Author Topic: SpaceX Dragon XL  (Read 223173 times)

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #80 on: 03/28/2020 03:23 am »
If NASA requires it. There could be a Dragon XL variant with a grappling fixture and a full size CBM port with minor modification.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #81 on: 03/28/2020 03:34 am »
Just for laughs.

In theory two Dragon XL pressurized Cargo Module back to back with IDS ports at the front and the stern instead of external cargo carriage. Could even have a connecting passage way.

Results in a Double Dragon  ;D

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #82 on: 03/28/2020 03:40 am »
I'm guessing these have to be fully expendable Falcon Heavy launches, to get 5 tonnes of cargo to lunar orbit in a spacecraft that has to weigh 5-times-something tonnes - maybe 20 tonnes at TLI with about 1/4th of that mass needed for lunar orbit insertion.

 - Ed Kyle
What? no, more like 5 tons for the spacecraft (including a ton of fuel) and 5 tons for the payload. Similar to Cygnus.

It's basically SpaceX's deep space super enhanced Cygnus with autonomous rendezvous and docking.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #83 on: 03/28/2020 03:41 am »
Falcon 9 could launch a full MPLM to orbit and still be recovered. If you put like a Cygnus back end on it, you'd have way more cargo capability than needed.

The Shuttle could not deliver 20,000 kg of pressurized upmass to ISS. A fully loaded MPLM held more like 13,000 kg of cargo.

Assuming $500M for a Shuttle launch, that works out to $38,500/kg.
.

Multiple errors in your post. A fully loaded MPLM weighed between 13 to 14 metric tons, including cargo. MPLM's empty weight was a little over 4,000 kg. So, that boiles down to just 9,000 to 10,000 kg of cargo capacity for a single MPLM.

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/mplm.html

Also, space shuttle historic overviews have shown that the average shuttle mission cost roughly $1B.

These two figures combined boil down to something like $100,000/kg. for cargo-to-ISS via shuttle. That is substantially more expensive than CRS-1 (and CRS-2).

Cross posting from the CRS2 thread.
Since NASA & SpaceX announced Dragon XL for gateway could they use this for ISS first?

Makes you now wonder about the private Dragon flight if it could dock to Dragon XL it could have an awesome week in space.
Miniature space station, like Tiangong.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline yg1968

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #84 on: 03/28/2020 03:56 am »
If NASA requires it. There could be a Dragon XL variant with a grappling fixture and a full size CBM port with minor modification.

On that subject and as you probably already know, Canada will be building a robotic arm for Gateway and this arm would be delivered by Dragon XL.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/canada-lunar-gateway-1.5037522

Quote from: NASA (Attachment_01_GLS_SOW_Annex_A)
1.0 The Contractor shall deliver the following DSXR [Deep Space Extravehicular Robotic System] items as unpressurized cargo to Gateway as part of one or more launch packages

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48353.msg2018139#msg2018139
« Last Edit: 03/28/2020 04:23 am by yg1968 »

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #85 on: 03/28/2020 04:24 am »
If NASA requires it. There could be a Dragon XL variant with a grappling fixture and a full size CBM port with minor modification.

On that subject and as you probably already know, Canada will be building a robotic arm for Gateway and this arm would be delivered by Dragon XL.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/canada-lunar-gateway-1.5037522

Was thinking of contingency delivery of really bulky cargo to the ISS that requires a full size CBM hatch.


Offline baldusi

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #86 on: 03/28/2020 05:41 am »
[...]
And on the way back in "garbage truck" mode... take a month or two to reenter in a controlled manner.
[...]

Why would it need to reenter for disposal? BEO or Moon-crashing would most probably be cheaper, delta-v wise.

Offline fast

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #87 on: 03/28/2020 06:35 am »
SX need to send it on first test flight to moon orbit with some provision for astronauts in advance of Artemis 3 mission. It is successfully - you have a mini Gateway and safe haven on moon orbit for first piloted mission.

Offline John Alan

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #88 on: 03/28/2020 06:40 am »
[...]
And on the way back in "garbage truck" mode... take a month or two to reenter in a controlled manner.
[...]

Why would it need to reenter for disposal? BEO or Moon-crashing would most probably be cheaper, delta-v wise.

