Author Topic: Crew Dragon or Orion to Hubble for CMG Replacement?  (Read 34225 times)

Offline MATTBLAK

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What about a crew Dragon with 3x crew (2x experienced Shuttle-Hubble Astros) and CMG's in the trunk?! Two of the Astronauts could perform a pair of EVAs to install new gyros and batteries and the other Astro would be there to assist them in suiting up and 'flying' the Dragon.

Can the Dragon be configured to do multiple EVAs? If the Falcon 9 is fully expended and launched to the 28.5 degree inclination orbit that Hubble is in: would the Dragon have enough delta-v to reach the telescope? Can a set of gyros and batteries fit in the Dragon's cargo trunk? I'd love to see someone do a feasibility study on a mission like this!! And could the Dragon dock with the docking unit that was left on the Hubble by the STS-125 crew? Could EVA's be done on the telescope without an RMS system? Or could the crew suffice with the pole system that was being looked at for the now abandoned Asteroid Rendezvous mission?

Or would this be a mission better suited to an Orion, launched on a Delta IV-Heavy, now that the ICPS stage is going to be 'man rated'?

Are there any Astronauts who repaired Hubble still on the active duty roster? How feasible would it be to reinstate 'Hubble Astronauts' who would still pass the physical or have only recently retired? Also: I know that it might be better to plow the mission's money into new space telescopes, or dock a 'stability' CMG control/command module to the base of Hubble...

...I'm only pondering this concept as a 'face saving' idea if - God fervently forbid - if the James Webb ends up in the drink after launch, or fails to deploy.
« Last Edit: 10/14/2018 02:42 am by MATTBLAK »
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Offline Lars-J

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #1 on: 10/09/2018 06:21 am »
Dragon cannot support an EVA. It would require an external airlock module.

Orion can, but that's because it is designed to be able to do it, which means that the internals are fully vacuum rated (electronics) and that the entire cabin can be depressurized and pressurized again (and again?). This requires a lot of consumables. The Orion spacesuits are also designed to support it, unlike the Dragon IVA suits.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2018 06:22 am by Lars-J »

Offline woods170

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #2 on: 10/09/2018 06:24 am »
What about a crew Dragon with 3x crew (2x experienced Shuttle-Hubble Astros) and CMG's in the trunk?! Two of the Astronauts could perform a pair of EVAs to install new gyros and batteries and the other Astro would be there to assist them in suiting up and 'flying' the Dragon.

Can the Dragon be configured to do multiple EVAs? If the Falcon 9 is fully expended and launched to the 28.5 degree inclination orbit that Hubble is in: would the Dragon have enough delta-v to reach the telescope? Can a set of gyros and batteries fit in the Dragon's cargo trunk? I'd love to see someone do a feasibility study on a mission like this!! And could the Dragon dock with the docking unit that was left on the Hubble by the STS-125 crew? Could EVA's be done on the telescope without an RMS system? Or could the crew suffice with the pole system that was being looked at for the now abandoned Asteroid Rendezvous mission?

Or would this be a mission better suited to an Orion, launched on a Delta IV-Heavy, now that the ICPS stage is going to be 'man rated'?

Are there any Astronauts who repaired Hubble still on the active duty roster? How feasible would it be to reinstate 'Hubble Astronauts' who would still pass the physical or have only recently retired? Also: I know that it might be better to plow the mission's money into new space telescopes, or dock a 'stability' CMG control/command module to the base of Hubble...

...I'm only pondering this concept as a 'face saving' idea if - God fervently forbid - if the James Webb ends up in the drink after launch, or fails to deploy.

I read about 20 non-starters in your post, all of which will cost considerable money to solve.
IMO not worth the effort given Hubble's age and the fact that JWST will be online a few years from now.

Also, if the current CMG cannot be recovered science operations on HST will continue under a well-developed "plan B".

Face it folks: there will come a day that Hubble "dies" in orbit. With the Shuttle gone there is not all that much that can be done to prevent it. When the day comes we shouldn't mourn about the loss but celebrate the huge achievement that Hubble (still) is. And then move on to the next great adventure.

If, God forbid, JWST goes into the drink or fails to deploy, the astronomers will simply have to do without an orbiting telescope for the next decade (at least).
Then again, that would finally give them a chance to really start using those fine Earth-bound systems they have been deploying world-wide for the past 2 decades.
All is not lost when Hubble dies and a next-generation system is not (yet) online.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2018 06:27 am by woods170 »

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #3 on: 10/09/2018 06:34 am »
I already knew some of the answers, but not to all my questions. And at this point, I do not have much faith in Webb getting to where it's going and safely deploying with it's nearly insane 'Rube Goldberg' mechanisms and procedures. If after so many billions spent it ends up a lemon; it will make the 'Mister Magoo' jokes about Hubble in the early '90s look like a picnic.

