Author Topic: SpaceX Dragon XL  (Read 271156 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 »

Online 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

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #683 on: 02/24/2023 05:01 pm »
Bueller, Bueller?

Checking for a heartbeat and proof of life.

Or is this just sitting quietly and eventually going to be statisfied with HLS?
Wildly optimistic prediction, Superheavy recovery on IFT-4 or IFT-5


Online DanClemmensen

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #685 on: 02/24/2023 07:06 pm »
There was a recent update (February 24, 2023) that the meat of the contract work should start later this year.

Quote from: Jeff Foust @ Space News
NASA anticipates starting work later this year on the first cargo mission for the lunar Gateway, three years after awarding SpaceX a contract for such missions.

NASA’s Mark Wiese, manager of deep space logistics for the Gateway program, said that the NASA has been working with SpaceX on a series of studies to refine the Dragon XL design and examine cargo configurations and other capabilities that could be enabled by the spacecraft.

He confirmed that SpaceX will use Dragon XL for those initial missions, but left the door open for using the company’s Starship vehicle for cargo delivery in the future. “We are all for enabling evolution,” he said. “We talked to them about Starship evolution and how it all worked together, but we’re not there yet because it’s still in a development phase.
I think the current mission profile is for FH to launch and put Dragon XL into a transfer orbit. Dragon XL then goes to cislunar space, puts itself into the proper NRHO, and RMODs with Gateway, where it stays active for a year and then is discarded.  My guess is that it would be economical to replace the FH with a Cargo Starship, but not attempt to have SS go to NRHO and stay there. Instead, SS would carry a bigger and heavier Dragon XL+ as cargo, put it into the transfer orbit, and then EDL and do more missions instead of spending a year in NRHO.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #686 on: 02/24/2023 07:40 pm »
Except a starship could be cheaper to build than a one-off custom spacecraft like DragonXL.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #687 on: 02/24/2023 07:58 pm »
Except a starship could be cheaper to build than a one-off custom spacecraft like DragonXL.
Which type of Starship are you considering? Will it be expended or retrieved?

It will need to be capable of operating for a year. The reason it's called "Dragon XL" is that it is presumed to derive from Dragon HW.

Now if the Dragon XL+ could boost itself back to an Earth orbit from which it can be retrieved by another Cargo SS, you might actually end up with a fully-reusable system that might make economic sense.

Offline Negan

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #688 on: 02/24/2023 08:31 pm »
Except a starship could be cheaper to build than a one-off custom spacecraft like DragonXL.

A starship can deliver a DragonXL, but a FH can't deliver a Starship.
« Last Edit: 02/24/2023 08:52 pm by Negan »


Online Zed_Noir

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #690 on: 02/25/2023 04:58 pm »
<snip>
His saying they purposely delayed the contract sounds utterly bizarre to me
<snip>
There wasn't budget available to fund the contract earlier, AIUI.

Offline yg1968

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #691 on: 06/01/2023 12:54 am »
See below:

https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-23-106021

Quote from: page 43 (or page 53 of the PDF) of the GAO Report
NASA previously planned to authorize the DSL contractor to start work on a logistics vehicle to support the Artemis V mission, but now plans to do so earlier to support the Artemis IV mission. Having a logistics delivery for Artemis IV could help address mass concerns for the PPE, HALO, and I-HAB because the logistics vehicle could deliver cargo and equipment to Gateway that would have previously needed to be launched on the other elements.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #692 on: 11/06/2023 07:25 pm »
https://twitter.com/jenakuns/status/1721421560064643537

Quote
Hey remember the time SpaceX won a cislunar resupply contract and then nothing happened for 3 years because funding shortfalls meant it was deprioritised? Well good news, it's back on the menu; SpaceX received $86M on the 3rd of Nov

https://www.usaspending.gov/award/CONT_AWD_80KSC020C0012_8000_-NONE-_-NONE-

Offline Asteroza

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #693 on: 11/06/2023 11:28 pm »
Makes me wonder if HALO+PPE is getting too close to getting overweight that they had no choice but to proceed with Dragon XL for mass offload in case they blew their margin?

Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #694 on: 11/07/2023 02:06 am »
Makes me wonder if HALO+PPE is getting too close to getting overweight that they had no choice but to proceed with Dragon XL for mass offload in case they blew their margin?

I posted it in the launch thread a while back, but according to Stephen Clark earlier this year, the HALO-PPE stack is approaching 18 tons. There have been whispers for years that that stack is overweight, and moving at least initial supplies + maybe some non-essential internal pieces to dragon XL or even to launch on HLS would be an option.

Offline deltaV

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #695 on: 02/04/2024 03:40 am »
Will the payments to SpaceX be increased to account for the ~20% inflation that has happened between contract award and now? It seems a little unfair to make SpaceX eat the inflation since neither the 3 year delay nor the recent high inflation appear to be SpaceX's fault.

Offline spacenut

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #696 on: 02/04/2024 01:53 pm »
Can Starship even get launched at Boca Chica now?  With the litigation saying they can't close the beach. 

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #697 on: 02/04/2024 01:54 pm »
Can Starship even get launched at Boca Chica now?  With the litigation saying they can't close the beach.
Of course they can launch.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline yg1968

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #698 on: 02/04/2024 02:12 pm »
Can Starship even get launched at Boca Chica now?  With the litigation saying they can't close the beach.

Dragon XL launches on FH.

Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #699 on: 02/04/2024 02:21 pm »
Can Starship even get launched at Boca Chica now?  With the litigation saying they can't close the beach. 

The litigation coming from the appeals court will be thrown out IMO. Not being able to launch Starship from Boca Chica is unacceptable to at least two government agencies (NASA and DoD), which means that higher powers will eventually intervene.
« Last Edit: 02/05/2024 11:56 am by woods170 »

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