Author Topic: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3  (Read 327450 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #880 on: 09/06/2023 12:13 pm »
A review of Crew-6 and the current state of the Commercial Crew program:

https://twitter.com/stephenclark1/status/1699139271582421302

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With the return of the Crew-6 mission, SpaceX's work under NASA's original commercial crew contract is complete. Meanwhile, Boeing's Starliner spacecraft still hasn't gotten off the ground with astronauts.

https://arstechnica.com/space/2023/09/four-person-crew-returns-to-earth-aboard-spacexs-dragon-capsule/

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Four-person crew returns to Earth aboard SpaceX’s Dragon capsule
SpaceX has now completed its original commercial crew contract with NASA.

by Stephen Clark - Sep 5, 2023 5:17pm GMT

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #881 on: 09/21/2023 09:41 am »
Recall that NASA wants a Falcon 9 booster with less than 6 flights for lofting up a crew Dragon to the ISS.

It seems that SpaceX only have 3 current boosters with less than 5 flights consisting of B1072, B1080 & B1081.

So will SpaceX have to hold these boosters for NASA missions in the future or added a few newly build boosters from time to time? Of course NASA could allow boosters with higher number of flights than the current limit in the future.

Offline Kiwi53

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #882 on: 09/22/2023 05:39 am »
Recall that NASA wants a Falcon 9 booster with less than 6 flights for lofting up a crew Dragon to the ISS.

It seems that SpaceX only have 3 current boosters with less than 5 flights consisting of B1072, B1080 & B1081.

So will SpaceX have to hold these boosters for NASA missions in the future or added a few newly build boosters from time to time? Of course NASA could allow boosters with higher number of flights than the current limit in the future.

It depends what SpaceX do.

If SpaceX sticks to its current 20-launch limit for the booster, and hits their 10 or even 12 launches a month target that Elon recently tweeted, then they have to build 6 to 8 new boosters a year, so there would be plenty of "low mileage" boosters available for NASA crewed launches.
If SpaceX decide to continually re-certify their boosters for more re-uses, then the supply of new or newish boosters for NASA might become more of a problem.
Or NASA could decide that based on observed performance and reliability, they're happy to have crew launched on up to 10 flights old boosters.

Only time will tell
« Last Edit: 09/22/2023 05:40 am by Kiwi53 »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #883 on: 10/12/2023 03:59 pm »
https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2023/10/12/nasa-updates-commercial-crew-planning-manifest/

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NASA Updates Commercial Crew Planning Manifest

NASA and its industry partners Boeing and SpaceX are planning for the next set of missions to the International Space Station for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

Crew-8

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the orbiting laboratory is targeted to launch no earlier than mid-February. The mission will carry NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; and mission specialist Jeanette Epps, as well as Roscosmos cosmonaut mission specialist Alexander Grebenkin to the space station to conduct a wide range of operational and research activities. Routine maintenance and processing of the Crew-8 SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft is in work. This will be the first spaceflight for Dominick, Epps, and Grebenkin, and the third for Barratt. Crew-8 is expected to return to Earth in late August 2024, following a short handover with the agency’s Crew-9 mission.

Starliner Crew Flight Test (CFT)

The first crewed flight of the Starliner spacecraft, named NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT), is planned for no earlier than mid-April. CFT will send NASA astronauts and test pilots Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams on a demonstration flight to prove the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system. Starliner will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, spend approximately eight days docked to the space station, and return to Earth with a parachute and airbag-assisted ground landing in the desert of the western United States.

NASA will provide an updated status of CFT readiness as more information becomes available.

Crew-9

Looking further ahead in 2024, NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than mid-August for the launch of the agency’s Crew-9, SpaceX’s ninth crew rotation mission to the space station for NASA. A crew of four will be announced at a later date.

10th Crew Rotation Mission

The 10th commercial crew rotation opportunity to the space station is targeted for early 2025. NASA is planning for either SpaceX’s Crew-10 or Boeing’s Starliner-1 mission in this slot. The Starliner-1 date was adjusted to allow for the post-flight review of the Crew Flight Test and incorporation of anticipated learning, approvals of final certification products, and completion of readiness and certification reviews ahead of that mission.

For more insight on NASA’s Commercial Crew Program missions to the orbiting laboratory follow the commercial crew blog. More details can be found @commercial_crew on X and commercial crew on Facebook.

