This is not a free license to post nonsense, by the way, unlike the late posts in thread 1.
Would it be possible for a dragon (XL) to be modified and replace the nosecone of a lunar starship. Currently we rely on Orion and possibly other spacecrafts to dock with Starship in lunar orbit, but doing this would potentially only require refueling the starship before it could land on the moon, crew onboard already, especially since the first few flights will most likely have limited crew members. It would also be able to remove some of the concerns of no launch abort system on starship, especially in its early days, and give the Astronauts a way to return home even when using the full SS stack to the moon.Secondly I was wondering, if this system would be possible to use regular starships to bring dragon spacecrafts and Astronauts to the gateway, I understand they'd most likely have to find a new location for the header tank but I was not sure if starship would be able to safely do a belly flop re-entry without a nosecone on the vehicle.I'd feel development for a system like this would still be a lot cheaper than a single SLS+Orion stack, but I also know we'd need at least a few of those flights to make congress happy.Once again apologies if this makes no sense, and thank you in advance for anyone willing to answer some of my questions.
Does the lunar starship still use that header tank in the nose? Could all that plumbing be removed? I quite like the idea of the lunar variant having a detachable hab section so it can lift specialised one-off cargoes to orbit that would not fit in a cargo starship, including the hab section that could become a module of a space station. It could also deliver massive objects to the lunar surface.(edit) though that header tank could provide a bit of radiation shielding during long stays
Starships HLS win makes me wonder how rapidly SpaceX will start selling moon landings to commercial customers. Inspiration 4 should fly a mere 16 months after DM2.SpaceX are shameless rocket pimps, selling their services to all and sundry. I'm expecting a commercial Moon mission to be announced pretty much as soon as the Artemis III crew are back safely.
My post didn't really belong in the Artemis Contract thread, so moving here.Before the Crewed flight, there will be a Demo flight. I am assuming that is an all-out test of the ship, plus moon landing, before the human crew.So, since they are going there anyway, what should they drop off? Spare rover that can be tested autonomously? Building supplies for a small base or a Bigelow? Wheel of cheese and a nice wine that travels well?
Well, the render shows supplies on pallets, so why not bring a United Rentals forklift?
Quote from: AJW on 04/18/2021 03:18 pmMy post didn't really belong in the Artemis Contract thread, so moving here.Before the Crewed flight, there will be a Demo flight. I am assuming that is an all-out test of the ship, plus moon landing, before the human crew.So, since they are going there anyway, what should they drop off? Spare rover that can be tested autonomously? Building supplies for a small base or a Bigelow? Wheel of cheese and a nice wine that travels well?Option A requires two missions: one uncrewed landing, and one crewed landing with return to Orion. Both are considered demo missions, not operational missions. The uncrewed demo landing is not required to take off from the lunar surface again (but NASA will probably be happy if it does).My expectation is that the uncrewed demo mission will not be able to carry anything interresting. I think they will attempt that with what amounts to a prototype, before they have developed any way of delivering any cargo from the cargo hold to the surface. So it might at most carry something whimsy, like a copy of A Grand Day Out.But this is just my guess.
Either way 2 or three years isn't that long to develop a payload, however the large mass and volume does make it easier to use more off the shelf products which would shorten development timelines.
I'm surprised there doesn't appear to have been any discussion about the giant crane they're starting to assemble. I think it was Mary who said once that a friend of hers was going to Boca Chica to build something and "wait until you see the size of the crane we're bringing with us". It would appear to be even larger than the previous "BlueZilla".