I don't want to seem overly pessimistic, but is there really a market for this? DragonLab has yet to line up any customers, as far as we are aware; USAF have their own spaceplane. What am I missing?
“Customers will maintain scientific intellectual property rights, free from Federal Research Laboratory regulations that govern the International Space Station.”
How is this different from DragonLab? Besides the fact that DragonLab is essentially Dragon cargo, which is already flies?
“We’re able to turn our vehicle into a mobile laboratory. That would allow us to contemplate a series of microgravity experiments in configurations that could conduct short, medium and long term missions. We might also be able to do direct observation in space."I wasn't aware that the current configuration of the Dream Chaser had power generation capabilities. Are there solar panels that deploy, or are built in? Or for this application it won't separate from the booster stage, and the booster stage will have the power generation equipment?
Quote from: Eerie on 10/24/2014 05:28 PMHow is this different from DragonLab? Besides the fact that DragonLab is essentially Dragon cargo, which is already flies? Lower g recovery, immediate access to experiments after return, and not having to pay for a new spacecraft every time you launch are a few benefits over the cargo Dragon, might change after commercial crew though.The X-37B program is only AF, and Boeing hasn't shown any desire to operate another airframe on their own dime.
suborbital point-to-point transportation
Cargo Dragon is reusable. It's mentioned in the dang brochure, even. DragonLab isn't going anywhere near people or NASA assets so won't need NASA's onerous recertification requirements for reuse.
Quote from: Robotbeat on 10/25/2014 12:15 AMCargo Dragon is reusable. It's mentioned in the dang brochure, even. DragonLab isn't going anywhere near people or NASA assets so won't need NASA's onerous recertification requirements for reuse.And yet SpaceX hasnt reused a single Dragon for DragonLab yet, and they used to say cargo Dragon would be reused until recently. Salt water is very nasty stuff, there is a reason SpaceX is going to land crew on land.
One big plus DC has going for it is being able use Ariane 6. This means lion share of mission costs a spent domestically on the Ariane 6 launch. DC can also return to European runway.