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SMT007-Apr2020

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62 SMT007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2020 Barry Matties: Burt, thank you for the IPC APEX EXPO 2020 keynote. That was fantastic. Burt Rutan: You're welcome. It was a great audi- ence. Dan Feinberg: The American space effort, as you mentioned today in your keynote, seems to have slowed down over the last decades, but it seems to be gaining a little momentum again. Is that what you see? Rutan: It's gaining momentum primarily due to what Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are doing. Feinberg: Do you feel we're going to land a per- son on Mars? If so, when do you predict that could happen? Rutan: I'd like it to happen before I die. That would be cool. Although, it's not as exciting of a place to visit as when we were kids. I have a college textbook from the '50s that debated what kind of animals would be on Mars. The author's conclusion was that scientists saw changing colors through telescopes and knew there were plants there, but they didn't know what kind of animals. We still don't know whether there's intelligent life on Mars. I pointed out a long time ago that the delta-v for a one-way trip to Mars is the same as the delta-v for a round trip to the Moon. If you take something and change its velocity by so much, you have to do that several times when going to the Moon before decelerating and landing. You have to do it again to get into orbit and do it again to come back. Add all that up, and it defines how big your rocket needs to be to start because you throw away pieces of it. Delta-v is the key to what chemical propulsion can do. Clearly, we proved that a 6-million-pound Sat- urn 5 could do the job of getting two people to the surface of the Moon and back, but delta-v is not different than what it takes to land SpaceShipOne, Rutan's sub-orbital vehicle, and winner of the Ansari X-Prize.

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