Author Topic: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS  (Read 53801 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« on: 10/20/2011 03:27 pm »
SpaceX Completes Key Milestone to Fly Astronauts to International Space Station

Hawthorne, CA – Today, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announced it has successfully completed the preliminary design review of its revolutionary launch abort system, a system designed for manned missions using its Dragon spacecraft. This represents a major step toward creating an American-made successor to the Space Shuttle.

NASA’s approval of the latest design review marks the fourth successfully completed milestone under the agency’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program and demonstrates the innovation that’s possible when NASA partners with the private sector.

“Each milestone we complete brings the United States one step closer to once again having domestic human spaceflight capability,” said former astronaut Garrett Reisman, one of the two program leads of SpaceX’s DragonRider, which is adding capabilities to the Dragon spacecraft for astronaut carriage.

Now that the Space Shuttle program has ended, the United States relies on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for astronaut transport, costing American taxpayers as much as $62 million a seat. By comparison, Dragon is designed to carry seven astronauts at a time for an unparalleled $20 million per seat.

As with all SpaceX designs, increased safety and reliability are paramount. "Dragon’s integrated launch abort system provides astronauts with the ability to safely escape from the beginning of the launch until the rocket reaches orbit,” explained David Giger, co-lead of the DragonRider program. “This level of protection is unprecedented in manned spaceflight history.”

With the latest design review approved by NASA, SpaceX can now start building the hardware at the heart of its innovative launch abort system. The SpaceX design incorporates the escape engines into the side walls of Dragon, eliminating a failure mode of more traditional rocket escape towers, which must be successfully jettisoned during every launch. The integrated abort system also returns with the spacecraft, allowing for easy reuse and reductions in the cost of space transport. Over time, the same escape thrusters will also provide Dragon with the ability to land with pinpoint accuracy on Earth or another planet.

In its first flights, on June 4 and December 8, 2010, SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch vehicle achieved consecutive mission successes. The December mission, which was the first demonstration flight under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, marked Dragon’s historic debut and established SpaceX as the first private company to launch and recover a spacecraft from orbit. As a result, many Falcon 9 and Dragon components required for transporting humans to Earth orbit have already been demonstrated in flight.

PHOTO CAPTION: The new launch abort system provides crew with emergency escape capability throughout the entire flight and returns with the spacecraft, allowing for easy reuse. Credit: SpaceX

Online david1971

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #1 on: 10/20/2011 03:59 pm »
When were they scheduled to complete this milestone?

Offline mr. mark

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #2 on: 10/20/2011 04:18 pm »
This should be good ammo for Spacex at the upcoming House Commercial Crew hearings. Nothing better than to state that they have cleared the design review and are going about starting testing with eventual production.

http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/10/20/house-to-hold-commercial-crew-hearing-next-week/
« Last Edit: 10/20/2011 04:23 pm by mr. mark »

Offline joek

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #3 on: 10/20/2011 04:29 pm »
When were they scheduled to complete this milestone?

September 2011; see SpaceX CCDev-2 SAA.  Note that this is the LAS propulsion component PDR (milestone #4):
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For purposes of CCDev 2, LAS Propulsion Components are defined as ... This definition of LAS Propulsion Components explicitly does not include a full flight configuration of the LAS Propulsion system, and is explicitly not a flight-like Dragon-integrated configuration.
Which gives the ok to fabricate component test articles (#8, Apr 2012), then initial component tests (#9, May 2012).  (Current SAA does not provide for integrated vehicle PDR or test.)

Offline Namechange User

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #4 on: 10/20/2011 04:53 pm »
This should be good ammo for Spacex at the upcoming House Commercial Crew hearings. Nothing better than to state that they have cleared the design review and are going about starting testing with eventual production.

http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/10/20/house-to-hold-commercial-crew-hearing-next-week/

Is it your assumption that they will need "ammo"?  SpaceX completed a milestone, that they set (a month later than they said too, but that really is noise-level), at the component PDR level.  That's good and I congratulate them for making steady progress but I would caution on making this into more than it really is. 

The others are also completing their milestones so this is not something special and unique about SpaceX. 
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Offline DavisSTS

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #5 on: 10/20/2011 04:55 pm »
"This represents a major step toward creating an American-made successor to the Space Shuttle."

Great! So Dragon is going to have a 40 ton payload capacity, robotic arms, air locks, six person crews, and an ability for massive downmass, before landing on preferred runways.

That's big news! :D

Offline mr. mark

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #6 on: 10/20/2011 05:14 pm »
I would say that all these commercial vehicles are successors. "Prefered" runways...  well that's another matter. Powered landings on any flat surface anywhere in the world well that's nothing to sneeze at. But, we have gone over this again and again. It clearly is a matter of preference. Spacex is not aiming at LEO in the far future so a winged vehicle is not along their evolutionary track.
« Last Edit: 10/20/2011 05:15 pm by mr. mark »

Offline majormajor42

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #7 on: 10/20/2011 05:17 pm »
Is it your assumption that they will need "ammo"? 
"This represents a major step toward creating an American-made successor to the Space Shuttle."

