Author Topic: Polaris Program (Dragon and Starship crewed missions led by Isaacman)  (Read 90316 times)

Offline yg1968

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« Last Edit: 09/11/2022 10:38 pm by yg1968 »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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I think itís clear that Polaris III will be a precursor to dearMoon. The relationship between those and Artemis III is more debatable. However, I do not believe that Artemis III will be the first time there is crew on Starship. Polaris & dearMoon would retire a lot of risk for HLS, even though no moon landing is involved.

Personally I expect Artemis III to be last. Itís true that Starship could prove to be the long pole. But there are plenty of other elements to the Artemis program that could cause significant delays (like spacesuits). My guess is that SpaceX is thinking Polaris III -> dearMoon -> Artemis III and will scope Polaris accordingly.
« Last Edit: 09/12/2022 08:04 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline yg1968

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Offline yg1968

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I think itís clear that Polaris III will be a precursor to dearMoon. The relationship between those and Artemis III is more debatable. However, I do not believe that Artemis III will be the first time there is crew on Starship. Polaris & dearMoon would retire a lot of risk for HLS, even though no moon landing is involved.

Personally I expect Artemis III to be last. Itís true that Starship could prove to be the long pole. But there are plenty of other elements to the Artemis program that could cause significant delays (like spacesuits). My guess is that SpaceX is thinking Polaris III -> dearMoon -> Artemis III and will scope Polaris accordingly.

I doubt it. It's going to be difficult for SpaceX to deliver HLS-Starship for 2025. After HLS-Starship receive an award, Musk said that he thought that HLS-Starship would be ready for 2023. Polaris 3 and Dear Moon do not have specific dates, these missions are not urgent. But I suppose that it is possible that the spacesuits could delay Artemis III to the point that Polaris 3 overtakes it. I don't think that will happen but it is certainly possible.
« Last Edit: 09/14/2022 03:47 pm by yg1968 »

Online Robotbeat

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I think itís clear that Polaris III will be a precursor to dearMoon. The relationship between those and Artemis III is more debatable. However, I do not believe that Artemis III will be the first time there is crew on Starship. Polaris & dearMoon would retire a lot of risk for HLS, even though no moon landing is involved.

Personally I expect Artemis III to be last. Itís true that Starship could prove to be the long pole. But there are plenty of other elements to the Artemis program that could cause significant delays (like spacesuits). My guess is that SpaceX is thinking Polaris III -> dearMoon -> Artemis III and will scope Polaris accordingly.

I doubt it. It's going to be difficult for SpaceX to deliver HLS-Starship for 2025. After HLS-Starship receive an award, Musk said that he thought that HLS-Starship would be ready for 2023. Polaris 3 and Dear Moon do not have specific dates, these missions are not urgent. But I suppose that it is possible that spacesuits could delay Artemis III to the point that Polaris 3 overtakes it. I don't think that will happen but it is certainly possible.
I actually think SpaceX could end up using the Starship HLS for Polaris II/III. The actual physical same HLS, either the uncrewed or the crewed one. A shakedown cruise, if you will.

It would potentially speed up Artemis III to have a (temporary, transferred from a docked Dragon) crewed shakedown in LEO to check off some of the required milestones for certification.
« Last Edit: 09/14/2022 03:39 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline AU1.52

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I think itís clear that Polaris III will be a precursor to dearMoon. The relationship between those and Artemis III is more debatable. However, I do not believe that Artemis III will be the first time there is crew on Starship. Polaris & dearMoon would retire a lot of risk for HLS, even though no moon landing is involved.

Personally I expect Artemis III to be last. Itís true that Starship could prove to be the long pole. But there are plenty of other elements to the Artemis program that could cause significant delays (like spacesuits). My guess is that SpaceX is thinking Polaris III -> dearMoon -> Artemis III and will scope Polaris accordingly.

I doubt it. It's going to be difficult for SpaceX to deliver HLS-Starship for 2025. After HLS-Starship receive an award, Musk said that he thought that HLS-Starship would be ready for 2023. Polaris 3 and Dear Moon do not have specific dates, these missions are not urgent. But I suppose that it is possible that spacesuits could delay Artemis III to the point that Polaris 3 overtakes it. I don't think that will happen but it is certainly possible.
I actually think SpaceX could end up using the Starship HLS for Polaris II/III. The actual physical same HLS, either the uncrewed or the crewed one. A shakedown cruise, if you will.

