• Sign in to Neowin Faster!

    Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site.

Sign in to follow this  

SpaceX Red Dragon: Dragon 2 missions to Mars (updates)

Recommended Posts

DocM    16,536

NASA Advisory Council (NAC) takes up nuclear propulsion & power and Red Dragon July 26 at NASA Glenn. 2 sessions: 0800-1215 and 1530-1700 eastern.

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/07/08/2016-16185/nasa-advisory-council-technology-innovation-and-engineering-committee-meeting


The meeting will be open to the public up to the capacity of the room. This meeting is also available telephonically and by WebEx. You must use a touch-tone phone to participate in this meeting. Any person interested in joining the meeting may call the USA toll-free conference number 1-844-467-6272, passcode 102421 followed by the # sign. If dialing in, please mute your telephone. The WebEx link is https://nasa.webex.com/, the meeting number is 998 519 793, and the password is Technology16$ (case sensitive).

The agenda for the meeting includes the following topics:

Welcome to NASA Glenn Research Center and Remarks

Space Technology Mission Directorate Update

Nuclear Propulsion and Power Overview

SpaceX Red Dragon Partnership Overview

Chief Technologist Update

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM    16,536

 

Dup

 

 

IMG_20160725_104416.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM    16,536

 

 

 

 

Arcadia Planitia is top left

1024px-Wikimolaamazonisarcadia.jpg

la-persona-ante-el-cosmos-i-37-728.jpg?c

Edited by DocM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision    2,667

If they're looking at < 40 LAT and as low elevation as possible then they'll need to move the candidate sites to Amazonis and Acidalia too. Much lower elevation there and a lot more real estate to choose from, plus there are confirmed subsurface ice deposits throughout the region that perhaps will intersect a candidate LZ. I'm not sure where the borderline is with Arcadia/Acidalia (seems like they'd be one and the same, really) but to my thinking SpaceX planners would want to really keep a more open mind about this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM    16,536

For a first test where the main goal is just landing in one piece they may not want to contaminate a prime site if something goes wonky.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision    2,667
59 minutes ago, DocM said:

For a first test where the main goal is just landing in one piece they may not want to contaminate a prime site if something goes wonky.

Agreed. I thought this was for the main mission. For testing, agreed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM    16,536

Jeff Foust's full Space News SpaceX landing sites story.

 

http://spacenews.com/spacex-studying-landing-sites-for-mars-missions/#sthash.mJuwMJZr.dpuf

 

SpaceX studying landing sites for Mars missions



reddragon-mars-879x485.jpg

SpaceX's "Red Dragon" concept envisions using a Dragon spacecraft with only minor modification to land on the surface of Mars as a precursor to later human missions. Credit: SpaceX

THE WOODLANDS, Texas  SpaceX has been working with NASA to identify potential landing sites on Mars for both its Red Dragon spacecraft and future human missions.

In a presentation at a symposium here March 18 on planetary surface exploration and sample return, Paul Wooster of SpaceX said the company, working with scientists at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory and elsewhere, had identified several potential landing sites, including one that looks particularly promising.

Wooster, who is involved in Mars mission planning in addition to his day job as manager of guidance, navigation and control systems on SpaceXs Dragon spacecraft, said that site selection is based on several criteria. One is access to large quantities of ice near the surface that could, ultimately, support human settlements.

Another is to be close to the Equator and at a low elevation for solar power and better thermal conditions. Its probably hard to find that along with ice, he acknowledged, so the focus has been on four locations at latitudes no more than about 40 degrees from the Equator.

Wooster said the study identified four regions in the northern hemisphere of Mars that met those basic criteria. Three of the regions  Deuteronilus Mensae, Phlegra Montes and Utopia Planitia  looked attractive in images from a medium resolution camera on the Mars Reconnaissiance Orbiter called CTX, he said, but appear rockier in high-resolution HiRISE images.

The team at JPL has been finding that, while the areas look very flat and smooth at CTX resolution, with HiRISE images, theyre quite rocky, Wooster said. Thats been unfortunate in terms of the opportunities for those sites.

A fourth region, Arcadia Planitia, looks more promising in those high-resolution images. What theyve found is basically few or no rocks, and a polygonal terrain that they think is pretty similar to what was seen at Phoenix, he said, referring to NASAs Phoenix spacecraft, which landed in the north polar regions of Mars in 2008.

Those landing sites are of particular interest, he said, for SpaceXs long-term vision of establishing a human settlement on Mars, but he said the company wouldnt rule our sending Red Dragon spacecraft elsewhere on the planet to serve other customers. Were quite open to making use of this platform to take various payloads to other locations as well, he said. Were really looking to turn this into a steady cadence, where were sending Dragons to Mars on basically every opportunity.

The Red Dragon spacecraft, he said, could carry about one ton of useful payload to Mars, with options for those payloads to remain in the capsule after landing or be deployed on the surface. SpaceX is a transportation company, he said. We transport cargo to the space station, we deliver payloads to orbit, so were very happy to deliver payloads to Mars.

When SpaceX announced the Red Dragon program last year, it planned to perform the first launch as soon as the spring of 2018. Last month, however, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said it was likely that mission would shift to the next Mars launch window in mid-2020.

