Author Topic: Which commercial crew vehicle would you choose to be transported on?  (Read 30914 times)

Offline BackInAction

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Hypothetical:  CST-100, Dragon, and Dreamchaser are all completed and ready to transport humans to ISS.  Each has had 3 successful test flights demonstrating everything it needs for a crew.  Now is the time for the first  crew and that includes you.  You are given the choice of which you would like to be transported on to ISS.  Cost is a non-issue (just for this exercise).

Which craft would you select and why?

Offline JBF

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I'd pick the dragon just because the reentry should be a little rougher. For a more exciting ride  :D
"In principle, rocket engines are simple, but thatís the last place rocket engines are ever simple." Jeff Bezos

Offline neilh

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Which launcher?
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Offline DDG40

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Dream Chaser.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Dream Chaser.


It would be my last pick. Those hybrid rocket motors have to be replaced by some sort of liquid engines.

Offline BackInAction

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Which launcher?

Lets say for this exercise:

Dragon = falcon 9 v1.1
CST-100 and Dreamchaser = Atlas variant

Offline QuantumG

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Dragon: I guess I'm on the flight because I found out Elon Musk's dark secret and this is how he's keeping me quiet.

CST-100: I guess I'm on the flight because I did such a great job with the latest five alarm Boeing customer issue and this is a thank-you prize.

Dreamchaser: I guess I'm on the flight because Sierra Nevada went to Red Bull or Unilever to get the gap money they needed to actually finish the vehicle and I won the beer drinking contest.

As I'm not the beer drinker I used to be and the other one is unlikely due to the ITAR, I guess it'd have to be Dragon.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline pargoo

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     What an odd question.  Beggars can't be choosers.  I'd try riding up on the outside wearing scuba gear and held on with velcro if they'd let me give it a try.  Vehicle/rocket wouldn't matter!

Offline Roy_H

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I would be confident with any one of them. They are all built by reputable companies who are doing their best to make super reliable transportation. I like the fact that they all are designed to land on land, if one was a sea landing then that would be a point against.

I like the idea of landing in a controlled manner at a specific landing spot, so this gives Dream Chaser and Dragon an edge over CST100 which lands somewhere in the desert (and I imagine with a fairly substantial bump).
"If we don't achieve re-usability, I will consider SpaceX to be a failure." - Elon Musk

Offline SpacexULA

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Soyuz via Space Adventures (Which you left off the list).

It's likely going to be quite more commercially available as the American commercial crew comes online, and you get to ride into orbit in the most proven space transport system in the world.

Not to mention the historic footsteps you would be follow in the steps of.  With the Soyuz you get months of training, and you are PART of the crew.  I seriously doubt CST-100/Dragon/Dreamchaser are going to have you trains for months to be a backup, and if I am spending millions of dollars I want to get my hands dirty.

If they had a gondola that went to the top of Mt Everest, there would still be folks climbing the side, count me in as one that wants the Soyuz experience, only because I can't have the Apollo Experience.
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Offline Lurker Steve

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Dragon: I guess I'm on the flight because I found out Elon Musk's dark secret and this is how he's keeping me quiet.

CST-100: I guess I'm on the flight because I did such a great job with the latest five alarm Boeing customer issue and this is a thank-you prize.

Dreamchaser: I guess I'm on the flight because Sierra Nevada went to Red Bull or Unilever to get the gap money they needed to actually finish the vehicle and I won the beer drinking contest.

As I'm not the beer drinker I used to be and the other one is unlikely due to the ITAR, I guess it'd have to be Dragon.


You know his dark secrets and still trust him to launch you safely into space ?

Offline QuantumG

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You know his dark secrets and still trust him to launch you safely into space ?

A dark secret doesn't necessarily imply he's a murderer, and even if it did, it's not like his employees are just henchmen who follow orders to sabotage launches.

I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline Roy_H

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Dream Chaser.


It would be my last pick. Those hybrid rocket motors have to be replaced by some sort of liquid engines.