It's always bothered me when "we" leave our "stuff" in places they should not be left... JMHO...
I smile every time a spacecraft saves enough fuel, or puts itself in a <90day to re-entry orbit...to clean up after itself... 
Delta-v be damned... figure out how to make it work before you launch it... or just don't...
Sacrifice payload or as a last resort, expend the rocket if you have to...
Because someday, someone will have to clean up the mess we have made over the last 60+years in space...
Again... JMHO...  ;)

Online daedalus1

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #89 on: 03/28/2020 07:58 am »
[...]
And on the way back in "garbage truck" mode... take a month or two to reenter in a controlled manner.
[...]

Why would it need to reenter for disposal? BEO or Moon-crashing would most probably be cheaper, delta-v wise.

It's always bothered me when "we" leave our "stuff" in places they should not be left... JMHO...
I smile every time a spacecraft saves enough fuel, or puts itself in a <90day to re-entry orbit...to clean up after itself... 
Delta-v be damned... figure out how to make it work before you launch it... or just don't...
Sacrifice payload or as a last resort, expend the rocket if you have to...
Because someday, someone will have to clean up the mess we have made over the last 60+years in space...
Again... JMHO...  ;)

Space is big, I mean really big.

Online Cheapchips

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #90 on: 03/28/2020 08:36 am »
[...]
And on the way back in "garbage truck" mode... take a month or two to reenter in a controlled manner.
[...]

Why would it need to reenter for disposal? BEO or Moon-crashing would most probably be cheaper, delta-v wise.

It's always bothered me when "we" leave our "stuff" in places they should not be left... JMHO...
I smile every time a spacecraft saves enough fuel, or puts itself in a <90day to re-entry orbit...to clean up after itself... 
Delta-v be damned... figure out how to make it work before you launch it... or just don't...
Sacrifice payload or as a last resort, expend the rocket if you have to...
Because someday, someone will have to clean up the mess we have made over the last 60+years in space...
Again... JMHO...  ;)

Space is big, I mean really big.

Like the ocean, vast and infinite! Waste will never be an issue. ;)

If XL's have a life beyond the Gateway, I can't see them be disposed of.  Refueling or recovery are perfectly doable.

Thinking longer term, XL (DXL?) gives SpaceX a very nice service vehicle for their Starship fleet.

Offline Athelstane

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #91 on: 03/28/2020 08:36 am »
Why would SpaceX make an expendable spacecraft?

1. NASA wants a cargo spacecraft to Lunar gateway.
2. NASA is paying real well for it.
3. NASA doesn't need return cargo.
4. But it needs long on orbit capability and pressurized internal storage.
5. It will have a really low flight rate/count

SpaceX has its main focus on other things (Star-*) , but if money can be made with minimal effort, why not?.
Because of 5 (low flight count/rate) any extensive reuseability and engineering effort isn't worth it anyway. Instead SpaceX would throw together the most effortless spacecraft they can possibly make:

1. Pressure vessel made from an old Falcon9 tank barrel. The factory and production capacity is already there.
2. Propulsion, Power, Life Support and Avionics system from Dragon2
3. Bigger batteries and more robust design for long orbital life.

Basically only "3" - needed for the long mission times - needs to be developed. But that's something SpaceX needs to look into for Mars trips anyway, so there's enough synergy to justify the development effort.


Not a bad summary - but one other thing, too: Dragon XL will need beefed up comms systems to work adequately beyond earth orbit. That's something Elon had mentioned, in fact, in regards to the Grey Dragon mission back when that was still a thing.

But I don't think that will be all *that* difficult, either.

On the whole, this really shouldn't be all that hard (or expensive) for SpaceX to put together. Certainly not as hard as Crew Dragon has been.

Offline Athelstane

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #92 on: 03/28/2020 08:37 am »
[...]
And on the way back in "garbage truck" mode... take a month or two to reenter in a controlled manner.
[...]

Why would it need to reenter for disposal? BEO or Moon-crashing would most probably be cheaper, delta-v wise.

Seems far more likely, too.

Online daedalus1

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #93 on: 03/28/2020 08:49 am »
[...]
And on the way back in "garbage truck" mode... take a month or two to reenter in a controlled manner.
[...]

Why would it need to reenter for disposal? BEO or Moon-crashing would most probably be cheaper, delta-v wise.