Great! So Dragon is going to have a 40 ton payload capacity, robotic arms, air locks, six person crews, and an ability for massive downmass, before landing on preferred runways.

That's big news! :D

Ammo might be needed after all.
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Online yg1968

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #8 on: 10/20/2011 05:20 pm »
This should be good ammo for Spacex at the upcoming House Commercial Crew hearings. Nothing better than to state that they have cleared the design review and are going about starting testing with eventual production.

http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/10/20/house-to-hold-commercial-crew-hearing-next-week/

Is it your assumption that they will need "ammo"?  SpaceX completed a milestone, that they set (a month later than they said too, but that really is noise-level), at the component PDR level.  That's good and I congratulate them for making steady progress but I would caution on making this into more than it really is. 

The others are also completing their milestones so this is not something special and unique about SpaceX. 

He needs "ammo" because there are a number of anti-commercial Representatives on the committee. I am expecting fireworks too. Hopefully, they will let Musk talk.
« Last Edit: 10/20/2011 05:35 pm by yg1968 »

Offline go4mars

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #9 on: 10/20/2011 05:21 pm »
"This represents a major step toward creating an American-made successor to the Space Shuttle."

Great! So Dragon is going to have a 40 ton payload capacity, robotic arms, air locks, six person crews, and an ability for massive downmass, before landing on preferred runways.

That's big news! :D
It doesn't say equivalent.  It says successor.  Anyways, you can't pick and choose.  For example, compare shuttle abort modes, program cost, BEO return capability, etc.
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Offline baldusi

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #10 on: 10/20/2011 06:09 pm »
As with all SpaceX designs, increased safety and reliability are paramount. "Dragon’s integrated launch abort system provides astronauts with the ability to safely escape from the beginning of the launch until the rocket reaches orbit,” explained David Giger, co-lead of the DragonRider program. “This level of protection is unprecedented in manned spaceflight history.”
You've gotta love them making names (DragonRider). But was it necessary to make such outrageous claim of what's sort of standard feature of any currently flying or about to fly crew vehicle? In fact, save for the Shuttle, Voskhod and Gemini, I think has always been a standard feature.

Offline Downix

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #11 on: 10/20/2011 06:09 pm »
Now that the Space Shuttle program has ended, the United States relies on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for astronaut transport, costing American taxpayers as much as $62 million a seat. By comparison, Dragon is designed to carry seven astronauts at a time for an unparalleled $20 million per seat.
Hold on a second.  Right now, the Dragon is costing NASA $160 million per launch.  This statement implies that SpaceX is going to change $140 million for the upgraded Dragon with crew ability.  This does not add up to me.
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #12 on: 10/20/2011 06:09 pm »
"This represents a major step toward creating an American-made successor to the Space Shuttle."

Great! So Dragon is going to have a 40 ton payload capacity, robotic arms, air locks, six person crews, and an ability for massive downmass, before landing on preferred runways.

That's big news! :D

I suggest that you look up the definition of "successor". It doesn't mean what you think it means. ;)

Offline koraldon

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #13 on: 10/20/2011 06:20 pm »
SpaceX should really replace it's PR team with all the false facts they put there..... I mean, marketing always tend to lie about engineering capabilities, but not in such a blatant and incompetent way.

As was said - LAS is not a revolution, it's already there for 50 years or so... This is a basic capability for a capsule based manned spacecraft, which was required from them.
Good that they made the PDR, it is still a long way off from development completion, wish them success - but really stop the empty boasting / lies on press releases.

In addition, a cost per seat to fly of 20$ million is not cheap. You can get a soyuz flight for around 15 to 20$ million as well... Space Adventures beat them to the price point (with actual ppl flying) more than a decade ago... definitely not unparalleled - The only sad thing is that russia "blackmailed" NASA for the seat costs (I assume that NASA also had more requirements than Space Adventures).

p.s. and of course a decent company would have written in the the photo caption that it is an artist's concept... I can easily see the press confused by the pic and think it is real...
« Last Edit: 10/20/2011 06:22 pm by koraldon »

Offline krytek

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #14 on: 10/20/2011 06:33 pm »
Now that the Space Shuttle program has ended, the United States relies on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for astronaut transport, costing American taxpayers as much as $62 million a seat. By comparison, Dragon is designed to carry seven astronauts at a time for an unparalleled $20 million per seat.
Hold on a second.  Right now, the Dragon is costing NASA $160 million per launch.  This statement implies that SpaceX is going to change $140 million for the upgraded Dragon with crew ability.  This does not add up to me.

Where did you get the 160M$ figure? Last I remember CRS was 80M$ per flight.

Quote
As was said - LAS is not a revolution, it's already there for 50 years or so
Where did you see a LAS type system 50 years ago?
« Last Edit: 10/20/2011 06:44 pm by krytek »

Offline MajorBringdown

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #15 on: 10/20/2011 06:39 pm »
SpaceX should really replace it's PR team with all the false facts they put there..... I mean, marketing always tend to lie about engineering capabilities, but not in such a blatant and incompetent way.

