Author Topic: SpaceX Dragon Specs  (Read 54141 times)

Offline dustyw

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SpaceX Dragon Specs
« on: 10/21/2008 08:02 am »
I found this PDF file on the SpaceX website.
http://www.spacex.com/SpaceX_Brochure_V7_All.pdf


Dragon is a free-flying, reusable spacecraft being developed by SpaceX under
NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. Subsystems
include propulsion, power, thermal control, environmental control, avionics, communications,
thermal protection, flight software, guidance, navigation & control, entry
descent & landing, and recovery.
Though designed to address cargo and crew requirements for the International
Space Station (ISS), as a free-flying spacecraft Dragon also provides an excellent
platform for in-space technology demonstrations and scientific instrument testing.
SpaceX is currently manifesting fully commercial, non-ISS Dragon flights under the
name "DragonLab". DragonLab represents an emergent capability for in-space
experimentation.

Dragon Spacecraft System
• Fully recoverable capsule
• Trunk jettisoned prior to reentry
• 6,000 kg (13,228 lbs) total combined
up-mass capability
• Up to 3,000 kg (6,614 lbs) down mass
• Payload Volume:
7 to 10 m3 (245 ft3) pressurized
14 m3 (490 ft3) unpressurized
• Mission Duration: 1 week to 2 years
• Payload Integration timeline:
Nominal: Launch -14 days
Late-load: Launch -9 hours
• Payload Return:
Nominal: End-of-Mission +7 days
Early Access: End-of-Mission +24 hours

Uses
• Highly Responsive payload hosting
• Sensors/apertures up to 3.5 m (138 in) dia.
• Instruments and sensor testing
• Spacecraft deployment
• Space physics and relativity experimen
• Radiation effects research
• Microgravity research
• Life science and biotech studies
• Earth sciences and observations
• Materials & space environments research

Overall Length: 6.1 m (20 ft)
Max Diameter: 3.7 m (12.1 ft)
Dry Mass: 4,200 kg (9,260 lbs)

« Last Edit: 10/21/2008 10:29 am by dustyw »

Offline stockman

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #1 on: 11/04/2008 12:12 am »
Starting to advertise DragonLab a bit too. See below - Apparently they are sponsoring a workshop on this on November 6th.

......

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/SpaceX-Introduces-DragonLabTM-a-Free/story.aspx?guid=%7B7F6B08F7-BDAD-4A46-BAE0-A61DE577BDDF%7D

......

SpaceX Introduces DragonLab(TM) -- a Free-Flying, Reusable Spacecraft Offering Fast Track to Orbital Flight for Pressurized and Unpressurized Payloads
SpaceX to Host (Invitation-only) Users Workshop on November 6

Last update: 2:27 p.m. EST Nov. 3, 2008

HAWTHORNE, Calif., Nov 03, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) is introducing a new commercial product called DragonLab(TM), a free-flying, reusable spacecraft capable of hosting pressurized and unpressurized payloads to and from space. DragonLab will launch to orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle.
DragonLab provides a platform for in-space experimentation, including recovery of pressurized and some unpressurized payloads, as well as deployment of small spacecraft. As a complete system, DragonLab provides for all aspects of operation: propulsion, power, thermal control, environmental control, avionics, communications, thermal protection, flight software, guidance, navigation and control, entry, descent and landing and recovery.
SpaceX will host a DragonLab Users Workshop on November 6, 2008. This workshop will be an opportunity for potential customers to fully explore DragonLab's capabilities, as well as present customer-specific interests and requirements. The workshop agenda includes an overview of the Dragon spacecraft, concept of operations, payload accommodations and cost parameters.
"Just as importantly," said Max Vozoff, Product Manager for Dragon and DragonLab and host of the Users Workshop, "we will hear from potential users about their applications, requirements, and concerns, as well as discuss contracting mechanisms. We will also include a tour of our 550,000 square foot SpaceX manufacturing facility where we design and build all major systems for SpaceX launch vehicles and spacecraft."
SpaceX is currently manufacturing the Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 launch vehicle to provide the U.S. with cargo services to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) competition. The maiden flight of Dragon/Falcon9 is currently scheduled for June 2009 from SpaceX's Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Two subsequent flights will be completed by 2010, culminating with Dragon berthing with the ISS.
Contact [email protected] to request further information or an invitation to attend. All participants must register in advance to attend this workshop.
About SpaceX
SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles and spacecraft intended to increase the reliability and reduce the cost of both manned and unmanned space transportation, ultimately by a factor of ten. With its Falcon line of launch vehicles, Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy - powered by internally-developed Merlin engines - SpaceX offers light, medium and heavy lift capabilities to deliver spacecraft into any inclination and altitude, from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit to planetary missions.
On September 28, 2008, Falcon 1, designed and manufactured from the ground up by SpaceX, became the first privately-developed liquid fuel rocket to orbit the Earth.
As a winner of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) competition, SpaceX is in a position to help fill the gap in U.S. spaceflight to the International Space Station (ISS) when the U.S. Space Shuttle retires in 2010. Under the existing Agreement, SpaceX will conduct three flights of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft for NASA, culminating in Dragon berthing with the ISS. SpaceX is the only COTS contender with the capability to return cargo to Earth and demonstrate the capability to carry crew to and from the ISS.
Founded in 2002, the SpaceX team now numbers more than 550, located primarily at headquarters in Hawthorne, California, with additional SpaceX locations at the company's Test Facility in McGregor, Texas; offices in Washington DC; and launch facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida; Vandenberg AFB, California; and Omelek Island in the Marshall Islands in the Central Pacific.

SOURCE: SpaceX

SpaceX

Diane Murphy / VP, Marketing and Communications
[email protected]
310-363-6714

One Percent for Space!!!

Offline stockman

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #2 on: 11/04/2008 03:23 pm »
DragonLab news now on SpaceX web site - Nov 3

http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20081103

« Last Edit: 11/04/2008 03:25 pm by stockman »
One Percent for Space!!!

