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NASA Commercial Crew selections

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Posted

More than double gone to Boeing than SpaceX, what a waste of money.

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Posted

4.2B to build a spacecraft that uses the same basic design from Apollo with upgraded avionics. US Govt loves to get shafted.

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Posted

Good choices IMO. The lifting body was more trouble than it's worth I think. Advanced capsules and inflatables -already happening -and nuclear power and propulsion -one can dream -and things might actually start happening.

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Posted

Boeing: $4.2 billion
SpaceX: $2.6 billion
Total: $6.8 billion

Based on company proposals, so SpaceX is just cheaper.

Goal: 2 operational systems, more than just ISS as destinations. Commercial stations, etc.

At least 1 demo mission by 2017 per company, up to 6 each during CCtCap certification program.

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Posted

At the Dragon V2 reveal Musk said 2016 for their first orbital flights.

Dragon V2 pad abort test in November 2014, flight abort in January 2015, unmanned orbital test in early 2016 and crewed orbital test later that year.

Launch America program posters,
5a454d3571f44691d20ea74351441233.jpg4ecef3959f5ca56d32809e6fd11602ba.jpg

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Posted

DocM, on 16 Sept 2014 - 17:19, said:

At the Dragon V2 reveal Musk said 2016 for their first orbital flights.

Dragon V2 pad abort test in November 2014, flight abort in January 2015, unmanned orbital test in early 2016 and crewed orbital test later that year.

Launch America program posters,
 

I'm impatient... Why such a long wait between flight abort and orbital test?

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Posted

SpaceX: EC/LSS (environmental control & life support systems) integration and testing, risk reduction on landing systems (FireFly tests), avionics and flight interface work, robotic autonomous flight system software & ground tests etc.

Boeing: "The spacecraft will undergo a pad-abort test in 2016, an uncrewed flight in early 2017, leading up to the first crewed flight to the ISS in mid-2017," plus everything SpaceX is doing, though Boring's landing system is air bags and not 8 big damned thrusters.

So, with a slip Boeing's first crewed flight could end up in 2018.

And in that time they may be working with Blue Origin on an RD-180 replacement engine for Atlas V.

Yeah, you read that right. Those engine announcements will likely come in the next few days.

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Posted

Probably because the abort test articles arn't full up v2's. They are cargo variants with superdraco's attached if i am not mistaken! One could assume that SpaceX would want the orbital test to be done with an actual v2.

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Posted

Blue Origin -Billionaire dilettante or Dark Horse?

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Posted

Probably because the abort test articles arn't full up v2's. They are cargo variants with superdraco's attached if i am not mistaken! One could assume that SpaceX would want the orbital test to be done with an actual v2.

No, the abort vehicle is a Dragon V2. They plan on using the same one for both abort tests.

There are major changes to the pressure hull for the life support system, enlarging the service bay, moving the parachutes, mounting the SuperDraco thrusters, major changes to the upper bulkhead for docking adapters and the LIDAR, and strengthening everything for landings and mounting the legs.

Their assembly line is now producing both Dragon V1 and Dragon V2 in parallel, though at different paces for now.

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Posted

Ah ok,good to know. Nm my previous comment then :)

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Posted

http://youtu.be/kECY85DM2I8

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Posted

So they funded Boeing because they wouldnt have made it otherwise, and didnt fund the Dreamchaser because its going to be funded privately. Makes sense from a government point of view, now they have 3 craft instead of 2.

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Posted

They funded the capsules because they more closely meet NASA's needs and goals.

Dragon can carry large amounts of unpressurized cargo in its trunk, even more with the optional enhanced 34 m3 trunk. CST-100 can be adapted to do so. The specs for the upcoming second round of commercial cargo male clear this is a priority. Dream Chaser cannot carry unpressurized cargo, and a container attached to its rear hatch would get fried by its rear-facing engines.

Both capsules have the potential to go beyond Earth orbit to perform cargo and crew runs to lunar orbit or Lagrange points. This wasn't a stated goal for CCtCap, but it's in the cards regardless. Dream Chaser cannot.

IMO one of the things that hurt Dream Chaser was that they recently ditched the hybrid engines they've already certified in favor of the ORBITEC Liquid Vortex engines. This is a reset that absolutely increases the risk of their program not finishing by 2016-2017. Granted - liquid engines are the better choice because they're more efficient and lighter, but that was a decision that should have been made 2-3 years ago.

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Posted

NASA just stiffed SNC's complaint,

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/crew/index.html#.VDbt-vldW9E

On Oct. 9, under statutory authority available to it, NASA has decided to proceed with the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts awarded to The Boeing Company and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. notwithstanding the bid protest filed at the U.S. Government Accountability Office by Sierra Nevada Corporation. The agency recognizes that failure to provide the CCtCap transportation service as soon as possible poses risks to the International Space Station (ISS) crew, jeopardizes continued operation of the ISS, would delay meeting critical crew size requirements, and may result in the U.S. failing to perform the commitments it made in its international agreements. These considerations compelled NASA to use its statutory authority to avoid significant adverse consequences where contract performance remained suspended. NASA has determined that it best serves the United States to continue performance of the CCtCap contracts that will enable safe and reliable travel to and from the ISS from the United States on American spacecraft and end the nation

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Posted

What an idiots :X

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Posted


Charles A. Lurio @TheLurioReport
Gov't req1:Despite SpaceX dev. lead, 2 fly 'NASA cert. vehicle' w/crew by 2017 must start CCtCap all-out now incl. much discussion w/Agency.