Wooster said the slip didnt have anything to do with issues with the mission itself. Overall, we just had a lot of things on our plate at SpaceX. Its not anything specific to Red Dragon, he said.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+John.    1,395

I always love when we get tangible news that something is happening for this. Makes me so excited!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM    16,536

This is very real.

 

The Red Dragon 1 vehicle is being built by the new Dragon Hatchery in the Triumph Aerostructures-Vought factory near the Hawthorne Airport. Several more Red Dagons are on the manifest. They will be both before the first ITS landings as precursors and after them.

 

Triumph pulled out of producing Boeing 747 parts after Boeing moved  production  to Macon,  GA  so there's open factory space.  

Edited by DocM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FloatingFatMan    18,654

I'm doing my best not to get too excited over all this. After all, their timescale for their Mars mission is rather short and they still have yet to put men in space...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM    16,536

Much of the holdup is NASA taking 6 months to do milestone approvals the contract guaranteed would take 2 months, plus several years of reduced funding due to the sequester.

 

As of now, the first Crew Dragon un-crewed flight to ISS is November, and a crewed (2) flight there 6 months later.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FloatingFatMan    18,654
36 minutes ago, DocM said:

Much of the holdup is NASA taking 6 months to do milestone approvals the contract guaranteed would take 2 months, plus several years of reduced funding due to the sequester.

 

As of now, the first Crew Dragon un-crewed flight to ISS is November, and a crewed (2) flight there 6 months later.

Oh I know that, I just think that, given the delays forced on them, their timescale for Mars is... unrealistic at best.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision    2,667
Quote

Wooster, who is involved in Mars mission planning in addition to his day job as manager of guidance, navigation and control systems on SpaceXs Dragon spacecraft, said that site selection is based on several criteria. One is access to large quantities of ice near the surface that could, ultimately, support human settlements. 

Another is to be close to the Equator and at a low elevation for solar power and better thermal conditions. Its probably hard to find that along with ice, he acknowledged, so the focus has been on four locations at latitudes no more than about 40 degrees from the Equator. 

Wooster said the study identified four regions in the northern hemisphere of Mars that met those basic criteria. Three of the regions  Deuteronilus Mensae, Phlegra Montes and Utopia Planitia  looked attractive in images from a medium resolution camera on the Mars Reconnaissiance Orbiter called CTX, he said, but appear rockier in high-resolution HiRISE images. 

The team at JPL has been finding that, while the areas look very flat and smooth at CTX resolution, with HiRISE images, theyre quite rocky, Wooster said. Thats been unfortunate in terms of the opportunities for those sites. 

A fourth region, Arcadia Planitia, looks more promising in those high-resolution images. What theyve found is basically few or no rocks, and a polygonal terrain that they think is pretty similar to what was seen at Phoenix, he said, referring to NASAs Phoenix spacecraft, which landed in the north polar regions of Mars in 2008. 

All four sites would be pretty snazzy for science returns. :yes: But Arcadia Planitia ... sure, the real estate is nice and smooth, and fairly level. Would be an easy LZ to nail ... lemme grab the specular analysis and see what's lurking there. Watch this space. ;) 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision    2,667

As promised ... (and my apologies that they weren't up sooner -- Forum Maintenance prevented it.) ... where I think SpaceX is looking at.

 

What we've got here is the extreme eastern side of the ultra high-res section of Arcadia Planitia. I've highlighted the "go areas" that SpaceX will consider putting RD down at. These areas are relatively rock-free, smooth, and as level as possible. What's more, these areas also hold to my hypothesis that "the soil is darker when subsurface ice or moisture is present in greater quantities". The darker the soil, the more ice and/or moisture it'll contain and at a closer surface level.

Arcadia-FavorableA.thumb.jpg.6767b196948033349194115bf67ce1d7.jpg

These two areas are a sample of what SpaceX are looking for. These aren't the only locations, of course. They are the lowest of elevations in their immediate areas, and the most likely to contain subsurface hydrates and ices. I've chosen two LZ's based upon those criteria as well as the likelihood of a successful landing. I submit these purely as an exercise for peer review. :) LZ Coordinates can be seen in the lower corner of each image for each LZ.

Arcadia-Favorable-LZ1.thumb.jpg.0015f9bfb20b3740f91e1e8cf6734b19.jpgArcadia-Favorable-LZ2.thumb.jpg.76acae891271b9db939faf557979fe59.jpg

 

Please enjoy. :) 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision    2,667

(Third LZ image got mangled somehow. :()

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Draggendrop    5,747
4 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

(Third LZ image got mangled somehow. :()

This will be the start of the Martian Route 66.......rovers ready......:D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision    2,667
2 minutes ago, Draggendrop said:

This will be the start of the Martian Route 66.......rovers ready......:D

Let's put up a Gas'N'Go, DD! Complete with an In-And-Out Burger! :D 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM    16,536

Bigelow can put up a few Budget Suites :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision    2,667

Now all we need is @DocM to slap together a Command Center and we'll have ourselves an Outpost. :D 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Draggendrop    5,747

I'll take the first shift....and I'm not coming back (staying on Mars).....period.  :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision    2,667

I'll take second shift ... and I'm really not coming back ... to Earth, that is. :D 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM    16,536

Set up a Debian cluster and display wall, get creative with the infirmary diagnostics hardware, air gap as required, not a problem.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.