SpaceX - Manned Dragon Programme

 
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Well the much anticipated first launch of the dragon crewed capsule with astronauts on board has been postponed due to an abort account weather at the cape.  Looking forward to seeing this happen probably next window which is the weekend.

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  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I wouldn't bet on the next two launch attempts on the weekend getting up either, as the forecast looks even worse.

Perhaps this will finally convince SpaceX to upgrade the performance of the Falcon 9 second stage? The ability to make an orbital manoeuvre or two on the way to an ISS orbit would create additional launch windows.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Perhaps this will finally convince SpaceX to upgrade the performance of the Falcon 9 second stage? The ability to make an orbital manoeuvre or two on the way to an ISS orbit would create additional launch windows.
justapass

Meaning they do not have the launch flexibility of the russian rockets?
  rwatts Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide SA
According to Tory Bruno (Pres & CEO of United Launch Alliance), ULA can do a 30 minute window for cargo launches to the ISS because they can do "RAAN steering". They can trigger new trajectories during the countdown to achieve updated intercept solutions as time passes and the ISS's position changes. The new trajectories go to orbits with different Right Ascensions of the Ascending Node.  So a 30 minute window may have allowed Demo-2 to launch if, as they expected, the weather constraints cleared about 10 minutes after the intended t0.

Crew missions are apparently different - I guess you need to know where the crew are likely to end up in the event of an abort so they can safely return to earth and be rescued.

Meaning they do not have the launch flexibility of the russian rockets?
Bevans

I'm not aware of this great flexibility.  Until the Soyuz 2 family the autopilot could not do yaw or roll manoeuvres - only pitch.  The Russians solved this by rotating the whole launch pad!  There has only been one crewed launch of Soyuz 2 - the current ISS occupants in April this year.  The Russians pride themselves on ability to get off the pad on time though - down to hundredths of a second.

Richard.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The SpaceX team working on Starship have found a way to make sure they aren't forgotten during the Demo-2 launch campaign.



According to Tory Bruno (Pres & CEO of United Launch Alliance), ULA can do a 30 minute window for cargo launches to the ISS because they can do "RAAN steering". They can trigger new trajectories during the countdown to achieve updated intercept solutions as time passes and the ISS's position changes. The new trajectories go to orbits with different Right Ascensions of the Ascending Node.  So a 30 minute window may have allowed Demo-2 to launch if, as they expected, the weather constraints cleared about 10 minutes after the intended t0.

Crew missions are apparently different - I guess you need to know where the crew are likely to end up in the event of an abort so they can safely return to earth and be rescued.
rwatts
30 minute launch windows are what ULA had last time they launched ISS resupply missions. Those were back in 2015-16 when Orbital ATK was busy looking for all the pieces of the Antares launch pad and contracted ULA to launch their next three CRS missions, which all launched on time using Atlas V 401 (4 metre payload fairing, 0 solid rocket boosters, single engine Centaur) rockets.

Starliner uses the Atlas V N22 (no payload fairing as Starliner has one built in, 2 boosters, dual engine Centaur) while the Dream Chaser autonomous spaceplane will use ULA's next generation Vulcan Centaur, both of which will be different flight profiles to the 401 used last time ULA launched to the ISS.

My guess is that Starliner crew launches will still have some flexibility, thanks to Atlas V using a more lofted trajectory compared to Falcon 9 which will create a shorter range of splashdown zones for atmospheric aborts.

Meaning they do not have the launch flexibility of the russian rockets?

I'm not aware of this great flexibility.
rwatts
The Russians have the advantage of schedule reliability, not flexibility, for their ISS flights.

Roscosmos has the same number of ISS launch options from Baikonur as SpaceX does from Cape Canaveral. But because Baikonur has more conducive weather for space launches, they have a higher number of usable launch windows without needing to go to ULA levels of technology to create additional launch options.

That advantage does not exist when Soyuz-2 rockets launch geostationary satellites from the ESA site in French Guiana where the weather is almost as bad as Cape Canaveral.
  ANR Deputy Commissioner

I would be getting cold feet if I was either astronaut about to go up in the falcon rocket after this:

https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/space/elon-musk-spacex-prototype-vehicle-explodes-during-engine-test/news-story/85800ba809ecd3f09382c27fea942175

I would prefer to be riding in the electric Tesla... Into space.
  rwatts Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide SA
I would be getting cold feet if I was either astronaut about to go up in the falcon rocket after this:

https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/space/elon-musk-spacex-prototype-vehicle-explodes-during-engine-test/news-story/85800ba809ecd3f09382c27fea942175

I would prefer to be riding in the electric Tesla... Into space.
ANR
I think they are probably comforted that SpaceX is not afraid to repeatedly destroy prototypes in order to learn and improve.    Starships Mk1, SN1, SN3 and now SN4 have all been destroyed.  They are virtually entirely different to the now proven Falcon 9 in design, construction (stainless steel vs aluminium/lithium alloy), engine (Raptor vs Merlin) and fuel (methane vs RP1).  There are some three further Starships currently under construction.  It will be interesting to see what they do learn from SN4.  The slow motion vision showed the initial ignition appearing to come from the bottom of the rocket.