Why? What's wrong with hybrid motors? Scaled chose them because of minimal environmental impact, sounds like a good thing to me.
"If we don't achieve re-usability, I will consider SpaceX to be a failure." - Elon Musk

Offline Rocket Science

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Dream Chaser, says this pilot, nuff said.... 8)
« Last Edit: 10/27/2013 11:35 AM by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Online Galactic Penguin SST

Shenzhou. (I knew that the Chinese are clever entrepreneurs)  ;)

Whoops, gotta go........







(seriously, anyone of them that can get to the manned test flight stage will be fine to me)
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Offline Occupymars

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Honestly i'd go on any one that would take me! But if your asking which one I think is the safest then that would have to come down to falcon 9's reliability when/if dragon rider is operational. Also let's say theoretically by this time the Cxp spacecraft's had three successful flight's each. Then wouldn't dragon have a more proven flight history because the cargo version would have flow many times by then?. If your asking which I think is the coolest and most fun to be transported on then i would tell you that a propulsive landing is hard to look past.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Online Robotbeat

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Dream Chaser.


It would be my last pick. Those hybrid rocket motors have to be replaced by some sort of liquid engines.

Why? What's wrong with hybrid motors? Scaled chose them because of minimal environmental impact, sounds like a good thing to me.
...and Virgin (and presumably Scaled) is moving away from them for their later vehicles.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline mikegro

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Dreamchaser!  Mainly for emotional reasons as a worthy and honorable successor to Shuttle; although there are plenty of practical ones for it and even some against I suppose.  It really "looks like a spaceship" and feels more like an evolution of space flight hardware to me (not to discount SpaceX or Boeing's work).

I espescially enjoy the part of the DC ConOps video/animation during 1st stage separation and the dual engine centaur ignites... Then later 2nd stage sep and the hybrids firing.  Would love to experience that!
Part time F-16 and KC-135 Crew Chief, full-time spaceflight enthusiast!

Online vt_hokie

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DC for me as well.  With DC being more of a long-shot than the other two contenders, I hope if a NASA down-select to a single provider is inevitable that Sierra Nevada finds some alternate means of keeping the DC program alive.
« Last Edit: 08/23/2013 03:13 AM by vt_hokie »

Offline yg1968

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Dream Chaser. But I hope that DC will get purchased by a billionnaire. Somebody like Paul Allen.

Offline edkyle99

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Which craft would you select and why?
Dream Chaser, for three reasons.

1.  Safest (most proven) launch vehicle configuration.
2.  Lower reentry g-forces.
3.  Higher cross range.

I'm not crazy about the hybrid motor set up though.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline darkenfast

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For a variety of reasons, Dragon is my favorite. But for amusement-park-ride value, Dreamchaser would be my choice, especially if I got to sit right behind the pilots!

Offline Hauerg

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Dragon.

Offline mr. mark

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I'd have to say a powered Dragon reentry would be pretty cool. So, I'll go with that. Dreamchaser would be just as awesome. At this point, I'd settle for a spacesuit and a giant slingshot. I figure I'd have as much chance of surviving that as being one of the Mars One crew.

Offline QuantumG

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I figure I'd have as much chance of surviving that as being one of the Mars One crew.

Isn't your chance of "survival" on the Mars One crew equal to zero, by definition? It's a one way mission, you're not coming back. Even if you could, would you really want to die on Earth if you had the option of dying on Mars?

Don't take life too seriously. You'll never get out of it alive - Elbert Hubbard
« Last Edit: 08/23/2013 07:31 AM by QuantumG »
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline mr. mark

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True but if I'm going on a one way trip to anywhere it's Tahiti not Mars. I will leave that to Elon.

Offline spectre9

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Dragon for sure, especially if doing a propulsive landing  :o

Riding the Falcon is half the fun.  :D

Offline douglas100

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What Ed Kyle said.
Douglas Clark

Offline Lurker Steve

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Which craft would you select and why?
Dream Chaser, for three reasons.

