Author Topic: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?  (Read 31274 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 »

Offline 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.

Online 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.

Online 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...

Offline Orbiter

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #20 on: 07/17/2011 02:22 PM »
Dragon does not need anymore room than it already has for a circumlunar mission.

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Offline go4mars

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #21 on: 07/17/2011 04:19 PM »
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...

It isn't like they would wear the same one for 6 days.  Do a lot of rich millionaires already wear diapers?  Depends. 
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Online Dave G

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #22 on: 07/17/2011 06:07 PM »
Dragon does not need anymore room than it already has for a circumlunar mission.

For how many people?

SpaceX says Dragon will comfortably launch and return 7 people, but I don't think you'd want to stay in that configuration for a week.

3 people would probably work with just Dragon, but assuming you need a company staff tour director, that means you've reduced the number of paying customers from 6 down to 2.

Online Dave G

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #23 on: 07/17/2011 06:13 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 modify the tank to be habitable.

Could you elaborate?

Again, I'm assuming a modified Falcon upper stage for this.  Why are there no viable designs that would allow the LOX tank to be used for extra crew space?

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #24 on: 07/17/2011 07:40 PM »
{snip}

Again, I'm assuming a modified Falcon upper stage for this.  Why are there no viable designs that would allow the LOX tank to be used for extra crew space?

Homes in country areas frequently have heating oil tanks.  These are not turned into living quarters since they are totally the wrong design - for instance these empty boxes have no windows or doors.  LOX tanks have the same major problem on an even bigger scale.
http://www.bhl.co.uk/category/Oil_Storage_Tanks?gclid=CMPnifuQiaoCFQEf4QodRj53xg

If you want living quarters design living quarters.  On Earth add air purification systems, electricity, furniture and room heaters.  A round shape with 3g roof supports are not difficult to design.  Skylab was modified on the Earth.
« Last Edit: 07/17/2011 07:42 PM by A_M_Swallow »

Offline Cherokee43v6

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #25 on: 07/17/2011 09:49 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 modify the tank to be habitable.

Could you elaborate?

Again, I'm assuming a modified Falcon upper stage for this.  Why are there no viable designs that would allow the LOX tank to be used for extra crew space?

Well, one doesn't have to be an engineer to see immediate problems...

1) what to do with the unused LOX
2) you want to put windows in a cryo-tank!!!  Hello!  differentials in expansion rates alone says this goes BOOM on the pad... Bad for paying customers.
3) even if you solve 1 and 2, how do you maintain life support in the space for the trip?
« Last Edit: 07/17/2011 09:54 PM by Cherokee43v6 »
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Offline JNobles

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #26 on: 07/18/2011 05:32 AM »
It would probably be easier to bring along an inflatable hab.  A small one without all the extras the Bigelow's have.

Or join up in orbit with a really nice one prelaunched and perhaps preused from other around the moon tourist missions.

Unless you figure there's only going to be one of these trips...
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #27 on: 07/18/2011 07:55 AM »
Bigelow mentioned that their hub/propulsion bus would come in a normal and large size, and the CST-100 videos show it with 4 engines. They also mentioned powering modules BEO using Centaurs upper stages.
DM

Offline apace

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #28 on: 07/18/2011 12:33 PM »
Well, one doesn't have to be an engineer to see immediate problems...
1) what to do with the unused LOX
2) you want to put windows in a cryo-tank!!!  Hello!  differentials in expansion rates alone says this goes BOOM on the pad... Bad for paying customers.
3) even if you solve 1 and 2, how do you maintain life support in the space for the trip?

It's called "Wet-Workshop" and there are tons of studies about this since the age of first manned space flight... But for sure it will be easier for SpaceX to make a second pressured capsule, which is attached to the trunk and after separation from 2nd stage mounted on top of the Dragon with some kind of robotic arm... I see no real show-stopper to do such a room-extension.

