Crew Dragon: In-Flight Abort test flight


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DocM

Date: January 11, 2020

Time: TBA, but likely in the AM

 

Doing this from the top of a screaming booster rocket at MaxQ - the highest launch loads,

 

 

NASA....

 


KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR)  NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than Jan. 11, 2020, for a critical In-Flight Abort Test of the Crew Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, pending U.S. Air Force Eastern Range approval.

As part of the test, SpaceX will configure Crew Dragon to trigger a launch escape shortly after liftoff and demonstrate Crew Dragons capability to safely separate from the Falcon 9 rocket in the unlikely event of an in-flight emergency. The demonstration also will provide valuable data toward NASA certifying SpaceXs crew transportation system for carrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

The demonstration of Crew Dragons launch escape system is part of NASAs Commercial Crew Program and is one of the final major tests for the company before NASA astronauts will fly aboard the spacecraft.

The In-Flight Abort Test follows a series of static fire engine tests of the spacecraft conducted Nov. 13 near SpaceXs Landing Zone 1 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. SpaceX will also conduct a static fire test of its Falcon 9 rocket ahead of the In-Flight Abort Test.

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FloatingFatMan

Ridiculous.  Dragon 2 should be using it's SuperDraco's to LAND as well as escape the pad... Parachute should just be there as yet another backup...

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DocM
7 hours ago, FloatingFatMan said:

Ridiculous.  Dragon 2 should be using it's SuperDraco's to LAND as well as escape the pad... Parachute should just be there as yet another backup...

 

I completely agree but NASA made the certification process so expensive, requiring several orbital test launches and reentries, SpaceX decided to put those funds into Starship.

 

Background,

 

When SpaceX proposed propulsive landings in the 2011 concept video NASA never thought SpaceX would follow through. Next thing NASA knows Crew Dragon is doing hover tests & landing boosters and it's "OH, S**T! They're actually going to do it!!." In comes the expensive test program to "discourage" SpaceX from using propulsive in Commercial Crew.

 

NASA got the desired result, but now SpaceX is far more willing to develop Starship and future vehicles without NASA strings. They'll do like Falcon Heavy; develop it, fly it publicly with a big splash - gathering tons of telemetry, then slap it on the table and take orders.

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  • 3 weeks later...
DocM

The IFA is now NET Jan. 18.

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anthdci

how far down range is it likely to get before separation? you can normally eyeball it at max q can't you? We will therefore have a good view of it weather depending.

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DocM
2 hours ago, anthdci said:

how far down range is it likely to get before separation? you can normally eyeball it at max q can't you? We will therefore have a good view of it weather depending.

 

The abort should happen at or about T+58 seconds, which is when DM-1 hit MaxQ. Crew Dragon's planned touchdown is about 31km down range.

 

 

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Jim K
On 1/7/2020 at 10:26 AM, anthdci said:

how far down range is it likely to get before separation? you can normally eyeball it at max q can't you? We will therefore have a good view of it weather depending.

Been reading T+88 ... which I believe is around 14km or so up (though I believe it will launching on an ISS trajectory).

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DocM

Booster 1046.4 will be expended.

 

Previous flights: Bangabandhu-1, Merah Putih and SSO-A.

 

 

 

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Jim K

Animation

 

 

So from that... looks like 90 seconds after launch, at an altitude of ~21km and a downrange distance of ~3km, the fun happens. Dragon will reach an apogee of ~40km and splashdown ~32km downrange.

 

 

 

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DocM

Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort rollout

 

 

 

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Jim K

Delayed until Sunday morning.

 

 

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Jim K

9 AM Eastern Time

2 PM UTC

 

 

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Steven P.

That's 3pm CET (2PM GMT).

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Jim K

Launch has been bumped one hour.  So... 10AM EST, 3PM UTC

 

 

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Jim K

 

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Jim K

Add :30 to the launch time (so 10:30AM EST, 3:30PM UTC)

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DocM

Crew Access Arm is retracting.

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Jim K

Stream is live

 

 

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Jim K

Lift-off

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Jim K

The test appears to be all successful.  

 

RIP B1046 (from reddit)... 

Quote

B1046 is the first Block 5 Falcon 9 booster. It features a bolted octaweb (as opposed to welded), SpaceX proprietary heat shielding on inconel mountings, titanium grid fins, retractable black landing legs, man-rated Merlin 1D engines (boasting a ~10% thrust increase over previous versions), COPV 2.0, and a black interstage. The upgrade allows Falcon 9 man-rating while affording a performance boost. It is hoped that the block 5 upgrades will enable rapid and routine reusability of Falcon 9 1st stages. On August 7, 2018, B1046 became the first-ever Falcon 9 booster to fly two consecutive GTO missions. On December 3, 2018, B1046 became the first-ever Falcon 9 booster to fly a third time (SSO-A mission). In April 2019, the booster was first mentioned as being manifested to fly the Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort Test, which was previously slated to fly on B1048. Booster recovery has been deemed impractical for the abort test, which will mark B1046's fourth and final flight.

 

Also, to me it looks like they remote detonated it (vs. it breaking up).  Would be nice if that was confirmed. (Edit: Nope, it was not detonated...it broke apart as planned)

 

 

Capture.thumb.PNG.5f13248b305f3433073226bd8164c59d.PNG

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bguy_1986

They kept mentioning that the computers determine the best time for the Dragon to abort after it hits Max Q, but in a real life situation it wouldn't have to wait until it hit Max Q correct?  They were just looking for the worse case scenario and were making sure it would pass that test?

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Jim K

It can escape anytime from pad throughout ascent ... this test was conducted when the vehicle was under max stress: 

 

"SpaceX has configured Crew Dragon to intentionally trigger a launch escape after Max Q, the moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket."  SpaceX Press Kit

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Jim K

 

 

 

 

 

Looks like the 2nd stage/interstage on that last photo survived the explosion ... which probably caused this big explosion on the ocean surface.

 

 

EOp_7EGWoAIexGD.thumb.jpg.5fa84354f81e8012c64635b7a857ed4d.jpg

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IsItPluggedIn

Now that we have a successful test (after boeings failures) NASA can start planning the Crew launch.

 

We should now see how many articles we can find over the next few days trying to make out that the explosion was a bad thing or that the test was a failure. I've already seen a couple with misleading titles, but correctish content.

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Unobscured Vision

Yep this was really cool. (Just got up. Working third shift now so I JUST saw it.)

 

Boeing/LockMart/ULA aren't feeling so well, methinks ...

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