1.  Safest (most proven) launch vehicle configuration.
2.  Lower reentry g-forces.
3.  Higher cross range.

I'm not crazy about the hybrid motor set up though.

 - Ed Kyle

I'll take an easy exit from a vehicle with a non-toxic hybrid motor over any vehicle with toxic residue from the hypergol thrusters.

Online Robotbeat

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Which craft would you select and why?
Dream Chaser, for three reasons.

1.  Safest (most proven) launch vehicle configuration.
2.  Lower reentry g-forces.
3.  Higher cross range.

I'm not crazy about the hybrid motor set up though.

 - Ed Kyle

I'll take an easy exit from a vehicle with a non-toxic hybrid motor over any vehicle with toxic residue from the hypergol thrusters.
that's a valid consideration (though There are a lot of nontoxic liquid propellants as well). But hypergolic thrusters are more reliable because they're basically guaranteed to ignite.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline veedriver22

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Dream Chaser.

Online vt_hokie

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I would have a lot more confidence putting my life in the hands of the Atlas V than I would the Falcon 9, though of course that could change as the Falcon builds a flight history and gets refinements as experience dictates.

Offline ChefPat

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Dreamchaser for LEO & Dragon for BEO. Both IMHO "look" like real spaceships & I'd want to take more than one trip to space. ;)

edited for bad speeling eror. :(
« Last Edit: 08/23/2013 06:48 PM by ChefPat »
Playing Politics with Commercial Crew is Un-American!!!

Offline M129K

Soyuz. But if we're talking about a commercial vehicle, I guess CST-100. The combined thrill of an SRB powered launch, a rough descent and a hard landing just makes you feel like a real astronaut.

Though Dream Chaser would be a lot more comfortable so I would probably end up picking that one in the end.

Online wholmeswa

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Dream Chaser.

Offline newpylong

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Anything on an Atlas V.
« Last Edit: 08/23/2013 08:04 PM by newpylong »

Offline TomH

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Absolutely Dream Chaser, because I'd take the thing off auto pilot, grab the stick and actually FLY the thing down (hey, may as well take this fantasy to its highest level). Screaming toward a runway on a steep glide slope, pulling that nose up, and gently setting that baby on the center line at much higher than normal touchdown velocity! Sheesh, why anyone would want to be in a capsule where you can't see and then drop into the ocean like a cork instead of actively flying a spaceship from orbit to touchdown is completely beyond me. I don't want to feel like cargo; I want to FLY THAT HYPERSONIC PLANE.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Dragon - But only if it could be on a Falcon Heavy!!  ;D
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Offline bioelectromechanic

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Dragon or Dream Chaser.
Should have made this a poll!
Carpe diem et vadem ad astra

Offline ClaytonBirchenough

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Yeah, if a mod sees this please change this thread into a poll thread.
Clayton Birchenough
Astro. Engineer and Computational Mathematics @ ERAU

Offline TomH

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Yeah, if a mod sees this please change this thread into a poll thread.

Well if it is changed to a poll, it would need to specify whether you go as a passive passenger (which isn't much different than being cargo) or you get to be the commander and be in control of the spacecraft (which means you get to pilot DC on the trip down).

Offline Oli

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The safest would be CST-100. Parachutes and airbags, no toxic fuels.

Dreamchaser would be the coolest and most comfortable.

I'd pick Dragon for landing on Mars.
« Last Edit: 09/02/2013 03:55 AM by Oli »

Online Robotbeat

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CST-100 uses regular old hypergols.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline brihath

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I would be happy to fly on any ofthe vehicles, but my emotional preference is the Dream Chaser.  There is just something about being able to step out of the vehicle onto a runway after returning from orbit, as compared to those crew members in the Soyuz who land, get rolled around and end up sitting upside down in their couches.