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Offline Jim

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #29 on: 07/18/2011 12:36 PM »
Well, one doesn't have to be an engineer to see immediate problems...
1) what to do with the unused LOX
2) you want to put windows in a cryo-tank!!!  Hello!  differentials in expansion rates alone says this goes BOOM on the pad... Bad for paying customers.
3) even if you solve 1 and 2, how do you maintain life support in the space for the trip?

It's called "Wet-Workshop" and there are tons of studies about this since the age of first manned space flight.

And was found to be not worth the effort

Offline apace

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #30 on: 07/18/2011 12:45 PM »
And was found to be not worth the effort

...for a 6 day journey to the moon and back...

Offline simonbp

Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #31 on: 07/18/2011 03:58 PM »
First ask why?
There is no need for it and  no contract for it.  And FH would be overkill for a Dragon. 

Overkill for a Dragon to LEO.

In the article below, Musk makes the point that FH can loft Dragon to an Earth escape/lunar velocity, and the vehicle has enough delta-V built-in to allow it to land on pretty much any planetary surface. He specifically mentions a proposal being worked on with NASA Ames to make an unmanned science lander out of Dragon. Mars would be an obvious target, but so would Titan or Ceres...

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/07/13/7078446-spacex-chief-sets-his-sights-on-mars
« Last Edit: 07/18/2011 03:59 PM by simonbp »

Offline Jim

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #32 on: 07/18/2011 04:07 PM »
And was found to be not worth the effort

...for a 6 day journey to the moon and back...

No, for any habitable volume

Offline go4mars

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #33 on: 07/18/2011 04:28 PM »
He specifically mentions a proposal being worked on with NASA Ames to make an unmanned science lander out of Dragon. Mars would be an obvious target, but so would Titan or Ceres...

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/07/13/7078446-spacex-chief-sets-his-sights-on-mars

"the 40-year-old engineer-entrepreneur told me the company's Dragon capsule could take on a robotic mission to Mars as early as 2016."

"Once the Dragon and the Falcon Heavy are in service, the main pieces would be in place for a Mars mission, Musk said."

Is there any disadvantage to doing a FH Mars mission from Vandenberg versus the Cape?  (added part):  What I should have asked instead is:  Can a FH heavy launch still get to Mars from Vandenberg?
« Last Edit: 07/18/2011 05:06 PM by go4mars »
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Offline ArbitraryConstant

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #34 on: 07/18/2011 04:45 PM »
Is there any disadvantage to doing a FH Mars mission from Vandenberg versus the Cape?
Yeah. You can to cancel the Earth's rotation and accelerate to orbital velocities instead of using the Earth's rotation to give you a boost. The delta-v penalty is significant.

Offline go4mars

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #35 on: 07/18/2011 05:08 PM »
Yeah. You can to cancel the Earth's rotation and accelerate to orbital velocities instead of using the Earth's rotation to give you a boost. The delta-v penalty is significant.

Can a FH get a dragon to Mars from Vandenberg?  Or does this mission need to wait until the Cape pad is FH compatible?
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #36 on: 07/18/2011 05:18 PM »

Can a FH get a dragon to Mars from Vandenberg?  Or does this mission need to wait until the Cape pad is FH compatible?

An African Dragon maybe, but not a European Dragon ;)
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Offline kraisee

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #37 on: 07/18/2011 05:44 PM »
Do a lot of rich millionaires already wear diapers?  Depends. 

Any that do, probably won't pass the physical.

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Offline go4mars

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #38 on: 07/18/2011 05:45 PM »
An African Dragon maybe, but not a European Dragon ;)

LoL!
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Offline Cinder

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #39 on: 07/18/2011 06:27 PM »
First ask why?
There is no need for it and  no contract for it.  And FH would be overkill for a Dragon. 

Overkill for a Dragon to LEO.

In the article below, Musk makes the point that FH can loft Dragon to an Earth escape/lunar velocity, and the vehicle has enough delta-V built-in to allow it to land on pretty much any planetary surface. He specifically mentions a proposal being worked on with NASA Ames to make an unmanned science lander out of Dragon. Mars would be an obvious target, but so would Titan or Ceres...

