Author Topic: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?  (Read 31363 times)

Offline PeterAlt

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Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« on: 07/16/2011 10:38 AM »
Just wondering if there will be an option to use the Falcon 9-H for heavier Dragon payloads for ISS delivery (or a stetched Dragon)?

Certainly there is the potential there for a logistics carrier that would rival the ATV for upmass ISS delivery.

Offline Jim

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #1 on: 07/16/2011 12:25 PM »
First ask why?
There is no need for it and  no contract for it.  And FH would be overkill for a Dragon. 
« Last Edit: 07/16/2011 12:27 PM by Jim »

Offline Cinder

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #2 on: 07/16/2011 02:05 PM »
If the matter's settled in the above respect.. Can I ask a related Q? 

In the strict technical sense that it's phrased - real world plausibility aside, politically/financially/etc - can an FH really put a Dragon anywhere in the solar system as SpaceX/Musk are saying?  If not, very roughly how far could it throw it?
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Offline SpacexULA

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #3 on: 07/16/2011 02:16 PM »
If the matter's settled in the above respect.. Can I ask a related Q? 

In the strict technical sense that it's phrased - real world plausibility aside, politically/financially/etc - can an FH really put a Dragon anywhere in the solar system as SpaceX/Musk are saying?  If not, very roughly how far could it throw it?

Tricky question when it comes to space.  Even Falcon 9 can get a Dragon, in some configuration, to any destination in the Galaxy, as long as you have enough time to play with orbital mechanics.

Depends on how heavy you make your Dragon and how fast you want to arrive at your destination.

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Online ugordan

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #4 on: 07/16/2011 03:40 PM »
can an FH really put a Dragon anywhere in the solar system as SpaceX/Musk are saying?

Anywhere? Without additional planetary gravity assists, I don't believe so. For example FH is claimed to be able to inject 3 tonnes to a C3 = 90 (km/s)^2. That would be a Jupiter injection or thereabouts. That's less than what Dragon's dry mass is.

Offline Cinder

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #5 on: 07/16/2011 05:20 PM »
That puts it in a nutshell, thanks :)
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Offline tnphysics

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #6 on: 07/16/2011 05:24 PM »
Still, it could probably put it in lunar orbit with mass to spare
« Last Edit: 07/16/2011 05:24 PM by tnphysics »

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #7 on: 07/16/2011 05:38 PM »
can an FH really put a Dragon anywhere in the solar system as SpaceX/Musk are saying?

Anywhere? Without additional planetary gravity assists, I don't believe so. For example FH is claimed to be able to inject 3 tonnes to a C3 = 90 (km/s)^2. That would be a Jupiter injection or thereabouts. That's less than what Dragon's dry mass is.
But with (possibly powered) planetary assists, it could be done with a Falcon Heavy.
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Offline Cinder

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #8 on: 07/16/2011 06:22 PM »
But for manned Dragons it would still have similar limitations as most current spaceships, due to radiation exposure and room for consumables etc. It couldn't put passengers beyond Mars.

So the only truly new performance would be for unmanned missions?
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Offline go4mars

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #9 on: 07/16/2011 08:27 PM »
Just wondering if there will be an option to use the Falcon 9-H for heavier Dragon payloads for ISS delivery (or a stetched Dragon)?

A stretched dragon would be a complete redesign.  If they were doing that, they would probably do a diameter increase at the same time.  Not likely for a long time.  Also, I've read on one of these threads that dragon is volume limited rather than mass-limited in terms of ISS resupply.  Unless they suddenly need a lot of high density supplies, or stuff that can fit in the unpressurized "trunk" or "extended trunk", its not likely. 

First ask why?
There is no need for it and  no contract for it.  And FH would be overkill for a Dragon. 

I don't think there are contractual reasons against it either. 

The only reasons for "why" that come off the top of my head are:
 
a)  if they built a flared-out section between the US and the trunk, with a fairly big satellite as a secondary payload to a similar/easy to get to from there orbit (the extra propellant from FH launch left in the upper stage could be used to place the satellite elsewhere; Mars for example)

b) as a test flight of the FH cross-feed system (they might need more than one test flight to get the bugs out of FH and by then the Cape pad might be ready for FH also).  A tang, T-shirts, and toilet paper mission might be a good one for this (especially if the excess mass is used to test robust recovery/reusability hardware).

c) to add a bigelow module to the ISS,

d) if they had some really dense cargo,

e) I don't know how heavy VASIMR is, but if it is heavy and in the trunk along with a normal resupply load, heavy might be needed.

f) Use the extra mass on recovery hardware; to see exactly what it takes for upper stage recovery, start with overkill and optimize from there

g)  or my favourite: if they wanted to send 2 or more dragons at once (which Jim assures is an unlikely scenario btw).
« Last Edit: 07/16/2011 08:43 PM by go4mars »
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #10 on: 07/16/2011 09:51 PM »
I wonder if they would develop a pressurized trunk. If they put a iLIDS on the dragon and a CBM on the trunk it might work as "train" to the ISS. The Dragon would need to put the trunk in position for the arm, and then somehow drift and do an approach maneuver. All difficult, but might be a cheap way to increase the payload to the ISS. For the number that had been discussed, it seemed like they could use a bit more for full utilization than what COTS has already contracted.