Offline Comga

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #3 on: 11/11/2008 05:46 am »
There is a really high resolution version of this image on the new DragonLab brochure .  Of course, more details just leads to more questions, trying to tease information out of it:

1) "Image Credit: NASA"?  for DragonLab?

2) The RMS grapple fixture has been replaced by what looks like a sample exposure panel.  Can that door really achieve a watertight seal for the ocean splashdown?

3) The sensor hatch opening mechanism remains in the opening.  Kind of clumsy.

4) From where do the parachutes (redundant drogue and main) and floats come?

5) They let the STK guy / graphic artist off leash.  The line to the sun runs through the solar panel rotation axis, the one orientation where DragonLab can't generate power.

6) You can see a trunk-to-capsule umbilical right below the sensor hatch.

7) There is an one more RCS nozzle in the upper cluster than there is in the bottom cluster.  In fact, both look notional, like the internal parts would overlap and interfere. "12-18 Draco thrusters"? It's variable?

8) If that's not a docking mechanism, what is the ring out front with the eight petals?  Residual structure from COTS Dragon?

9) The artist went to some trouble to texture the front surface.  It looks like putty with circular trowel marks.  What is it supposed to represent?

10) The outer mold line of Dragon has remained constant for years, as opposed to, say,.... Orion.  Is that because they haven't done much work on Dragon, can't afford another iteration, assume they have a finite budget, are taking a fixed format and variable capability approach, or all of the above?

11) Sea level pressure +/-0.5 PSI.  That's a lot of air and pressure.

12) With a Falcon 9 capability to a 200 km LEO orbit of 12,500 kg, and a stated up-mass capacity of 6,000 kg, the Dragon and Trunk must be only 6,500 kg.

13) It is sincerely to be hoped that they will have tighter thermal control for manned flight than 10-46 deg °C

14) 150 Mpbs downlink is serious bandwidth, even for onboard storage.

15) What is a GPS/Iridium locator beacon?  Are ELS beacon receivers hosted on GPS or Iridium?  Are their beacons transmitting GPS derived location?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Antares

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #4 on: 11/11/2008 06:42 am »
I'll take a couple of stabs:

1)  IIUC, the COTS office has had some of the JSC graphics contractors work up some images and movies for both partners.  So image credit to NASA makes sense at least for ownership; production would be the contractor.

8 ) I'm 99% sure that's a passive CBM, which would be needed to go to the ISS.

10) Orion has been doing things to drop its weight to accommodate its launch vehicle.  Dragon was matched to an F9 that carrie(d/s) sufficient performance margin that mass and aero scrubbing aren't necessary.

15) I thought ELTs communicated with NOAA sats, both POES and GOES, including uplinking GPS coordinates.
« Last Edit: 11/11/2008 06:43 am by Antares »
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline renclod

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #5 on: 11/11/2008 08:03 am »

8 ) I'm 99% sure that's a passive CBM, which would be needed to go to the ISS.


This DragonLab is a non-ISS concept. Free flyer, but no go for ISS. No need for a berthing ring.


Offline Skyrocket

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #6 on: 11/11/2008 09:21 am »
Most likely the illustratrion shows a Dragon, not a DragonLab. The Logo on the trunk shows also the writing "Dragon"

Offline Antares

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #7 on: 11/12/2008 04:33 am »
8 ) I'm 99% sure that's a passive CBM, which would be needed to go to the ISS.
This DragonLab is a non-ISS concept. Free flyer, but no go for ISS. No need for a berthing ring.

Since my credibility is paramount to me: I did not mean to imply DragonLab is anything other than a free-flyer.  But I'm still 99% sure that's a PCBM ;) even if ISS is not on the itinerary.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Jorge

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #8 on: 11/12/2008 04:59 am »
8 ) I'm 99% sure that's a passive CBM, which would be needed to go to the ISS.
This DragonLab is a non-ISS concept. Free flyer, but no go for ISS. No need for a berthing ring.

Since my credibility is paramount to me: I did not mean to imply DragonLab is anything other than a free-flyer.  But I'm still 99% sure that's a PCBM ;) even if ISS is not on the itinerary.

You can make that 100%. That's a PCBM in the graphic, all right. (The open question is whether that graphic is an accurate representation of DragonLab, or just a Dragon.)
JRF

Offline renclod

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #9 on: 11/12/2008 02:54 pm »
Ah, OK. I remember that the CBM is structurally integral to the Dragon. So, they wouldn't mess with the structure just to launch a Dragon as DragonLab. It just a capsule space lab with a berthing ring that is berthed to nothing. No big deal.


Offline Antares

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #10 on: 11/12/2008 05:12 pm »
I bet they get rid of it on the final DragonLab design.  The PCBM is a costly and heavy piece of hardware if it's not going to be used.  It hurts CG for hypersonic stability too.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #11 on: 11/12/2008 05:19 pm »
I bet they get rid of it on the final DragonLab design.  The PCBM is a costly and heavy piece of hardware if it's not going to be used.  It hurts CG for hypersonic stability too.

Unless you are trying to change the configuration as little as possible to maintain as much commonality as possible between ISS Dragon and Dragon Lab. 

If you can keep the CBM for the lab and use current structure, anlaysis models, etc this would be an ideal situation to keep costs as low as possible.  I'm sure that was a tradeoff evaluated with costs and commonality in mind. 
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Offline nomadd22

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #12 on: 11/12/2008 05:33 pm »

13) It is sincerely to be hoped that they will have tighter thermal control for manned flight than 10-46 deg °C

 I think that's obviously the range they can operate in. As in, all systems have to certified to stay in spec throughout that range.

