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NASA Commercial Crew (CCtCap) test milestones

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Climate controlled, too. :yes: Florida gets super muggy.

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Beittil    575

Unless my eyes are cheating me, that looks a whole lot bigger/roomier than the arm over at the Atlas5 pad.

 

And slick, dang.

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DocM    16,535

Same here, and yup - slick as hell.

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

:yes: And it's a true "clean room" environment, too. Soft seals between it and the spacecraft that it'll be servicing and high-pressure to keep the outside environment out. Far better than the old one that was there before, left open to the elements as well as the blast of the Shuttles. They damn near had to rebuild the mating section after each launch. Talk about contamination issues, too ... eek.

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DocM    16,535

July 24 Commercial Crew Program report

 

PCM = Post Certification Mission = operational flights. Providers may have different numbers of milestones.

 

CCP has made significant progress over the last quarter, notably:



Mission planning and preparations for eight CCP missions are in work: 

Official Dates For Boeing:

June 2018: Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed)

August 2018: Crewed Flight Test

PCM-1 awarded May 2015; Completed four milestones to date

PCM-2 awarded in December 2015; Completed four milestones to date

Official Dates For SpaceX:

February 2018: Flight to ISS without crew (Demo Mission 1) 

June 2018: Flight to ISS with crew (Demo Mission 2)

PCM-1 awarded November 2015; Completed three milestones to date

PCM-2 awarded July 2016; Completed two milestones to date

 

PDF (4.34mb)...

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Good to see Boeing making forward progress, and doing some catch-up. This was needed on their side. Now they can get back on-track and sorted out for next year.

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DocM    16,535

I was surprised to see SpaceX's DM-1 mission move to the left a few weeks. 

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

No big deal. :yes: 

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DocM    16,535

 

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DocM    16,535

Long Commercial Crew update.

 

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-commercial-crew-program-mission-in-sight-for-2018/

 

Key flight test points

 

Boeing

Quote

Pad Abort Test: In 2018, Boeing will complete an uncrewed pad abort test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to demonstrate the ability of the Starliner to safely accomplish an emergency escape of the capsule and its crew members from a rocket. During the test, four launch abort engines and 20 orbital maneuvering engines will fire to simulate an abort from the Atlas V rocket on the launch pad. Together, the engines produce about 188,000 pounds of thrust for about six seconds to push the spacecraft to one mile in altitude to clear the launch vehicle in an emergency. At the proper time in the abort sequence, the service module will separate from the crew module so that it can parachute down to a safe landing.

 

Orbital Flight Test: Following launch from Space Launch Complex 41, the uncrewed Starliner will dock to the International Space Station. After about two weeks connected to the station during which the teams will gather extensive performance data, the spacecraft will return to Earth under parachutes to land in the Western United States. The test will demonstrate the launch vehicle, Starliner, the ground system and the Boeing team are ready to perform a crew flight test.

Crew Flight Test: Two crew members will be aboard the Starliner for Boeings first commercial spaceflight to the International Space Station. The spacecraft will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 and land again in the western United States. The mission will represent a major milestone in the return of human spaceflight from the United States. After the test and NASA certification, Boeings Starliner can begin regularly flying astronauts to and from the space station on NASA missions.

 

 

SpaceX

 

Quote

Demo-1 Flight Test: SpaceX is targeting the second quarter of 2018 for its first demonstration mission with Crew Dragon to and from the International Space Station. This uncrewed mission will launch from Pad 39A, serving as an important rehearsal for later missions carrying NASA astronauts. Using Crew Dragons advanced autonomous rendezvous and docking capabilities, SpaceX will complete a full mission profile to test the crewed Block 5 Falcon 9, the Dragon Spacecraft, and associated ground systems including Mission Control in Hawthorne.

 

In-Flight Abort Test: SpaceX is slated to complete an important in-flight abort test using both Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon in the time between the companys two demonstration flights in 2018. Using Crew Dragons powerful onboard SuperDraco thrusters, built at the companys headquarters in California and tested in Texas, SpaceX will demonstrate its capability to swiftly carry astronauts to safety in the unlikely event of an in-flight anomaly. The test will be conducted from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.
 

