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SpaceX Dragon 2 - testing & updates

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DocM    16,534

NSF L2 saw a concept months ago which had a distinct Daft Punk look to it, and now these parts look very similar. 

Legs

_SpX_suit_1.thumb.jpeg.a4246aa5d422f74ae

Helmet brightened

_SpX_suit_2.thumb.jpeg.68df6c879660f3339

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Draggendrop    5,747

Where can I buy mine.........These look pretty good, with functional finger style for data entry...and not bulky looking......:D

We need stuff going "up".....getting "withdrawal symptoms" 

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DocM    16,534

Probably in response to the recently updated NASA Ames paper about a 'Red Dragon' Mars sample return mission.

 

Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk  22m22 minutes ago

Dragon 2 is designed to land on any surface (liquid or solid) in the solar system. Am glad to see people thinking about applications!

>

 Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk  13m13 minutes ago


In expendable mode, Falcon Heavy can send a fully loaded Dragon to Mars or a light Dragon to Jupiter's moons. Europa mission wd be cool.

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Draggendrop    5,747

Now we're talking.......This would also make a great platform to run remote automated with all sorts of scientific equipment, at a reasonable price.:)

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DocM    16,534

Dragon 2 In the Red Dragon configuration can land over 2x the payload mass on Mars that SkyCrane did with Curiosity. More if they added even more internal tanks or switched to higher Isp hypergolic propellants. Enough to make you wonder about a Super-Dragon, perhaps several times larger for launch on a BFR.

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Draggendrop    5,747

Dragon 2 In the Red Dragon configuration can land over 2x the payload mass on Mars that SkyCrane did with Curiosity. More if they added even more internal tanks or switched to higher Isp hypergolic propellants. Enough to make you wonder about a Super-Dragon, perhaps several times larger for launch on a BFR.

Not sure what the latest estimates are for BFR core diameter, but if it is 6 meters, or more, it would be like landing a habitat, all in one shot. If a cargo and ramp version, instant plant setup.....very exciting idea.:) 

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DocM    16,534

 

Not sure what the latest estimates are for BFR core diameter, but if it is 6 meters, or more, it would be like landing a habitat, all in one shot. If a cargo and ramp version, instant plant setup.....very exciting idea.:) 

 

BFR started out at 10 meters, but after SpaceX's statements over the last year or so the consensus is more like 12.5 to 16 meters with 15-16 meters looking more likely. If you apply the USAF study about how much larger than the core a payload fairing or spacecraft can be, a 15 meter core could support a 22.5 meter fairing/spacecraft. Perhaps a tad larger. This leads directly into how large the MCT spacecraft could potentially be. The answer is ginormous.

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Draggendrop    5,747

That size....all I can say is that the possibilities are enormous. When one lands, major encampment started......that would get an outpost up and running almost immediately......just skipped a decade or so, of slowly building up.....this is a running start and almost immediate colonization. With an automated plant setup done ahead of time.........Find a name for the hamlet.:D 

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

22.5 METER FAIRINGS?! OOOOOOOOHHH .... And we're still talking about a functional payload delivery of 100T to the Moon, 75T to Mars and Venus* (*not that we'd go there), and a guaranteed 35T everywhere else?

I think Ceres is looking pretty good for a Fuel Outpost now. :) It's got H2O, and a bit of other interesting Geology that we could mine, and no weather to contend with (like Mars). Vesta too. The low gravity would be the only real concern, though. Curious that the "Ice Mountain" inside the large crater looks like it's been nuked from high orbit now ... hrmph.

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DocM    16,534

I'm not so sure they go that large. Perhaps 2-3 meters larger than the core for MCT, much as Dragon 2 overhangs F9 a bit. That'd be 18-19 meters. Still pretty huge.

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DocM    16,534

Musk was asked if a Dragon 2 could deploy a rover on Mars or another body,

Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk  9h9 hours ago
@Rob_Coppinger Of course it could deploy a rover. Minor mods to side hatch are all that's needed. Mass drops hugely if no life support.

