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Tue03 Google Sketchup for Red Dragon Mission
The ISRU team has been talking with Ames and the +SpaceX team about collaboration for a 2018 Mission to Mars and I started trying to model the Dragon capsule in +Google Sketchup. Now I can start to notionally layout our Atmo processing (CO2 Freezer, Sabatier, Condensor, Electrolyzer) and maybe Ames Life Detection Drill. We are still just brainstorming but I find it helps to at least have an idea of roughly the potential layout and volume allocations.
I had to base it off of the SpaceX datasheet for dimensions.
http://www.spacex.com/downloads/dragonlab-datasheet.pdf
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I went totally batshit trying to model Dragon in SketchUp...had the data sheet too.

I just didn't have the SketchUp-fu to properly make the pressure vessel and get it inside the hull.

Did you/will you publish the model?
 
sure I can publish the model as is. I started by doing the pressurized volume first based on the datasheet then created a separate component for the exterior volume with some guesses. how accurate it is not sure.
 
Years ago people were proposing using a Soyuz to land on Mars; I don't think it would work. I suspect you'll have similar concerns here. The biggest problem with an Earth landing capsule is that the Martian atmosphere is much thinner than Earth. Landing on Mars is like trying to land at 100,000 ft at Earth. Neither Soyuz, Apollo, or Dragon have a low enough mass/area ratio (i.e, ballistic coefficient) to slow down to supersonic speeds for existing parachutes. Earth capsules have about 3x the ballistic coefficients that Mars landers have.

But a supersonic rocket-powered descent without chutes might work after surviving the entry heating at Mars, if the Dragon's proposed soft-landing system has enough performance. Assuming we can get the Dragon to Mars in the first place.
 
+Gavin Mendeck I am not sure if they do plan on some combo of large inflatable aero shield, chutes and then using the downward firing engines that would normally push the capsule away from the trunk as landing rockets to soft land. they are quoting 1000 kg payload to the surface.
 
Yeah, inflatables are my personal fav. 1000 kg, incidently, is what the entire MSL rover weighs.
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