Author Topic: Orion Spacecraft Q & A  (Read 4786 times)

Offline Raj2014

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Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« on: 05/21/2017 06:33 PM »
Hello everyone,

It has been a long time since I posted here. I started this topic because I got a message about starting a new topic, so this topic is to continue an old one, https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11997.160.

Has there been any changes made to the Orion EM-1 from the Orion EFT-1? If yes, what are the changes? 

Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #1 on: 05/22/2017 08:32 PM »
The main heat shield has been changed to a monolithic form as opposed to many individual parts. The thermal tiles on the side (look like Space Shuttle tiles) will be getting a highly reflective coating instead of the bare tiles seen on EFT-1.

Offline Raj2014

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #2 on: 05/22/2017 11:41 PM »
The main heat shield has been changed to a monolithic form as opposed to many individual parts. The thermal tiles on the side (look like Space Shuttle tiles) will be getting a highly reflective coating instead of the bare tiles seen on EFT-1.

Why have they decided to change to those items? Will it reduce mass, manufacturing time and cost? What will the coating do? 

Online brickmack

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #3 on: 05/24/2017 07:22 PM »
Its basically a new design. EFT-1 didn't have a service module at all, so EVERYTHING there is new. On the CM, they changed the heat shield to be more easily manufactured (its now made in tiles like the bottom of Dragon, instead of a single piece), the backshell TPS has a new coating on it for additional protection and on-orbit thermal control, the pressure vessel has been redesigned to need fewer welds (lower mass and easier manufacturing), changes to the parachutes and inflatable floatation devices have been made based on issues encountered on EFT-1, the computers are new, and it will carry some life support test equipment.

Offline Raj2014

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #4 on: 05/28/2017 07:39 PM »
Its basically a new design. EFT-1 didn't have a service module at all, so EVERYTHING there is new. On the CM, they changed the heat shield to be more easily manufactured (its now made in tiles like the bottom of Dragon, instead of a single piece), the backshell TPS has a new coating on it for additional protection and on-orbit thermal control, the pressure vessel has been redesigned to need fewer welds (lower mass and easier manufacturing), changes to the parachutes and inflatable floatation devices have been made based on issues encountered on EFT-1, the computers are new, and it will carry some life support test equipment.

Fascinating. With the heat shield made of titles, how do they solve the issue of a title or titles disconnecting from the C.M?   
« Last Edit: 05/28/2017 07:39 PM by Raj2014 »

Offline Jim

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #5 on: 05/29/2017 12:46 PM »

Fascinating. With the heat shield made of titles, how do they solve the issue of a title or titles disconnecting from the C.M?   

No different than the shuttle

Offline Raj2014

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #6 on: 05/29/2017 11:42 PM »

Fascinating. With the heat shield made of titles, how do they solve the issue of a title or titles disconnecting from the C.M?   

No different than the shuttle

Is that not a problem that needs to be solved? Do not want the heat to burn the inside of the C.M and destroy it. Already there has been a past incident of missing titles. I do not want to see it happen again. 

Online DaveS

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #7 on: 05/30/2017 12:15 AM »

Fascinating. With the heat shield made of titles, how do they solve the issue of a title or titles disconnecting from the C.M?   

No different than the shuttle

Is that not a problem that needs to be solved? Do not want the heat to burn the inside of the C.M and destroy it. Already there has been a past incident of missing titles. I do not want to see it happen again. 
Debonded tiles (not titles) were only a problem very early in the program. Once they had perfected the tile-bonding the only concerns were actual damage. Part of the issue was the water-proofing agent used early in the program  which was of the shelf 3M ScotchGuard sprayed directly onto the tiles.

This didn't work too well with the adhesive used to bond the tiles to the skin of the orbiters which caused such issues that STS-51C was reassigned from Challenger to Discovery because Challenger had tile adhesion problems severe enough to warrant changing the bodyflap on Challenger with the one originally intended for Atlantis which was undergoing final assembly in Palmdale.

