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SpaceX Dragon 2 - testing & updates

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DocM    16,334

Posting here for documentation

Constrained thrust is what normal ops will be limited to, giving it an upside margin.

For comparison, the Apollo service modules SPS engine had a thrust of 91,000 N (20,500 lbf)

SuperDraco engine

Propellants: NTO/MMH (hypergolic)

Maximum thrust: 72,950.84 N (16,400 lbf)

Constrained thrust: 68,169 N (15,325 lbf)

Total vehicle thrust: 545,352 N (122,600 lbf)

Nozzle Exit Diameter: 20 cm (8 in)

Exhaust velocity: 2,300 m/sec (7,546 ft/s)

Mass Flow: 31 kg/sec

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DocM    16,334

As suspected, Chutes & Rocket landings first. Full propulsive will come later. NASA astronauts on the first crewed flight. That had been uncertain with contradictory statements from all directions.

http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/first-crewed-dragon-flight-to-orbit-will-carry-nasa-astronauts

First Crewed Dragon Flight to Orbit Will Carry NASA Astronauts

SpaceX Founder and Chief Designer Elon Musk said in an interview this evening that the version of the Dragon spacecraft designed to take humans into space initially will be tested in an automated mode, but the first time it carries people, they will be NASA astronauts.

Dragon was the center of attention at a SpaceX event tonight in Washington, DC. The company unveiled this version of the spacecraft -- Dragon V2 -- on May 29 at an event in California. Now it is D.C.'s turn to see, touch, and sit in the vehicle. It will be on display through tomorrow (June 11) at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

The capsule can accommodate seven people. Though it seems cozy by most standards, the interior is more spacious than Russia's Soyuz spacecraft, which is currently used to transport International Space Station (ISS) crews. When asked about the cost for a Dragon capsule, Musk replied it was about $60 million, and the total cost including launch is $140 million. SpaceX has said for many years that the price to NASA for a Dragon flight is $140 million. When asked if that is the price or the cost, Musk said it was the cost. He pointed out that if NASA uses all seven seats, that calculates out to $20 million a seat, much less than what Russia charges for a seat on Soyuz (in the $60-70 million range). However, NASA is not planning to use all seven seats. The ISS was designed to accommodate only seven crew members in total -- three launched by Russia and four by the United States. Presumably NASA would use any extra volume for cargo.

Musk confirmed that Dragon can remain in orbit for many months and hence could also serve as an ISS "lifeboat." Even when the space shuttle was flying, only Russia's Soyuz spacecraft could remain on orbit for six months at a time and perform the lifeboat function, remaining attached to ISS as an escape route for the crew in case of an emergency. Musk actually said this evening that Dragon can remain on orbit indefinitely whether or not it is attached to the ISS. Soyuz's lifetime is limited by how long its fuel can withstand the cold. Russia decided long ago that six months was as long as Soyuz should stay in orbit and be expected to safely return crews to Earth.

Some of the companies competing for the commercial crew contract have indicated that initial orbital crewed flights may involve one crewperson from the company and another from NASA. Musk said tonight that SpaceX has no astronauts and the first crewed flight would be with NASA astronauts only. When asked when the first crewed flight would take place, therefore, Musk said that was NASA's call since it is the customer. He said little training is needed to fly aboard Dragon since it is entirely automated, including docking.

SpaceX's current version of Dragon, used for cargo flights to the ISS, berths with ISS rather than docks. In berthing, Dragon flies close to the ISS and then the ISS crew uses Canadarm2 to grapple Dragon and maneuver it onto a docking port. The reverse is done at the end of the mission. Berthing therefore requires a crew to be aboard. That is not a desirable situation for crewed flights, which may be sent to the ISS when it is unoccupied or if a crew is evacuating the ISS. Therefore this version of Dragon must be able to dock and undock instead, where no human intervention from the ISS side of the docking ring is required.

Unlike the cargo version of Dragon, which splashes down in the ocean, the Dragon V2 will return to land using parachutes and propulsive landing systems. The goal is to land at Cape Canaveral, FL, but Musk said initial landings may be at White Sands, NM until they are certain of the spacecraft's landing precision.

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DocM    16,334

About the above pics....

Note that it has external connectors other than the Dragon's Claw (trunk connector) in the front, 2 sets of 2. Probably pre-launch power connectors.

