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SpaceX Dragon 2 - testing & updates

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DocM    16,581
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Astronauts Bob Behnken, left, and Eric Boe evaluated the controls, seating and other aspects of the crew compartment of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft during a recent visit to the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Sitting in a mock-up of the Crew Dragon cockpit, the two studied many aspects of the layout including spacing of displays and ease of movement.

The testing is taking place as SpaceX develops the Crew Dragon with an eye toward launching the spacecraft into orbit in the near future on a flight test to and from the International Space Station. Later, the Crew Dragons, launching atop Falcon 9 rockets, will perform operational missions to rotate crews aboard the orbiting laboratory. Companies build high fidelity models of their spacecraft and systems to help determine everything from practicality and operation to fit and comfort.

Boeing also is building a spacecraft and launch system to take astronauts to and from the station. Both companies are developing their systems under contracts with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program as the agency strives to return America’s human launch capability with domestic companies.

Behnken and Boe along with Doug Hurley and Suni Williams are the four NASA astronauts who travel across the country to evaluate design and manufacturing by Boeing and SpaceX. The astronauts have not been assigned to specific test flights yet and are pooling their test pilot expertise and engineering prowess to help the companies meet NASA requirements. Other astronauts also take part in the analysis of spacecraft, launch vehicles and the myriad ground systems that are under construction to make sure they meet NASA’s strict requirements for use, safety and reliability. Photos by SpaceX.

 

IMG_3390.JPG

 

IMG_3391.JPG

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DocM    16,581
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ECLSS Put to the Test for Commercial Crew Missions

Extensive evaluations are underway on the life support systems vital to successful flight tests as NASA prepares to return human spaceflight to the United States. One of the most intensely studied systems is called ECLSS. Short for environmental control and life support system and pronounced 'e-cliss,' the system is a complex network of machinery, pipes, tanks and sensors that work together to provide astronauts with air and other essentials during missions for NASA's Commercial Crew Program to and from the International Space Station.

"ECLSS Systems and Subsystems present unique challenges to a developer," said Brian Daniel, Crew Systems lead for the Commercial Crew Program. "Such systems must assure tight control of parameters that are important to human safety such as temperature, carbon dioxide levels, oxygen levels, and cabin pressure.   The various functions of the life support system must not only be failure tolerant and robust, but also able to perform their function for the whole gamut of the mission, from countdown to splashdown." 

Although tests are run by the companies building the spacecraft, NASA engineers certify the results to see that they meet requirements for safe and reliable operation in flight. NASA also offers insight to head off potential problems and helps solve other dilemmas that show up during testing. Both Boeing and SpaceX are building spacecraft, launch systems and operational networks for Commercial Crew Program missions to the International Space Station.

SpaceX built a test version of its Crew Dragon solely for evaluation of the life support system. The ECLSS Module, as the prototype spacecraft is known, was built as close to the specifications of operational spacecraft as possible, SpaceX said, so knowledge gained during its manufacture and testing could be passed on smoothly to flight versions of the spacecraft.

The complex network also provides air for the spacesuits, maintains cabin pressure and regulates all the conditions inside the spacecraft such as temperature and humidity. It can also provide fire suppression and scrubs the air of the carbon dioxide that astronauts exhale. The system relies heavily on computer software to automatically adjust conditions for the crew throughout a mission. 

Astronauts will still wear launch-and-entry spacesuits while inside the spacecraft during certain phases of their missions to guard against cabin leaks or other emergencies such as a launch abort.

During an earlier phase of development, engineers were sealed inside the ECLSS Module for four hours while the ECLSS provided them a mix of oxygen and nitrogen. The conditions were closely related to those the spacecraft and astronauts will experience in flight.

"Unlike relying solely on computer simulation and analysis, the ECLSS Module allows us to test and observe Crew Dragons life support systems as they autonomously control a real cabin environment," said Nicolas Lima, a life support systems engineer at SpaceX. "Extensive testing of the ECLSS module has and will continue to contribute to improvements to Crew Dragons design and operation, which ultimately leads to greater crew safety."