Demo-2 Flight Test: SpaceX is progressing towards its first crewed mission under the Commercial Crew Program  Demo-2  in the third quarter of 2018. This mission will see two NASA astronauts flying to and from the International Space Station in SpaceXs Crew Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This mission will represent a major milestone in the return of crewed flights to the space station from American soil. This second demonstration mission will serve as a precursor to fully operational crew rotation missions under NASAs Commercial Crew Program.

 

 

Edited by DocM
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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Whatever gets people up there and back down again safely and efficiently I'm all for it, whether it's ULA/Boeing/LockMart or SpaceX.

 

And I'm seeing now the reason why SpaceX had to slow down and let ULA catch up -- there had to be an additional vendor to provide services with redundancy built-in from the other vendor if needed/required. Part of the new rules, which ULA/Boeing/LockMart were required to agree to (and which let SpaceX get into the mix) forbade monopolistic practices regarding NASA Contractors and Service Vendors. Old Space had been more or less operating under a closed loop of a couple dozen vendors who all did their own thing to avoid stepping on toes, with some redundancy. That's all changed now.

 

Old Space is getting used to the new landscape, finally, and I'm glad to see it. (As an aside, so long as they get that flight profile sorted out properly .... and yes, I'm still eyeballing that Black Zone during ascent because I think the Atlas V is underpowered for the task.)

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IsItPluggedIn    1,684

The main thing i see in the update, is that SpaceX has estimated dates on their update, where boeing does not.

 

Also

 

Boeing
Spacecraft: In 2018, Boeing will continue with the production and outfitting of three crew modules a

SpaceX
Spacecraft: SpaceX is making significant progress on the six Crew Dragon spacecraft

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

^^^ :yes: ^^^ SpaceX need the uptime with Crew Dragon, and they've got a ton of missions that they're gonna be flying with it.

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DocM    16,535

Yup. SpaceX has plans for Dragon 2 beyond just Crew, CRS 2 for starters. Then comes servicing the planned Deep Space Gateway station, space tourism etc. 

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Not to mention it'll be doing ops around Luna and Mars SOI too, packed into Cargo BFS six at a time for those needs. :yes: Elon even said as much.

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Beittil    575

Out of the blue SpaceX's timeline suddenly shifts!

 

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2018/01/11/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-test-flight-dates-2/#.Wld4oz5q1_U.twitter

 

Uncrewed flight would now be in August, same month as Boeing. And the crewed flight now in December? Even AFTER (!!?!) Boeings planned flight in November! Wha....what happened?

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Wha- ?! /sigh .... [expletive][deleted][something about biscuits]

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DocM    16,535

Don't take the NASA public dates too seriously. The important dates are on the ISS mission flight schedule - which unfortunately is restricted to L2 on NSF.

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Emailed my former Professor who used to work at LH/M about the slip, since she'd be the best one to ask. She said something about an arbitrary addition of a fourth chute to Dragon 2 being added to the Reentry/Return specifications all of a sudden, and that it was likely to be some kind of "dirty tactics/stalling technique". One of many that have been employed already to trip SpaceX's efforts in getting their own Manned gear up and running.

 

She said to expect more -- WAY MORE -- before this was all over with. "The powers-that-be are not accustomed to playing second fiddle, nor will they accept BEING second fiddle to anyone" she said.

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DocM    16,535

The parachute milestones were completed last year but yes, to here have been some rather arbitrary additions to the NASA requirements. 

 

One has been an new MMOD impact analysis when they already have years of data from the Commercial Cargo program, and the mold line/structure aren't that different.

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flyingskippy    167

NASA needs to get their  sh** together. This changing program requirements has involved everything from how much crap dragon needs to be able to hold to an unobtainable safety margin.  

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DocM    16,535

NASA upper managers do the bidding of Congresscritters like Sen. Shelby, this while the line guys are wearing Occupy Mars shirts and sending their CV's to SpaceX or other NewSpace companies.

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

That's about the size of it, all the while the real brains behind OldSpace that actually have the moral fortitude enough (like my former Professor) to get themselves the h-e-double-crooked-letter out from under the employ of OldSpace are telling things as they really are ... too bad that their influence isn't enough to invoke REAL enough change where it matters the most; namely, in Congress where the checks are written and the accountability means something.