It would potentially speed up Artemis III to have a (temporary, transferred from a docked Dragon) crewed shakedown in LEO to check off some of the required milestones for certification.


Does Orion have the same docking adaptor as Crew Dragon?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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It would potentially speed up Artemis III to have a (temporary, transferred from a docked Dragon) crewed shakedown in LEO to check off some of the required milestones for certification.

Yes, I donít see Polaris III as delaying Artemis but as a necessary precursor/test flight before crewed HLS operations at the moon.

IMHO Artemis III wonít be the first time Starship has crew aboard in space. Polaris III is billed as the first crewed flight of Starship, which will surely be in LEO? Even if the crew donít launch or land in Starship.

Maybe NASA will want to have its own crew do a Starship LEO shakedown before Artemis III. But even in that case I think Jared has paid to be on the first crewed Starship flight and thatís what heíll get.

Online DanClemmensen

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Does Orion have the same docking adaptor as Crew Dragon?
I don't know exactly. I do know that it's complicated. Both docking ports, and the HLS docking port and the Gateway docking port and the ISS docking port are all NDS:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Docking_System
NDS allows docking of an "active" NDS to a "passive" NDS. A specific NDS port can be either "active only", "passive only", or "active/passive".
So far, so good, but then I get lost. I think the following are true, but I'm not sure. Can an actual professional please correct this:
    1) The "active" spacecraft controls the docking. This means it is either crewed or is under remote or autonomous control.
    2) Crew Dragon, Cargo Dragon, and Starliner have "active only" ports. These vehicles cannot dock with each other in any combination
    3) ISS has "passive only" ports
    4) the HLS Option A contract appears to require the vendor to dock to either Gateway or to Orion, at the vendor's choice. It does not appear to require an "active/passive" port.

The term "adaptor" is a bit complicated. An adaptor would be a separate piece of equipment that is installed on an existing port to convert it to different type of port. I don't think any of the capsules have an adaptor. I think ISS may have adaptors that convert older port types to NDS ports.

Online Robotbeat

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Yes, they have the same docking standard for both Orion and Dragon. DragonXL is supposed to have the same standard as Orion as well, since it will have to dock to Gateway.

Implementations may be different, including whether one side is active or passive or truly ambidextrous, but SpaceX will have to be able to make and use both types eventually anyway, and theyíve already shown ability and willingness to mess with the docking port of Dragon (removing it entirely for Inspiration 4 to replace it with a new viewing dome), so thereís absolutely zero reason to think SpaceX would have an difficulty whatsoever with the minor implementation differences there might be to docking to Starship vs ISS or Gateway.
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Offline jarmumd

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Does Orion have the same docking adaptor as Crew Dragon?
I don't know exactly. I do know that it's complicated. Both docking ports, and the HLS docking port and the Gateway docking port and the ISS docking port are all NDS:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Docking_System
NDS allows docking of an "active" NDS to a "passive" NDS. A specific NDS port can be either "active only", "passive only", or "active/passive".
So far, so good, but then I get lost. I think the following are true, but I'm not sure. Can an actual professional please correct this:
    1) The "active" spacecraft controls the docking. This means it is either crewed or is under remote or autonomous control.
    2) Crew Dragon, Cargo Dragon, and Starliner have "active only" ports. These vehicles cannot dock with each other in any combination
    3) ISS has "passive only" ports
    4) the HLS Option A contract appears to require the vendor to dock to either Gateway or to Orion, at the vendor's choice. It does not appear to require an "active/passive" port.

The term "adaptor" is a bit complicated. An adaptor would be a separate piece of equipment that is installed on an existing port to convert it to different type of port. I don't think any of the capsules have an adaptor. I think ISS may have adaptors that convert older port types to NDS ports.

It's a little complicated, but only because people tend to make a lot of assumptions which aren't valid.  The biggest one is that everyone follows the IDSS, they don't necessarily.  To add more to the confusion, there is the NDS standard and NDS hardware, in this post I'm going to denote the hardware as NDS*.  NDS* is a Boeing built docking adapter for NASA.