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/07/13/7078446-spacex-chief-sets-his-sights-on-mars
We wouldn't know more about Ceres till ~2015 after Dawn's arrival.  Would that be a good fit for such a NASA/SpaceX cooperation time frame?
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Offline catiare

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #40 on: 07/18/2011 07:08 PM »
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.
[/quote]

I guess if you can use the internal thrusters for small course corrections you could use a standalone Dragon capsule with perhaps its trunk attached. This and a crew of 3 will make it for an apollo 8 mission.

I wonder what else is needed from the technology standpoint and how much would SpaceX would charge for this mission.

Offline Jorge

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #41 on: 07/18/2011 07:34 PM »
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.

You are forgetting about LOI and TEI. Dragon by itself cannot perform even TEI, so either a service module *will* be needed for LOI/TEI, or the upper stage will have to be retained after TLI for LOI/TEI.

Or possibly you (and possibly several other people on this thread) are confusing "Apollo 8 type mission" (i.e. lunar orbital) with "Zond type mission" (i.e. circumlunar free return).
JRF

Offline baldusi

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #42 on: 07/18/2011 07:35 PM »
Quote
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.

I guess if you can use the internal thrusters for small course corrections you could use a standalone Dragon capsule with perhaps its trunk attached. This and a crew of 3 will make it for an apollo 8 mission.

I wonder what else is needed from the technology standpoint and how much would SpaceX would charge for this mission.

You probably mean Zond mission (free return). Apollo 8 actually did a LOI insertion and a TEI. It would require quiet a bit more delta-v and it couldn't use the US for that. Hence, you'd need an EDS.

Offline catiare

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #43 on: 07/18/2011 08:43 PM »
Quote
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.

I guess if you can use the internal thrusters for small course corrections you could use a standalone Dragon capsule with perhaps its trunk attached. This and a crew of 3 will make it for an apollo 8 mission.

I wonder what else is needed from the technology standpoint and how much would SpaceX would charge for this mission.

You probably mean Zond mission (free return). Apollo 8 actually did a LOI insertion and a TEI. It would require quiet a bit more delta-v and it couldn't use the US for that. Hence, you'd need an EDS.

I've read in some articles and posts that the manned dragon would use a built-in escape system as opposed to a launch escape assembly that would jettison a few minutes after takeoff. That escape system could be use for soft landing as well.

Someone already did the exercise and apparently is possible using a single astronaut. I believe the author is a regular poster in these forums. Check the link below.

http://quantumg.blogspot.com/2010/12/apollo-8-solo.html

Offline Jorge

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #44 on: 07/19/2011 12:08 AM »
Quote
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.

I guess if you can use the internal thrusters for small course corrections you could use a standalone Dragon capsule with perhaps its trunk attached. This and a crew of 3 will make it for an apollo 8 mission.

I wonder what else is needed from the technology standpoint and how much would SpaceX would charge for this mission.

You probably mean Zond mission (free return). Apollo 8 actually did a LOI insertion and a TEI. It would require quiet a bit more delta-v and it couldn't use the US for that. Hence, you'd need an EDS.

I've read in some articles and posts that the manned dragon would use a built-in escape system as opposed to a launch escape assembly that would jettison a few minutes after takeoff. That escape system could be use for soft landing as well.

Someone already did the exercise and apparently is possible using a single astronaut. I believe the author is a regular poster in these forums. Check the link below.

http://quantumg.blogspot.com/2010/12/apollo-8-solo.html

The numbers in that analysis are not credible.

1) More recent number from Ken Bowersox is that Dragon's dry mass is 4900 kg (including 20% margin), see:

http://www.nal-jsc.org/Presentation_NASA%20Alumni%20League_JSC__Bowersox_%20Final_012511%20(2).pdf

2) The CBM mass includes the hatch and its frame, which is part of the pressure hull, so you can't just delete it - otherwise you have a big gaping hole on top of the Dragon. At the least you need to replace it with a big circular plate.