Also; this one is going to space, but first its SuperDraco pods will be borrowed for the pad abort tests vehicle. This one has the plumbing, wiring, avionics etc. but has the interior padding removed. The controls are pretty much set but may get a few tweaks.

It has 16 'regular' Draco thrusters, the 4 sets of 3 front & rear plus 4 more arranged laterally between the SuperDraco pods.

The windows are gold covered to filter the sunlight, Luke an astronauts face plate.

The dual knobs on the hatch are being interpreted as emergency pressure releases (partly based on an assumption of inflatable hatch seals.)

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DocM    16,334

If these go well we may well see an unmanned orbital test flight of Dragon V2 next summer, and a crewed flight in mid 2016..

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/41515spacex-sets-november-january-dates-for-launch-abort-tests-of-crew-capable

SpaceX Sets November, January Dates for Launch Abort Tests of Crew-capable Dragon

SAN DIEGO ? Space Exploration Technologies Corp. will perform a pair of crucial launch abort tests beginning later this year for the crewed version of the Dragon space capsule central to the company?s bid to become NASA?s post-shuttle provider of astronaut transportation.

The Hawthorne, California-based company plans to conduct a pad abort test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, in November, followed by an in-flight abort test from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in January, Garrett Reisman, SpaceX Dragon Rider program manager, said here Aug. 6 at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space 2014 conference.

In the pad-abort test, Dragon will be mounted to a mocked-up SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and use its hydrazine-fueled SuperDraco thrusters to boost itself up and away from the pad, as it might need to do in the event of a major problem just before or during liftoff. The in-flight test will attempt to repeat the feat at altitude.

If the schedule, announced Aug. 6, holds, SpaceX will complete the abort tests about a year later than it planned when the company signed its Commercial Crew Integrated Capabilities agreement with NASA in 2012. The pact, now worth $440 million, was one of three NASA awarded under the program?s third major phase. As in all previous phases, NASA?s commercial crew partners are paid for completing negotiated milestones. The two abort tests are worth a combined $60 million to SpaceX.

The fourth and final commercial crew award is now expected in late August or early September. The fixed-price deal, known as Commercial Crew Transportation Capability, will cover development and safety certification of at least one commercially designed system. The deal will also cover the selected providers? first round-trip astronaut flight to the international space station.

>

%D0%BF%D0%B5%D1%81%D0%BE%D1%87%D0%BD%D0%

dragon_alone_on_stage_2.jpg

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DocM    16,334

Dragon V2 Operations Critical Design Review scheduled for 2 weeks. Their detailed plans for Launch Complex 39A, the launch pad used for Apollo 11, will be part of what they share with NASA.

Its up to SpaceX to make them public as NASA is in the midst of a formal CCiCap blackout period. Same for the other competitors.

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DocM    16,334

Dragon V2 pressure hull and finned trunk from the Mars is Ours documentary

GuGLpfd.jpg

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DocM    16,334

December 19, 2014

SpaceX Completes First Milestone for Commercial Crew Transportation System

Commercial Crew Transportation. The Mission is in Sight.

NASA has approved the completion of SpaceX?s first milestone in the company?s path toward launching crews to the International Space Station (ISS) from U.S. soil under a Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract with the agency.

During the Certification Baseline Review, SpaceX described its current design baseline including how the company plans to manufacture its Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 v.1.1 rocket, then launch, fly, land and recover the crew. The company also outlined how it will achieve NASA certification of its system to enable transport of crews to and from the space station.

?This milestone sets the pace for the rigorous work ahead as SpaceX meets the certification requirements outlined in our contract,? said Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA?s Commercial Crew Program. ?It is very exciting to see SpaceX's proposed path to certification, including a flight test phase and completion of the system development.?

On Sept. 16, the agency unveiled its selection of SpaceX and Boeing to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station using their Crew Dragon and CST-100 spacecraft, respectively. These contracts will end the nation?s sole reliance on Russia and allow the station?s current crew of six to increase, enabling more research aboard the unique microgravity laboratory.

Under the CCtCap contracts, the companies will complete NASA certification of their human space transportation systems, including a crewed flight test with at least one NASA astronaut aboard, to verify the fully integrated rocket and spacecraft system can launch from the United States, maneuver in orbit, and dock to the space station, and validate its systems perform as expected.

