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NASA Commercial Crew (CCtCap) test milestones

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Jim K    13,052

 

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Jim K    13,052

 

Wonder what they were counting down to (if that was indeed a countdown in the blocky video)

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DocM    16,435

Supposedly it was on a shake table doing 2x max expected loads. ISTM just about anything coming unglued under those conditions makes for a bad day.

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flyingskippy    165

If that is the case then  yeah I would expect bad things to happen.

 

FAA certification only goes to 150% .I know the FAA doesn't have jurisdiction here, but is NASA requiring 200%?  Is this for that ###### LOC rate they require? 

 

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Skiver    1,958

Still no news on this? I'm so used to SpaceX's quick and open explanations on some of the "failures" they've had in the past, the lack of information on this makes it feel worse than it probably is.

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bguy_1986    354
4 hours ago, Skiver said:

Still no news on this? I'm so used to SpaceX's quick and open explanations on some of the "failures" they've had in the past, the lack of information on this makes it feel worse than it probably is.

Government is involved.  Could be why it's taking longer?

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DocM    16,435
Posted (edited)

SpaceX's Hans Koenigsmann re: Crew Dragon test failure. Sounds like plumbing.

Powered up nominally.

Completed 2 Draco thruster firings, 5 seconds each. 

Just before the SDs fired there was an anomaly which destroyed the vehicle.

Indications this happened while the SDs were "activating". Too soon to speculate about root cause.

COPVs are not pressurized during SD activation

Confidence in SDs - 600 tests including integrated;  pad abort and hovers.

Large amount of data; high speed film, sensors and telemetry. 

 

Video does not include the Q&A

 

Edited by DocM

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Jim K    13,052
9 hours ago, Skiver said:

Still no news on this? I'm so used to SpaceX's quick and open explanations on some of the "failures" they've had in the past, the lack of information on this makes it feel worse than it probably is.

Well....when the Falcon blew up on the launch pad it took about three weeks before a lengthy statement (aside from ones apologizing for loss of the AMOS-6) and preliminary speculation on the cause.  About 4 months before everything was done...with updates about every month.

 

I wouldn't read too much into them not giving out information at this point.  

 

Just hoping it isn't a design flaw...but we'll know eventually.

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Jim K    13,052

From the above article...

Quote

///

In the company's most expansive comments to date, Koenigsmann said the "anomaly" occurred during a series of tests with the spacecraft, approximately one-half second before the firing of the SuperDraco thrusters. At that point, he said, "There was an anomaly and the vehicle was destroyed."

 

During the activation phase, the SuperDraco thruster system is pressurized, and valves are opened and closed. Since the accident there has been speculation that there may have been some issue with the composite overwrap pressure vessels, or COPVs, which store rocket fuels at extremely high pressures. The COPVs on Crew Dragon are different from those on the Falcon 9, and they would not have been overly stressed at that moment, Koenigsmann said. "I'm fairly confident that the COPVs are going to be fine," he said.

///

He also went on to say that  "We have no reason to believe there’s an issue with the SuperDracos themselves,"

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DocM    16,435

And there are several Crew Dragons on the line, so building  new IFA test vehicle shouldn't be an issue. 

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DocM    16,435

 

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DocM    16,435
Posted (edited)

Yay!!

 

Kathy Leuders is NASA's Program Manager for Commercial Crew.

 

 

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DocM    16,435

 

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Jim K    13,052

 

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DocM    16,435

WRT the Crew Dragon explosion

 

https://twitter.com/SpaceflightIns/status/1150825006663897088

 

SpaceFlight Insider @SpaceflightIns
SpaceX has a teleconference set for later today. Most agencies / companies give a couple days notice @SpaceX gave less than 3 hours. Topic is explosion of their @CommercialCrew offering @CrewDragon2

 

SpaceX press release

 


On Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 18:13 UTC, SpaceX conducted a series of static fire engine tests of the Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort test vehicle on a test stand at SpaceXs Landing Zone 1, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Crew Dragons design includes two distinct propulsion systems  a low-pressure bi-propellant propulsion system with sixteen Draco thrusters for on-orbit maneuvering, and a high-pressure bi-propellant propulsion system with eight SuperDraco thrusters for use only in the event of a launch escape. After the vehicles successful demonstration mission to and from the International Space Station in March 2019, SpaceX performed additional tests of the vehicles propulsion systems to ensure functionality and detect any system-level issues prior to a planned In-Flight Abort test.

The initial tests of twelve Draco thrusters on the vehicle completed successfully, but the initiation of the final test of eight SuperDraco thrusters resulted in destruction of the vehicle. In accordance with pre-established safety protocols, the test area was clear and the team monitored winds and other factors to ensure public health and safety.