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Draggendrop    5,747

Musk was asked if a Dragon 2 could deploy a rover on Mars or another body,

Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk  9h9 hours ago
@Rob_Coppinger Of course it could deploy a rover. Minor mods to side hatch are all that's needed. Mass drops hugely if no life support.

 

 I would not want to make an assumption here, but it does appear that mission uses are being conceived for Dragon at a nice pace now. Only makes sense, when a vehicle is available to deliver cargo/crew...it's use is not limited to ISS, it was designed for uses other than ISS, ISS is the "present part time job"

PS...Thanks for the L2 link...great idea's, so much possibilities....it's fun thinking of them all....

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DocM    16,534

It's really fun seeing some of the old timers rant about how expensive, difficult, or time consuming new mods would be & that we'll never see them, only to have them show up lickity split because the Falcons or Dragon were designed to be modded.

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DocM    16,534

Just heard that Dragon 2 will be switching from 3 parachutes to 4. 

IMO, this could mean they want smaller chutes which could deploy faster at low altitude if some SD's failed. They're already using high power mortars.

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Nothing wrong with added safety features. :yes:

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DocM    16,534

UPDATE: for water splashdowns, plus

 

 

 

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DocM    16,534

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

This is great news......they have been busy and apparently plugging along during a rough time, seemingly oblivious to external uncertainties.....would not expect anything less.....well done....:D 

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Draggendrop    5,747

Crew Dragon Propulsion System Completes Development Testing

 

SuperDracoMontage3a-300x300.thumb.jpg.6c

The propulsion system SpaceX would use to power its Crew Dragon out of danger has been test-fired 27 times as the company refines the design for the demands of operational missions carrying astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. SpaceX evaluated the system utilizing various thrust cycles on a test stand at its McGregor, Texas, rocket development facility.

Named SuperDracos, the engines are arranged in four pairs – SpaceX calls them ‘jetpacks’ – integrated around the outside of the Crew Dragon spacecraft. Firing all at once, the eight engines produce 120,000 pounds of thrust – enough power to accelerate a Crew Dragon from zero to 100 mph in 1.2 seconds. In the unlikely event of an emergency, that power means the ability to lift the crew a safe distance off the launch pad or far away from a booster failing on the way to orbit. That capability wasdemonstrated earlier this year in a pad abort test that confirmed the SuperDraco design in a flight-like condition.

A normal launch of the Crew Dragon atop a Falcon 9 rocket would not offer the SuperDracos anything to do during the mission since their only responsibility is to fire in an emergency to rescue the crew onboard. Eventually, SpaceX plans to use the SuperDracos in the place of a parachute during landing.

They use hypergolic propellants common in spacecraft thruster systems because the propellants ignite as soon as they contact each other. The engines are noteworthy for a number of reasons, including that they are built using 3-D printing methods instead of machining them from larger pieces.

After the development cycle, the propulsion system and SuperDracos will continue evaluations at the company’s test stand to qualify them for use on operational missions.

SpaceX and Boeing are developing a new generation of American-made, human-rated transportation systems capable of taking astronauts to the space station in partnership with NASA. The Crew Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner will carry up to four NASA astronauts at a time, which ultimately adds another crew member to the space station and will allow twice as much time for astronauts to conduct research aboard the one-of-a-kind laboratory.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2015/11/10/crew-dragon-propulsion-system-completes-development-testing/

 SuperDraco Test, video is 0:22 min

 

:D

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Draggendrop    5,747

Quietly, the new space race between SpaceX and Boeing burns hot


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SpaceX's Crew Dragon Spacecraft completed its pad abort test in May.

Today, a new space race has begun. But this modern face-off has some key differences, not the least of which is that America's and Russia’s space programs presently depend upon one another. Instead of Cold War-fueled international competition, the modern space race has an all-American flavor with an established company, Boeing, against an upstart, SpaceX. Both firms are developing spacecraft to fly NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, and they hope to do so before the end of 2017.