Orion and CST-100 use the NDS*.  Block 1 is not androgynous, I don't know for certain if Block 2 is.  For it to be androgynous it must have active and passive Hard Capture hooks, and passive strikers for the other active's soft capture latches.  Unless it's truly androgynous (where one system can be active or passive), there must be an active and a passive. 

Dragon 2 uses it's own docking system, but is compatible with NDS.  So it's not correct to say that Dragon 2 uses an NDS*.  They built their own system.   You can also see all this in photos.  Like CST-100/NDS*, neither have passive docking hooks or strikers.

It's kinda like buying two different USB thumb drives.  They work differently inside, but both can interface with the same USB port.

The ISS has the International Docking Adapter (IDA).  This is a true adapter, because it adapts the passive, Russian APAS docking port which was built into the Pressurized Mating Adapter (PMA) to an IDSS compatible version (note this has slight differences to NDS, like some switches).  The IDA has both active and passive hard capture hooks, but only passive strikers, no soft capture latches (because it doesn't have a soft capture attenuation system).  The IDA also does not have a pressure seal, just the mating surface for the pressure seal.

I think your four points are correct.  Point 4 may be a little off, but I don't know for sure.  I know NASA suggested an adapter to join the passive port on gateway with the passive port on HLS, this would have an active on each side.  Actives are heavy and require significant power, so they are not ideal for lunar landers.

Offline Bob Shaw

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It would potentially speed up Artemis III to have a (temporary, transferred from a docked Dragon) crewed shakedown in LEO to check off some of the required milestones for certification.

Taking a Dragon 2 along with Starship around the Moon would make a lot of sense from a safety point of view.

Is it feasible to dock or berth Dragon within the area set aside for the airlock etc in the lander variant? Crew transfer would be as shirtsleeves as Starship/Dragon anyway and you'd already need a fully qualified docking system even if you don't bring Dragon along. It'd avoid any chance of a risky manned Starship re-entry or dependency on Starship being able to use the onboard Raptor propulsion to insert itself into LEO in order to meet up with the ferry Dragon.

Online DanClemmensen

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I think your four points are correct.  Point 4 may be a little off, but I don't know for sure.  I know NASA suggested an adapter to join the passive port on gateway with the passive port on HLS, this would have an active on each side.  Actives are heavy and require significant power, so they are not ideal for lunar landers.

I should have used IDSS (i.e., the interface specification) instead of NDS (the Boeing hardware) for my description.

Starship HLS is not particularly mass-constrained and flexibility may be important. It would make sense for it to implement an active/passive IDSS.
It needs to be passive to dock to Orion and it probably needs to be active to dock to to Gateway. It would also make a good target for Crew Dragon for the Polaris II/III missions and would need to be active for those.  We can conceive of mission where Starships need to dock with each other. Just using a single active/passive IDSS is the easiest approach.

Appendix P HLSs will need to dock to Gateway. If the HLS is passive (to save mass) then Gateway must be active. Gateway's active system will need to be operated remotely unless there is at least one crew member on Gateway. Use of an adapter to convert the passive Gateway port to an active port is a kludge. Since the adapter cannot fit through the port, it must be carried as external cargo either by the mission that delivers HLS or by another mission, and it must be installed by an EVA or by a complex process probably using Canadarm. But Canadarm will not necessarily be available in time for the first Appendix P HLS demo flight.  Maybe demo the Appendix P HLS by docking it to the SpaceX HLS in NRHO?



Offline yg1968

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The docking mechanism for HLS was summarized in this post:

An Active/Active Docking Adapter [AADA] is an adapter that has two active ports, and can thus connect two spacecrafts that only have passive mechanisms (e.g. Lunar Gateway and an HLS lander). [...]

The HLS lander has the option of either
ē have an androgynous docking mechanism,
OR
ē have a passive docking mechanism, and bring an AADA with it.

In the latter case, the lander will arrive at the Lunar Gateway with the AADA attached to itself, and thus effectively have an active docking mechanism.  It docks to the Gateway, and when it leaves for the lunar surface, it leaves the AADA attached to the Gateway.  The Lunar Gateway now effectively has an active docking mechanism.