 

If the REAL stories got to the right places & people in positions of authority ... Multiverse help OldSpace, because there'd be a lot of CEO's, CFO's, Upper- and Middle- Management along with Functionaries, Flunkies, Stooges, Middlemen, Patsies and Lobbyists that'd be in Federal Prison. And no, that's not a joke or an exaggeration; and yes, things ARE that bad.

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

/sigh ... anything to trip SpaceX up, eh. My former Professor called it exactly down the middle with the "any and all dirty tricks at their disposal" prediction she made when she said to expect more shenanigans.

 

Safety panel raises concerns about Falcon 9 pressure vessel for commercial crew missions

Article link | SpaceNews.com website

Quote

The annual report of NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel raised safety issues about commercial crew systems under development by Boeing and SpaceX.

DragonCST_SpaceXBoeingSNLanceMarburger-8

Credit: SpaceX artist's concept and Boeing.

by Jeff Foust — January 12, 2018

 

WASHINGTON — An independent safety panel recommended NASA not certify SpaceX’s commercial crew system until the agency better understands the behavior of pressure vessels linked to a Falcon 9 failure in 2016. That recommendation was one of the stronger items in the annual report of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) released by NASA Jan. 11, which found that NASA was generally managing risk well on its various programs.

 

The report devoted a section to the composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) used to store helium in the second stage propellant tanks of the Falcon 9. The investigation into the September 2016 pad explosion that destroyed a Falcon 9 while being prepared for a static-fire test concluded that liquid oxygen in the tank got trapped between the COPV overwrap and liner and then ignited through friction or other mechanisms.

SpaceX has since changed its loading processes to avoid exposing the COPVs to similar conditions, but also agreed with NASA to redesign the COPV to reduce the risk for crewed launches. NASA has since started a “rigorous test program” to understand how the redesigned COPV behaves when exposed to liquid oxygen, the report stated.

 

ASAP argued that completing those tests is essential before NASA can allow its astronauts to launch on the Falcon 9. “In our opinion, adequate understanding of the COPV behavior in cryogenic oxygen is an absolutely essential precursor to potential certification for human space flight,” the report stated, a sentence italicized for emphasis in the report.

The report added that NASA and SpaceX are working on an alternative design for the pressure vessels that does not involve the use of composite overwrap materials should the ongoing test effort fail. It warned, though, that the alternative design is heavier, which may require redesign of supporting structures within the liquid oxygen tank.

The report raised issues in general about the commercial crew program, including concerns that neither Boeing nor SpaceX, the two companies developing vehicles to transport NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station, will meet a requirement of no greater than a 1-in-270 “loss of crew” (LOC) risk of an accident that causes death or serious injury to a crewmember. That includes, the report stated, a risk of no more than 1 in 500 for launch and reentry.

 

“The Panel has been monitoring the providers’ progress in working toward the LOC requirements, and it appears that neither provider will achieve 1 in 500 for ascent/entry and will be challenged to meet the overall mission requirement of 1 in 200 (without operational mitigations),” the report stated. The “operational mitigations,” such as on-orbit inspection, are intended to ease the overall 1-in-270 requirement.

 

At a Nov. 29 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council’s human exploration and operations committee, Lisa Colloredo, deputy program manager for NASA’s commercial crew program, said she expected the two companies to meet that requirement or come close to it. “We have a very difficult LOC requirement to meet, and we knew that when we going in,” she said then, noting it was more stringent than the 1-in-90 requirement for the space shuttle at the end of the program.

Yep. Unattainable and unrealistic criteria; and while we're at it lets make SpaceX deal with something that was a complete freak accident and hold up their end of the CCP by possibly years. That'll teach 'em to mess with OldSpace ... 

 

Ugh. Disgusting that the Advisory Board is resorting to this crap.

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bguy_1986    356

Did they ever get the issue resolved where SpaceX wanted to load fuel after the passengers have loaded? (So if there was an accident on the pad, they can shoot off of there safely).  Or did I dream that they even wanted to do that?

 

Hopefully SpaceX will just decide to land on the moon or something and prove a point to old space.

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