Crew Dragons will carry astronauts to the International Space Station on missions for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The spacecraft will fly into orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket lifting off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Separately, Boeing is manufacturing a line of spacecraft called CST-100 Starliners that also will take astronauts to the station for on Commercial Crew missions. NASA has awarded contracts to both companies for flight tests and operational crew rotation missions to the station.

The ECLSS Module of the Crew Dragon includes a transparent floor panel that will not be duplicated on operational spacecraft. While the rest of the spacecraft was built as closely as possible to a flightworthy Crew Dragon, the see-through panel was placed solely for the testing module so engineers could watch the heart of the ECLSS system itself run through its work.

The ECLSS systems  along with all the others necessary for a safe spacecraft  will see their ultimate tests in orbit once NASA experts certify the spacecraft, launch vehicle and other systems for flight. 

Last Updated: March 8, 2017


ECLSS Module images

eclss_test_2048.thumb.jpg.f089e230fbbb57b613dd076cd9b3454d.jpg

 

eclss_test2_2048.thumb.jpg.6bc1d6b7a6c5c071c0b64a90e9ace132.jpg

 

eclss_-_interior_sitch_2048.thumb.jpg.71a8f071535f249492e361a29d793fd4.jpg

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DocM    16,581

More info at the link....

 

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2017/04/11/astronauts-work-with-crew-dragon-qualification-vehicle/

 

Quote

Astronauts Work with Crew Dragon Qualification Vehicle

 

Bob Behnken and Eric Boe, two of NASA’s four veteran astronauts who supported SpaceX as it refines its crew transportation system designs, checked out the Crew Dragon being used for qualification testing. NASA astronauts routinely travel to industry facilities during spacecraft and mission development to train and offer insights to engineers.
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Crew_Dragon_April_2048-1.thumb.jpg.1cecbecc1f47a68e6bdaa06396442ba2.jpg

 

Crew_Dragon_April_2048-2.thumb.jpg.2e2744b963c816eae2dad6528e99a902.jpg

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DocM    16,581

 

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flyingskippy    167

Holy ######! The Starliner may tumble during a launch abort and the forward heat shield may damage the chutes when deployed! Yet NASA is worried about cracks in the impeller on the Merlin and COPV in the F9 second stage.

 

If either of those two events happen during a crewed flight there's the flight abort system to get the hell out of there.

 

If Starliner had to do an abort, the astronauts may shift their hearts in their chest cavity and/or end up dead from no chute deployment. 

 

Which is worse NASA?!? COME ON! 

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

- Impeller cracks issue was never really an issue, but has been sorted anyway (and several dozen Merlins flying with the redesigned impellers have shown zero cracks)

- COPV has been redesigned for Block-V Falcon 9's, thoroughly tested by SpaceX and NASA both and the refreezing O2 issue causing COPV failure in the previous design can no longer occur

 

Meanwhile, at the Swamp Headquarters of the Legion of Doom er, Boeing/ULA/Lockheed-Martin side of the factory ...

 

- potential death, cost overruns, favoritism and other shenanigans continue to be the order of business

 

So yeah. There's the good, bad, and the ugly of it.

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

Oh, and that Ars Technica piece is a piece ... of [snip]. What a hack job.

 

Elon's response sent OldSpace shills into a frenzy. Some ducking for cover, others [snipping] themselves, and still others feeling the need to insult the man like Creationists watching Cosmos. I honestly believe Elon trolls 'em ... innocently, of course. *snicker*

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DocM    16,581

And Crew Dragon DM-1 ships to KSC in 3 months. 

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

And that's the beauty of it ... Elon trolls them by not trolling them. It's genius.

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DocM    16,581

This is the Commercial Crew DM-1 uncrewed ISS test flight vehicle.

 

These tests are done without the spacecraft's backshell SPAM thermal protection panels mounted.

 

 

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DocM    16,581

Next, the DM-1 vehicle goes to KSC  where it'll join up with Falcon 9 for the Crew Dragon uncrewed test flight.

 

Meanwhile, more modifications to LC-39A are underway. New levels are being added to the Fixed Service Structure, the Crew Arm is under a tent waiting to be installed, and the slide-wire (ZIP-line) escape platform is being raised to the Crew Arm's new level.