15) What is a GPS/Iridium locator beacon?  Are ELS beacon receivers hosted on GPS or Iridium?  Are their beacons transmitting GPS derived location?
There are GPS beacons that use the 2400 bps data channel available on Iridium. Cheaper and smaller than the old EPIRBs.
« Last Edit: 11/12/2008 05:34 pm by nomadd22 »

Offline William Barton

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #13 on: 11/12/2008 05:52 pm »
I bet they get rid of it on the final DragonLab design.  The PCBM is a costly and heavy piece of hardware if it's not going to be used.  It hurts CG for hypersonic stability too.

Unless you are trying to change the configuration as little as possible to maintain as much commonality as possible between ISS Dragon and Dragon Lab. 

If you can keep the CBM for the lab and use current structure, anlaysis models, etc this would be an ideal situation to keep costs as low as possible.  I'm sure that was a tradeoff evaluated with costs and commonality in mind. 

Is it at least notional that Dragon will be reusable (at least to the extent the principle structure will be)? If Dragon ever wants to be sold as a lifeboat for ISS, it'll need the capability to survive aloft for a long time anyway. DragonLab sounds like, "What else can we sell this for?"

Offline Lampyridae

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #14 on: 11/13/2008 05:20 am »
Mr. Barton has some interesting points. However, Mr. Musk's ideas have been in areas where he thinks there is a great opportunity. This is a service which no-one else offers, apart from cubesats which are kind of limited. I could see this targetted at universities and small companies, even the odd government agency.

This idea probably came up very early on, and it's only now that they are gearing up to actually putting stuff in orbit that SpaceX is punting this.

The cynical side of me thinks that SpaceX is only doing this to seem more interesting to investors.

*EDIT: Still, if I was a university I would love to put an experiment in there if it only cost $100 000. The Mars Biogravity Sat springs to mind.

Just had a thought... containerisation was one of the inventions (obvious thought it be) that led to globalisation. NASA tried something like this with GASCANs and failed (or rather gave up).
« Last Edit: 11/13/2008 05:25 am by Lampyridae »
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Offline Comga

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #15 on: 11/13/2008 05:30 am »
I'll take a couple of stabs:

1)  IIUC, the COTS office has had some of the JSC graphics contractors work up some images and movies for both partners.  So image credit to NASA makes sense at least for ownership; production would be the contractor.

8 ) I'm 99% sure that's a passive CBM, which would be needed to go to the ISS.

10) Orion has been doing things to drop its weight to accommodate its launch vehicle.  Dragon was matched to an F9 that carrie(d/s) sufficient performance margin that mass and aero scrubbing aren't necessary.

15) I thought ELTs communicated with NOAA sats, both POES and GOES, including uplinking GPS coordinates.

Thanks

1) I did not know that.
8 ) So it is generally agreed that this is residual from the CBM on Dragon, either structurally or graphically, and that it may or may not be part of DragonLab?
15) Nomadd22 had a plausible answer for this one

10) So Constellation had insufficient margins going in, and is dropping elements and augmenting the booster, while SpaceX allocated sufficient margins when they were a four year old organization?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Lampyridae

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #16 on: 11/13/2008 05:58 am »
10) I would say that their Dragon module was most probably a very conservative design. Apparently SpaceX examined a whole lot, and then went with Dragon. I don't think they've gotten that far with Dragon to date; all the main work is on F1 and F9. To scrub weight, they would just remove payload. I personally think that a 7-seater Dragon is over-optimistic and that most likely only 5 or even 4 will be possible on an F9. Just my 2 cents, though.
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Offline kkattula

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #17 on: 11/13/2008 07:07 am »
10) I would say that their Dragon module was most probably a very conservative design. Apparently SpaceX examined a whole lot, and then went with Dragon. I don't think they've gotten that far with Dragon to date; all the main work is on F1 and F9. To scrub weight, they would just remove payload. I personally think that a 7-seater Dragon is over-optimistic and that most likely only 5 or even 4 will be possible on an F9. Just my 2 cents, though.

Given they don't need life support for very long, each extra person is probably less than 200 kg including seat, suit, luggage, etc. So weight probably doesn't factor in for crewed missions, just how many they can comfortably squeeze in.

Offline CentEur

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #18 on: 11/13/2008 10:03 am »
Mr. Barton has some interesting points. However, Mr. Musk's ideas have been in areas where he thinks there is a great opportunity. This is a service which no-one else offers, apart from cubesats which are kind of limited.

Actually SpaceX is copying a Russian idea. See http://www.astronautix.com/craft/foton.htm

I wonder if ESA switches from Foton to DragonLab. The rumours are that cooperation with Russians on Foton missions is a real pain.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #19 on: 11/14/2008 12:07 am »

8 ) I'm 99% sure that's a passive CBM, which would be needed to go to the ISS.


This DragonLab is a non-ISS concept. Free flyer, but no go for ISS. No need for a berthing ring.


A berthing ring on the DragonLab would allow a manned Dragon to dock with the DragonLab.  This would permit say heavy and/or large scientific equipment to be lifted in the DLab and the operators launched a month later in the Dragon.

Two launches may be cheaper that fully automating the equipment, particularly if the extra hardware has to be space certified.  The DragonLab comes with a down mass facility which is rare on satellites, permitting return od equipment and samples.

To perform docking the DragonLab (or Dragon) would have to be equipped with an Active Common Berthing Mechanism and its front (top) hatch fitted with handles that permit it to be opened & closed from the Dragon's hatch.

Offline Jorge

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #20 on: 11/14/2008 12:15 am »

8 ) I'm 99% sure that's a passive CBM, which would be needed to go to the ISS.


This DragonLab is a non-ISS concept. Free flyer, but no go for ISS. No need for a berthing ring.


A berthing ring on the DragonLab would allow a manned Dragon to dock with the DragonLab.

