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SpaceX Dragon 2 - testing & updates


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#16 ks8877

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 02:00

DocM, thanks for good posts.

IMO, SpaceX the only real hope for progress in space exploration in USA in near future. Somebody like it or not, but currently we do not have much hope for other companies.

The next year 2014 SpaceX could make-or-break and could show who currently has The Right Stuff.




#17 SALSN

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 02:19

I think it really comes down to how fast they can begin to reuse the stages, and thus lower their prices by orders of magnitude. If they can do it in a few years, and still be able to supply the marked, no one is going to buy any other rides, and thus the other companies needs to go for something similar, otherwise they are just going to go out of business.

Creating a monopoly is probably not going to be good in the longer run though. So, even though I love SpaceX, I hope a few more players stay in the race. :-)



#18 OP DocM

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 02:44

The coming Thaicom-6 launch will likely, as with SES-8, test the upper portion of the return flight profile.

Yes, SES-8 did thruster maneuvers and did re-light its first stage engines after stage separation. Videos shot by the public and a video shown by SpaceX at a conference, but not released, confirm this. Rumors are they're trying to reduce first stage re-lights from 3 to 2.

The (NET Feb. 22) CRS-3 Dragon mission to ISS could well attempt a land landing; if the landing legs are ready SpaceX has requested FAA permission and is working with KSC to assign a landing pad location.

F9-R (Grasshopper 2) is reported to be at McGregor, the Grasshopper 1 has been removed from its pad, and its expected F9-R will do a small number of hops there before being shipped to SpacePort America for high altitude tests.

IMO this could happen on an accelerated timeline once Thaicom-6 is out of the way. Fingers crossed.

On the Dragon front, there are some interesting changes coming beyond a new parachute mortar system, the SuperDraco abort/landing thrusters & their fairings. Can't share yet because of an embargo, but I'm sure they're going to be conversation worthy.

#19 ks8877

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 17:39

Visible difference for this SpaceX Dragon parachutes deploy test from similar tests in 2010 is that Nose Cap is attached to the spacecraft.
It's could be for reusability (including Nose Cap), but this shape could be also for other schema of return from deep space on the side-located heatshield to reduce G forces.



#20 OP DocM

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 00:27

There's been a lot of debate about that nose cap. Back around 2006 the on-orbit crew Dragon concept art looked like this -

Sept2006_DragonCrew.jpg

they moved the panels to the trunk and made them larger, 5 kWh, and lost the nose cap for simplicity on cargo Dragon.

A pretty good case for its return is being made by engineers who feel it could serve as a re-entry protective device for crew Dragon's very expensive new NDS (NASA Docking System) docking adapter, which would facilitate its re-use.

NDS will be used on all Commercial Crew spacecraft and NASA's Orion. 2 NDS port adapters will be shipped to ISS by Dragon so spacewalks can do the mods to the Harmony module. This will allow docking 2 crew spacecraft simultaneously.

My question is what would happen in the case of a total or partial failed deployment?

View_of_APAS_to_NDS_docking_adapters.png

#21 malenfant

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 04:05

My question is what would happen in the case of a total or partial failed deployment?View_of_APAS_to_NDS_docking_adapters.png


Perhaps provision could be made for a crew member to manually open/close the nose through the forward hatch. Or in a worst case jettison.

#22 OP DocM

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 07:35

True, but OTOH cargo Dragon has the grapple adapter / DragonEye (LIDAR) door and its actuators have never failed - not even close.

#23 OP DocM

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 15:20

"Lueders: SpaceX's integrated critical design review (CDR), a milestone in its CCiCap award, is scheduled for next week."

https://twitter.com/...801808049668096



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