Following the anomaly, SpaceX convened an Accident Investigation Team that included officials from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and observers from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and began the systematic work on a comprehensive fault tree to determine probable cause. SpaceX also worked closely with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to secure the test site, and collect and clean debris as part of the investigation. The site was operational prior to SpaceXs Falcon Heavy launch of STP-2 and landing of two first stage side boosters at Landing Zones 1 and 2 on June 25, 2019.

Initial data reviews indicated that the anomaly occurred approximately 100 milliseconds prior to ignition of Crew Dragons eight SuperDraco thrusters and during pressurization of the vehicles propulsion systems. Evidence shows that a leaking component allowed liquid oxidizer  nitrogen tetroxide (NTO) to enter high-pressure helium tubes during ground processing. A slug of this NTO was driven through a helium check valve at high speed during rapid initialization of the launch escape system, resulting in structural failure within the check valve. The failure of the titanium component in a high-pressure NTO environment was sufficient to cause ignition of the check valve and led to an explosion.

In order to understand the exact scenario, and characterize the flammability of the check valves titanium internal components and NTO, as well as other material used within the system, the accident investigation team performed a series of tests at SpaceXs rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. Debris collected from the test site in Florida, which identified burning within the check valve, informed the tests in Texas. Additionally, the SuperDraco thrusters recovered from the test site remained intact, underscoring their reliability.

It is worth noting that the reaction between titanium and NTO at high pressure was not expected. Titanium has been used safely over many decades and on many spacecraft from all around the world. Even so, the static fire test and anomaly provided a wealth of data. Lessons learned from the test  and others in our comprehensive test campaign  will lead to further improvements in the safety and reliability of SpaceXs flight vehicles.

SpaceX has already initiated several actions, such as eliminating any flow path within the launch escape system for liquid propellant to enter the gaseous pressurization system. Instead of check valves, which typically allow liquid to flow in only one direction, burst disks, which seal completely until opened by high pressure, will mitigate the risk entirely. Thorough testing and analysis of these mitigations has already begun in close coordination with NASA, and will be completed well in advance of future flights.

With multiple Crew Dragon vehicles in various stages of production and testing, SpaceX has shifted the spacecraft assignments forward to stay on track for Commercial Crew Program flights. The Crew Dragon spacecraft originally assigned to SpaceXs second demonstration mission to the International Space Station (Demo-2) will carry out the companys In-Flight Abort test, and the spacecraft originally assigned to the first operational mission (Crew-1) will launch as part of Demo-2.

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Unobscured Vision    2,657

This is why testing happens. :yes: It'll be a far safer vehicle with this new change.

 

Apollo used the "burst disk" methodology as a safety feature too on its' engines. ALL of them. I'm surprised that SpaceX hadn't employed them also; but hey -- experience becomes the best teacher and this kind of thing won't be overlooked in the future.

 

Better that this happened now rather than later. (Y) 

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DocM    16,435

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,657

Yep, saw this.

 

Crew Dragon does have the capability to land anywhere, but of course won't be allowed to land anywhere but water unless it's an emergency. Frankly I think ocean landings are "old school" and need to be rethought. Big waste of resources for recovery not to mention refurbishing the spacecraft (considering how much havoc seawater causes).

 

Seriously, set up a 50 x 200 mile touchdown area in the Western or Southern U.S. (or both) designated as a Recovery Area so that Commercial Crew spacecraft can land on land. I've disliked the idea that we must use the ocean since I've been a kid following space stuff. No, really -- Crew Dragon especially; those four parachutes are overkill. Touching down on land is gonna be easy peasy. Scuff the heat shield up a bit ... so what. Better than seawater.

 

/shrug

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Steven P.    13,371
16 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

Yep, saw this.

 

Crew Dragon does have the capability to land anywhere, but of course won't be allowed to land anywhere but water unless it's an emergency. Frankly I think ocean landings are "old school" and need to be rethought. Big waste of resources for recovery not to mention refurbishing the spacecraft (considering how much havoc seawater causes).

 

Seriously, set up a 50 x 200 mile touchdown area in the Western or Southern U.S. (or both) designated as a Recovery Area so that Commercial Crew spacecraft can land on land. I've disliked the idea that we must use the ocean since I've been a kid following space stuff. No, really -- Crew Dragon especially; those four parachutes are overkill. Touching down on land is gonna be easy peasy. Scuff the heat shield up a bit ... so what. Better than seawater.

 

/shrug

Boeing agrees that seawater is no good for their Starliner capsule, there are better ways to get them down :) 

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_CST-100_Starliner

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DocM    16,435
9 hours ago, Steven P. said:

Boeing agrees that seawater is no good for their Starliner capsule, there are better ways to get them down :) 

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_CST-100_Starliner

 

Assuming the heat shield separates so the bags can inflate. If not, things get bumpy.

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DocM    16,435

 

 

 

 

 

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