Nope, CBMs are unsuitable for docking; they require a robotic arm to achieve the accuracy necessary to berth them.
JRF

Offline nacnud

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #21 on: 11/14/2008 12:31 am »
You could put such an arm in the Dragons trunk but why go to the trouble of a second Dragon launch when there are already people and an arm in orbit on the ISS.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #22 on: 11/14/2008 01:53 am »
You could put such an arm in the Dragons trunk but why go to the trouble of a second Dragon launch when there are already people and an arm in orbit on the ISS.

Using the ISS as a forward base sounds like a good idea.  However non-NASA people may have difficulties getting use of the ISS and its astronauts.

The experiments may need a different orbit from the ISS.  Possibilities include polar orbits, sun synchronous orbits and lunar orbits.

Two years is probably sufficient time for an ion thruster to fly the DragonLan to the Moon and back.  Once the equipment has been deployed the two capsules could disconnect.

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #23 on: 11/14/2008 02:21 am »

The experiments may need a different orbit from the ISS.  Possibilities include polar orbits, sun synchronous orbits and lunar orbits.

Incorrect
Microgravity experiments, which Dragonlab is for, just need zero gravity, basically any orbit.

polar orbits and  sun synchronous orbits are for non microgravity missions, i.e. earth viewing and there are better spacecraft designs for that.
 
Same goes for lunar orbits.

There is no need for a pressurized compartment for polar orbits, sun synchronous orbits and lunar orbit missions.

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #24 on: 11/14/2008 02:23 am »

Two launches may be cheaper that fully automating the equipment, particularly if the extra hardware has to be space certified. 

No it wouldn't and it has nothing to do with space certification..

Offline Antares

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #25 on: 11/14/2008 04:28 am »
Wow.  So many mines buried in the field today.

1) Jorge makes a good point about them being common BERTHING mechanisms.  I look at it as Active CBMs being REALLY expensive.

2) A disposable arm on the Dragon trunk?!?  Yeah, another economic unobtainium.

3) Jim, what's so wrong with putting people in polar orbit?  SpaceX customers might want to be the first people in a retrograde orbit.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Online HMXHMX

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #26 on: 11/14/2008 05:04 am »
There is a potential advantage in being in sunsync for microgravity missions if continuous power is need, and one doesn't want to rely on batteries due to weight or discharge issues, but that trade will be highly mission/payload dependent.

Polar orbits will have significantly higher radiation risks for human crews.  This is not to say they won't be flown (Apollo had high risks too), but it is something to keep in mind, especially in flare season.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #27 on: 11/14/2008 06:19 am »
There is no need for a pressurized compartment for polar orbits, sun synchronous orbits and lunar orbit missions.

Unless animal and plant experiments are being performed, they need a pressurized compartment.  Someone may wish to say determine how effective a new pill is at countering the effects of radiation and microgravity.  Different orbits have different radiation profiles.  The down mass facility permits post experiment inspection of the animals and plants.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #28 on: 11/14/2008 12:11 pm »
3) Jim, what's so wrong with putting people in polar orbit?  SpaceX customers might want to be the first people in a retrograde orbit.

I'm sure you could sell Iran several one way retrograde dragon flights ;)

In all seriousness, if the cape becomes really busy spaceX might want to shift flights where the actual orbit doesn't matter (Tourism/Dragon Lab) to the west coast. That would mean a polar or retrograde orbit. More flights from the west coast would reduce the SpaceX fixed costs while opening up more east coast GTO flights slots.

Sun Synch flights on the terminator for power hungry material manufacturing experiments would be a plus.

(Yes jim, assuming they can get the flight rate up to more than two flights a year ;) ).
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #29 on: 11/16/2008 04:07 am »
Aren't Bigelow's module prototypes in polar orbit? What if his manned modules are likewise and Dragon ends up being one of the 'people movers'?  SpaceX does have Bigelow's Sundancer on their manifest.
DM

Offline hop

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #30 on: 11/16/2008 06:00 am »
Aren't Bigelow's module prototypes in polar orbit?
No. They are at relatively high inclinations (~64 deg according to wikipedia) but the orbit of the prototypes says little about the orbits of crewed modules. It was almost certainly driven by launcher/launch site, and that combinatio0n will not be used for either full sized modules or crew.

Offline kkattula

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #31 on: 11/16/2008 01:21 pm »
IIRC, Bigelow want to use a 41 deg inclination orbit. This gives safer abort options for launch from the Cape, passes over the same ground track every 24 hours for daily launch & landing opportunities, and gives a view of their high latitude homelands for the most likely customers.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #32 on: 11/16/2008 03:53 pm »
what's so wrong with putting people in polar orbit?  SpaceX customers might want to be the first people in a retrograde orbit.

There may be two reasons you don't see people launched to polar orbit.  The first reason is that polar orbits require more launch energy (delta-v), which means either more powerful, expensive rockets or smaller, less-capable spacecraft.  The second reason may be that space travelers would be exposed to more radiation in a polar orbit. 

See, for example,

http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=9725&page=7

http://74.125.95.104/search?q=cache:dSqXGSoh0D0J:www.cosis.net/abstracts/COSPAR02/01686/COSPAR02-A-01686.pdf+radiation+in+polar+orbit&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us&client=firefox-a

http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA204598

Etc.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 11/16/2008 03:56 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #33 on: 11/16/2008 04:01 pm »
IIRC, Bigelow want to use a 41 deg inclination orbit. This gives safer abort options for launch from the Cape, passes over the same ground track every 24 hours for daily launch & landing opportunities, and gives a view of their high latitude homelands for the most likely customers.

Of course at 41 degrees Bigelow cannot use any Russian vehicles or spacecraft except maybe from Kouru.

Offline nomadd22

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #34 on: 11/16/2008 05:20 pm »

The experiments may need a different orbit from the ISS.  Possibilities include polar orbits, sun synchronous orbits and lunar orbits.

