Author Topic: SpaceX Dragon XL  (Read 272369 times)

Offline eweilow

Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #40 on: 03/27/2020 07:30 pm »
It would be really sweet if the contract lets SX decide how to launch this.    FH sized for sure, but Starship once things get going?
Once Starship gets going, why launch something as small as this?

Offline nacnud

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #41 on: 03/27/2020 07:30 pm »
It would be really sweet if the contract lets SX decide how to launch this.    FH sized for sure, but Starship once things get going?

Yes but why bother, is Starship just going to park next to the Gateway deploy Dragon XL then pick it up and take it home?  ;D

Offline JFARNS

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #42 on: 03/27/2020 07:35 pm »
Is this going to be inside an enlarged faring?
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« Last Edit: 03/27/2020 07:39 pm by JFARNS »

Offline yg1968

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #43 on: 03/27/2020 07:37 pm »
It would be really sweet if the contract lets SX decide how to launch this.    FH sized for sure, but Starship once things get going?

As mentionned in a post above, it's launched by FH (per the caption in NASA's image).

Offline yg1968

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #44 on: 03/27/2020 07:43 pm »
It would be really sweet if the contract lets SX decide how to launch this.    FH sized for sure, but Starship once things get going?
Once Starship gets going, why launch something as small as this?

Because FH is ready and Super Heavy isn't. Although, it would be interesting to see if SpaceX has an option to substitute one for the other.
« Last Edit: 03/27/2020 07:44 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Tulse

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #45 on: 03/27/2020 07:55 pm »
I thought SpaceX was winding down its production of boosters -- presumably if this contract involves several launches that could make SpaceX restart production?

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #46 on: 03/27/2020 07:55 pm »
It would be really sweet if the contract lets SX decide how to launch this.    FH sized for sure, but Starship once things get going?
Once Starship gets going, why launch something as small as this?

Because FH is ready and Super Heavy isn't. Although, it would be interesting to see if SpaceX has an option to substitute one for the other.

Exactly, FH is operational.  SS/SH have years of development still then need to be NASA approved.

I'd bet that SpaceX is good enough at the contracting game by now to include that with the contract.

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Offline lrk

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #47 on: 03/27/2020 07:58 pm »
I thought SpaceX was winding down its production of boosters -- presumably if this contract involves several launches that could make SpaceX restart production?

SpaceX definitely isn't ending production any time soon - if they win NSSL they will need a large number of new boosters.

What has been stated is that they have decreased booster production due to advancements in reuse. 

Offline niwax

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #48 on: 03/27/2020 08:05 pm »
It would be really sweet if the contract lets SX decide how to launch this.    FH sized for sure, but Starship once things get going?

Yes but why bother, is Starship just going to park next to the Gateway deploy Dragon XL then pick it up and take it home?  ;D

No, Maezawa will shove it out of the side on his way past.
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Offline jpo234

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #49 on: 03/27/2020 08:08 pm »


1. The solar panels are identical to those used on Dragon
They look the same, but are they? I remember that somebody claimed, that Dragon's panels use more or less just commercial grade solar cells. That's OK inside the Van Allen belt, but I doubt that they would survive the radiation environment in BEO.
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Offline pochimax

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #50 on: 03/27/2020 08:11 pm »
Remember this is not only Gateway logistics contract but "deep space logistics",  for NASA deep space missions, not only Gateway ones.

Big step for SpaceX.

Online TheRadicalModerate

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #51 on: 03/27/2020 08:30 pm »
It looks like an FHE and a plain ol' Dragon 2, even outfitted with a bunch of ECLSS and crew consumables that they don't need, could take 4.5 t to NRHO with no problem.  Surely if they stripped out all the crew-critical stuff from D2 it would carry 5 t as-is?  Why the redesign?
Volume
And cost.

I can't imagine that the NRE for a new design would amortize over the number of likely Gateway logistics missions.  Even if D2 isn't the optimal design, it's one that exists already.  That's worth quite a bit.

I can understand the volume issue.  D2 has only half the pressurized volume of Cygnus.

Offline yg1968

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #52 on: 03/27/2020 08:53 pm »
Remember this is not only Gateway logistics contract but "deep space logistics",  for NASA deep space missions, not only Gateway ones.

What makes you say that? My understanding it that this contract is only for Gateway.

See this thread for more information on the Gateway logistics services contracts:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48353.0
« Last Edit: 03/27/2020 08:58 pm by yg1968 »

Offline TrueBlueWitt

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #53 on: 03/27/2020 09:31 pm »
My questions are:
1)  Is the cargo volume the same or larger than cargo D2?
2) Will part of that 5t of cargo include propellent for transfer?

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #54 on: 03/27/2020 09:32 pm »
A non-reusable dragon with the body built like a Falcon 9 tank should be relatively cheap to build and very easy to extend (just stretch) so there's not much to hate on this design. Considering the $7B budget this is potentially going to be very profitable for SpaceX.

Still, I wonder if they could could build the XL by just placing a large non-reusable cylinder in front of the regular Dragon2? Kind of like the Soyuz Orbital module.

The most dubious part of this project is the gateway itself: what is it going to be used for? If you're going to build a base building straight on the lunar surface is better in many ways.
« Last Edit: 03/27/2020 09:34 pm by DreamyPickle »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #55 on: 03/27/2020 09:32 pm »
My questions are:
1)  Is the cargo volume the same or larger than cargo D2?
2) Will part of that 5t of cargo include propellent for transfer?

1) It should have a significantly larger volume, otherwise there wouldn't be much point to this modification

Offline TrueBlueWitt

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #56 on: 03/27/2020 09:38 pm »
Then you also have to wonder if this could double as a stalking horse for a Cygnus/H2 surrogate for missions to ISS? Seems like a perfect destination for an initial test flight and docking. Possibly even on a F9?

Offline rcoppola

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #57 on: 03/27/2020 09:57 pm »
Wonder if this will need the extended faring?
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Offline pochimax

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #58 on: 03/27/2020 10:01 pm »
Remember this is not only Gateway logistics contract but "deep space logistics",  for NASA deep space missions, not only Gateway ones.

What makes you say that? My understanding it that this contract is only for Gateway.
I don' t know now. ... I swear I read it somewhere... maybe it is my imagination!  :-[

Offline Tommyboy

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Re: SpaceX Dragon XL
« Reply #59 on: 03/27/2020 10:13 pm »
Wonder if this will need the extended faring?
Read the thread. No fairing, just a "cap" like D1 has.

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