Author Topic: Polaris Program (Dragon and Starship crewed missions led by Isaacman)  (Read 86979 times)

Online kevinof

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https://polarisprogram.com/



Jared Isaacman, who led the first all-private astronaut mission to orbit, has commissioned 3 more flights from SpaceX

Includes a spacewalk flight on Starship

"The first flight, which could come by the end of the year, will aim to send a crew of four farther than any other human spaceflight in 50 years and feature the first private-citizen spacewalk, Isaacman said in an exclusive interview with The Washington Post. The second flight also would be aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, the vehicle that NASA now relies on to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.

The third flight in the series, however, would be the first crewed mission of the next-generation Starship spacecraft, now under development by SpaceX and which NASA intends to use to land astronauts on the moon."

https://twitter.com/wapodavenport/status/1493210025048911874
« Last Edit: 02/14/2022 02:42 pm by gongora »

Offline DreamyPickle

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This is much more support than I expected.

Spacewalk implies fully-functional EVA suits made by SpaceX. And at least 4 of them in working order! By the end of the year!!! They must have been working on this in secret.

Third mission being crewed means they're going to sidestep NASA crew rating requirements. It's a big deal and it means that in the future SpaceX will be able to point out how humans have actually already flown on Starship.

Offline envy887

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This is much more support than I expected.

Spacewalk implies fully-functional EVA suits made by SpaceX. And at least 4 of them in working order! By the end of the year!!! They must have been working on this in secret.

Third mission being crewed means they're going to sidestep NASA crew rating requirements. It's a big deal and it means that in the future SpaceX will be able to point out how humans have actually already flown on Starship.

EVA is a huge deal. It was never clear before that Dragon could actually support an EVA.

The process for qualifying and approving Starship for private flights will probably be substantially similar to the once NASA uses for crew flights, so I don't think it's accurate to say they are sidestepping the requirements.

Offline FishInferno

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This is much more support than I expected.

Spacewalk implies fully-functional EVA suits made by SpaceX. And at least 4 of them in working order! By the end of the year!!! They must have been working on this in secret.

Third mission being crewed means they're going to sidestep NASA crew rating requirements. It's a big deal and it means that in the future SpaceX will be able to point out how humans have actually already flown on Starship.

EVA is a huge deal. It was never clear before that Dragon could actually support an EVA.

The process for qualifying and approving Starship for private flights will probably be substantially similar to the once NASA uses for crew flights, so I don't think it's accurate to say they are sidestepping the requirements.

Maybe similar on a technical level, but the significance of no longer relying on NASA for approval shouldn't be understated. This will have a profound impact (for the better, IMO) on the development of future vehicles.
Comparing SpaceX and SLS is like comparing paying people to plant fruit trees with merely digging holes and filling them.  - Robotbeat


Online yg1968

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https://twitter.com/wapodavenport/status/1493210025048911874

Jared Isaacman, who led the first all-private astronaut mission to orbit, has commissioned 3 more flights from SpaceX:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/02/14/jared-isaacman-polaris-spacex-starship-inspiration4/

Quote from: the article
Isaacman will be the commander of the first Polaris flight, known as Polaris Dawn. He’ll be joined by Scott “Kidd” Poteet, a former Air Force pilot who served as the mission director for Inspiration4, and two SpaceX lead operation engineers, Sarah Gillis and Anna Menon, who help prepare astronauts for flights on the company’s Dragon spacecraft. The four got to know one another during the Inspiration4 mission and have “a foundation of trust they can build upon as they undertake the challenges of this mission,” the crew said in a statement. [...]

Isaacman said it had not yet been decided whether everyone would get the chance to venture outside and that it was one of many details of the operation that are still being worked out. To perform the spacewalk, SpaceX is developing more advanced spacesuits that would keep the astronauts safe in the vacuum of space.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2022 12:49 pm by yg1968 »

Offline DreamyPickle

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Quote
The process for qualifying and approving Starship for private flights will probably be substantially similar to the once NASA uses for crew flights, so I don't think it's accurate to say they are sidestepping the requirements.

It will very likely be similar (and reuse a lot of the engineering of Crew Dragon) but a private crewed flight would only have to follow FAA requirements, not those from NASA. The FAA requirements are currently extremely loose and focus on avoiding threats to the uninvolved public rather than protecting astronauts.