Incorrect
Microgravity experiments, which Dragonlab is for, just need zero gravity, basically any orbit.

polar orbits and  sun synchronous orbits are for non microgravity missions, i.e. earth viewing and there are better spacecraft designs for that.
 
Same goes for lunar orbits.

There is no need for a pressurized compartment for polar orbits, sun synchronous orbits and lunar orbit missions.

 Then why do they advertise "Sensors/apertures up to 3.5 m (138 in) dia."? And remote sensing mission would likely need a high inclination or polar orbit.

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #35 on: 11/16/2008 05:28 pm »

 Then why do they advertise "Sensors/apertures up to 3.5 m (138 in) dia."? And remote sensing mission would likely need a high inclination or polar orbit.

They may advertise the capability but there are many other better buses for these type missions

Offline Patchouli

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #36 on: 11/16/2008 06:30 pm »
One thing to keep in mind F9 is somewhat over powered for the task of launching Dragon.
So missions to other orbits such as polar orbits may be possible and economic.
Dragon has a GLOW around 8000Kg while F9 can lift 12,000kg.
I think the only people who complained when Bigelow wanted to use a 450 mile orbit for their station was space adventures because Soyuz could not fly that high.

Offline William Barton

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #37 on: 11/16/2008 07:15 pm »

 Then why do they advertise "Sensors/apertures up to 3.5 m (138 in) dia."? And remote sensing mission would likely need a high inclination or polar orbit.

They may advertise the capability but there are many other better buses for these type missions

I think it's safe to say they're advertising what they're advertising because that's what they expect to have, and nothing to do with what's best for what mission. As well ask why the Good Humor truck advertises ice cream...

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #38 on: 11/16/2008 10:33 pm »

 Then why do they advertise "Sensors/apertures up to 3.5 m (138 in) dia."? And remote sensing mission would likely need a high inclination or polar orbit.

They may advertise the capability but there are many other better buses for these type missions

That is something for you to put in the trade study, in say 3 or 4 years time, when some NASA project is looking for a cheap bus.  The total cost includes the launch vehicle.

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #39 on: 11/16/2008 10:50 pm »

That is something for you to put in the trade study, in say 3 or 4 years time, when some NASA project is looking for a cheap bus.  The total cost includes the launch vehicle.

No, it doesn't enter the equation.  Spacecraft and launch vehicle procurements are kept separate.  If a NASA project is looking for a cheap bus, it will do it and will not include the launch vehicle.  NASA has been burned by all in one contracts

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #40 on: 11/17/2008 02:09 am »
IIRC, Bigelow want to use a 41 deg inclination orbit. This gives safer abort options for launch from the Cape, passes over the same ground track every 24 hours for daily launch & landing opportunities, and gives a view of their high latitude homelands for the most likely customers.

Actually there was an interesting article on this a while back. Not only does 41 degree work for the cape, but also wallops, white sands an a few others. This allows for multiple vendors to fly missions to the same station...

http://selenianboondocks.blogspot.com/2007_01_01_archive.html

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Offline kkattula

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #41 on: 11/17/2008 04:45 am »
IIRC, Bigelow want to use a 41 deg inclination orbit. This gives safer abort options for launch from the Cape, passes over the same ground track every 24 hours for daily launch & landing opportunities, and gives a view of their high latitude homelands for the most likely customers.

Actually there was an interesting article on this a while back. Not only does 41 degree work for the cape, but also wallops, white sands an a few others. This allows for multiple vendors to fly missions to the same station...

http://selenianboondocks.blogspot.com/2007_01_01_archive.html


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Offline Swatch

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #42 on: 11/17/2008 06:17 pm »
No, it doesn't enter the equation.  Spacecraft and launch vehicle procurements are kept separate.  If a NASA project is looking for a cheap bus, it will do it and will not include the launch vehicle.  NASA has been burned by all in one contracts

I wonder then... if a certain bus is only compatable with a certain launch vehicle and there are no better busses, then does the launch vehicle count against the bus? 
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Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #43 on: 11/17/2008 09:53 pm »

I wonder then... if a certain bus is only compatable with a certain launch vehicle and there are no better busses,

That doesn't happen

Offline MB123

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #44 on: 11/17/2008 09:58 pm »
What is a 'bus' in this context?
« Last Edit: 11/17/2008 09:59 pm by MB123 »

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #45 on: 11/17/2008 10:15 pm »
What is a 'bus' in this context?

A spacecraft without a payload or instrument package

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #46 on: 12/03/2008 03:40 pm »
Okay, I'm going to trigger a firestorm with this but...

The Dragon is a LEO 'taxi' in all respects, designed solely for delivery of cargo (living or unliving) to the ISS.  I'm not even sure if it has manual controls on the manned version for rendezvous, given that it appears to be designed to be berthed using the station's manipulator arm.  So, given what we know, what would be the necessary changes required to make Dragon a replacement crew vehicle for NASA (assuming utter SNAFU and cancellation for Orion)? That means four man crew for a standard-duration lunar voyage or acting as a crew delivery/return vehicle for larger and longer-duration missions.

I'll take a stab at this to get things moving (remembering that I am merely an interested observer with no professional qualifications).  I think it will be a lengthy list:

* Extended and expanded life support capability;
* Manual flight controls & improved on-board navigation;
* Rendezvous avionics;
* Improved heat shield;
* On-board propulsion system for LOI/ROI burns;
* 'Smart' connectors that allow control and power system interface with docked modules;
* Modified on-board computer that can 'talk' to the systems on a variety of docked modules including lunar lander, EDS and others.