After these issues they came up with a new tile water-proofing agent (Dimethylethoxysilane) which is injected directly into each tile with a needleless gun in the OPF. This pretty much took care of the tile adhesion issues once and for all.
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Offline Lars-J

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #8 on: 05/31/2017 04:41 AM »

Fascinating. With the heat shield made of titles, how do they solve the issue of a title or titles disconnecting from the C.M?   

No different than the shuttle

Is that not a problem that needs to be solved? Do not want the heat to burn the inside of the C.M and destroy it. Already there has been a past incident of missing titles. I do not want to see it happen again.

Dragon has been flying with a tiled heat shield for a while now. No tiles have been lost, as far as I know. That aspect of Orion does not worry me at all.

Once a heat shield reaches a certain size, a monolithic piece becomes impractical.

Offline woods170

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #9 on: 05/31/2017 06:05 AM »

Fascinating. With the heat shield made of titles, how do they solve the issue of a title or titles disconnecting from the C.M?   

No different than the shuttle

Is that not a problem that needs to be solved? Do not want the heat to burn the inside of the C.M and destroy it. Already there has been a past incident of missing titles. I do not want to see it happen again.

Dragon has been flying with a tiled heat shield for a while now. No tiles have been lost, as far as I know. That aspect of Orion does not worry me at all.

Once a heat shield reaches a certain size, a monolithic piece becomes impractical.
The funny thing is that LockMart was warned in advance that a monolithic heat shield for Orion would likely have cracking issues due to it's size in combination with the use of an injected honeycomb structure. Those warnings were partly based on experience with cracking issues of the Apollo primary heatshield.
Despite the warnings, LockMart went with the monolithic design anyway, only to experience cracking issues during manufacture. Those required repairs, delaying the delivery of the primary heat shield and triggering an R&D effort for a segmented heat shield.
During EFT-1 post-flight inspections more cracks were found. That only served to confirm the change in direction towards a segmented primary heat shield.

A monolithic heat shield has a further disadvantage: it requires an immensely stiff, and thus heavy, carrier structure. Now that Orion will have a segmented heat shield the carrier structure has been re-designed as well. It doesn't have to be as stiff as the old design. Consequently, the new design is quite a bit less heavy than the previous one.
« Last Edit: 05/31/2017 06:35 AM by woods170 »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #10 on: 05/31/2017 06:29 AM »
And the even bigger irony is (IMO) that NASA rejected PICA because it would have to be applied using tiles.  And now they are back to Avcoat with tiles.   :P

Offline woods170

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #11 on: 05/31/2017 06:46 AM »
And the even bigger irony is (IMO) that NASA rejected PICA because it would have to be applied using tiles.  And now they are back to Avcoat with tiles.   :P
No, that was not the primary reason to reject PICA. The primary reason was lack of experience base for large-scale application of PICA. It had been used on missions only one time before: a small-scale application of PICA as the primary heatshield material for the Stardust sample return probe.

While SpaceX had, at the time of selection of Avcoat for Orion in 2009, completed development of PICA-X, there was no large-scale flight experience with PICA(-X) yet. Therefore, NASA went for the one material they knew much about: Avcoat.

Offline Raj2014

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #12 on: 05/31/2017 01:18 PM »
Since the Dragon capsules has used PICA-X titled heat shields for several launches. Why has Lockheed Martin or NASA not decided to use it for the Orion's heat shield?

Offline Jim

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #13 on: 05/31/2017 01:22 PM »
Since the Dragon capsules has used PICA-X titled heat shields for several launches. Why has Lockheed Martin or NASA not decided to use it for the Orion's heat shield?

PICA-X is Spacex propriety material and is not available

Offline baldusi

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #14 on: 05/31/2017 02:25 PM »
Since the Dragon capsules has used PICA-X titled heat shields for several launches. Why has Lockheed Martin or NASA not decided to use it for the Orion's heat shield?

