Could a ballistic missile be used to deliver cargo?

  • #26
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Turns out, if the ballistic cargo delivery system were to be compared to the SpaceX ITS, it is more efficient! Surprising!

Why SpaceX would like to send people to Mars while we still have problems surviving re-entry in Mars atmosphere in small rovers.
 
  • #27
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Those problems can be solved. NASA has a reasonable track record with Mars landings, and the proposed Dragon missions will use a landing technique that will be tested on Earth a lot.
 
  • #28
I believe that a system of 'rocket mail' was used in Austria or in Switzerland, in the 1920s or so, to send letters to villages that were difficult to reach by land. And, in 1810, Heinrich von Kleist proposed (I suspect that tongue in cheek...) a 'Bombenpost' service, with hollow shells and suitable howitzers...

http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/buch/kritiken-und-berichterstattungen-5886/1

That is a great example! Hats off @NTW :)
 
  • #29
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Those problems can be solved. NASA has a reasonable track record with Mars landings, and the proposed Dragon missions will use a landing technique that will be tested on Earth a lot.
As you may know, this is something they're already testing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_atmospheric_entry#Technologies said:
NASA is carrying out thermal imaging infrared sensor data-gathering studies of the SpaceX booster controlled-descent tests that are currently, as of 2014, underway. The research team is particularly interested in the 70–40-kilometer (43–25 mi) altitude range of the SpaceX "reentry burn" on the Falcon 9 Earth-entry tests as this is the "powered flight through the Mars-relevant retropulsion regime" that models Mars entry and descent conditions.
They've been at it for years!
 
  • #30
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Landing the Falcon first stages is certainly more challenging than landing a Dragon on Mars, but at the moment that doesn't have the success rate a human flight would require, and it doesn't use the propulsion system a Dragon has (which I would call an advantage - Dragon has much more control).
 
  • #31
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Also, I don't think they have any capability to decelerate and land, so your shipment would need to be really well packed!

Parachute
 
  • #32
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You might have a hard time pulling permits.
 

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