It definitely means they will be able to launch crew without an abort system. Based on repeated statements from Elon the only abort option would be "separate starship early".

Jared Isaacman would definitely take such a risk.

Offline envy887

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Quote
The process for qualifying and approving Starship for private flights will probably be substantially similar to the once NASA uses for crew flights, so I don't think it's accurate to say they are sidestepping the requirements.

It will very likely be similar (and reuse a lot of the engineering of Crew Dragon) but a private crewed flight would only have to follow FAA requirements, not those from NASA. The FAA requirements are currently extremely loose and focus on avoiding threats to the uninvolved public rather than protecting astronauts.

It definitely means they will be able to launch crew without an abort system. Based on repeated statements from Elon the only abort option would be "separate starship early".

Jared Isaacman would definitely take such a risk.

I don't think a launch escape system is an actual NASA requirement. NASA's requirements are based on things like pLOC, design margins, qualification tests, and FRRs. They don't require specific vehicle abort modes. Unless someone can point out where those are specified?

SpaceX will do PRAs to establish pLOC. They will use appropriate design margin and do qualification testing and readiness reviews. All these go well beyond the FAA requirements.

Offline JayWee

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Don't forget they have Gerstenmaier.

Offline Orbiter

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I'd be very interested in what the second Dragon flight would entail, especially if "Polaris Dawn" already has a spacewalk and a higher altitude than Inspiration4.
Astronomer & launch photographer

Offline Yggdrasill

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I'd be very interested in what the second Dragon flight would entail, especially if "Polaris Dawn" already has a spacewalk and a higher altitude than Inspiration4.
I was thinking the exact same thing.

Maaybe Falcon Heavy + Crew Dragon? Going to the moon?

I know this was an idea previously, but was discarded because of difficulty in crew rating, but if crew rating is not required, it should be possible. It might not be super safe, but even with reduced safety, it should still be safer than the very first crewed flight of Starship...

(Maezawa may have called dibs on the moon, though. So I'm not sure how that would work.)
« Last Edit: 02/14/2022 01:31 pm by Yggdrasill »

Online yg1968

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Offline M.E.T.

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They won’t invest heavily in further Dragon development. It is to be replaced by Starship after all.

Unless it is part of a plan to fly Dragon to Lunar orbit to replace Orion in the LETS program…Now there’s a thought. It removes the need for SLS while allowing crew to still have a launch escape system during take off, and capsule-parachute landing back on Earth.

And saves NASA a billion or so dollars per crewed Artemis launch.

Offline woods170

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I don't think a launch escape system is an actual NASA requirement.

Wrong. For Commercial Crew a LAS very much was a hard requirement. The only thing that was "soft" about it, was the way in which the CCiCAP/CCtCAP contractors were allowed to demonstrate the effectiveness of their LAS systems. Flight tests of the LAS were no requirement, as long as the contractors would be able to convince NASA of the LAS effectiveness "through alternate means".

Offline daedalus1

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I don't think Falcon Heavy can put a Dragon into lunar orbit.

Offline woods170

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They won’t invest heavily in further Dragon development.

I am not allowed to go into details (per my sources), but I can say that your assessment is not entirely correct.

Offline spacenut

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I don't think Falcon Heavy can put a Dragon into lunar orbit.

May not be able to put the capsule into lunar orbit, but a sling around the moon and back.  The trunk would need to be replaced with a service module that would have to have an engine to put it into and out of lunar orbit.  It however would prove to NASA that SLS and Orion are not needed.  Not impossible, but would SpaceX spend the money developing it?  They are putting all their money into Starship development right now. 
« Last Edit: 02/14/2022 01:55 pm by spacenut »

Offline M.E.T.

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I don't think Falcon Heavy can put a Dragon into lunar orbit.

Well they planned Grey Dragon at one stage if memory serves - which was a lunar mission concept I think.

Offline Jim

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Don't forget they have Gerstenmaier.

which means what exactly?

Offline Redclaws

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I don't think Falcon Heavy can put a Dragon into lunar orbit.

Well they planned Grey Dragon at one stage if memory serves - which was a lunar mission concept I think.

Certainly!  But I think there was a lot of debate about exactly how much and what sort of engineering effort would be required for that.  If I recall, definitely not enough delta-V for lunar orbit.

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