Offline Lars_J

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I would be happy to fly on any ofthe vehicles, but my emotional preference is the Dream Chaser.  There is just something about being able to step out of the vehicle onto a runway after returning from orbit, as compared to those crew members in the Soyuz who land, get rolled around and end up sitting upside down in their couches.

Then you will be happy to know that the nominal landing for Dragon and CST-100 is right side up, with a much reduced chance of rolling around like Soyuz.

Dream chaser does sound good, but my greatest question about it is how it would handle ditching into the sea, which would occur if an abort was made during most of the ascent.

Online Robotbeat

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I would be happy to fly on any ofthe vehicles, but my emotional preference is the Dream Chaser.  There is just something about being able to step out of the vehicle onto a runway after returning from orbit, as compared to those crew members in the Soyuz who land, get rolled around and end up sitting upside down in their couches.
Huh? Neither of the other two options (three, if you still include Blue Origin) would give you that result.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Zed_Noir

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I would be happy to fly on any ofthe vehicles, but my emotional preference is the Dream Chaser.  There is just something about being able to step out of the vehicle onto a runway after returning from orbit, as compared to those crew members in the Soyuz who land, get rolled around and end up sitting upside down in their couches.

Then you will be happy to know that the nominal landing for Dragon and CST-100 is right side up, with a much reduced chance of rolling around like Soyuz.

Dream chaser does sound good, but my greatest question about it is how it would handle ditching into the sea, which would occur if an abort was made during most of the ascent.

My preference is the Dragon & Falcon 9 combo. With the CST-100 and Falcon 9 combo a close second. IMO the Atlas V will price itself off the commercial crew program.

If the Dreamchaser ditches in the sea, there is a chance it will pop up and cartwheel like most modern airliners. Also putting a liftbody airframe exposed on top of a LV will be interesting on the way up.

Offline dchill

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Dream chaser does sound good, but my greatest question about it is how it would handle ditching into the sea, which would occur if an abort was made during most of the ascent.

I believe they have the ability to bail out and can/will carry parachutes, individual life rafts, life jackets and handheld radios.  The ascent does mostly follow the coastline, so I think most aborts still have an excellent chance of getting to a runway anyway.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Dream chaser does sound good, but my greatest question about it is how it would handle ditching into the sea, which would occur if an abort was made during most of the ascent.

I believe they have the ability to bail out and can/will carry parachutes, individual life rafts, life jackets and handheld radios.  The ascent does mostly follow the coastline, so I think most aborts still have an excellent chance of getting to a runway anyway.

That would interesting since I don't recall the astronauts will be carrying the extra mass in escape & survival gear. Never mind how they are going egress from the vehicle's rear hatch after reentry while still in the air.

Offline Lars_J

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Dream chaser does sound good, but my greatest question about it is how it would handle ditching into the sea, which would occur if an abort was made during most of the ascent.

I believe they have the ability to bail out and can/will carry parachutes, individual life rafts, life jackets and handheld radios.  The ascent does mostly follow the coastline, so I think most aborts still have an excellent chance of getting to a runway anyway.

That would interesting since I don't recall the astronauts will be carrying the extra mass in escape & survival gear. Never mind how they are going egress from the vehicle's rear hatch after reentry while still in the air.

Yeah, that seems hard to believe, especially if it happens pretty early during ascent. But they could have sufficient margins. I look forward to seeing more details about abort options.
« Last Edit: 09/08/2013 05:05 AM by Lars_J »

Online Robotbeat

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I look forward to how in heck they're going to get the hybrid motors to work as well as they need them to.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Rocket Science

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I would be happy to fly on any ofthe vehicles, but my emotional preference is the Dream Chaser.  There is just something about being able to step out of the vehicle onto a runway after returning from orbit, as compared to those crew members in the Soyuz who land, get rolled around and end up sitting upside down in their couches.

Then you will be happy to know that the nominal landing for Dragon and CST-100 is right side up, with a much reduced chance of rolling around like Soyuz.