When the lander comes back from the Moon, it can either dock to the AADA still attached to the Gateway, or dock to Orion; both have active docking mechanisms, so the passive mechanism on the lander works for either.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=56067.msg2356343#msg2356343
« Last Edit: 09/14/2022 07:35 pm by yg1968 »

Online DanClemmensen

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The docking mechanism for HLS was summarized in this post:

An Active/Active Docking Adapter [AADA] is an adapter that has two active ports, and can thus connect two spacecrafts that only have passive mechanisms (e.g. Lunar Gateway and an HLS lander). [...]

The HLS lander has the option of either
ē have an androgynous docking mechanism,
OR
ē have a passive docking mechanism, and bring an AADA with it.

In the latter case, the lander will arrive at the Lunar Gateway with the AADA attached to itself, and thus effectively have an active docking mechanism.  It docks to the Gateway, and when it leaves for the lunar surface, it leaves the AADA attached to the Gateway.  The Lunar Gateway now effectively has an active docking mechanism.

When the lander comes back from the Moon, it can either dock to the AADA still attached to the Gateway, or dock to Orion; both have active docking mechanisms, so the passive mechanism on the lander works for either.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=56067.msg2356343#msg2356343
I think the technical term for the AADA is "horrible kludge". It will be a lot heavier than the incremental mass of an androgynous (i.e., active/passive) port, and it adds mechanical and operational complexity. The only gain is reduction in mass to the HLS during lunar landing and ascent. I suppose there might be an Appendix P lander that cares, but the incremental mass is inconsequential to Starship HLS. For the Starsjhip HLS mission, the initial mass to reach NRHO is probably more important, and that would include the AADA if that option were selected.

An active IDSS port is quite sophisticated and has lots of fairly heavy moving parts. An AADA is an adaptor with two of these, one facing in each direction: lots of exciting opportunities for something to go wrong, an additional vacuum seal in the interface, etc.

Online Robotbeat

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For Polaris II/III, SpaceX could just install on Dragon whatever the opposite of the HLS port is. Dragon already normally has an active port IIRC, and Starship will need a passive port if it docks to Orion IIRC.

So if Starship HLS can dock to Orion, it should be able to dock with Dragon as they both conform to the IDSS standard.

(Autonomous docking might be different, as ISS I think has special reflectors or something to assist autonomous docking, but that could always be added to Starship, and besides, Dragon and Orion will be crewed, anyway.)
« Last Edit: 09/14/2022 08:08 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline Vultur

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Is Dec still plausible for the first mission?

Offline tbellman

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I actually think SpaceX could end up using the Starship HLS for Polaris II/III. The actual physical same HLS, either the uncrewed or the crewed one. A shakedown cruise, if you will.

Since the third Polaris mission is intended to be "a crewed ascent, low earth orbit mission, and a re-entry all on Starship", I find it very unlikely that it will use the HLS Starship...  And I suspect the second Polaris mission will happen long before the HLS Starship is ready, so I don't think that will be used for that mission either.

The above quote is from Tim Dodd's interview with Isaacman back in February (start at 5:05 in the video).

Online Robotbeat

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I actually think SpaceX could end up using the Starship HLS for Polaris II/III. The actual physical same HLS, either the uncrewed or the crewed one. A shakedown cruise, if you will.

Since the third Polaris mission is intended to be "a crewed ascent, low earth orbit mission, and a re-entry all on Starship", I find it very unlikely that it will use the HLS Starship...  And I suspect the second Polaris mission will happen long before the HLS Starship is ready, so I don't think that will be used for that mission either.

The above quote is from Tim Dodd's interview with Isaacman back in February (start at 5:05 in the video).
The interview is new information for me, thank you. But it doesnít rule out such a thing on the second mission. Uncrewed HLS may happen in 2023/2024.
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Is Dec still plausible for the first mission?

The long pole is probably the spacesuits (although I think some Dragon modifications are needed t00, to support full depressurisation and re-pressurisation for EVA?). EVA training has started, so I think the crew will be ready.

Various tweets hint at good progress on the suits and Jared has said recently still planning on this year. So I'd say definitely plausible, and probably credible! Still wouldn't be surprised to see it slip to Q1 2023.

Offline Cheapchips

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Anna Menon included a summary of this week's syllabus in a tweet.

https://twitter.com/annawmenon/status/1570183592411795456?t=mYARzWeoOv0EW0qRuf82hA&s=19

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