Lift, Deimos Dock and other system components near the time of Omaha Crater's creation in 2036.

More Information:

For details of today's talk at the British Interplanetary Society, see the published Space Elevator Feasibility presentation and the Omaha Trail presentation.

For details of the original Omaha Trail proposal, see the joint ISEC presentation from August 2017.

Contacts:
Lake Matthew Team
Dr. Martin Lades

Omaha Trail


Omaha Trail at Deimos. Image credit: Lake Matthew Team / Celestia