Dream chaser does sound good, but my greatest question about it is how it would handle ditching into the sea, which would occur if an abort was made during most of the ascent.

My preference is the Dragon & Falcon 9 combo. With the CST-100 and Falcon 9 combo a close second. IMO the Atlas V will price itself off the commercial crew program.

If the Dreamchaser ditches in the sea, there is a chance it will pop up and cartwheel like most modern airliners. Also putting a liftbody airframe exposed on top of a LV will be interesting on the way up.
Most aircraft that cartwheel when ditching is due to an engine pod or wingtip catching a wave. Have a good look at Dream Chaser's lifting body shape; looks a bit like a boat doesnít it?  ;)
« Last Edit: 09/08/2013 01:33 PM by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Oli

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^

Water at that speed (354 kph) is like concrete. As long as the surface of the water is not absolutely flat I guess ditching Dreamchaser would tear it apart. Also I'm not sure for how long it would float.
« Last Edit: 09/08/2013 06:52 PM by Oli »

Offline Rocket Science

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^

Water at that speed (354 kph) is like concrete. As long as the surface of the water is not absolutely flat I guess ditching Dreamchaser would tear it apart. Also I'm not sure for how long it would float.
See Convair F2Y Sea Dart... ;)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Overflow

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Dreamchaser. I can't help it. I'm a fan.

Plus it looks pretty cool too.  8)

Offline Zed_Noir

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^

Water at that speed (354 kph) is like concrete. As long as the surface of the water is not absolutely flat I guess ditching Dreamchaser would tear it apart. Also I'm not sure for how long it would float.
See Convair F2Y Sea Dart... ;)

The Convair F2Y got water ski landing gears that is almost half the length of the plane and was powered. Nothing like dead-sticking a liftbody onto water.

Offline Oli

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^

And apparently it came down at only 231.5 kph.

Or 125 knots vs Dreamchaser's 191 knots.

Offline Rocket Science

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^

And apparently it came down at only 231.5 kph.

Or 125 knots vs Dreamchaser's 191 knots.
So at least you learned that you can land a stout closed coupled airframe on the ocean either by regular ops as the Sea Dart and in an emergency with Dream Chaser. Ditch testing behavior is part of design studies in a water tank.  As I pilot I have been trained for water landings and technique is similar to a soft field one. This has been discussed over and over again on the main DC threads. Have a look!  ;)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Oli

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^

Have I? What about Zed_Noir's points?

Also, as has been mentioned in another thread before, HL-20 was supposed to do ocean landing with parachutes and airbags. Is there any official info on this from SNC?


Offline Rocket Science

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We talked about all that as well. No chutes on Dream Chaser... The DC threads are really worth having a look at, great discussions!
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Oli

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^

From what I can tell the debate in DC threads in nonconclusive. Can you point me to source which confirms DC will ditch in the case of abort?

Offline Rocket Science

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The discussions about ditching were raised by various member about what if scenarios. SNC claims no black zones so it is possible to RTLS or any 7000í runway around the world. With on board motors they could throttle them to extend the DCís glide to a landing if needed.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=9921.msg736399#msg736399
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Offline Lars_J

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No balc
The discussions about ditching were raised by various member about what if scenarios. SNC claims no black zones so it is possible to RTLS or any 7000í runway around the world. With on board motors they could throttle them to extend the DCís glide to a landing if needed.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=9921.msg736399#msg736399


No black zones just means that there are survivable abort options at any stage. It does NOT have to mean that RTLS or a forward runway is necessarily reachable at any point. There is a difference - unless SNC considers landing with no runway a non-survivable event.

I still find it hard to believe that there wouldn't be points during the ascent where an abort would end up short of a trans-Atlantic landing strip.

Offline Rocket Science

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Hey Lars!