Author Heather Scott
Posted on October 12, 2023
Categories Boeing, Commercial Crew, International Space Station, Kennedy Space Center, NASA, NASA Astronauts, SpaceXTags Boeing Crew Flight Test, Boeing CST-100 Starliner, Boeing Starliner-1, Crew Dragon, Falcon 9, SpaceX Crew-8, SpaceX Crew-9

Offline getitdoneinspace

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #884 on: 10/12/2023 07:15 pm »
Well an order of magnitude difference has been achieved in the competition between SpaceX and Boeing for commercial crew.  For the 10th Crew Rotation Mission the flight will either be SpaceX’s Crew-10 or Boeing’s Starliner-1.  Wow

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #885 on: 10/12/2023 11:35 pm »
Well an order of magnitude difference has been achieved in the competition between SpaceX and Boeing for commercial crew.  For the 10th Crew Rotation Mission the flight will either be SpaceX’s Crew-10 or Boeing’s Starliner-1.  Wow
Folks in charge of ISS operations are not going to bet that Boeing will get the job done. Better have a stand by team ready, as making sure that a Crew Dragon and a low usage booster is available. In case Boeing couldn't get the Starliner certified for the 10th commercial crew rotation on schedule.

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #886 on: 10/12/2023 11:59 pm »
Well an order of magnitude difference has been achieved in the competition between SpaceX and Boeing for commercial crew.  For the 10th Crew Rotation Mission the flight will either be SpaceX’s Crew-10 or Boeing’s Starliner-1.  Wow
You are being totally unfair. :)  Both contracts were awarded in 2014, and Both first flights were supposed to be in 2017. SpaceX slipped three years, to 2020. Boeing, if successful,  will have slipped eight years, to 2025. that's only a factor of 2.66, not 10.

First flight in early 2025 means their sixth and last flight would be in early 2030 , which is likely to be the last CCP mission to ISS. They don't have room for another slip unless something changes. The actual average CCP cadence has been 5.5 months, not the nominal 6 months, so there may be another flight available.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #887 on: 10/13/2023 05:36 am »
https://twitter.com/bellikozan/status/1712505135480627577

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Just a reminder that Crew-9 would be the last flight in SpaceX's *second* commercial crew contract.

And if Starliner has more delays...

Offline getitdoneinspace

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #888 on: 10/14/2023 04:02 pm »
Well an order of magnitude difference has been achieved in the competition between SpaceX and Boeing for commercial crew.  For the 10th Crew Rotation Mission the flight will either be SpaceX’s Crew-10 or Boeing’s Starliner-1.  Wow
You are being totally unfair. :)  Both contracts were awarded in 2014, and Both first flights were supposed to be in 2017. SpaceX slipped three years, to 2020. Boeing, if successful,  will have slipped eight years, to 2025. that's only a factor of 2.66, not 10.

First flight in early 2025 means their sixth and last flight would be in early 2030 , which is likely to be the last CCP mission to ISS. They don't have room for another slip unless something changes. The actual average CCP cadence has been 5.5 months, not the nominal 6 months, so there may be another flight available.

I'm not exactly sure how to interpret your comment with the smiley face (I assume sarcasm). But I would like to share a few points.
1) My order of magnitude comment was for the flight count rather than time span (i.e. @1 for Boeing @10 for SpaceX). I would certainly agree with anyone that Boeing @1 and SpaceX @10 is an easier accomplishment than Boeing @10 and SpaceX @100 (allowing either to alter crew vehicles used). But I do see that also as a distinct possibility.
2) This post was intended to share how impressed I am with SpaceX rather than a slam against Boeing. I truly wish success for Boeing. But SpaceX caught my eye over a decade ago and they surpassed even my high expectations. In fact, that was the sole reason I joined NSF's L2 a decade ago given NSF was one of very few sources of information and discussion about SpaceX back then.
3) Lastly, I can't wait for another organization to match (or approach) SpaceX's ability to rapidly advance capabilities  to "getitdoneinspace".  :) Personally, right now, I'm stoked for Stoke Aerospace. Looking forward to seeing their progress as much as I was (and am) SpaceX. I don't mean to talk badly or unfairly about anyone (still hear my grandma from a half century ago)   ;)

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #889 on: 10/14/2023 04:18 pm »
Well an order of magnitude difference has been achieved in the competition between SpaceX and Boeing for commercial crew.  For the 10th Crew Rotation Mission the flight will either be SpaceX’s Crew-10 or Boeing’s Starliner-1.  Wow
You are being totally unfair. :)  Both contracts were awarded in 2014, and Both first flights were supposed to be in 2017. SpaceX slipped three years, to 2020. Boeing, if successful,  will have slipped eight years, to 2025. that's only a factor of 2.66, not 10.

