Author Topic: SpaceX Dragon XL  (Read 222688 times)

Offline deadman1204

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #680 on: 05/23/2022 03:49 pm »

The availability of Chomper-Starship as a launch vehicle for Dragon XL also opens up interesting possibilities for recapture and reuse of the DXL vehicle post-mission. Starship could bring DXL back to Earth safely ensconced in its payload bay, similarly to how MPLMs were reused in the Shuttle era. This might even be feasible without in-space refueling of Starship, if DXL could (gradually) make its way back down to LEO without spending much fuel, e.g. via ballistic departure from lunar orbit followed by gradual aerobraking.

Incidentally, Starship-based recovery of DXL would be a very effective solution to the sample return problem.
Not really. Dragon XL would need all the fuel to return to earth, then a ton more fuel to slow down for a easy leo orbit to meet up with starship. Then starship would have to be specially designed to somehow capture it and then secure it for return.  If anything goes wrong, you lose dragon XL anyways (and possibly your specially modified starship). All of this would only be paid for by spaceX. There wouldn't be any NASA funding for it.

The cost and risk just isn't worth it.
« Last Edit: 05/23/2022 03:54 pm by deadman1204 »

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #681 on: 05/23/2022 05:24 pm »

The availability of Chomper-Starship as a launch vehicle for Dragon XL also opens up interesting possibilities for recapture and reuse of the DXL vehicle post-mission. Starship could bring DXL back to Earth safely ensconced in its payload bay, similarly to how MPLMs were reused in the Shuttle era. This might even be feasible without in-space refueling of Starship, if DXL could (gradually) make its way back down to LEO without spending much fuel, e.g. via ballistic departure from lunar orbit followed by gradual aerobraking.

Incidentally, Starship-based recovery of DXL would be a very effective solution to the sample return problem.
Not really. Dragon XL would need all the fuel to return to earth, then a ton more fuel to slow down for a easy leo orbit to meet up with starship. Then starship would have to be specially designed to somehow capture it and then secure it for return.  If anything goes wrong, you lose dragon XL anyways (and possibly your specially modified starship). All of this would only be paid for by spaceX. There wouldn't be any NASA funding for it.

The cost and risk just isn't worth it.
Start over if you want to use Starship as part  of the Gateway resupply mission. "Just" send Starship to Gateway with a supply pod (like a Dragon XL, but without a large rocket motor). Starship delivers the new supply module and picks up the old one. This takes some number of tanker flights to a depot so your delivery Starship can go to NRHO and then come back. Same Depot as was used for HLS.

This  supply pod can also be used in the same way for LEO stations, without the need for tankers.

Offline su27k

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #682 on: 06/24/2022 03:48 pm »
https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-22-105212.pdf

Quote
Current Status

As of July 2021, the DSL project delayed plans to grant SpaceX with
authority to proceed for the first Gateway Logistics Services mission
from October 2020 to late 2023. NASA officials attribute the delay to
funding constraints from operating under a continuing resolution and
other NASA funding priorities. NASA plans for the first mission of
SpaceX’s logistics vehicle, Dragon XL, to deliver another element—
Gateway External Robotic System (GERS)—to the Gateway in 2027.
Project officials stated they plan to establish cost and schedule
baselines for this first mission at a key decision point review but do not
yet have an estimate for when they will hold that review. At the same
time, officials are also evaluating whether the project needs an
additional mission prior to the GERS mission to support the Gateway.

In the meantime, project officials stated they provided SpaceX with
about $14 million, as of November 2021, to conduct several special
studies for the project. These studies aim, for example, to identify risk
areas across flight software, data handling, and communication
systems, as well as test selected components of the SpaceX Dragon
XL capsule’s response to simulated deep space radiation exposure.
SpaceX studied the updated project requirements and the potential
effects on cost and schedule in case of further delays to receiving the
authority to proceed.

DSL = Gateway – Deep Space Logistics

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