3) He assumes wrongly that Cargo Dragon includes a life support system. It does have an air circulation system for use while astronauts are working inside it while berthed to ISS, but that is *not* the same as a life support system.

4) He assumes every last ounce of cargo mass capability can be used for propellant, ignoring the fact that the current Dragon design provides no way to feed propellant from the trunk or the crew cabin to the prop system (and you *really* don't want to be putting hypergols in the crew cabin anyway...)

You *could* do a Zond-type mission with a FH and a stock Dragon, but there's simply no getting around needing a service module (or extended-lifetime upper stage) if you want to do LOI/TEI for an Apollo-8-type mission.
JRF

Offline Jason1701

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Re: Falcon Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #45 on: 07/19/2011 01:26 AM »
Quote
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.

I guess if you can use the internal thrusters for small course corrections you could use a standalone Dragon capsule with perhaps its trunk attached. This and a crew of 3 will make it for an apollo 8 mission.

I wonder what else is needed from the technology standpoint and how much would SpaceX would charge for this mission.

You probably mean Zond mission (free return). Apollo 8 actually did a LOI insertion and a TEI. It would require quiet a bit more delta-v and it couldn't use the US for that. Hence, you'd need an EDS.

I've read in some articles and posts that the manned dragon would use a built-in escape system as opposed to a launch escape assembly that would jettison a few minutes after takeoff. That escape system could be use for soft landing as well.

Someone already did the exercise and apparently is possible using a single astronaut. I believe the author is a regular poster in these forums. Check the link below.

http://quantumg.blogspot.com/2010/12/apollo-8-solo.html

The numbers in that analysis are not credible.

1) More recent number from Ken Bowersox is that Dragon's dry mass is 4900 kg (including 20% margin), see:

http://www.nal-jsc.org/Presentation_NASA%20Alumni%20League_JSC__Bowersox_%20Final_012511%20(2).pdf

2) The CBM mass includes the hatch and its frame, which is part of the pressure hull, so you can't just delete it - otherwise you have a big gaping hole on top of the Dragon. At the least you need to replace it with a big circular plate.

3) He assumes wrongly that Cargo Dragon includes a life support system. It does have an air circulation system for use while astronauts are working inside it while berthed to ISS, but that is *not* the same as a life support system.

4) He assumes every last ounce of cargo mass capability can be used for propellant, ignoring the fact that the current Dragon design provides no way to feed propellant from the trunk or the crew cabin to the prop system (and you *really* don't want to be putting hypergols in the crew cabin anyway...)

You *could* do a Zond-type mission with a FH and a stock Dragon, but there's simply no getting around needing a service module (or extended-lifetime upper stage) if you want to do LOI/TEI for an Apollo-8-type mission.

That analysis also ignores the large cosine losses that Dragon's LAS will have, as shown in the promotional video. The upward-pointing Dracos don't have those, which is why they're used for the deorbit burn.

Offline baddux

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #46 on: 07/26/2011 01:58 PM »
Would lunar landing with two FH launches be possible with any configuration?

I was thinking the following:

Launch 1: A lunar lander which would also be capable of landing on earth, like Dragon with enhanced internal boosters that they are planning to use in propulsive landing (10mT?) plus a separate descent stage (5mT?).

Launch 2: An Apollo-type service module (no command module or astronauts) to be put in lunar orbit (15mT?).

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #47 on: 07/26/2011 07:28 PM »
Would lunar landing with two FH launches be possible with any configuration?

I was thinking the following:

Launch 1: A lunar lander which would also be capable of landing on earth, like Dragon with enhanced internal boosters that they are planning to use in propulsive landing (10mT?) plus a separate descent stage (5mT?).

Launch 2: An Apollo-type service module (no command module or astronauts) to be put in lunar orbit (15mT?).


If you are going to take a Dragon to the Moon what it needs is refuelling.

Check that the capsule can perform the lunar surface to low lunar orbit trip.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #48 on: 07/27/2011 06:57 PM »
Would lunar landing with two FH launches be possible with any configuration?