First flight in early 2025 means their sixth and last flight would be in early 2030 , which is likely to be the last CCP mission to ISS. They don't have room for another slip unless something changes. The actual average CCP cadence has been 5.5 months, not the nominal 6 months, so there may be another flight available.

I'm not exactly sure how to interpret your comment with the smiley face (I assume sarcasm). But I would like to share a few points.
1) My order of magnitude comment was for the flight count rather than time span (i.e. @1 for Boeing @10 for SpaceX).
The smiley was whimsy more than anything else.

I did not understand your 10:1 ratio, so I tried to find a different metric. The current ratio of operational CCP flights is 7:0.   Crewed flights is 11:0 .  Crew dragon vs. Starliiner is 12:2*.  Dragon 2 vs. Starliner is 20:2*. But the real story is that Starliner is 8 years late.   (* counts OFT-1)

I also hope that CFT succeeds, if only as an homage to all the hard work done by the workers and engineers.  Whether or not Starliner-1 thru Starliner-6 still make sense is a matter for NASA and Boeing accountants.

Offline Asteroza

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #890 on: 10/15/2023 10:33 pm »
Any hints of crew access arm work over at SLC-41 yet?

Or how they will work out one arm covering two vehicles ostensibly (Starliner and crewed Dreamchaser)? I'm still thinking they will use some sort of swappable tip room setup rather than two arms.

Offline Tomness

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #891 on: 10/15/2023 11:02 pm »
Any hints of crew access arm work over at SLC-41 yet?

Or how they will work out one arm covering two vehicles ostensibly (Starliner and crewed Dreamchaser)? I'm still thinking they will use some sort of swappable tip room setup rather than two arms.
Crew Access Arm at SLC-41 is for Starliner only atm. Dream Chaser will be in cargo version only in a payload fairing.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #892 on: 10/16/2023 08:34 am »
Any hints of crew access arm work over at SLC-41 yet?

Or how they will work out one arm covering two vehicles ostensibly (Starliner and crewed Dreamchaser)? I'm still thinking they will use some sort of swappable tip room setup rather than two arms.
Modifying the current Starliner crew access tower means demolishing and rebuilding it, IMO.

Maybe ULA could order a cheap separate crew access tower from SpaceX for the Crewed Dreamchaser instead.

Offline abaddon

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #893 on: 10/16/2023 12:39 pm »
Crewed DreamChaser is a fantasy, you can build whatever tower you want in your head.

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #894 on: 10/16/2023 02:03 pm »
I've been a Boeing fan since Lyndon Baines was the national CEO. I really hope they can get back to what they should be and Starliners fill the skies.
 But I have to assume that the other guys have contingency plans to handle ISS needs through station retirement. Even if they have to risk their own dime to be ready.
To run through 2030 using only Crew Dragon, the last mission would be Crew-20 or Crew-21, with at least a chance of needing Crew-22 if the average mission interval is too short, as it is so far.
There are four Crew Dragons, and we periodically hear about a fifth one to be built:
    https://spacenews.com/spacex-to-launch-last-new-cargo-dragon-spacecraft/
There are also non-CCP missions, five flown and five being planned (whatever that means).

There would be from 13 to 15 CCP missions after Crew-7, bringing the fleet total to 32 plus any new non-CCP missions. With four capsules, this is more than 8 missions per capsule. With 5 capsules, this is more than six missions per capsule. I don't think we know how many prior missions NASA will allow for a CCP capsule.