Gov't req 2: So if SpaceX requires all-out to have crewed "NASA certification flight" by 2017, how can Boeing do it given its hardware lag?

Gov't req'ts make 2017 a challenge;Cong. likely 2 underfund,force slip;Gerst. freaks re dubious 'risk' w/SNC's lower bid than Boeing. Sense?

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Posted

Arg that hurt my head trying to read that.

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Posted

The truth of the translation hurts worse.

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Posted

The court has tossed SNC's protest of NASA's proceed order,

http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/court-declines-sncs-motion-to-overrule-nasa-on-cctcap-authorization-to-proceed

Court Declines SNC's Motion to Overrule NASA on CCtCAP Authorization to Proceed

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued a verbal decision today declining to overrule NASA on its decision to allow SpaceX and Boeing to proceed in executing the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCAP) contracts. Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is suing the government over NASA's October 9 decision to rescind a previously issued stop-work order while SNC's protest of the contract awards is under consideration by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

In a terse statement, Judge Marilyn Blank Horn said:

"On October 21, 2014, the court held a hearing in the above captioned protest. Given the urgency to resolve the override issue, the court provided the parties with a verbal decision declining to overrule the override."

"Override" refers to NASA overriding a provision of the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) under which work on a contract ordinarily would cease while a protest of the contract award is pending. NASA initially issued a stop-work order to Boeing and SpaceX in compliance with CICA after SNC filed its protest with GAO. On October 9, however, it rescinded that order, overriding the CICA requirement, on the basis that its statutory authority allowed it to avoid serious adverse consequences.
>

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Posted

Dragon can carry large amounts of unpressurized cargo in its trunk, even more with the optional enhanced 34 m3 trunk. CST-100 can be adapted to do so. The specs for the upcoming second round of commercial cargo male clear this is a priority. Dream Chaser cannot carry unpressurized cargo, and a container attached to its rear hatch would get fried by its rear-facing engines.

Both capsules have the potential to go beyond Earth orbit to perform cargo and crew runs to lunar orbit or Lagrange points. This wasn't a stated goal for CCtCap, but it's in the cards regardless. Dream Chaser cannot.

 

If the unpressurised cargo is a priority, then it seems quite dishonest to not release that information until now..?

 

Also, does the CST-100 claim beyond earth capabilities, or is this just assumed since it is a capsule? Dragon has a heat shield apparently capable of reentering from a Mars return trip, does the CST-100 have similar capabilities, or is this something that will have to be developed further if necessary?

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Posted

Neither Dream Chaser or CST-100 had unpressurized cargo and only Dragon proposed it, and it wasn't in the original NASA request, but as the program progressed it became a factor.

As it turns out its easier to add to CST-100, just add a disposable rear extension to its service module.

For Dream Chaser it's not so easy because of its rear-facing engines, which need to do a burn for orbital insertion.

In the end, SNC's engine choices probably killed Dream Chaser. From day-one they planned on using hybrids, which use a liquid oxidizer (nitrous oxide) and a rubber based solid fuel grain (HTPB - hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene). At litetally the last minute, and possibly due to the difficulties Virgin Galactic has had with a related engine, SNC changed this to a pair of ORBITEC Liquid Vortex engines, which have never been tested at that scale. The largest public test of Liquid Vortex was 2 years ago in a sounding rocket. This presented a schedule risk NASA probably felt was too great.

CST-100 is based on the pre-Constellation Boeing/Northop-Grumman proposal for the CEV (crew exploration vehicle) program, so it's assumed upgradable. CEV morphed into Constellation's Orion, which was won by Lockheed Martin.

Boing/N-G CEV
cev-crew-capsule.gif

zcevboem.jpg

zcevboe.jpg

CST-100
BoeingCST100d.jpg
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Posted

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2014/10/22/nasa-statement-on-court-of-federal-claims-decision/

NASA Statement on Court of Federal Claims Decision

Posted on October 22, 2014 at 12:25 pm by commercial-crew-program

NASA is pleased the U.S. Court of Federal Claims Oct. 21 allowed NASA to proceed with the performance of its Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts while the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) considers the GAO bid protest filed by Sierra Nevada Corporation. NASA will continue to work with Boeing and SpaceX on the contracts that will enable safe and reliable crew transportation to and from the International Space Station on American spacecraft launched from U.S. soil.

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Posted

In the 2015 US budget resolution now being worked on Commercial Crew will get $805M, and Sen. Shelby's certified cost and pricing language is now gone. About damned time.

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