It's always bothered me when "we" leave our "stuff" in places they should not be left... JMHO...
I smile every time a spacecraft saves enough fuel, or puts itself in a <90day to re-entry orbit...to clean up after itself... 
Delta-v be damned... figure out how to make it work before you launch it... or just don't...
Sacrifice payload or as a last resort, expend the rocket if you have to...
Because someday, someone will have to clean up the mess we have made over the last 60+years in space...
Again... JMHO...  ;)

Space is big, I mean really big.

Like the ocean, vast and infinite! Waste will never be an issue. ;)

If XL's have a life beyond the Gateway, I can't see them be disposed of.  Refueling or recovery are perfectly doable.

Thinking longer term, XL (DXL?) gives SpaceX a very nice service vehicle for their Starship fleet.

You could fit many oceans in low earth orbit space, so far from infinite.
Where's space is probably infinite. There are many trillions of asteroids in the asteroid belt (a very small part of space) but they will not bother any spacecraft passing through.

Offline tyrred

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #94 on: 03/28/2020 09:42 am »
Yet another interesting Dragon variant is proposed.  Huzzah! 

Not as exciting as previous iterations - though exciting =/= useful.  Maybe they will send actual spam in the can - it's kinda tasty when seared correctly.  We'll see how it plays out.

Space is big - cis-lunar space is not infinite. Even transits through asteroid belt need to calculate potential collisions.  You don't just transit blindly.

Getting the reusable vs disposable equation right would be prudent from the get-go - uncertainty is real and you look really bad if you crash your multi-million $ spacecraft into an avoidable object - especially another human-crafted one.

Our future Dyson swarm depends on calculated risk.

Edit: I was wrong.
« Last Edit: 03/29/2020 06:25 am by tyrred »

Offline kdhilliard

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #95 on: 03/28/2020 09:47 am »
...  Even transits through asteroid belt need to calculate potential collisions.  You don't just transit blindly.  ...
Citation needed.

Offline ValmirGP

Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #96 on: 03/28/2020 09:53 am »
It will already have solar panels and batteries.  Strap a small Starlink engine on it and set it on a useful or secure disposal route after end of life at the gateway, slowly and steadly going where no trash can has ever gone before. 

Edit: typo
« Last Edit: 03/28/2020 10:08 am by ValmirGP »

Online daedalus1

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #97 on: 03/28/2020 10:06 am »
Yet another interesting Dragon variant is proposed.  Huzzah!

Space is big - cis-lunar space is not infinite. Even transits through asteroid belt need to calculate potential collisions.  You don't just transit blindly


Yes you do, many millions of asteroids are invisible. At least seven spacecraft have done it without knowing where more than 99% of asteroids are.

Offline nacnud

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #98 on: 03/28/2020 10:39 am »
My initial though after seeing the art work for this was that it might have a docking adapter at both ends and a pass through tunnel, like one of the proposed follow ons to the ATV. I don't think this is the case as this would limit the volume for external cargo but it's still an idea for a presumably cheap station/free flyer somewhere in the Earth-Moon system.

Sorry only tangentially related to dragon XL, I must try harder :)

Offline ugordan

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #99 on: 03/28/2020 10:49 am »
Spaceflight Now has a scoop with a lot more info than everyone else:
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/03/27/nasa-picks-spacex-to-deliver-cargo-to-gateway-station-in-lunar-orbit/

Also despite some posters being adamant that this will fly without a fairing based on their own rampant speculation, this article puts that presumption to rest:
Quote
  SpaceX is building off the company’s Dragon 2 spacecraft designed to ferry crew and cargo to the International Space Station. Unlike the Dragon 2, which flies without an aerodynamic shroud on top of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, the Dragon XL will lift off inside a payload fairing on the company’s bigger Falcon Heavy launcher, according to Dan Hartman, NASA’s Gateway program manager at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

It gon be in a fairing!

Honestly, just looking at the artist rendering IMHO clearly indicates that it *has* to fly inside a Falcon fairing.
1) the solar panels are directly attached to the cylindrical body, unlike Cargo Dragon where the trunk is flattened to make the folded panels fit and carry an ascent cover around them.
2) exposed maneuvering thrusters. Before you bring the Apollo SM on me, I highly doubt SpaceX is going the route of exposed thruster pods like that.
3) obvious potential mass savings where Dragon XL does not need to be structurally strong enough to handle ascent aeroloads which would be particularly important if they want to try and recover the FH center core. Certainly helps the Dragon onboard propellant load requirement a lot.

Knowing SpaceX, they're probably looking at reusing the F9 tank tooling for the spacecraft main body.

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