Offline catiare

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #11 on: 07/17/2011 03:18 AM »
I believe a FH and a Dragon can do an Apollo 8 type mission. It would probably need a Service Module type stage.

On longer trips, a dragon stacked with a Bigelow Sundancer could give the stack the long duration capabilities.

Offline ChefPat

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #12 on: 07/17/2011 03:29 AM »
I believe a FH and a Dragon can do an Apollo 8 type mission. It would probably need a Service Module type stage.

On longer trips, a dragon stacked with a Bigelow Sundancer could give the stack the long duration capabilities.
Apollo 8 took 6+ days. If they're going to do it with a Dragon I think they're going to figure out some kind of a Potty.
It appears that Sundancer has been canceled.
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Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #13 on: 07/17/2011 03:40 AM »
I believe a FH and a Dragon can do an Apollo 8 type mission. It would probably need a Service Module type stage.

On longer trips, a dragon stacked with a Bigelow Sundancer could give the stack the long duration capabilities.
Apollo 8 took 6+ days. If they're going to do it with a Dragon I think they're going to figure out some kind of a Potty.
It appears that Sundancer has been canceled.


Bigleow would probably build one if you paid for it, however Apollo didn't have a potty(it had plastic bags and a device for urine collection).

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #14 on: 07/17/2011 06:21 AM »
I believe a FH and a Dragon can do an Apollo 8 type mission. It would probably need a Service Module type stage.

On longer trips, a dragon stacked with a Bigelow Sundancer could give the stack the long duration capabilities.
Apollo 8 took 6+ days. If they're going to do it with a Dragon I think they're going to figure out some kind of a Potty.
It appears that Sundancer has been canceled.

You make it sound like Apollo was a luxury experience. A crew of three in a Dragon on an Apollo 8 like mission would have similar (if not more) livable space. Also, no full toilet on Apollo either.

Offline Dave G

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #15 on: 07/17/2011 11:35 AM »
I believe a FH and a Dragon can do an Apollo 8 type mission.

Yes.  Space tourists would pay millions for something like this, but they would require 2 things:
1) more room
2) more windows

As I've said before, both could be provided by using a modified upper stage.  Add a hatch to the top dome of the lox tank.  Add some windows.  After TLI, Dragon separates from the upper stage, turns around, and docks with it.  More living space, almost for free.

It would probably need a Service Module type stage.

I don't think so.  FH will get the upper stage pretty high up to start with.  The second stage can do TLI.

Offline Dave G

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #16 on: 07/17/2011 11:40 AM »
Apollo 8 took 6+ days. If they're going to do it with a Dragon I think they're going to figure out some kind of a Potty.

A porta-potty would probably work, if people had enough room.  As I said in the previous post, a modified upper stage could provide that. 

And if they used Raptor, you could also use the LH2 tank for extra living space.  So that would be 3 rooms.
« Last Edit: 07/17/2011 11:47 AM by Dave G »

Offline Jim

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #17 on: 07/17/2011 12:40 PM »

As I've said before, both could be provided by using a modified upper stage.  Add a hatch to the top dome of the lox tank.  Add some windows.  After TLI, Dragon separates from the upper stage, turns around, and docks with it.  More living space, almost for free.
 

Not viable.  There isn't enough days in the mission to access and modified the tank to be habitable.

Offline Garrett

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #18 on: 07/17/2011 01:44 PM »
I presume a lot will be learned from Space Adventures' proposed Apollo 8 type tourist mission with a Russian Soyuz. They just need one more crazy customer to pay $150 million.

Despite their wealth, I would imagine such customers will be prepared to live in cramped conditions for 8 days and wear diapers. No extra module or potty facilities required.
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Offline Chandonn

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #19 on: 07/17/2011 02:22 PM »
I presume a lot will be learned from Space Adventures' proposed Apollo 8 type tourist mission with a Russian Soyuz. They just need one more crazy customer to pay $150 million.

Despite their wealth, I would imagine such customers will be prepared to live in cramped conditions for 8 days and wear diapers. No extra module or potty facilities required.

Not many adults would be happy wearing a diaper for 6 days...  Evern fewer rich millionaires who want to circle the moon, I'd wager...

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