**But I'll go on record as saying I will be thoroughly delighted to be wrong about Webb. Thoroughly.

If Hubble lost too many more gyros; would it be better than a manned mission to send up a propulsion and stability 'Bus' that could dock to the telescope and keep it stable for a few more years? Then, using storable propellant propulsion; finally send it to it's doom.

The above scenario might be a good 'Plan C'.
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Offline ncb1397

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #4 on: 10/09/2018 06:46 am »
If, God forbid, JWST goes into the drink or fails to deploy, the astronomers will simply have to do without an orbiting telescope for the next decade (at least).



Well, other than Swift, Fermi, Chandra, NuSTAR, IRIS, TESS, Spitzer and WISE (and that is only the U.S. ones). And it isn't completely impossible that WFIRST gets launched around 2025 or so, especially if tons of budget money gets freed up from no Hubble and no JWST.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2018 06:51 am by ncb1397 »

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #5 on: 10/09/2018 06:52 am »
I need to point out: I am not actually, physically advocating one more manned mission to Hubble. The thread was started to explore the concept of such missions with the obvious historical example of Hubble that we're all familiar with. Even a robotic, manipulated mission from the ground would cost a lot of money to do. But being that it was once(?) advocated that a Hubble de-orbit robotic mission need one day be mounted, I have become intrigued by the possibility of upgrading that to a stability and de-orbit bus to give Hubble a few (3, 4 or 5 years?) extra life till another major systems flaw or the batteries die...
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Offline IRobot

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #6 on: 10/09/2018 07:25 am »
How much would a Museum pay for the Hubble? Would a BFS mission to bring it back be viable, money wise?

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #7 on: 10/09/2018 07:54 am »
Unknown at this point. Hope it could come to pass.
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Offline Swedish chef

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #8 on: 10/09/2018 08:14 am »
According to this op-ed there should exist a small study or at least some power point slides about boosting the orbit of Hubble and replacing the gyroscopes.

https://spacenews.com/op-ed-a-not-so-final-servicing-mission/
Quote
SpaceX, manufacturer of both the Dragon and the Falcon 9, did a very preliminary, informal study of using Crew Dragon with a robot arm to deorbit Hubble, or to repair and reboost the telescope. This was part of a wider SpaceX PowerPoint presentation on using Crew Dragon to service satellites, publicly released in March 2010 just before the first Falcon 9 launch.

Offline nacnud

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #9 on: 10/09/2018 08:26 am »
Could you steer Hubble with external gyros attached to the LIDS mounted on it? You might not get very good slew rates but It's much easier that replacing the internal gyros.

Offline Swedish chef

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #10 on: 10/09/2018 09:56 am »
I found this slide that might be interesting since it shows what module needs to replaced and where they reside inside Hubble. The gyroscopes are packed in pairs inside a module that is called Rate Sensor Unit.

Source for the slide
https://slideplayer.com/slide/8528747/

Offline IRobot

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #11 on: 10/09/2018 10:04 am »
Could you steer Hubble with external gyros attached to the LIDS mounted on it? You might not get very good slew rates but It's much easier that replacing the internal gyros.
How would they communicate with the internal computer? I seriously doubt that the Hubble has enough modularity to accomodate this external input. How would you power them?
At best you would still need to connect multiple cables, which means opening it up, which would probably mean that a direct gyro replacement would be easier.

Offline speedevil

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #12 on: 10/09/2018 10:08 am »
Could you steer Hubble with external gyros attached to the LIDS mounted on it? You might not get very good slew rates but It's much easier that replacing the internal gyros.
How would they communicate with the internal computer? I seriously doubt that the Hubble has enough modularity to accomodate this external input. How would you power them?
At best you would still need to connect multiple cables, which means opening it up, which would probably mean that a direct gyro replacement would be easier.
In principle, solar, and reception of any of the existing antennas. While obviously not pointed at the LIDS mount, they can be received just fine at ~5m distance.

(yes, solar adds additional observing constraints)

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #13 on: 10/09/2018 10:14 am »
Really don't think a HST rescue mission with a single Dragon is that doable.

But maybe adding a modified Cygnus with a 3 segment pressurized module to the mission might work. Using the Cygnus PM basically as an airlock with external racks for mounting manipulator arms, additional propellant storage and holding bins for the gyros along with external EVA helpful attachments. There is no cargo inside the Cygnus PM.