PICA-X is Spacex propriety material and is not available

Did NASA tried to request SpaceX to be the heatshield subcontractor for Orion and they flat denied or they have simply not made the RFQ and is not a pure NASA product?

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #15 on: 05/31/2017 02:56 PM »
Since the Dragon capsules has used PICA-X titled heat shields for several launches. Why has Lockheed Martin or NASA not decided to use it for the Orion's heat shield?

PICA-X is Spacex propriety material and is not available

Did NASA tried to request SpaceX to be the heatshield subcontractor for Orion and they flat denied or they have simply not made the RFQ and is not a pure NASA product?

The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 specified the use of existing contractors for SLS and Orion.
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Offline Lars-J

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #16 on: 05/31/2017 04:18 PM »
PICA-X is Spacex propriety material and is not available

Did NASA tried to request SpaceX to be the heatshield subcontractor for Orion and they flat denied or they have simply not made the RFQ and is not a pure NASA product?

The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 specified the use of existing contractors for SLS and Orion.

But not every subcontractor. Was any attempt made by LM to sub-contract or license PICA-X from SpaceX? I sincerely doubt it.
« Last Edit: 05/31/2017 04:19 PM by Lars-J »

Offline baldusi

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #17 on: 05/31/2017 05:21 PM »
PICA-X is Spacex propriety material and is not available

Did NASA tried to request SpaceX to be the heatshield subcontractor for Orion and they flat denied or they have simply not made the RFQ and is not a pure NASA product?

The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 specified the use of existing contractors for SLS and Orion.

But not every subcontractor. Was any attempt made by LM to sub-contract or license PICA-X from SpaceX? I sincerely doubt it.

I think that currently PICA-X is the most proven non-ceramic/CCM heat shield material made in the US. When they decided to change to tiled, I don't see how the law would interfere.

Offline Dante80

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #18 on: 05/31/2017 06:49 PM »
Is there anything wrong with Avcoat when used in tiles? Why would NASA want to change to PICA anyway?
« Last Edit: 05/31/2017 07:36 PM by Dante80 »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #19 on: 05/31/2017 07:15 PM »
Is there anything wrong with Avcoat when used in tiles? Why wound NASA want to change to PICA anyway?

Cost. Primarily because it is very labor intensive to hand-inject every cell in the honeycomb.
« Last Edit: 05/31/2017 07:16 PM by Lars-J »

Offline Dante80

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #20 on: 05/31/2017 07:42 PM »
Is there anything wrong with Avcoat when used in tiles? Why wound NASA want to change to PICA anyway?

Cost. Primarily because it is very labor intensive to hand-inject every cell in the honeycomb.

Wouldn't changing to PICA after EFT-1 showed cracks introduce a lot more development cost (and schedule overrun)? Recurring cost differences are almost completely irrelevant for a flagship spacecraft like Orion (and the number of missions that is projected to have).

Also, what would changing the material do to the weight of the system (shield + structure)? (any guesses, I have no idea)
« Last Edit: 05/31/2017 07:43 PM by Dante80 »

Offline Raj2014

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #21 on: 06/06/2017 11:24 PM »
Is there anything wrong with Avcoat when used in tiles? Why wound NASA want to change to PICA anyway?

Cost. Primarily because it is very labor intensive to hand-inject every cell in the honeycomb.

Wouldn't changing to PICA after EFT-1 showed cracks introduce a lot more development cost (and schedule overrun)? Recurring cost differences are almost completely irrelevant for a flagship spacecraft like Orion (and the number of missions that is projected to have).

Also, what would changing the material do to the weight of the system (shield + structure)? (any guesses, I have no idea)

It is best to have the heat shield strong but not adding mass that will negatively effect the Orion spacecraft.
« Last Edit: 08/13/2017 08:17 PM by Raj2014 »

Offline Raj2014

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #22 on: 08/13/2017 08:23 PM »
What is the height of the crew module of the Orion Spacecraft? I have looked at some websites but can not get an accurate measurement. Sources say it is 3.3 metres tall. Is the Orion C.M taller than the Apollo C.M?

