Elon Musk Reveals Ocean Test For Fuel Tank Of It's Interplanetary System; Danger Of Mars Flight Discussed In A Reditt Session

By Tony Park - 25 Oct '16 08:15AM

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of SpaceX, in an October 2016 Q&A session on social news aggregation website Reddit had revealed his company's plan to conduct an ocean test on a carbon-fiber fuel tank to be used for its Interplanetary Transport System which is designed to take people to the planet Mars and beyond. According to Musk, the tank will be essential to the operations of the spaceship, which is scheduled to take its first flight in 2018.

The Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) event highlighted information about the tank including its carbon fiber prepreg material and its capability to hold cryogenic propellant without leaking. Musk said that "early tests are promising." He compared the spaceship's carbon tank to the flight tank.

The design and manufacture of the cryogenic tank had involved NASA and aircraft manufacturer BoeingA friction stir welding technique was used through a Robotic Weld Tool.

SpaceX wants to take 20 to 50 voyages to the red planet to take one million people. Musk estimates that the total Mars rendezvous will take around 40 to 100 years. Passengers will be provided with zero-G games, restaurants and other amenities  such as floating around movies.

Musk noted that future Mars inhabitants will be housed in geodesic domes built from glass panels. Industrial operations will operate in pressurized caves.

The South African-born inventor and entrepreneur did not discuss how the company will pressurize the giant black tank. No information was also provided on the mysterious ocean test.

The AMA session also focused on the dangers associated with the space flight to Mars. Musk was quoted saying "The probability of death is quite high." When asked about who should be migrated to Mars. Musk did not bat an eyelash and said that he is more than willing to go the Earth's twin planet

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