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SpaceX (general discussion)

Archibald

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Some random thinking about this

- never realized Dragon 1 would be replaced by... a *cargo Dragon 2*. How about that.

- what's the point of Dragon XL since the Gateway might be screwed to get that 2024 landing faster ?
 

Rhinocrates

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- what's the point of Dragon XL since the Gateway might be screwed to get that 2024 landing faster ?
A good question.
Contracts have been awarded and international partners have been engaged. That doesn't mean that it isn't doomed, but it does complicate matters. Maybe it will end up as a hotel...
 

TomS

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Some random thinking about this

- never realized Dragon 1 would be replaced by... a *cargo Dragon 2*. How about that.

- what's the point of Dragon XL since the Gateway might be screwed to get that 2024 landing faster ?
My impression is that the (likely unachievable) 2024 landing skips Gateway in order to speed things up, but the long-term architecture still includes Gateway.

 

Flyaway

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I’d of thought the forthcoming heavy economic recession would kibosh any lunar plans?
 

NeilChapman

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I’d of thought the forthcoming heavy economic recession would kibosh any lunar plans?
Possibly. Or perhaps they'll seize on it as one way to do stimulus spending.
Good point. I don't think we can discount the risk that C19 may affect support staffing levels. At what point could C19 affect Crew Dragon launch timelines? And is there a mission priority level that affects that decision?

While the United States ability to maintain leadership and freedom of action in space is part of the National Security Strategy, is access to ISS included in that declaration? Is the manning of and access to ISS considered of national strategic importance?

or

Is Crew Dragon capable of transporting crew to and from Lunar Gateway and is it going to be a backup for Orion? If ISS isn't of strategic importance will Gateway be considered as such?
 

Michel Van

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Is Crew Dragon capable of transporting crew to and from Lunar Gateway and is it going to be a backup for Orion?
the main problem is to get Crew Dragon to Lunar Gateway.
Falcon Heavy is NOT manned rated, (how much would that cost, cheaper as dragon adaptation on SLS ?)
So it need to be put on SLS, (need modification for launch escape system is that cheaper as man rated falcon heavy?)
Next to that Dragon need more fuel and supply for operation near Lunar Gateway or Lunar lander parked in L1 point.
the Heat-shield is not problem it's Pica-x material used for stardust probe
 

NeilChapman

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Is Crew Dragon capable of transporting crew to and from Lunar Gateway and is it going to be a backup for Orion?
the main problem is to get Crew Dragon to Lunar Gateway.
Falcon Heavy is NOT manned rated, (how much would that cost, cheaper as dragon adaptation on SLS ?)
So it need to be put on SLS, (need modification for launch escape system is that cheaper as man rated falcon heavy?)
Next to that Dragon need more fuel and supply for operation near Lunar Gateway or Lunar lander parked in L1 point.
the Heat-shield is not problem it's Pica-x material used for stardust probe
Ahhhhhh.

So possible but maybe not practical due to time & cost. If one, like me, wanted to know what it takes to be NASA man-rated...


Perhaps a Crew Dragon XL is what's needed as well! Sounds like a complete redesign of Crew Dragon. But really, the tech is the same tech which is already certified. It's integration with perhaps additional Draco engines. Hmmm...

Or -

I wonder if it would be practicable for Dragon XL to hitch to the bottom of Crew Dragon. Crew Dragon has the almost the same abort process but disconnects from Dragon XL instead of FH. Once in space, Dragon XL provides the power to make it to Gateway. You just leave Crew Dragon exactly as it is.

...........................__
........................./......\
........................|_____| = Crew Dragon
........................|..........|
........................|..........| = Dragon XL
..........______...|_____|..._____
.........|...........|..|..........|.|..........|
.........|...........|..|..........|.|..........| = Falcon Heavy
 

TomS

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Dragon XL has to ride inside the Space X payload fairing, which precludes man-rating it or mating it with Dragon 2 on a launch vehicle.
 

fredymac

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2nd crew dragon flights adds 2 additional astronauts. This is a later flight this year after the demo 2 mission in May.

https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/03/...ronauts-to-second-piloted-crew-dragon-flight/

Veteran astronauts Soichi Noguchi and Shannon Walker have been assigned to fly to the International Space Station on SpaceX’s second piloted Crew Dragon mission later this year, joining commander Mike Hopkins and astronaut Victor Glover on a planned six-month expedition in orbit.
 

Dragon029

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Definitely the static fire; 150m hop should follow around a week later if it survives prior testing.
 

NeilChapman

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Definitely the static fire; 150m hop should follow around a week later if it survives prior testing.
I've seen a C-5 in the air behind me while on approach into Eglin and it reminded me of the ship coming over the mountain from Close Encounters. It looked like a building suspended midair.

What will it be like to see a grain silo hovering in the air?
 

Dragon029

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SN3's imploded during cryo testing at about 2AM CST:

The CH4 tank was full of LN2, the LOX tank had some amount of N2 in it, but little or no LN2. The way in which the LOX tank crumpled suggests (in my opinion) that LOX tank pressure dropped below what it was meant to - one suggestion I've seen is that the LN2 in the CH4 tank could have condensed some of the gaseous N2 in the LOX tank, dropping its pressure (though you'd expect pressure sensors and test staff to pick up on that).

Either way, it at least seems that all the welds held, and since the implosion, Elon's made this response:
"We will see what data review says in the morning, but this may have been a test configuration mistake"
 

fredymac

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The blooper reel for Starship won't be learning to fly but learning to build.
 

sferrin

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The blooper reel for Starship won't be learning to fly but learning to build.
In their defense, they're attempting a method that is cheap and fast while still being effective. For the exact opposite end of the spectrum:


If they pull it off it will change things even more than reusable boosters did.
 

fredymac

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In their defense, they're attempting a method that is cheap and fast while still being effective. For the exact opposite end of the spectrum:

If they pull it off it will change things even more than reusable boosters did.

I agree. The point is, just as they had to work their way through failures to master the art of reusing boosters, it is natural they will have to do the same in devising processes to build stainless steel boosters.

With Musk, this is a learning step. For a government project, it would be a descent along the death spiral.
 

Grey Havoc

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Can't be delayed any longer in that case, I understand.
 

Dragon029

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Elon's confirmed that the loss of SN3 was indeed a testing error:
@PPathole
Elon, it seemed like CH4 tank was filled and the LOX tank which was not filled collapsed because of the weight.

@elonmusk
Replying to @PPathole @austinbarnard45 and @LabPadre
Pretty much. Good news is that this was a test configuration error, rather than a design or build mistake. Not enough pressure in the LOX tank ullage to maintain stability with a heavy load in the CH4 tank. This was done with N2.
 

FighterJock

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Elon's confirmed that the loss of SN3 was indeed a testing error:
@PPathole
Elon, it seemed like CH4 tank was filled and the LOX tank which was not filled collapsed because of the weight.

@elonmusk
Replying to @PPathole @austinbarnard45 and @LabPadre
Pretty much. Good news is that this was a test configuration error, rather than a design or build mistake. Not enough pressure in the LOX tank ullage to maintain stability with a heavy load in the CH4 tank. This was done with N2.
That is good news that SpaceX have found the cause of the loss. I hope that they do not lose another.
 

KoV

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Suprising to have such evident test configuration error ... We are not in the 40's
 

TomcatViP

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As hinted above, you'll just need a guy new to such complex procedures in the loop and voila.

Interestingly if that was the case it puts in exhergue the problem faced by companies with staff seniority during a pandemic.
 
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