Author Topic: Polaris Program (Dragon and Starship crewed missions led by Isaacman)  (Read 90322 times)

Offline Barley

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IIUC
Hubble will remain in orbit into at least the mid 2030's.  There is over a decade to reboost.
The gyros are currently working, but this could change at any time.

They gyros may well be the more critical of the two issues to address, but neither is critical right now.  A boost without a gyro replacement is pretty meh.

Another possibility is to do a demonstration mission.  Launch a mockup of (part) of Hubble in the trunk, release it, back off, dock, and do one or more EVAs to exchange parts, practice pushing it around and back off and dock some more if that floats your boat.  This would not endanger Hubble, and could be done without NASA's cooperation, though the more deeply involved NASA is the better a demo would be.

This would increase SpaceX's capabilities, train an astronaut in EVA, perhaps allow testing of procedures NASA would not authorize near Hubble.  It could be a big step towards an actual service mission if and when it becomes critical.

In my experience you learn a lot more from training, where you are allowed, even encouraged, to make mistakes than from trying to never make a mistake.  This has been lacking from the spaceflight to date.

Online whitelancer64

Instead of using the Cargo Dragon to host the non-EVA astronauts, dock the two Dragons nose to nose. The EVA crewmembers will then board the Cargo Dragon and use it as an airdock for the EVA.
Is the side hatch of (Cargo) Dragon designed to be used for EVA in flight?

IIRC there have been instances of the closeout crew having difficulty closing the hatch from the gantry.  I don't know if would have been a serious problem during a mission or if they were just being fussy because they were on the ground and could afford to be fussy.

The Dragon's side hatch is not designed for EVA. Jared I. said in a tweet all EVAs go out through the nose.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
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Offline Surfdaddy

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Lots of very creative ideas here that are custom hardware-rich.
IMHO, "The best part is no part". Jared and SpaceX are saying a low cost mission. IMHO low cost and relatively simple are very much NOT aligned with extra Dragon variants, airlocks, etc.

Offline AstroWare

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Lots of very creative ideas here that are custom hardware-rich.
IMHO, "The best part is no part". Jared and SpaceX are saying a low cost mission. IMHO low cost and relatively simple are very much NOT aligned with extra Dragon variants, airlocks, etc.
I also think Jared/SpaceX are using Polaris as an opportunity to develop new capabilities (hardware, skills, training plans, etc).

So, if *something* is going to be developed (e.g. EVA suit for Dawn) it's likely ONLY going to be developed if it has more applications beyond Polaris 2.

Otherwise yes, I agree with you - don't design any hardware you don't have to.

Offline AstroWare

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I was reviewing the shuttle servicing missions. Another task that was performed was a exterior visual survey. I think regardless of if an EVA is performed for Gyro replacement, a complete photographic survey should be possible.

First thought is to do it similar to the ISS flyarounds, with modern digital camera shots out the forward hatch view port. But a photography EVA (or in conjunction with a servicing EVA) would also be possible.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2022 12:25 am by AstroWare »

Offline mikelepage

One Dragon can't dock to another. They would need docking port changes to support active/passive modes.

Are you sure this hasn't changed with Dragon 2?

My (limited) understanding was that the upgrades on Dragon 2 (vs v1) mean firstly that it can dock (rather than needing to be berthed) to ISS, and I thought that meant it is now technically capable of performing both the active role and the passive roles (but usually performs the active). That is, I believed it's now a much more minor configuration change to enable the docking of two Dragons rather than a complete lack of hardware...?

In any case, being able to swap out the docking port for the cupola on Inspiration 4 surely suggests that those kinds of changes are not the hard part in a mission like this (if the pros of a two-dragon mission profile are otherwise worth it)?

Offline kevinof

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Yep pretty sure it's not changed - it's still not androgynous. It has the capabilty but the hardware to do both is not present in the Dragon.

As to the changes needed - probably not huge but would also require s/w changes as well as new hardare. Nice upgrade though.

One Dragon can't dock to another. They would need docking port changes to support active/passive modes.

Are you sure this hasn't changed with Dragon 2?

My (limited) understanding was that the upgrades on Dragon 2 (vs v1) mean firstly that it can dock (rather than needing to be berthed) to ISS, and I thought that meant it is now technically capable of performing both the active role and the passive roles (but usually performs the active). That is, I believed it's now a much more minor configuration change to enable the docking of two Dragons rather than a complete lack of hardware...?