What once seemed a distant goal is now coming up fast, and it’s not clear either company will be ready as their development processes remain largely obscured. Whereas the Cold War space race played out on an international stage with flashy launches that grabbed worldwide attention, the modern, capitalism-fueled version is playing out largely behind the scenes.

 

However, last week some clues emerged when both companies were called to appear before a subcommittee of NASA’s Advisory Council, which possesses limited power but has access to information.

Benjamin Reed, who directs SpaceX’s commercial crew program, offered the most concrete timeline of the two competitors. Reed said his company intends to launch a test flight of its Dragon spacecraft by the end of 2016 and is targeting March 2017 for the first crewed flight of the vehicle. Boeing Vice President John Mulholland said his company plans to conduct both its test flight and first crewed flight of the Starliner spacecraft in 2017. Previously, the company has said it would like to fly its first crewed flight by September 2017.

 

 

Advantage SpaceX, then? In reality, each company’s dates are virtually meaningless. Both firms have their own challenges to work through before reaching their respective launch pads at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX, while it has had some dazzling successes and has slashed launch costs, is notorious in the aerospace industry for over promising early launch dates. The company is also scrambling to recovera launch failure of its Falcon 9 rocket in June. That rocket carried a cargo variant of its Dragon spacecraft, and an upgraded Falcon 9 will also launch the crewed Dragon. To allay concerns about the Falcon 9’s reliability, Reed said the Falcon 9 will fly “dozens” of times more before humans launch on it.

Boeing, meanwhile, must adjust to a new way of doing business as it develops the Starliner spacecraft. During its half century as one of NASA’s main contractors, the company has worked on a cost-plus contracting basis, essentially meaning Boeing got paid for all of its costs related to work on a job, plus an additional payment. Such contracts do not place a premium on speed or efficiency.

However, NASA has since shifted to offering fixed-price contracts for its commercial crew program. In these arrangements, the payment is the same regardless of a company’s time or expenses. According to Mulholland, the fixed-price environment has forced Boeing to “work with pace,” and he added that it will be “incredibly challenging” to finish the Starliner spacecraft in two years.

The companies are now in the final phase of NASA’s commercial crew program. In September 2014, Boeing won a $4.2 billion award to provide crewed launch services, and SpaceX won $2.6 billion. (SpaceX received less because it offered to provide lower-cost flights). Both firms are now in the process of completing more than a dozen “milestones,” such as spacesuits and parachute qualification tests as well as the actual flight tests, before NASA certifies their vehicles as ready to fly.

 

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 Each company has a litany of milestones to complete before NASA certifies them to fly crew.
NASA Advisory Council
 

 

Publicly, neither company will acknowledge the space race. But make no mistake, both companies want to win, and badly. A few years ago, Boeing and other major aerospace companies viewed SpaceX as something of a joke. Then the company started flying and winning NASA contracts, and now SpaceX presents a major threat to the old-guard aerospace titans. Additionally, there is no small measure of resentment at the company's celebrity chief executive, Elon Musk.

Musk, of course, loves to make a splash. America for four years has relied on Russia to launch its astronauts into space.

Now in less than two years, Musk has a chance to have his spacecraft, with the SpaceX logo right next to the American flag, reclaim America’s spaceflight heritage.

The chance to rescue NASA from its Russian reliance offers a public relations prize beyond compare for an aerospace company. As such, the race is on.

 

 http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/11/quietly-the-new-space-race-between-spacex-and-boeing-burns-hot/

:)

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DocM    16,534

Key statement,

"According to Mulholland, the fixed-price environment has forced Boeing to work with pace, and he added that it will be incredibly challenging to finish the Starliner spacecraft in two years."

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Beittil    574

That is what you get after 50+ years or chillaxing and hanging back on your cost+ contracts while waiting for your subs to do the dirty work for you. Now they gotta roll op their sleeves and up their game or bite the dust!

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