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SpaceX: Man on Mars for only $500,000? The Interplanetary Transport System will KILL YOU!!!

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Published on Oct 26, 2016

Here is proof that I have not sold out to anyone and that my support of SpaceX has nothing to do with fanboyism: criticism of the life-threatening flaws in Elon Musk's Mars proposal.

Yes, after about four years of waiting, Elon Musk has finally unveiled the SpaceX strategy of sending 100 people to Mars per person at only $500,000. His Falcon XX seems to have evolved into a massive single stage rocket with 42 engines (perhaps we should call it the Falcon 42?) capable of lifting 300 to 550tons to Earth orbit. In addition, his Mars Colonial Transporter - now called the Interplanetary Transport System - is indeed a Red Dragon equivalent of the Big Gemini or Manned Orbiting Laboratory. It's essentially a super sized Dragon with an elongated trunk section to accommodate the propellants, the engines and the people.

But it is my sad duty to report that my predictions on how SpaceX plans to solve the radiation hazard was way off and my attempts to reach out to Elon Musk have fallen on deaf ears. Because the truth is they haven't attempted to solve it at all. Musk still erroneously believes that you can survive the radiation on a trip to Mars simply by pointing a simple column of water at the Sun. He is ignoring the fact that the Sun's magnetic field causes the solar flare particles to go off in all directions. The January 27 2012 solar flare was such an example, and was brought to Elon Musk's attention on his Twitter account by yours truly.

If that weren't bad enough, Musk is also proposing to use his ITS for manned landings on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. One of the Jovians moons he proposes is Europa - which resides within Jupiter's radiation belt! Data available from probes that have encountered the Jovian radiation belt, such as Pioneer 10, indicate that it would be lethal to astronauts. I should know: as part of my Astrophysics course I aced an assignment in which I calculated the doses on Europa using said Pioneer 10 data. This clearly indicates that Musk has no idea what he is getting himself into radiation wise and that was he is proposing is destined to fail.

Nonetheless, his new Falcon XX or Falcon 42 or ITS Launch Vehicle has potential. Previously I proposed a Dragon spacecraft docked with a living quarters module and shelter surrounded by 2m of water, which would have a mass of about 131tons. A rocket with a lifting capacity of 550tons to Earth orbit could indeed send such a payload to the Moon and Mars, especially if it has two additional first stages as side boosters.

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NOTE: The original version of this video, posted on October 24th 2016, contained an error in my calculations for 3MeV electron dose rates. The fluxes I used applied to 9 Jupiter Radii, not 9.5 Jupiter Radii where Europa resides. Still, even using the correct values the radiation is not safe. Here's the corrected version. My apologies for the error and to everyone who left a comment.

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