In any case, being able to swap out the docking port for the cupola on Inspiration 4 surely suggests that those kinds of changes are not the hard part in a mission like this (if the pros of a two-dragon mission profile are otherwise worth it)?

Online DanClemmensen

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One Dragon can't dock to another. They would need docking port changes to support active/passive modes.

Are you sure this hasn't changed with Dragon 2?

My (limited) understanding was that the upgrades on Dragon 2 (vs v1) mean firstly that it can dock (rather than needing to be berthed) to ISS, and I thought that meant it is now technically capable of performing both the active role and the passive roles (but usually performs the active). That is, I believed it's now a much more minor configuration change to enable the docking of two Dragons rather than a complete lack of hardware...?

In any case, being able to swap out the docking port for the cupola on Inspiration 4 surely suggests that those kinds of changes are not the hard part in a mission like this (if the pros of a two-dragon mission profile are otherwise worth it)?
Disclaimer: all I know about IDSS is from posts on NSF and the documents linked from those posts. I have no inside information. SpaceX implemented the IDSS docking standard themselves instead of using the NASA/Boeing NDS implementation. They implemented active-only, not active/passive. Additional hardware (most notably the passive latches) is needed to convert to active/passive mode. The standard is designed to allow for an active/passive implementation (it's physically possible) but I do not know of any active/passive implementation that has flown in space. ISS has passive-only ports, and visiting spacecraft have active-only ports.

At first this seems strange, since is precludes capsule-to-capsule rescue operations, but the capsules were designed in an era where every kilogram was critical. The passive latches are hefty enough to worry about, and there were no realistic rescue scenarios anyway.

It will be interesting to see how the port on Starship HLS is implemented. IIUC, Artemis III shifted back and forth between using Gateway and not using Gateway. Gateway will have passive ports and Orion has an active port. HLS would need to be active/passive to accomodate both, but there is some sort of option to add an adapter to gateway instead, presumably to convert it to active/passive. I think this was to allow the little non-Starship HLS contenders to save mass.

Online whitelancer64

SpaceX's implementation of the IDSS compliant docking system lacks the passive latches needed for it to perform the passive role in docking. It is active-only. So is Starliner, by the way.

The IDAs on the ISS have both active and passive latches.

For Artemis 3, Starship will need a docking system that can operate in both active and passive mode as it will need to perform both roles during the course of the mission.

More detailed information in this post here: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=51346.msg2333587#msg2333587
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Online DanClemmensen

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The IDAs on the ISS have both active and passive latches.
Do you have a reference for this? I could not find one. I looked at the pictures of the ISS ports and it in not obvious that there is enough depth for an active mechanism, but I'm not qualified to judge.

Online whitelancer64

The IDAs on the ISS have both active and passive latches.
Do you have a reference for this? I could not find one. I looked at the pictures of the ISS ports and it in not obvious that there is enough depth for an active mechanism, but I'm not qualified to judge.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Online DanClemmensen

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The IDAs on the ISS have both active and passive latches.
Do you have a reference for this? I could not find one. I looked at the pictures of the ISS ports and it in not obvious that there is enough depth for an active mechanism, but I'm not qualified to judge.
Thanks! now I'm really confused. The active -side mechanism is a lot more complicated than just the latches. It includes a complicated active mechanism that provides six degrees of freedom for the soft capture. This is not shown in the diagram. I just reviewed the video at
   
and I still cannot find any reference to the IDA acting as a the active component during teh ISC phase. PLEASE NOTE: I believe you! I'm just confused.

Online whitelancer64

The IDAs on the ISS have both active and passive latches.
Do you have a reference for this? I could not find one. I looked at the pictures of the ISS ports and it in not obvious that there is enough depth for an active mechanism, but I'm not qualified to judge.
Thanks! now I'm really confused. The active -side mechanism is a lot more complicated than just the latches. It includes a complicated active mechanism that provides six degrees of freedom for the soft capture. This is not shown in the diagram. I just reviewed the video at
    *snip video*
and I still cannot find any reference to the IDA acting as a the active component during teh ISC phase. PLEASE NOTE: I believe you! I'm just confused.

It's not a problem, I probably should have been more clear. As I understand it, the IDAs cannot act as the active side for docking. They don't have a mechanism to extend the docking ring petals. However, they do have both active and passive latches. These could be used if a visiting vehicle had passive latches for them to hook on to.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2022 09:16 pm by whitelancer64 »
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline jarmumd

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The IDAs on the ISS have both active and passive latches.