I donít necessarily disagree with you on the black zones, it was just one example. I didnít want to go too far OT what might be better discussed on the DC threads...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline go4mars

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Dragon.  Preferably around the moon.  Fine with diapers and powerbars.
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Offline bad_astra

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Don't care, just put me in a seat.
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Offline john smith 19

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Don't care, just put me in a seat.
Fair point.  :)

Right now Spacex has to be in pole position. It's the one racking up actual flight experience.  DC potentially has the best in terms of cross range and low landing g's, which is handy if you're injured.

No doubt both Boeing and SNC will argue that flight experience is not that important (BTW when was Boeing's last crewed space vehicle that they built? Is anyone from those times still with the company?) but I simply disagree on this.

It's actual flight experience that teaches the difference between what is theoretically important to success, and what actually matters.  :(
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Offline Lee Jay

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If I have to go on CST-100 or Dragon why wouldn't I just go on Soyuz?

Offline TrevorMonty

Dragon, redundant landing equipment ie thrusters with backup parachute. DC 2nd. Dont like CTS reliance on parachutes only, also can't be steered after reentry.

Offline Hauerg

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If I have to go on CST-100 or Dragon why wouldn't I just go on Soyuz?
1. Claustrophobia?
2. If primary landing device fails on the Soyuz, you become a hero.

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I'd like to try all three and Soyuz too. While we are playing make believe, I wonder if the Chinese have an empty seat?  :)

Getting back to the question, I'd would pick Dragon. Let's pretend its 2018 and all three are flying, Dragon's flight heritage would be the deciding factor for me. Of course, that assumes they haven't lost any capsules in that time.

Offline Falcon H

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I would have to say Dragon. Of all the CCDev spacecraft SpaceX(I think)has made the most progress. Dragon will have an amazing LAS system, besides who wouldn't like to land on Super-Dracos like that. And last of all I'm a SpaceX fan boi so of course I'm going to pick Dragon. ;D
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Offline arachnitect

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Don't care, just put me in a seat.
Fair point.  :)

Right now Spacex has to be in pole position. It's the one racking up actual flight experience.  DC potentially has the best in terms of cross range and low landing g's, which is handy if you're injured.

No doubt both Boeing and SNC will argue that flight experience is not that important (BTW when was Boeing's last crewed space vehicle that they built? Is anyone from those times still with the company?) but I simply disagree on this.

It's actual flight experience that teaches the difference between what is theoretically important to success, and what actually matters.  :(

Boeing is the lead contractor for ISS.

Offline baldusi

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Endeavour was built from 1987 to 1992. And the shuttle fleet rebuilt in 2004/5 was done by them, too. Not to mention maintenance engineering while the fleet flew. Btw, the CST-100 is based all the work on the Boeing bid for what was later awarded to LM as Orion.

Online vt_hokie

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Endeavour was built from 1987 to 1992. And the shuttle fleet rebuilt in 2004/5 was done by them, too. Not to mention maintenance engineering while the fleet flew. Btw, the CST-100 is based all the work on the Boeing bid for what was later awarded to LM as Orion.

CST-100 and Orion seem so close that I don't see how in this era of tight budgets it makes any sense to be funding both (along with Dragon of course).  How many different flavors of capsule does NASA need?  I can't tell you how much I wish Boeing had gone with an X-37 based crew transport (especially with Dream Chaser seeming like an increasingly long shot).

Online Lar

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My vote hasn't changed despite the recent events. Even though I am a SpaceX fan boi I still like DC, it's just the coolest :)
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Offline Avron

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no question ... Dragon

Offline Lee Jay

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If I have to go on CST-100 or Dragon why wouldn't I just go on Soyuz?
1. Claustrophobia?
2. If primary landing device fails on the Soyuz, you become a hero.

I have the opposite of Claustrophobia (I like tight confined spaces and believe me I've been in some way smaller than Soyuz) and Soyuz' flight history seems to support a conclusion that this is a reliable, proven system.

Offline Avron

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If I have to go on CST-100 or Dragon why wouldn't I just go on Soyuz?
1. Claustrophobia?
2. If primary landing device fails on the Soyuz, you become a hero.