Yes, I know that this would be costly and unprecedented but most things are possible given time and money.  What I would like to know is what it would require to create a 'DragonExplorer' variant of the basic Dragon spacecraft.
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Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #47 on: 12/03/2008 03:52 pm »
It would need a docking adapter vs a berthing interface

Offline William Barton

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #48 on: 12/03/2008 04:29 pm »
No firestorm. I think the biggest "change" would be replacing the so-called "trunk" with an Apollo-style service module, with life support, fuel tanks, and a main engine of some kind. Add in Jim's docking adapter, and then you'd be looking at how much heat shield would be necessary to handle a skip-lob reentry like those old Zond capsules. Not to mention that famous devil living in the details... If you started thinking in terms of a "mission module" for extra living space, "lifeboat" systems, etc., you're looking at something like an "ultra-Soyuz" that would ride on one launch of a two-launch LOR architecture.

Offline nacnud

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #49 on: 12/03/2008 04:45 pm »
It would need a docking adapter vs a berthing interface

Elon has mentioned that this is possible if a customer desired. However,I inferred Bigelow rather than NASA. Now if I could find the quote...

Offline NUAETIUS

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #50 on: 12/03/2008 08:03 pm »
No matter how bad the economy gets I doubt we will go through worse than Russia did during the fall of the USSR.  Even when their people where starving they didn't can the Soyuz.  Orion will go forward no matter what, maybe on a different launcher but Orion is a good design for lunar and NEO exploration.

I think that Spacex's interests would be best served by acting as a "Fedex" of space.  If we go to the moon Spacex should bid on a COTS-Lunar, or if we go to Mars a COTS-Mars.  Exploration is just too dangerous for a commercial launcher to get involved with.   

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Offline Chris-A

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #51 on: 12/03/2008 10:48 pm »
It would need a docking adapter vs a berthing interface

Elon has mentioned that this is possible if a customer desired. However,I inferred Bigelow rather than NASA. Now if I could find the quote...

It was LIDS interface, (space show)

Offline Patchouli

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #52 on: 12/03/2008 11:31 pm »
I did here Spacex was interested in licensing LIDS or APAS-89.
LIDS might be better suited since it does not require as much force to latch so the closing speeds for docking can be lower.
LIDS might actually end up the defacto standard docking interface for the near future if enough companies adopt it.

I also wouldn't be surprised at all to see the CBM getting licensed by companies like Bigelow unless they are interested in designing there own standard for joining modules.

« Last Edit: 12/03/2008 11:36 pm by Patchouli »

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #53 on: 12/04/2008 09:26 am »
I also wouldn't be surprised at all to see the CBM getting licensed by companies like Bigelow unless they are interested in designing there own standard for joining modules.

A major step forward for manned space utilisation would be a universal standard docking system and common life support systems so that any manned craft from any entity from any nation can operate with any other.  Call it a 'Universal Docking System' if you like. 

Hmm... I wonder what Bigelow's plans are like right now? If it is cheaper to send up a cluster of fitted-out Bigelow modules than developing your own, then they might find a contract from China or the ESA in their not-to-distant future.  Beyond that? Maybe even a two- or three-module 'orbital Holiday Inn'. :-p
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Offline CentEur

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #54 on: 12/04/2008 10:15 am »
Exploration is just too dangerous for a commercial launcher to get involved with.

Google Lunar X Prize must be canceled then.

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #55 on: 12/04/2008 12:12 pm »
Hmm... I wonder what Bigelow's plans are like right now? If it is cheaper to send up a cluster of fitted-out Bigelow modules than developing your own, then they might find a contract from China or the ESA in their not-to-distant future.  Beyond that? Maybe even a two- or three-module 'orbital Holiday Inn'. :-p

The hole in this argument is that space programs are not just about cost-effectiveness, but maintaining indigenous high-tech industries. Outsourcing a European Space Station to Bigelow means weakening the European capability to deisgn and build their own hardware.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #56 on: 12/04/2008 12:43 pm »
Outsourcing a European Space Station to Bigelow means weakening the European capability to deisgn and build their own hardware.

Given the ESA's limited budget, I don't think that this would be an issue in any such decision (and remember we are being hypothetical here).  So long as the ESA were handling mission equipment, operations and launch, I think they would be willing to leave construction and integration to a proven commercial operation.
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Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #57 on: 12/04/2008 03:36 pm »
It would need a docking adapter vs a berthing interface

Elon has mentioned that this is possible if a customer desired. However,I inferred Bigelow rather than NASA. Now if I could find the quote...

It was LIDS interface, (space show)
SpaceX say on the Dragon webpage

"Integral common berthing mechanism, with LIDS or APAS support if required "
http://www.spacex.com/dragon.php

So it sounds like fitting a LIDS interface is something they are willing to fit if someone will pay for it.

Offline Antares

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #58 on: 12/06/2008 12:10 am »
Also consider space environment factors: Dragon might need upgrades for MMOD (depending on mission duration) and radiation exposure.
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Offline darkenfast

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #59 on: 12/29/2008 08:45 pm »
Does the manned version of Dragon have an abort system, and if so, does it work from pad level on up?

Offline jongoff

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #60 on: 12/29/2008 09:27 pm »
Does the manned version of Dragon have an abort system, and if so, does it work from pad level on up?

Well, the manned version of Dragon doesn't exist yet, but yes they are planning on using some sort of launch abort system when they do get around to it (if COTS-D ever gets funded this would speed things up).  And I'm pretty sure they'd design it to have abort capability throughout the flight, from the pad on up--that's pretty standard for LAS designs.

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #61 on: 06/04/2010 06:12 pm »
Does the manned version of Dragon have an abort system, and if so, does it work from pad level on up?

Well, the manned version of Dragon doesn't exist yet, but yes they are planning on using some sort of launch abort system when they do get around to it (if COTS-D ever gets funded this would speed things up).  And I'm pretty sure they'd design it to have abort capability throughout the flight, from the pad on up--that's pretty standard for LAS designs.

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Offline telomerase99

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #62 on: 06/12/2010 06:55 am »
Okay, I'm going to trigger a firestorm with this but...