IDA's on ISS only have passive strikers, no latches (soft capture system), but they have both active and passive hard capture hooks (hard capture system)

Online ThePonjaX

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IIUC
Hubble will remain in orbit into at least the mid 2030's.  There is over a decade to reboost.
The gyros are currently working, but this could change at any time.

They gyros may well be the more critical of the two issues to address, but neither is critical right now.  A boost without a gyro replacement is pretty meh.

Another possibility is to do a demonstration mission.  Launch a mockup of (part) of Hubble in the trunk, release it, back off, dock, and do one or more EVAs to exchange parts, practice pushing it around and back off and dock some more if that floats your boat.  This would not endanger Hubble, and could be done without NASA's cooperation, though the more deeply involved NASA is the better a demo would be.

This would increase SpaceX's capabilities, train an astronaut in EVA, perhaps allow testing of procedures NASA would not authorize near Hubble.  It could be a big step towards an actual service mission if and when it becomes critical.

In my experience you learn a lot more from training, where you are allowed, even encouraged, to make mistakes than from trying to never make a mistake.  This has been lacking from the spaceflight to date.

I'd like to think as you a "training" mission is as easy as sound but I think we're still far away from that type of possibility. The risks and cost involve are still very high in my humble opinion. The upcoming Polaris mission is an example: they're not going to try the EVA suit in a dummy before try with real person, that happens in earth. They're going to try directly on the crew in orbit. That mission is the "training" for a possible mission to boost Hubble.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2022 05:49 am by ThePonjaX »

Offline mikelepage

SpaceX's implementation of the IDSS compliant docking system lacks the passive latches needed for it to perform the passive role in docking. It is active-only. So is Starliner, by the way.

The IDAs on the ISS have both active and passive latches.

For Artemis 3, Starship will need a docking system that can operate in both active and passive mode as it will need to perform both roles during the course of the mission.

More detailed information in this post here: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=51346.msg2333587#msg2333587

That's a great post you've linked - reminds me that I did look into this once a few years back, and had since forgotten the details. It's obviously more complex than it seems initially, but solvable.

Interesting about Artemis 3, but even without that specific mission, it seems obvious that demonstration of a fully androgynous docking system is a tech milestone that someone will do at some point. Can you even imagine the worldwide ridicule of the space industry, if the emergency situation ever comes to pass where you want to dock two craft together to save someone's life, and you can't because the mission designers were saving a few extra kg to satisfy historically-relevant constraints. It's a relatively low hanging fruit that one of the Polaris missions could reach, either as part of a Hubble mission or not.

Offline hektor

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One of the promoters of the project, Jared Isaacman, has implicitly stated that they were thinking of installing a Hubble interface in the Dragon trunk. So for me changing the docking interface of a Cargo Dragon does not seem that big a change compared to that.

Offline Hamish.Student

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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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twitter.com/free_space/status/1582836919418818561

Quote
NASA names an all-Goddard team to study the @spacex @PolarisProgram pitch to reboost Hubble.

Quote
Hi Irene - thanks very much for following up on this. We can now share the confirmed list of NASA team members, though the team may request or bring in additional support as technical questions arise:

Barbara Grofic, program manager, Astrophysics Project Division, NASA Goddard (NASA lead)
Patrick L. Crouse, Hubble project manager, NASA Goddard
Brian J. Roberts, robotic technologist, Satellite Servicing Projects Division, NASA Goddard
Jennifer J. Wiseman, Hubble project scientist, NASA Goddard
David N. Haskins, Hubble mission operations manager, NASA Goddard
Jackie Townsend, program manager, Astrophysics Strategic Missions Program, NASA Goddard

NASA informed ESA about the study and will update them as it progresses. The team may request technical expertise from ESA as well.

Edit to add:

https://twitter.com/free_space/status/1582848316173213697

Quote
Correction [email protected] PAO : Jackie Townsend’s updated title is Deputy Project Manager for the Roman Space Telescope,
« Last Edit: 10/19/2022 10:27 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online chopsticks

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Really looks like Tim had quite a time!

I was impressed by what the SpaceX trainees said at the end about situational awareness. It makes lots of sense to me now why astronauts train to be astronauts in fighter jets.

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