The idea is to launched the Cygnus first then the Dragon later to docked with the Cygnus. The vehicle stack will then go to the HST using the Cygnus's propulsion with the additional propellants. Grapple the HST and replace the hardware. The Dragon then returns the crew back to Earth with almost a full propellant load remaining aboard.

Of course it would take time to get the replacement hardware and training the service crew of maybe 3 astronauts.

Offline IRobot

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #14 on: 10/09/2018 10:54 am »
Could you steer Hubble with external gyros attached to the LIDS mounted on it? You might not get very good slew rates but It's much easier that replacing the internal gyros.
How would they communicate with the internal computer? I seriously doubt that the Hubble has enough modularity to accomodate this external input. How would you power them?
At best you would still need to connect multiple cables, which means opening it up, which would probably mean that a direct gyro replacement would be easier.
In principle, solar, and reception of any of the existing antennas. While obviously not pointed at the LIDS mount, they can be received just fine at ~5m distance.

(yes, solar adds additional observing constraints)
Have some doubts that the communication system is prepared for real time feed from the gyros. Unsure about reaction time requirements.

Offline Alexphysics

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #15 on: 10/09/2018 11:02 am »
There are currently no simple ways of doing this and any complex way of doing it means lots of money that don't exist. Also, don't point to JWST as Hubble's successor because it is not. Once Hubble goes away there will be no other telescope like this one. There are others, that's totally right, but they observe in different wavelengths and the only closest one to Hubble in those terms will be WFIRST if it ever gets built and launched.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #16 on: 10/09/2018 11:28 am »
I remember that there were two NRO 'Hubble class' telescopes that were 'gifted' to NASA. I've just Googled about them but only get articles with vague sets of details about them. Are one or both of these going to be recycled into space telescopes? Could one of them be a better platform for the WFIRST concept?
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Offline kevinof

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #17 on: 10/09/2018 11:34 am »
Love this idea. Big fan of Cygnus as a "truck" and combining it with Dragon 2 like this is a great idea.

Really don't think a HST rescue mission with a single Dragon is that doable.

But maybe adding a modified Cygnus with a 3 segment pressurized module to the mission might work. Using the Cygnus PM basically as an airlock with external racks for mounting manipulator arms, additional propellant storage and holding bins for the gyros along with external EVA helpful attachments. There is no cargo inside the Cygnus PM.

The idea is to launched the Cygnus first then the Dragon later to docked with the Cygnus. The vehicle stack will then go to the HST using the Cygnus's propulsion with the additional propellants. Grapple the HST and replace the hardware. The Dragon then returns the crew back to Earth with almost a full propellant load remaining aboard.

Of course it would take time to get the replacement hardware and training the service crew of maybe 3 astronauts.

Offline as58

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #18 on: 10/09/2018 11:40 am »
I remember that there were two NRO 'Hubble class' telescopes that were 'gifted' to NASA. I've just Googled about them but only get articles with vague sets of details about them. Are one or both of these going to be recycled into space telescopes? Could one of them be a better platform for the WFIRST concept?

One of them is the platform for WFIRST.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2018 11:40 am by as58 »

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Crew Dragon to Hubble for CMG Replacement?
« Reply #19 on: 10/09/2018 11:53 am »
Love this idea. Big fan of Cygnus as a "truck" and combining it with Dragon 2 like this is a great idea.

Really don't think a HST rescue mission with a single Dragon is that doable.

But maybe adding a modified Cygnus with a 3 segment pressurized module to the mission might work. Using the Cygnus PM basically as an airlock with external racks for mounting manipulator arms, additional propellant storage and holding bins for the gyros along with external EVA helpful attachments. There is no cargo inside the Cygnus PM.

The idea is to launched the Cygnus first then the Dragon later to docked with the Cygnus. The vehicle stack will then go to the HST using the Cygnus's propulsion with the additional propellants. Grapple the HST and replace the hardware. The Dragon then returns the crew back to Earth with almost a full propellant load remaining aboard.

Of course it would take time to get the replacement hardware and training the service crew of maybe 3 astronauts.
I've often thought that a Crew Dragon and a three segment Cygnus might be a great pair of vehicles to do the 'Inspiration Mars' style mission, if a suitable life support system could be found! A two segment Cygnus for one Astronaut and a three-segment for two Astros. But that's a digression here and is worthy of it's own thread... ;)
« Last Edit: 10/09/2018 11:57 am by MATTBLAK »
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