The Dragon is a LEO 'taxi' in all respects, designed solely for delivery of cargo (living or unliving) to the ISS.  I'm not even sure if it has manual controls on the manned version for rendezvous, given that it appears to be designed to be berthed using the station's manipulator arm.  So, given what we know, what would be the necessary changes required to make Dragon a replacement crew vehicle for NASA (assuming utter SNAFU and cancellation for Orion)? That means four man crew for a standard-duration lunar voyage or acting as a crew delivery/return vehicle for larger and longer-duration missions.

I'll take a stab at this to get things moving (remembering that I am merely an interested observer with no professional qualifications).  I think it will be a lengthy list:

* Extended and expanded life support capability;
* Manual flight controls & improved on-board navigation;
* Rendezvous avionics;
* Improved heat shield;
* On-board propulsion system for LOI/ROI burns;
* 'Smart' connectors that allow control and power system interface with docked modules;
* Modified on-board computer that can 'talk' to the systems on a variety of docked modules including lunar lander, EDS and others.

Yes, I know that this would be costly and unprecedented but most things are possible given time and money.  What I would like to know is what it would require to create a 'DragonExplorer' variant of the basic Dragon spacecraft.

Allright Ben, I was thinking that Dragon could remain the LEO taxi that it is and maybe with just beefing up the TPS little would have to be done to prepare it for Lunar missions. Instead of integrating many of the features you mention above, why not create an inflatable VASMIR powered space only exploration vehicle that the crew could ride to the moon in an extended transit time, then leave dragon in lunar orbit with the transhab and perhaps take the VASMIR back in a slow return, or splurge on traditional chemical propulsion for a rapid return.

Some are against transporting astronauts slowly through space becuase of radiation, but if we are going to have to do it to get to phobos, NEO, or Mars, we might as well start gathering data sending our people to the moon in the most economical way possible no?

Offline butters

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #63 on: 06/12/2010 08:09 am »
Allright Ben, I was thinking that Dragon could remain the LEO taxi that it is and maybe with just beefing up the TPS little would have to be done to prepare it for Lunar missions. Instead of integrating many of the features you mention above, why not create an inflatable VASMIR powered space only exploration vehicle that the crew could ride to the moon in an extended transit time, then leave dragon in lunar orbit with the transhab and perhaps take the VASMIR back in a slow return, or splurge on traditional chemical propulsion for a rapid return.

Some are against transporting astronauts slowly through space becuase of radiation, but if we are going to have to do it to get to phobos, NEO, or Mars, we might as well start gathering data sending our people to the moon in the most economical way possible no?

I don't think we want to spiral humans slowly through the Van Allen belts.  We can take it slow for EML and beyond if the propellant/ECLSS trade is favorable, but we want to go pretty quick on the earth departure and return legs with crew.

We may pursue spiraling cargo out to EML or LLO with electric propulsion, though.

Offline ChefPat

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #64 on: 06/12/2010 01:24 pm »
I don't think we want to spiral humans slowly through the Van Allen belts.  We can take it slow for EML and beyond if the propellant/ECLSS trade is favorable, but we want to go pretty quick on the earth departure and return legs with crew.

We may pursue spiraling cargo out to EML or LLO with electric propulsion, though.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #65 on: 06/13/2010 12:16 am »
VASMIR mean you slowly spiral through the Van Allen. It does not have the high thrust of a chemical rocket. You build up additional speed very slowly.
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #66 on: 06/13/2010 03:58 am »
All the more reason to do chemical to a waiting VASIMR ship parked at L1 or in lunar orbit, though the former is probably more efficient.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2010 03:59 am by docmordrid »
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Offline manboy

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #67 on: 06/29/2010 02:02 pm »
Why have the prices jumped 20 million in two years($37 to $56) but the mass to LEO has dropped about 2,000 kg(12,500 kg to 10,450 kg)?

EDIT: Fixed typo
« Last Edit: 06/30/2010 12:32 am by manboy »
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Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #68 on: 06/29/2010 02:12 pm »
Why have the prices jumped 20 million in two years($37 to $56) but the mass to LEO has dropped about 2,000 lb(12,500 kg to 10,450 kg)?

Reality set in.

Offline Idol Revolver

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #69 on: 06/29/2010 04:32 pm »
dropped about 2,000 lb(12,500 kg to 10,450 kg)?
That's 2000 kg.

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #70 on: 06/29/2010 09:48 pm »
Why have the prices jumped 20 million in two years($37 to $56) but the mass to LEO has dropped about 2,000 lb(12,500 kg to 10,450 kg)?

wrt prices: the old prices are likely related to first stage reusability factored into the prices, and the new prices are assuming first stage reusability is a bust. If they can achieve any reusability eventually I'm sure that will show up in the prices at that time. Right now they need to focus on profitability.

LEO mass: 12.5 is probably more of a "forward looking" performance from the Block 2 Facon 9 and the 10.45 is the current model.
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Offline ugordan

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #71 on: 06/29/2010 09:54 pm »
the old prices are likely related to first stage reusability factored into the prices

They never assumed reusability in their pricing.

Quote
10.45 is the current model.

That is the Block 2 performance. Read the User Guide disclaimer. It's also quite likely the maximum performance of the vehicle, i.e. it implies all recovery hardware is stripped off. We shall see whether the recent post-flight data makes that number go north or south and by how much.
« Last Edit: 06/29/2010 10:02 pm by ugordan »

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #72 on: 06/29/2010 10:05 pm »
Like I said, it is reality setting in.  Spacex is finding out that space launch costs more and rockets carry less.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #73 on: 06/30/2010 12:50 pm »
Like I said, it is reality setting in.  Spacex is finding out that space launch costs more and rockets carry less.

Reality is a harsh word, experience, learning what the true costs actually are and replacing what they estimated they could fly for with what they have learned it will cost to fly and how much they want to make each launch would be more to the point.