Richard.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
I would be getting cold feet if I was either astronaut about to go up in the falcon rocket after this:

https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/space/elon-musk-spacex-prototype-vehicle-explodes-during-engine-test/news-story/85800ba809ecd3f09382c27fea942175

I would prefer to be riding in the electric Tesla... Into space.
ANR
nothing in common whatsover between the test rocket and the rocket flying astronauts.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I would be getting cold feet if I was either astronaut about to go up in the falcon rocket after this:

https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/space/elon-musk-spacex-prototype-vehicle-explodes-during-engine-test/news-story/85800ba809ecd3f09382c27fea942175

I would prefer to be riding in the electric Tesla... Into space.
nothing in common whatsover between the test rocket and the rocket flying astronauts.
arctic
Yes.

Important to distinguish between Falcon 9 (which has passed all the tests to be rated for crewed flight by the FAA and NASA) and Starship (which is by no means guaranteed to ever launch, let alone carry human).

Travelling to the launch site in a Tesla is probably the greatest risk of death for the astronauts today.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Successful launch this time, in marginal weather conditions which cleared just enough to let it go ahead.

The first stage was recovered, but it will be interesting to see if SpaceX announce how many components are reusable after it had to descend through thick clouds.

Docking with the ISS will be around midnight our time.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Well launch we all know is the most dangerous part of the mission coupled with re-entry.  Exciting to see this go ahead and we wait for the docking with the ISS.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
I would be getting cold feet if I was either astronaut about to go up in the falcon rocket after this:

https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/space/elon-musk-spacex-prototype-vehicle-explodes-during-engine-test/news-story/85800ba809ecd3f09382c27fea942175

I would prefer to be riding in the electric Tesla... Into space.
nothing in common whatsover between the test rocket and the rocket flying astronauts.
arctic
news.com.au sourced their article via the New York Post and partially CNBC. However the news version leaves the reader with the impression the two rockets are of the same type, because they dont say otherwise. I note the CNBC article makes this comment:

“This prototype is distinct from the company’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft, which this weekend is set to launch NASA astronauts from Florida.”

they deliberately left this out.
  rwatts Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide SA
To add some more perspective, the Falcon 9 family have flown 88 times since June 2010 with 86 of those missions being full successes.  One of the other two, CRS-1 to the ISS, was successful but a secondary payload could not be put into correct orbit.

The current iteration, Falcon 9 Block 5, has flown 29 times - all successfully.   The least proven part of the mission is the Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Richard.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Docking now with the ISS with 3 crew members.



https://youtu.be/aT4rITutAwA
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
To add some more perspective, the Falcon 9 family have flown 88 times since June 2010 with 86 of those missions being full successes.  One of the other two, CRS-1 to the ISS, was successful but a secondary payload could not be put into correct orbit.

The current iteration, Falcon 9 Block 5, has flown 29 times - all successfully.   The least proven part of the mission is the Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Richard.
rwatts
I think Falcon 9 has now crossed 100 x into space and over 50 or is it 60 successfully landed boosters and by end of next year the number of boosters landed should exceed 100 and 150 launches.

Of interest of late is that the recycled boosters have a more reliable launch than new boosters due to a manufacturing glitch in the engines.  

While still some way to go, the F9 is becoming an extremely reliable workhorse and if it was to sustain its current performance would open the door to "civilian" use for space tourism within a few years.

Of the boosters with high numbers of launches, its interesting to note that they seem to favor some boosters for repeated launches of the same cargo, for example

B1061 used for Crew-2 has been nominated for Crew-3 in 6mths.