Throughout the next few years, SpaceX will test its systems, materials and concept of operations to the limits to prove they are safe to transport astronauts to the station. Once certified, the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket will be processed and integrated inside a new hangar before being rolled out for launch. This will all take place at the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA?s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Crew Dragon is expected to be able to dock to the station for up to 210 days and serve as a 24-hour safe haven during an emergency in space.

?SpaceX designed the Dragon spacecraft with the ultimate goal of transporting people to space,? said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer. ?Successful completion of the Certification Baseline Review represents a critical step in that effort?we applaud our team?s hard work to date and look forward to helping NASA return the transport of U.S. astronauts to American soil.?

By expanding the station crew size and enabling private companies to handle launches to low-Earth orbit -- a region NASA has been visiting since 1962 -- the nation's space agency can focus on getting the most research and experience out of America's investment in ISS. NASA also can expand its focus to develop the Space Launch System and Orion capsule for missions in the proving ground of deep space beyond the moon to advance the skills and techniques that will enable humans to explore Mars.

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IsItPluggedIn    1,684

Hey Doc,

 

Has boeing met this milestone yet?

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DocM    16,334

3 weeks ago, but the milestones aren't all parallel.

Ex: CST-100's abort tests won't be until 2016, but SpaceX's are in early 2015. SpaceX has been cutting meal for months, the Dragon 2 shown in May was flight hardware, but Boeing has just started. A lot of people have noted they're experts at getting paid for passing "paper milestones."

The CST-100's being shown are plywood and plastic mockups, and the pressure vessel Boing posted pictures starting in 2012 was a very early boilerplate engineering test article.

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DocM    16,334

Certification Baseline Review passed,

http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/december/spacex-completes-first-milestone-for-commercial-crew-transportation-system/#.VK4fQSUo7qD

December 19, 2014

RELEASE 14-340

SpaceX Completes First Milestone for Commercial Crew Transportation System

Commercial Crew Transportation.

NASA has approved the completion of SpaceXs first milestone in the companys path toward launching crews to the International Space Station (ISS) from U.S. soil under a Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract with the agency.

During the Certification Baseline Review, SpaceX described its current design baseline including how the company plans to manufacture its Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 v.1.1 rocket, then launch, fly, land and recover the crew. The company also outlined how it will achieve NASA certification of its system to enable transport of crews to and from the space station.

This milestone sets the pace for the rigorous work ahead as SpaceX meets the certification requirements outlined in our contract, said Kathy Lueders, manager of NASAs Commercial Crew Program. It is very exciting to see SpaceX's proposed path to certification, including a flight test phase and completion of the system development.

On Sept. 16, the agency unveiled its selection of SpaceX and Boeing to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station using their Crew Dragon and CST-100 spacecraft, respectively. These contracts will end the nations sole reliance on Russia and allow the stations current crew of six to increase, enabling more research aboard the unique microgravity laboratory.

Under the CCtCap contracts, the companies will complete NASA certification of their human space transportation systems, including a crewed flight test with at least one NASA astronaut aboard, to verify the fully integrated rocket and spacecraft system can launch from the United States, maneuver in orbit, and dock to the space station, and validate its systems perform as expected.

Throughout the next few years, SpaceX will test its systems, materials and concept of operations to the limits to prove they are safe to transport astronauts to the station. Once certified, the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket will be processed and integrated inside a new hangar before being rolled out for launch. This will all take place at the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Crew Dragon is expected to be able to dock to the station for up to 210 days and serve as a 24-hour safe haven during an emergency in space.

SpaceX designed the Dragon spacecraft with the ultimate goal of transporting people to space, said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer. Successful completion of the Certification Baseline Review represents a critical step in that effortwe applaud our teams hard work to date and look forward to helping NASA return the transport of U.S. astronauts to American soil.

By expanding the station crew size and enabling private companies to handle launches to low-Earth orbit -- a region NASA has been visiting since 1962 -- the nation's space agency can focus on getting the most research and experience out of America's investment in ISS. NASA also can expand its focus to develop the Space Launch System and Orion capsule for missions in the proving ground of deep space beyond the moon to advance the skills and techniques that will enable humans to explore Mars.