Offline Jim

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #23 on: 08/13/2017 10:10 PM »
What is the height of the crew module of the Orion Spacecraft? I have looked at some websites but can not get an accurate measurement. Sources say it is 3.3 metres tall. Is the Orion C.M taller than the Apollo C.M?

Yes, because it is has the same form factor as Apollo CM and it is wider.

Offline Raj2014

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #24 on: 08/17/2017 09:07 PM »
How tall is the Apollo C.M? On the research I have done, some of the websites shows 3.23 metres tall. Is this correct?

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #25 on: 08/17/2017 09:33 PM »
How tall is the Apollo C.M? On the research I have done, some of the websites shows 3.23 metres tall. Is this correct?

The Apollo CM, from the base of its heat shield to the tip of its docking probe, was 10 ft. 7 in, or 3.23 meters in height.

The Orion CM, from the base of its heat shield to the top of its forward bay cover, is 10ft. 10 in, or 3.3 meters in height. This height does NOT include its docking system.
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Offline Raj2014

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #26 on: 09/27/2017 08:43 PM »
Thank you whitelancer64 for the information. I have a idea here. Can they combine the H.I.A.D (Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator) to the Orion Spacecraft so you can also have the service module returned and re-used, would this not bring down costs and save time? Has N.A.S.A looked into this?

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #27 on: 09/27/2017 08:50 PM »
Thank you whitelancer64 for the information. I have a idea here. Can they combine the H.I.A.D (Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator) to the Orion Spacecraft so you can also have the service module returned and re-used, would this not bring down costs and save time? Has N.A.S.A looked into this?

It probably could be done, but it would require a major redesign - and that may cost much more time than it is worth. Also it is the ESA that is building the service module.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
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Offline Raj2014

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #28 on: 09/27/2017 09:12 PM »
Thank you whitelancer64 for the information. I have a idea here. Can they combine the H.I.A.D (Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator) to the Orion Spacecraft so you can also have the service module returned and re-used, would this not bring down costs and save time? Has N.A.S.A looked into this?

It probably could be done, but it would require a major redesign - and that may cost much more time than it is worth. Also it is the ESA that is building the service module.

True E.S.A is building the S.M but really a major redesign? What I find surprised is that the inflatable heat shield technology has been researched for some time and that they have not thought about it or at list made design plans for a future upgrade for the Orion spacecraft. Is the Orion going to, or not, get upgraded over the years with newer technologies and efficiency? 

Offline Jim

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #29 on: 09/28/2017 12:12 AM »
Thank you whitelancer64 for the information. I have a idea here. Can they combine the H.I.A.D (Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator) to the Orion Spacecraft so you can also have the service module returned and re-used, would this not bring down costs and save time? Has N.A.S.A looked into this?

It probably could be done, but it would require a major redesign - and that may cost much more time than it is worth. Also it is the ESA that is building the service module.

True E.S.A is building the S.M but really a major redesign? What I find surprised is that the inflatable heat shield technology has been researched for some time and that they have not thought about it or at list made design plans for a future upgrade for the Orion spacecraft. Is the Orion going to, or not, get upgraded over the years with newer technologies and efficiency? 

Yes, it is a major design.   inflatable heat shield technology still needs work.  It is not useable for the SM, still need a solid heat shield, the inflatable part is just an extension.  Plus the SM would need parachutes and the ability to land on water.  The SM is not designed for reuse.

The Orion hasn't even flown once as a fully operational vehicle, it is not going be upgraded for some time, if at all.
why do you keep asking about upgrades?  The basic vehicle hasn't been built yet


Offline Nibb31

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #30 on: 09/28/2017 10:40 AM »
HIAD is a decelerator, not a heat shield.

Offline envy887

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Re: Orion Spacecraft Q & A
« Reply #31 on: 09/28/2017 01:32 PM »
HIAD is a decelerator, not a heat shield.

If it decelerates using hypersonic atmospheric compression, it had better also be a heat shield or it won't work well.

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