I have the opposite of Claustrophobia (I like tight confined spaces and believe me I've been in some way smaller than Soyuz) and Soyuz' flight history seems to support a conclusion that this is a reliable, proven system.

I just cannot see how Soyuz would qualify as a "Commercial crew vehicle"

Offline Patchouli

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Despite the landing gear problem on the drop test vehicle Dream Chaser is still first on my list because the issue will be solved on flight vehicles.
Remember the first Orion drop test and the first Soyuz test flight ended with the vehicles making a crater.
Second would be Dragon because it seems roomy and lets face it landing with rockets is pretty cool.
« Last Edit: 10/28/2013 02:21 AM by Patchouli »

Offline Lee Jay

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If I have to go on CST-100 or Dragon why wouldn't I just go on Soyuz?
1. Claustrophobia?
2. If primary landing device fails on the Soyuz, you become a hero.

I have the opposite of Claustrophobia (I like tight confined spaces and believe me I've been in some way smaller than Soyuz) and Soyuz' flight history seems to support a conclusion that this is a reliable, proven system.

I just cannot see how Soyuz would qualify as a "Commercial crew vehicle"

Are we not currently paying for seats on that vehicle?  Seems pretty commercial to me.

Offline Lars_J

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Don't be pedantic, lee jay, you know *exactly* what is meant by the title of this thread. If not, this is a good starting point for research: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Crew_Development

Offline newpylong

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CST-100. Most proven lift vehicle and simple design of spacecraft.

Offline john smith 19

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Endeavour was built from 1987 to 1992. And the shuttle fleet rebuilt in 2004/5 was done by them, too. Not to mention maintenance engineering while the fleet flew. Btw, the CST-100 is based all the work on the Boeing bid for what was later awarded to LM as Orion.
So a minimum of 8 years since they worked on constructing an aerospace flight vehicle, with wings.

And how long since they have built a capsule?

I'm aware of the theory that capsules are simpler than winged vehicles but I think people get into habits of thinking. People talk of carbon fibre as "black Aluminium," which sometimes works, sometimes has ended badly.

In the same way the "It's just like Shuttle, but simpler" meme can start to propagate. Maybe (mostly) it's correct, but sometimes it won't be.

My instinct is a company that did something a long time ago is probably a less safe bet than one that has never done something before. The latter knows they are completely ignorant of the subject and (if well managed) make strenuous efforts to prepare for all eventualities.  :(

The former is (potentially) more prone to the "We did it in 19xx's, we know what we're doing" syndrome.

That's why despite their funding I've got Boeing at #3 on my list.   :(
« Last Edit: 10/28/2013 01:20 PM by john smith 19 »
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Offline llanitedave

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Much as I like what SpaceX is doing, if I were to fly, I'd want to ride Dream Chaser... for the view!
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Online vt_hokie

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CST-100. Most proven lift vehicle and simple design of spacecraft.

CST-100 seems awfully similar to Orion to me.  I cannot for the life of me understand how it makes sense for a cash-strapped agency to be funding two similar but separate capsules, in addition to Dragon. 

Offline pathfinder_01

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CST-100. Most proven lift vehicle and simple design of spacecraft.

CST-100 seems awfully similar to Orion to me.  I cannot for the life of me understand how it makes sense for a cash-strapped agency to be funding two similar but separate capsules, in addition to Dragon.

Big differences. CST-100 is smaller than Orion(only slightly bigger than Apollo) and lands on land and is planned to be reusable. The reason why the choose that shape was because the aerodynamics of the Apollo capsule are well known. Orion is seperate and it is Congress that wants Orion more than anything else.

Offline rcoppola

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#1 Dream Chaser on a Falcom 9. As long as I get to sit in the front.
#2 Propulsive landing Dragon. Second (Top) seating level.
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Offline WmThomas

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Isn't right answer: whichever you can afford? I bet Dragon is likely to be most affordable.

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