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Comment Re:SpaceX Dragon 2 should be ready (Score 2) 87

One one rocket blew up this year, and one last year (two rockets in two years). The reasons for both are known with over 99% certainty. (CRS-7 was failure of a helium tank strut, AMOS-6 was formation of crystals of solid oxygen within the COPV overwrap). Both NASA and SpaceX investigated the CRS_7 accident and disagreed about probably cause. SpaceX went with the NASA report and implemented ALL of NASAs recommendations. Dragon 2 shares a common design with Red Dragon and there is no way Elon will allow that slip because Red Dragon can only launch on certain dates and missing 2018 would mean a delay to Red Dragon of 27 months.

Comment Re:Hmm, better idea? (Score 1) 150

Because landing upright works for Mars and the Moon; It also scales well to larger payloads.

Elon is being sneaky and developing a way to colonise Mars but getting paying customers to fund the necessary R&D.

The NASA method of using a heatshield, parachute and skycrane to land the Curiosity Rover on Mars was ingenious but at the maximum weight limit of what that method could achieve. Any heavier and it won't work.

A propulsive vertical landing on Mars could go much heavier. Much much heavier. Weights of 50 tons to the surface of Mars are being talked about.

Comment Re:Doesn't add up (Score 2) 198

In the UK every socket outlet can deliver 3kw (13 amps @ 230 volts). 3kw is normal for kettles which can boil one cup of water in about 90 seconds from cold. OTOH hair dryers don't need that much power because it would be ridiculously hot. For the same reason tumble dryers are usually only 1kw.

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