I'd say yes:

Launch 1: Lander and EDS/upper stage
Launch 2: Exploration Dragon and propellent tanker/upper stage

The two elements rendezvous and dock; The tanker transfers its (considerable) excess propellent over to the EDS and is then jettisoned.  The EDS then performs the TLI burn and, depending on remaining propellent is either retained for possible MCC burns or is jettisoned.

LOI is carried out, Altair-style by the lander MPS (Methane Kestrel?).  After landing and surface ops, the lander returns to LLO to rendezvous with the Dragon.  The Dragon then undocks from the lander and uses its own MPS (same type as the lander, ideally) to carry out ROI burn.
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Offline baddux

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #49 on: 07/30/2011 02:33 PM »
If you are going to take a Dragon to the Moon what it needs is refuelling.

But if there was a separate stage for lunar landing "under" Dragon I suppose no refueling would be needed ? It would ascent from the moon with its own thrusters and dock to a "moon departure stage" in lunar orbit, and land with parashutes instead of the thrusters.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #50 on: 07/30/2011 05:51 PM »
If you are going to take a Dragon to the Moon what it needs is refuelling.

But if there was a separate stage for lunar landing "under" Dragon I suppose no refueling would be needed ? It would ascent from the moon with its own thrusters and dock to a "moon departure stage" in lunar orbit, and land with parashutes instead of the thrusters.
Dragon doesn't have enough fuel for reaching orbit from the lunar surface. The abort thrusters aren't likely to be terribly efficient, since they have considerable cosine losses and would have to be optimized for sea level (in order to allow abort).

It may be possible for Dragon to land on the Moon with the help of a crasher stage, but not to take off again. Without very, very substantial modifications.
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #51 on: 07/30/2011 05:57 PM »
Perhaps the "Dragons Nest" mentioned in the LAS (?) thread and possibly shown in their imagery. Image attaching doesn't work here from iPhone, but here's a direct link. Center of image....

Link....
« Last Edit: 07/30/2011 06:09 PM by docmordrid »
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Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #52 on: 07/30/2011 06:10 PM »
Dragon doesn't have enough fuel for reaching orbit from the lunar surface. The abort thrusters aren't likely to be terribly efficient, since they have considerable cosine losses and would have to be optimized for sea level (in order to allow abort).

I thought there is almost no cosine loss with the pop-out LAS thrusters as compare to the RCS thrusters.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #53 on: 07/30/2011 08:00 PM »
Anything with a heat shield and aerodynamic shape is designed for operating in an atmosphere.  The Moon does not have an atmosphere.  When you add crasher stages, Moon Departure Stages and enhanced fuel tanks to the Dragon it soon become easier to design a lunar lander.

Offline Jason1701

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #54 on: 07/30/2011 08:19 PM »
Perhaps the "Dragons Nest" mentioned in the LAS (?) thread and possibly shown in their imagery. Image attaching doesn't work here from iPhone, but here's a direct link. Center of image....

Link....

I don't believe SpaceX added that piece of hardware to the graphic. A company made it for NASA, then SpaceX got them to change the texture on the habs and add the Dragon.

Zed, if you watch the CCDev video, you'll see that the Super Dracos are offset quite a bit from the vertical direction. These thrusters are enclosed in a small fairing that extends beyond the sidewall, but AFAIK they don't pop out any more than that.
« Last Edit: 07/30/2011 08:20 PM by Jason1701 »

Offline DLR

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #55 on: 07/30/2011 08:30 PM »
I'd rather ride Soyuz around the Moon than Dragon.

There's a toilet on Soyuz! ;)

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #56 on: 07/31/2011 08:50 PM »
[Zed, if you watch the CCDev video, you'll see that the Super Dracos are offset quite a bit from the vertical direction. These thrusters are enclosed in a small fairing that extends beyond the sidewall, but AFAIK they don't pop out any more than that.