[opinion tag]
Yeah they low balled it, and the second they open the books for an IPO I bet there will be profit driven pressure to push the price even higher.
[/opinion tag]
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Offline mlorrey

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #74 on: 07/17/2010 03:53 am »
spaceflightnow.com says: "The ablator, called PICA-X for short, was tested inside an arc jet laboratory at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif.

"It's actually the most powerful stuff known to man. Dragon is capable of re-entering from a lunar velocity, or even a Mars velocity with the heat shield that it has," Musk said. "

This contradicts claims made here previously by non-SpaceX people about Dragon. Comments?
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #75 on: 07/17/2010 01:39 pm »
Link to the SFN article

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/002/100716firststage/

My comment: if true it has one helluva safety margin for LEO ops - perhaps too large of one for that to be its only design goal. 

Begs the question of just how far they've been planning to take the Dragon platform. 

Seems to me that once they design their  hypergolic abort engine (and who knows if  they haven't already?) that also gives them what they'd need for service module propulsion, and it's chassis could just be another shortened piece of F9 tankage like the 2nd stage.
« Last Edit: 07/17/2010 02:04 pm by docmordrid »
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Offline kkattula

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #76 on: 07/17/2010 02:00 pm »
Link to the SFN article

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/002/100716firststage/

My comment: if true it has one helluva safety margin for LEO ops - perhaps too large of one for that to be its only design goal. 

Begs the question of just how far they've been planning to take the Dragon platform. 
...

Space-X have always set their long term goal as BEO, but that's still a long way off.

It may simply be that PICA-X requires a certain minimum thicknes for the desired mechanical properties, and that is about 8 times the LEO ablative thickness requirement. 

My BOTE suggests the Dragon heatshield still only weighs about 100 kg. So the extra performance margin is cheap.

Offline zaitcev

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #77 on: 07/18/2010 02:44 am »
My BOTE suggests the Dragon heatshield still only weighs about 100 kg.
I calculated it once, using various versions of PICA, known thickness (8cm IIRC), and diameter of Dragon, it came to about 56-64 kg without the supporting structure.
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Offline sdsds

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #78 on: 07/18/2010 08:42 am »
"Dragon is capable of re-entering from a lunar velocity, or even a Mars velocity with the heat shield that it has," Musk said.

Reading this carefully, Musk does not say that a current Dragon is capable of re-entering at a Mars-return velocity.  He says that the PICA-X heat shield would not need to be changed for the Dragon to do so.  He makes no statement about what other changes would be required.
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Offline kkattula

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #79 on: 07/18/2010 10:26 am »
My BOTE suggests the Dragon heatshield still only weighs about 100 kg.
I calculated it once, using various versions of PICA, known thickness (8cm IIRC), and diameter of Dragon, it came to about 56-64 kg without the supporting structure.
-- Pete

Yeah, I didn't have the exact density of PICA so I was being conservative. Still seems incredibly light for such a critical component.

Offline ChefPat

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #80 on: 07/18/2010 03:11 pm »
"Dragon is capable of re-entering from a lunar velocity, or even a Mars velocity with the heat shield that it has," Musk said.

Reading this carefully, Musk does not say that a current Dragon is capable of re-entering at a Mars-return velocity.  He says that the PICA-X heat shield would not need to be changed for the Dragon to do so.  He makes no statement about what other changes would be required.
How hard would it be to fabricate a PICA-X shield in microgravity?
 Since we're limited in the size of what can be sent up by the size of the available farings can a heat shield for something the size of a BA-330 be completed with raw materiels after it's aleady up on orbit?
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Offline kkattula

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #81 on: 07/18/2010 04:58 pm »
"Dragon is capable of re-entering from a lunar velocity, or even a Mars velocity with the heat shield that it has," Musk said.

Reading this carefully, Musk does not say that a current Dragon is capable of re-entering at a Mars-return velocity.  He says that the PICA-X heat shield would not need to be changed for the Dragon to do so.  He makes no statement about what other changes would be required.
How hard would it be to fabricate a PICA-X shield in microgravity?
 Since we're limited in the size of what can be sent up by the size of the available farings can a heat shield for something the size of a BA-330 be completed with raw materiels after it's aleady up on orbit?

Far easier to send up small heat shield segments and assemble them in orbit.

Check out the Mars Drive idea for a circular heat shield that folds in half.  That gives you 19m+ diameter shield in a 10m fairing, for only a few hours of orbital assembly.

http://www.marsdrive.com/Libraries/Downloads/A_Proposal_for_a_Practical_Heavy_Mars_Lander.sflb.ashx
« Last Edit: 07/18/2010 05:05 pm by kkattula »

Offline docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #82 on: 07/20/2010 04:39 pm »
There is a really high resolution version of this image on the new DragonLab brochure .  Of course, more details just leads to more questions, trying to tease information out of it:
>
4) From where do the parachutes (redundant drogue and main) and floats come?
>

Airborne Systems - their Ringsail system - was announced in May, 2007 and a poster @ NASAWatch says drop tests started later that year;

Link (PDF).....

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2010/03/orion-under-sie.html#comment-29631




« Last Edit: 07/20/2010 04:50 pm by docmordrid »
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #83 on: 07/20/2010 06:51 pm »
Like I said, it is reality setting in.  Spacex is finding out that space launch costs more and rockets carry less.

Yeah, but it's a pretty good reality.  Is it still cheap at twice the price?
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Offline go4mars

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #84 on: 03/16/2012 04:06 pm »
You will be sorry that you brought up the dragon crew seats etc.
Why?

IMHO, one look told me the Dragon design should pull two of the seats and rework it for 5 users.
Why?
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX Dragon Specs
« Reply #85 on: 03/16/2012 04:16 pm »
You will be sorry that you brought up the dragon crew seats etc.
Why?

IMHO, one look told me the Dragon design should pull two of the seats and rework it for 5 users.
Why?
Anti-SpaceX bias?

Dragon has a lot more per-astronaut usable volume than the Soyuz reentry module does.
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