For more information on NASA's Commercial Crew Program, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

-end-

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SarK0Y    37

141217-launchprofile_f4fcb1ed474952c078a

are they seriously hoping to stabilize such lengthy + weighty thing w/ fins????? :)

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DocM    16,334

Wrong thread, this belongs in the SpaceX Updates or CRS-5 thread not Dragon 2. However,

They've already done that flight profile without fins, using engine gimbaling and cold gas thrusters. That got them within a few kilometers of the target.

The grid fins are for when it gets to back into the atmosphere, the terminal portion of the return. Grid fins will give them an accuracy of <10 meters without expending more propellants.

Think in terms of the fetching on a modern target arrow. Also very small considering the length of the projectile.

Grid fins have a long history, being used in bombs, missiles, and even the Soyuz launch abort system. They're small for their net effect, light, tough, precise and work in both the subsonic and hypersonic parts of the flight profile.

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Beittil    561

Fresh from Twitter, a SN article which states that the Dragon 'crew escape systems' (translates as: pad abort & in flight abort) will not happen until later this year.

 

The permit for the pad abort expires on March 7th i believe, so I guess SpaceX will have to file for a new one if they move this test to the right again.

 

http://spacenews.com/tests-of-dragon-crew-escape-system-not-happening-until-later-this-year/

 

 

Tests of the crew escape system for SpaceX

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DocM    16,334

NSF source:

they want to move the Dragon 2 pad abort from LC-40 to being launch #1 out of LC-39A. This because of the crowded manifest at LC-40.

As a result, there is now a full-court press to complete LC-39A enough to fly, even if it means postponing the removal of the shuttle Rotating Service Structure (RSS.) RSS labeled below.

a2e726afdbf5300dbc8f886b48006d1d.jpg

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IsItPluggedIn    1,684

Why cant they do the Pad abort test, at SpacePort America?

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Beittil    561

Probably because landing in the water (like they are going to at first) safely is part of it. And there isn't really a launch facility at SP:A, it will just be a concrete pad (much like the one at McGregor).

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DocM    16,334

So long as the plan is to launch off a TEL it has to be an active pad. If that were to change then a launch off LC-13's old slab could work. In either case they'd have the water landing SPA can't do.

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SALSN    54

So long as the plan is to launch off a TEL it has to be an active pad. If that were to change then a launch off LC-13's old slab could work. In either case they'd have the water landing SPA can't do.

What is a TEL?

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DocM    16,334

What is a TEL?

Transporter Erector Launcher

The TEL at Vandenberg SLC-4E (image) is similar to what LC-39A and Launch Site Texas will get so they can fly either Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy.

SLC-4E will also be getting a mobile launch tower for vertically integrating military payloads, and demo/construction for stage landing pads is underway at SLC-4W (next door) as we speak.

te_hangar_vandy.jpg

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DocM    16,334

Dual SuperDraco test

https://vine.co/v/OTBtbH9Bxzm

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Jpc3939    0

Is that just me, or is that TEL sized for something way bigger than even a Falcon Heavy? Maybe a BFR?

/JPC

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DocM    16,334

Nope, just the F9/FH. Too short for BFR or mini BFR.

Depending on the fairing used, F9/FH are 68.28m (224 feet) or 74.37m (244 feet) tall. The longer fairing would be for launching a Bigelow BA-330 station module sized payload, which they have a 2012 agreement to do.

Depending on the core diameter, BFR could be over 122m (400 feet) tall. Wider core, shorter rocket. A mini BFR chould be well over 100m (328 feet) tall. They'll need not only a new methane infrastructure and a much larger TEL and vertical integration/crew tower, but also heavier duty pads.

The LC-40 and SLC-4E pads can only handle about 6 mlbf of thrust, and LC-39A about 12.5 mlbf. BFR will need about a 20 mlbf capacity to handle the 15 mlbf BFR, plus margins. A half thrust mini BFR would still pound existing pads.

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DocM    16,334

Dual SuperDraco test

https://vine.co/v/OTBtbH9Bxzm

23215cc9528c0877fc9af9e20bf5e2d9.jpg

fbabc8fc9bd5c92587097a0ad67aa21b.jpg

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DocM    16,334

NASA commercial crew presser today.

Dragon 2 flies the pad abort test in February 2015.

Pictures of the vehicle to be posted later today.

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