design a spaceship

I think we’ve been going about this whole space exploration thing the wrong way. Instead of building a craft whose only purpose is to land on Mars, we should think bigger.

Let’s build an Inner Solar System Cruiser. Let’s build it to last 50 years and go on multiple missions. For a shakedown cruise, we will land on the Moon. Then we should go to a near earth asteroid, then on to land on Mars. We should also send a mission to orbit Venus, maybe drop some unmanned probes, etc. The bonus missions are a Mercury landing and a landing on one of the more interesting main belt asteriods. I’m thinking maybe a core spacecraft consisting of life support, power, and basic drive modules. After each mission it would return to earth orbit for a refitting in which specialized equipment would be installed for the next mission.

I’m thinking that this would be cheaper in the long run, and an easier sell than a one-shot Mars mission. Our mission goals would be to gather basic science with an eye towards information that will be useful to exploiting the resources available to us in the inner solar system.

There are some very basic questions we must answer. How long would the crew module have to be designed to go without being resupplied? What kind of propulsion should we use? What kind of power supply? How big would it have to be? How many people should be in the crew? How much is this going to cost? Is this doable with current or just-over-the-horizon technology?

If this is the wrong forum for this, Mods please feel free to move it.

I have a perverse fondness for the old 1950’s-60’s Orion.

That launch would have been a bitch, though.

The solar system cruiser doesn’t make a lot of sense, because of the cost of hauling all that unnecessary structure around. You need tons and tons of materials to get to mars, land on it, and return home, but you only need a tiny piece of it to get back, and it’s horribly expensive to move that stuff around.

THat’s why an Apollo started off the size of a Saturn V and wound up the size of an Apollo capsule by the time it landed.

Besides, everyone knows that the REALLY cool starships don’t land. They just stay in orbit the whole time. That’s why Voyager sucked.

Just wait for an orbital elevator to be built (far far future) and you too can build your own , public transportation will be probably worse on Earth waiting for a bus you can easily starve to death .In space nobody can hear you bitch about the commuter bus to Mar being late.

Cruiser? Heh. I want a Solar System Battleship. And I want it to have the capability of blowing up planets.

I mean, Jupiter already thinks he’s all that, what happens if he starts to nosin’ 'round Earth’s 'hood? Or if those little green men get rowdy-like? Won’t do at all. Gotta defend the homeworld, homie.