B1049 and B1051, both so far 6 launches (current record holders for total number of flights), mostly for Starlink

I'm hoping that 1049 and 1051 will cross 10 launches next year after both NASA and USAF dropped their "new" booster requirement in the last few months as this demand has slowed the cycling up of the higher used boosters over last few months. Will be interesting to see if SpaceX continue to fly them past their original target of 10 flights.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Space-X is obviously more reliable than the ESA Vega rocket.  Yet another failure - this time due to wires crossed within the 4th stage.  2x expensive science satellites rendered useless in the process:

https://www.space.com/vega-rocket-launch-anomaly-november-2020
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Space-X is obviously more reliable than the ESA Vega rocket.  Yet another failure - this time due to wires crossed within the 4th stage.  2x expensive science satellites rendered useless in the process:

https://www.space.com/vega-rocket-launch-anomaly-november-2020
Carnot
Some of the private sector is likely to wipe out the fat unreliable govt funded operations as well as equally unreliable private sector operations over the coming years. The model chosen by NASA two fund two operators via milestone payments model rather than the previous "cost plus" model has proven to be effective. The question is will Boeing actually be able to keep up, 9mth to repeat a test that wasn't their fault or faulty with their equipment.....
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
The ISS has a module called the Bigalow which I see from the internet has been retained for the next 10 years due to it being better than expected in design quality.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The ISS has a module called the Bigalow which I see from the internet has been retained for the next 10 years due to it being better than expected in design quality.
NSWGR8022
I'm a bit surprised they haven't considered having more.

On a separate note, have to wonder if the round wheel like space stations often depicted in Sci-fi movies will be considered in the not too distant future to enable people to live in space with some form of gravity, even if reduced to say 0.5 G or lower.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

On a separate note, have to wonder if the round wheel like space stations often depicted in Sci-fi movies will be considered in the not too distant future to enable people to live in space with some form of gravity, even if reduced to say 0.5 G or lower.
RTT_Rules
Probably not.

Let's assume we have a rotating wheel space station with a 'rim' of radius 50m. This would give it a diameter of 100m, making it quite a lot larger than the ISS which is about 70m in length.

If we concede that 0.5g is too hard and just go for moon gravity of 1.62 m/s2 (0.17g) then the tangential velocity of the 'rim' will be 9 m/s, which results in a rotational period of 34 seconds.

The big question is actually why you'd want to do that at all. Your space station is no use to industry because they can't do zero gravity experiments/manufacturing, you can't use it as a base for spacecraft or perform spacewalks because it's spinning around, and space tourists can't enjoy a good look at the earth or the sky because the view spins around a couple of times each minute.

But suppose it was possible to have a docking tunnel on the central axis which would somehow link the 'living' wheel part to a 'working' non-rotating section while maintaining a seal for pressurisation. I bet the outcome would be worse than the current situation, because astronauts would be regularly moving between the two parts and never getting properly accustomed to either condition.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
Space-X is obviously more reliable than the ESA Vega rocket.  Yet another failure - this time due to wires crossed within the 4th stage.  2x expensive science satellites rendered useless in the process:

https://www.space.com/vega-rocket-launch-anomaly-november-2020
Some of the private sector is likely to wipe out the fat unreliable govt funded operations as well as equally unreliable private sector operations over the coming years. The model chosen by NASA two fund two operators via milestone payments model rather than the previous "cost plus" model has proven to be effective. The question is will Boeing actually be able to keep up, 9mth to repeat a test that wasn't their fault or faulty with their equipment.....
RTT_Rules
?? If not Boeing, whose fault is it (the failed startliner test)?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
?? If not Boeing, whose fault is it (the failed startliner test)?
arctic
My bad, it was Boeing's issue. Early on it was mentioned the issue was caused by the rocket which is not Boeing's, but it appears there were two issues. 1st was to do with the mission clock timing and 2nd because of the 1st issue they found a 2nd potentially mission critical problem.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

This will be one to look forward to. Elon says it has a 33% chance of a successful landing...

  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
This will be one to look forward to. Elon says it has a 33% chance of a successful landing...

"Carnot"


Haha, for FH he stated he was just hoping it would clear the tower before blowing up. Meanwhile they had two customers ready to go.

While starship belly flop to the group? probably. My guess it will do everything ok but not stick the landing.

Boca Chica is however moving ahead as a future commercial launching site with more infrastructure, buying up of properties and building visitor centers and viewing platforms. The SpaceX team are still churning out new bits of new starship left right and centre. If SN 8 ends in a pool of fire, SN 9 will likely be ready to go very soon.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Meanwhile SpaceX pulled off a nice trifecta with 3 launches in a row from 39A, Vanderburg and pad 40, all delayed a few days due to weather.

Only crew 1 booster landing was nearly lost but not. Lucky as crew 2 need it.

Starlink 15 I think it was had a record 7th launch and landing yesterday.

Electron parachuted into a ocean splash down for the first time. The helicopter catch will be next or flight after

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