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SpaceX Dragon 2 - testing & updates

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bguy_1986    351

NASA commercial crew presser today.

Dragon 2 flies the pad abort test in February 2015.

Pictures of the vehicle to be posted later today.

LC-39A is ready enough already?

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DocM    16,334

It'll fly from LC-40. They test fitted the test fixture to its transporter-Erector in December.

The fixture attaches where the second stage would be and has all its connectors and signalling to make it a valid test.

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bguy_1986    351

It'll fly from LC-40. They test fitted the test fixture to its transporter-Erector in December.

The fixture attaches where the second stage would be and has all its connectors and signalling to make it a valid test.

I didn't misread anything correct?  They were going to move it to 39A because of the crowded manifest?

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DocM    16,334

They were looking to, but decided to git 'er done.

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DocM    16,334

Soon, Grasshopper ;)

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FloatingFatMan    17,939

Fly, baby, fly!!!  (I know, it's just the abort test vehicle, but still!)

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bguy_1986    351

Sorry if it's been posted already, but will this land in the ocean or on a pad right away?

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Beittil    561

Initially under parachutes in the ocean, like the current cargo Dragon! Landing on land will be developed later on.

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DocM    16,334

Correct. There's a separate development program at McGregor called DragonFly for land landings, both parachute and propulsive. DragonFly is to Dragon 2 like F9R Dev is to Falcon 9. It'll use a special Dragon 2 instrumented for gathering landing test data and software development.

Pics taken by NSF's resident spy pilot (JimNtexas) have shown DragonFly related launch fixtures and a new pad, with one fixture that looks like a fin-less Dragon 2 Trunk being set up next to the F9R Dev pad. This may indicate tests are getting close.

There's a separate DragonFly thread, but here's the FAA environmental assessment. It has plenty of details about the DragonFly test program. Some of its hops are going to be a bit...sporty ;)

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/media/DragonFly_Final_EA_sm.pdf

Enjoy.

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DocM    16,334

Dragon V2 undergoing tests

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DocM    16,334

Also,

Dragon 2's propellant load nearly DOUBLED, a movable ballast sled for adjusting the vehicles center of gravity, Pad-39A details....all kinds of new goodies in SpaceX's (former astronaut) Garrett Reisman's statement before Congress. Worth the read.

Statement....(PDF)

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SALSN    54

Wow - can't wait for this thing to start flying, any word on whether they will be broadcasting the pad abort test?

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DocM    16,334

It's a NASA test so it'll probably be on NASA TV, broadcast and streamed.

Also: this Dragon V2 is at KSC, waiting for her turn. Heavily instrumented and with a test dummy to measure astronaut loads.

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DocM    16,334

The food fight is on ;)

NASA Watch @NASAWatch

Boeing throws shade on SpaceX ability to understand tasks - says Boeing has built every U.S. capsule & still has that experience 1/2

>

Of course this is silly since Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo designers are dead or retired - but why be accurate, Boeing? 2/2

@NASAWatch

SpaceX has more experience with 21st century capsule design than Boeing has at this point by simple virtue of actually flying one 1/2

>

@NASAWatch

Last time that a Boeing (i.e. McDonnell Douglas or Rockwell) designed capsule flew was 1975 - that was FORTY YEARS AGO. 2/2 #SalesHype

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DocM    16,334

From the Goddard 2015 conference

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Beittil    561

Makes sense to, if you want to achieve rapid reuse then it isn't desirable to have to replace the thermal protection panel after each flight (same goes for other components) :p

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DocM    16,334

I'm thinking were seeing the first demos of PICA-X III. PICA-X I was on cargo Dragon until recently when it was replaced by PICA-X II, both being brown in color, and the Dragon 2 reveal hinted that PICA-X III is black.

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DocM    16,334

SpaceX has performed a tanking test of the Dragon V2 flight abort test first stage at Vandenberg.

NASASpaceFlight has a good article.

bullet points - pics & more at the NSF link

3 engines, possibly a repurposed F9R Dev-2 core

No interstage

No legs, but the mounts are there. If it is a repurposed Dev-2 this is to be expected

The transporter-erectors claw has moved down and is now wrapped around the upper first stage.

This could all indicate no upper stage will be used, similar to the Little Joe and Little Joe II flight abort tests of Mercury and Apollo.

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DocM    16,334

Pics made public by Helodriver at NSF,

Resized for bandwidth,

2dc32482c6ce6fe23bf804d2d71a8056.jpg

Crop/zoom from the full rez,

7293304097aa0533cff6363ec642d6e3.jpg

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DocM    16,334

GAME ON!! - pad abort May 2

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DocM    16,334

A new big question is; which comes first, the Dragon 2 flight abort test or its first orbital flight?

Sounds like they may go orbital first, presumably to get a 1+ year jump on Boeing.

http://spacenews.com/spacex-successfully-tests-dragon-abort-system/#sthash.WbJm4Qc2.dpuf

>

Another milestone in that award is an in-flight abort test, where the Dragon will separate from a Falcon 9 after launch at the point of maximum dynamic pressure on the vehicle.

That launch is tentatively scheduled for this fall from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, but Musk suggested it could take place after an uncrewed orbital test flight that is part of the commercial crew contract it received last year.

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