 

This would be NASA Glenn director Janet Kavandi.

 

 

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DocM    16,581

Here. We. Go.

 

Space News...

 

Quote

Crew Dragon completes thermal vacuum tests ahead of first test flight

 

CINCINNATI — The first SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft has completed a series of tests at a NASA center that may put the spacecraft one step closer to an uncrewed test flight later this year.

In a speech at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Propulsion and Energy Forum here July 9, Janet Kavandi, director of NASA’s Glenn Research Center, said the spacecraft recently left the center’s Plum Brook Station after a series of thermal vacuum and acoustics tests.

“They just left yesterday or today,” she said in her remarks at the conference. “They’ve been out there twice, at least, at Plum Brook Station.” She didn’t disclose the outcome of the tests, and SpaceX did not respond to an email requesting comment on the status of the test.

The company previously indicated that the testing at Plum Brook was the last milestone before the spacecraft was shipped to Florida for final testing and integration with its Falcon 9 rocket. “Once complete, Crew Dragon will travel to Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of its first flight,” the company said in a June 20 Instagram post about the tests that were ongoing at Plum Brook.

Jessica Jensen, director of Dragon mission management at SpaceX, also said the Plum Brook tests were the last before the spacecraft is shipped to Florida for launch. “Once it leaves Plum Brook, it’s going to come down to Cape Canaveral for final launch processing,” she said at a June 28 briefing at the Kennedy Space Center about the launch of a Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station.
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IsItPluggedIn    1,684

“We’re evaluating exactly when opportunities might be and when they’ll be ready, but we’re not ready to set an official date at this point in time,” Kirk Shireman

 

I hope they dont use this to stuff them around.

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

If they've gone from Plum Brook straight to the Cape then all bets are good that no anomalies were found during testing. :punk:It'll take them 4-6 months to dress up and then checkout the Crew Dragon for flight.

 

We've heard nothing to the contrary on my end to change that notion.

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DocM    16,581

Generally payloads and Dragon 1 need 4-6 weeks to be prepped for launch, so maybe mid-September. The main hurdle may be the ISS visiting vehicle schedule.  Time to check for a new FPIP.

 

EDIT: FPIP = Flight Planning Integration Panel

 

EDIT2: NET September 16, but that's depending on NASA confirmation.

Edited by DocM
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DocM    16,581

Mush have passed he vacuum tests at Plum Brook

 

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

It did. :yes:

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Draggendrop    5,747
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Today, SpaceX filed for their launch and recovery license with the FCC to support the DM-1 mission. The start date is December 10th, 2018 – a good sign that SpaceX is almost ready. Of course, NASA schedule stills says no earlier than January, 2019.

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1055462633149743105

 

---------------------------------

 

Quote

Interesting, it's an ASDS landing rather than an RTLS (Return to Launch Site). Maybe additional margin is required to support abort/anomaly scenarios? Location of the ASDS below. https://www.google.com/maps/place/31%C2%B043'23.0%22N+76%C2%B058'47.0%22W/@33.4945425,-78.2082333,5.31z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d31.7230556!4d-76.9797222 …

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1055464811599982598

 

 

DqXDpjAXgAYM9IU.jpg

 

Still on the NASA books as NET Jan 2019...but ups the "pressure" on the "paper work"...

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DocM    16,581

And here we go....

 

 

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flyingskippy    167

AWWW YEAH! 

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Skiver    1,960

You can just about see it...

 

 

scrap that, much better one here...

 

 

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DocM    16,581

 

 

 

458327952_DM-1rollout-2.thumb.jpg.94b03d606fcea6c71013dfd12991fae1.jpg

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

(Y)(Y)(Y) 

 

Looks great!

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DocM    16,581

SpaceX has cleared the Fixed Service Structure of all equipment from the Shuttle days, scrubbed it clean, and painted the interior and cross-braces black. The corner posts get white, and the interior and exterior cladding is going up. 

 

Govt shutdown is delaying the DM-1 launch.

 

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

just now....

 

A delay with "government" is expected.....NASA has it's checks and balances as well...and they are locked out at the moment.

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