Purely FWIW, there is time to alter this if the engineering requirements (such as the enormous cosine penalty) require it.
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Offline krytek

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #57 on: 07/31/2011 09:20 PM »
Pardon me,
cosine penalty means the loss due to the engines being at an angle (not straight down) in relation to the dragon?

Offline Jason1701

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #58 on: 07/31/2011 09:24 PM »
Pardon me,
cosine penalty means the loss due to the engines being at an angle (not straight down) in relation to the dragon?

Correct, because the component of thrust that gets used equals total thrust times the cosine of the angular displacement from vertical.

Offline DigitalMan

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #59 on: 08/01/2011 02:59 AM »
I'd rather ride Soyuz around the Moon than Dragon.

There's a toilet on Soyuz! ;)

I've gone to various faraway places mountain climbing where there were no facilities.  The toilet (or lack thereof) hadn't been a consideration.

Offline baddux

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #60 on: 08/01/2011 09:50 AM »
Quote from: Jason
Zed, if you watch the CCDev video, you'll see that the Super Dracos are offset quite a bit from the vertical direction. These thrusters are enclosed in a small fairing that extends beyond the sidewall, but AFAIK they don't pop out any more than that.

How about adding four strap-on boosters around Dragon for landing and getting to LLO?  :P
« Last Edit: 08/01/2011 09:51 AM by baddux »

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #61 on: 08/01/2011 12:01 PM »
Quote from: Jason
Zed, if you watch the CCDev video, you'll see that the Super Dracos are offset quite a bit from the vertical direction. These thrusters are enclosed in a small fairing that extends beyond the sidewall, but AFAIK they don't pop out any more than that.

How about adding four strap-on boosters around Dragon for landing and getting to LLO?  :P

Or drop-tanks in a mini-trunk with the lunar landing pads and sensors.

Additionally, I think that you'd need to re-jig the inside of the Dragon for the crew to stand.  This is needed so the pilot could look down from the windows during landing and it would make surface egress easier than if the crew are in reclining seats.

You could start from the basis of Dragon to build a very 'quick and dirty' two- or three-man crew lander but its utility except for crew rotation to a surface facility has to be questionable.
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Offline go4mars

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #62 on: 08/01/2011 05:36 PM »
Perhaps the "Dragons Nest" mentioned in the LAS (?) thread and possibly shown in their imagery. Image attaching doesn't work here from iPhone, but here's a direct link. Center of image....

Link....

I don't believe SpaceX added that piece of hardware to the graphic. A company made it for NASA, then SpaceX got them to change the texture on the habs and add the Dragon.

The dragon "in the dragon's nest"?  Or the dragon in the foreground? 

I don't think a reusable dragon's nest will be ever be used on the moon.  On Mars, a dragon's nest could refuel itself before launching a dragon back to orbit (or elsewhere), directly from the atmosphere.  Obviously that can't happen on the moon where something other than dragon's nest is needed).  I wonder if some of the hardware shown on the dragon's nest are spots for huge reusable parachutes.  It would be neat to strap into a deck chair on dragon nest (not in the capsule) during a nest ride.  The view would be sooo cool!  8) 

Also, the long legs and large diameter in the depiction of dragon's nest in the photo would allow you to land with greatly reduced concern in boulder-strewn parts of Mars.  The elevation also means that shifting dust piles and dunes, quicksand, blowing dust, would keep your base somewhat protected from natural elements.  You could even drop a skirt down along the perimeter to keep the blustering down while you worked on rocks in the calm within (gotta have contingencies for the next global dust storm). 

On the right side of the nest, in the rendering, it looks very much like there is a lowerable ramp.  This could be for getting dragons, cargo, or raw resources on and off the nest, and might also be a ramp for a rover that goes along with it for safety.  It even looks a bit like there is a wheeled vehicle hanging below the deck there just back (to the left) from the ramp and behind the right-most large rocket engine.  If the rocket system broke on the nest, but the wheeled vehicle had a few weeks worth of provisions and some decent, expedient off-road ability, you could drive over to the next base (harder to get stranded with safety redundancy like that).  I'm guessing propellant tanks are the things hanging in the middle approximately under the dragon.