Another issue is F9 availability. SpaceX must keep flying F9 until the last CCP mission is flown. Dragon is likely to be the only remaining payload for F9 after Starship becomes fully operational, and managing the remaining F9 boosters will be a numbers game.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #895 on: 12/21/2023 07:00 pm »

Offline penguin44

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #896 on: 01/22/2024 07:30 pm »
I've been a Boeing fan since Lyndon Baines was the national CEO. I really hope they can get back to what they should be and Starliners fill the skies.
 But I have to assume that the other guys have contingency plans to handle ISS needs through station retirement. Even if they have to risk their own dime to be ready.
To run through 2030 using only Crew Dragon, the last mission would be Crew-20 or Crew-21, with at least a chance of needing Crew-22 if the average mission interval is too short, as it is so far.
There are four Crew Dragons, and we periodically hear about a fifth one to be built:
    https://spacenews.com/spacex-to-launch-last-new-cargo-dragon-spacecraft/
There are also non-CCP missions, five flown and five being planned (whatever that means).

There would be from 13 to 15 CCP missions after Crew-7, bringing the fleet total to 32 plus any new non-CCP missions. With four capsules, this is more than 8 missions per capsule. With 5 capsules, this is more than six missions per capsule. I don't think we know how many prior missions NASA will allow for a CCP capsule.

Another issue is F9 availability. SpaceX must keep flying F9 until the last CCP mission is flown. Dragon is likely to be the only remaining payload for F9 after Starship becomes fully operational, and managing the remaining F9 boosters will be a numbers game.

I am pretty sure F9 will still have customers since it would prob be cheaper than starship.

Offline Kansan52

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #897 on: 01/22/2024 08:03 pm »
My understanding is that Starship, being reusable,  will cost less than an F9 launch. If that turns out to be true,  launch availability will keep the F9 flying. Unless Space X stops building the 2nd stage.

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #898 on: 01/22/2024 08:51 pm »
My understanding is that Starship, being reusable,  will cost less than an F9 launch. If that turns out to be true,  launch availability will keep the F9 flying. Unless Space X stops building the 2nd stage.
Commercial Crew (this thread's topic) will almost certainly use Crew Dragon until ISS is finally decommissioned, and Crew Dragon will use F9. Whether or not there will be any other F9/FH customers is harder to predict. As the flight rate declines, the fixed costs are covered by fewer missions and the mission cost goes up. If I were SpaceX I would be reluctant to accept any further CCP contract extensions for Crew Dragon, but if NASA insisted, I would charge quite a bit per flight to cover my costs. As of now, it appears that 14 Crew Dragons and 6 Starliners may suffice for ISS.

Life may get more exciting if NASA extends CCP beyond ISS to fly NASA astronauts to CLDs. Presumably, SpaceX will try very hard to have a NASA-certified crewed EDL starship operating by that time. Without Starship, NASA will be scrambling. 2030 is six years away.


Offline Asteroza

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #899 on: 01/22/2024 09:52 pm »
My understanding is that Starship, being reusable,  will cost less than an F9 launch. If that turns out to be true,  launch availability will keep the F9 flying. Unless Space X stops building the 2nd stage.
Commercial Crew (this thread's topic) will almost certainly use Crew Dragon until ISS is finally decommissioned, and Crew Dragon will use F9. Whether or not there will be any other F9/FH customers is harder to predict. As the flight rate declines, the fixed costs are covered by fewer missions and the mission cost goes up. If I were SpaceX I would be reluctant to accept any further CCP contract extensions for Crew Dragon, but if NASA insisted, I would charge quite a bit per flight to cover my costs. As of now, it appears that 14 Crew Dragons and 6 Starliners may suffice for ISS.

Life may get more exciting if NASA extends CCP beyond ISS to fly NASA astronauts to CLDs. Presumably, SpaceX will try very hard to have a NASA-certified crewed EDL starship operating by that time. Without Starship, NASA will be scrambling. 2030 is six years away.

Considering the odds of Starliner surviving past the ISS contract are getting increasingly tenuous, all the CLD providers are looking nervously at a SpaceX monopoly in the short term, which suggests crew dragon by definition will need to fly beyond 2030 for at least a few years. This implies the upper stage pipeline will remain warm at the least, and possibly some new manufactured dragons assuming the existing set aren't certified to fly more. There may or may not be a few new boosters in the mix. The better question would be, right now SpaceX is gearing up the upper stage production rate, but by 2030 they will need to switch down to a minimal production rate to cover CLD runs and NSSL duties as Starlink should be flying exclusively on Starship. The Hawthorne plant is not heavily involved in Starship production, so when the Falcon 9 production wind down happens, what's going to happen at Hawthorne?

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