Author Topic: SpaceX Dragon Specs  (Read 54142 times)

Offline kevin-rf

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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.

Offline Crispy

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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?

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