I would love to get my hands on a 3D model of that nest.  This is all very speculative and longer term than most here are comfortable thinking about, but I wonder under what terms SpaceX will lease the nests to colonists.  A reusable, robust, well-provisioned vehicle like dragons nest with surface to orbit capability will be very useful.  A portion of raw goods transported?  Interplanetary digital money transfer? 
« Last Edit: 08/01/2011 06:18 PM by go4mars »
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Offline simonbp

Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #63 on: 08/01/2011 06:05 PM »
Or drop-tanks in a mini-trunk with the lunar landing pads and sensors.

Bingo.

The key for thinking of Dragon in non-LEO scenarios is that the engines are all in the capsule, and however many fuel tanks you need can be external. Dragon has lots of thrust (remember only 1/6 gravity, so not much needed), it just lacks the delta v to land and take off again. So, a "Landing Trunk" with LLO-to-Surface propellants and legs (and suitlock?) could put a fully-fueled Dragon capsule on the surface. It would then just use internal propellants to ascent to LLO (or L1/2).

Couple that with a reusable LOI/TEI stage with storable props and an aerocapture shell and you've got a mostly reusable lunar transport infrastructure.

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Offline go4mars

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #65 on: 08/01/2011 06:14 PM »
Or drop-tanks in a mini-trunk with the lunar landing pads and sensors.
Dragon has lots of thrust (remember only 1/6 gravity, so not much needed), it just lacks the delta v to land and take off again. So, a "Landing Trunk" with LLO-to-Surface propellants and legs (and suitlock?) could put a fully-fueled Dragon capsule on the surface. It would then just use internal propellants to ascent to LLO (or L1/2).

For the moon:

Nice thinking!  Also, as the weight of the fuel decreases from external drop tanks falling off, you could flip off 4 of the engines if they can't throttle deeply enough (there appears to be 8 engines). 

Some of the tanks/mini-trunk structure that it lands on the moon with might remain attached and full for use at lift-off if there is a dV concern. 

Drop tanks do make things "semi-reusable" which is less desireable than fully reusable, but I suppose it still comes down to cost/benefit.  Perhaps they can make an expendable "mini-trunk" relatively inexpensively... 

The "mini-trunk" would also protect dragon's heat shield from any splash-back of rocks and debris during landing and take-off on the moon. 

Just say to yourself: gloves lunar module.
The expendable "mini-trunk" would essentially be a lunar module, with the difference being that it uses the engines on dragon.  Worthwhile?  I don't know.  But I think dragon is intended for Mars instead, eventually in conjunction with dragon's nest, as depicted in the video.   
« Last Edit: 08/01/2011 06:30 PM by go4mars »
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Online douglas100

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #66 on: 08/01/2011 07:35 PM »
Just say to yourself: gloves lunar module.

Spot on! ;D

A modest prediction: when the first manned spacecraft lands on Mars it will not be a Dragon, or even a derivative of a Dragon, but a vehicle designed specifically for that purpose.

Pretty radical, eh?
« Last Edit: 08/01/2011 07:35 PM by douglas100 »
Douglas Clark

Offline go4mars

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #67 on: 08/01/2011 08:45 PM »
Spot on! ;D
A modest prediction: when the first manned spacecraft lands on Mars it will not be a Dragon, or even a derivative of a Dragon, but a vehicle designed specifically for that purpose.
Pretty radical, eh?

Who says dragon isn't designed "specifically" to land on Mars? 
http://www.space.com/12489-nasa-mars-life-private-spaceship-red-dragon.html

True that it might have the handy and cash-flow positive side-benefit/ability of ISS cargo and crew resupply, but that doesn't mean it isn't intended specifically for Mars. 
« Last Edit: 08/01/2011 08:47 PM by go4mars »
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: Falcon 9 Heavy with Dragon?
« Reply #68 on: 08/01/2011 08:46 PM »
We may know more soon as he's talking at AIAA now. See Red Dragon thread.
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