As was said - LAS is not a revolution, it's already there for 50 years or so... This is a basic capability for a capsule based manned spacecraft, which was required from them.
Good that they made the PDR, it is still a long way off from development completion, wish them success - but really stop the empty boasting / lies on press releases.


The original post does not claim that LAS is a revolution anywhere.  It says this:

Quote
"Dragon’s integrated launch abort system provides astronauts with the ability to safely escape from the beginning of the launch until the rocket reaches orbit,” explained David Giger, co-lead of the DragonRider program. “This level of protection is unprecedented in manned spaceflight history.”

What they are saying is that the integrated nature of the LAS provides escape from launch to orbit.  A LAS that requires jettisoning means you lose that capability after that point in the flight.  If I recall correctly, in other launchers/capsules, that jettison happens well before orbit is reached.

Please correct me if I'm mistaking in my interpretation of what I'm reading here, or if my facts are wrong.

Offline Jason1701

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #16 on: 10/20/2011 06:40 pm »
Now that the Space Shuttle program has ended, the United States relies on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for astronaut transport, costing American taxpayers as much as $62 million a seat. By comparison, Dragon is designed to carry seven astronauts at a time for an unparalleled $20 million per seat.
Hold on a second.  Right now, the Dragon is costing NASA $160 million per launch.  This statement implies that SpaceX is going to change $140 million for the upgraded Dragon with crew ability.  This does not add up to me.

Where did you get the 160M$ figure? Last I remember CRS was 80M$ per flight.

CRS is $133 million per launch. This was negotiated before SpaceX found that the Dragon could be reused. Future cargo resupply contracts would likely be cheaper if they include reusability.

koraldon - SpaceX's LAS design actually is groundbreaking. Show me who the Russians are charging $15 million per seat NOW. I don't care what their prices were 10 years ago before a host of major factors changed. You don't seem to understand the point of a press release; it's to present a company's achievement in a positive way. Russia is not blackmailing NASA, it simply learned capitalism.

Offline Jorge

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #17 on: 10/20/2011 06:40 pm »
SpaceX should really replace it's PR team with all the false facts they put there..... I mean, marketing always tend to lie about engineering capabilities, but not in such a blatant and incompetent way.

As was said - LAS is not a revolution, it's already there for 50 years or so... This is a basic capability for a capsule based manned spacecraft, which was required from them.
Good that they made the PDR, it is still a long way off from development completion, wish them success - but really stop the empty boasting / lies on press releases.

In addition, a cost per seat to fly of 20$ million is not cheap. You can get a soyuz flight for around 15 to 20$ million as well...

No, you can't. Not any more, anyway... even the Space Adventures tourist flights are in the $30-40M price range now. Largely due to appreciation of the ruble with respect to the dollar since 2001.

Not that price matters; by law, once a US commercial provider is available, NASA will buy their services in preference to Soyuz. SpaceX doesn't have to price-match Soyuz.

Quote
Space Adventures beat them to the price point (with actual ppl flying) more than a decade ago... definitely not unparalleled - The only sad thing is that russia "blackmailed" NASA for the seat costs (I assume that NASA also had more requirements than Space Adventures).

Duh. The NASA flights include crew training to the Flight Engineer-1 level (far more than the tourists get) and six months of Soyuz providing CRV lifeboat service while docked to ISS. No "blackmail" involved... you want more, you pay more. That simple.
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Offline go4mars

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #18 on: 10/20/2011 06:42 pm »
"Dragon’s integrated launch abort system provides astronauts with the ability to safely escape from the beginning of the launch until the rocket reaches orbit,” explained David Giger, co-lead of the DragonRider program. “This level of protection is unprecedented in manned spaceflight history.”
But was it necessary to make such outrageous claim of what's sort of standard feature of any currently flying or about to fly crew vehicle? In fact, save for the Shuttle, Voskhod and Gemini, I think has always been a standard feature.
Maybe Giger's quote was taken out of context (what he was referring to was not in the article).  I find it implausible that the guy in charge of the program was unaware of prior systems.  Maybe he was referring to the abort engine redundancy (8 instead of 4), or a reliability advantage bestowed by liquid vs solid or extra testing at various altitudes or something.  Agree that this was not written carefully enough.
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Offline butters

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Re: SpaceX complete PDR on LAS
« Reply #19 on: 10/20/2011 06:44 pm »
Only a month late on a significant milestone requiring NASA approval. That's a welcome improvement in schedule accuracy for SpaceX. Keep it up guys!

On the "unprecedented" nature of the LAS: to my knowledge, all previous LAS designs required a time-critical separation event during every nominal ascent to jettison the LAS, and failure to jettison would be a probable loss of crew situation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Dragon's LAS is the first which will not be jettisoned during nominal ascent. It will also be the first potentially reusable LAS. These are substantial improvements.

Is it the first LAS of any kind? No, but I don't see where SpaceX made a claim like that in this press release or in previous statements.

Designing and building this LAS will be a lot easier than testing it. That's the difficult and extraordinarily expensive part of the development cycle. I mean, it's not nearly as bad as it would be to test Shuttle RTLS (shudder), but it's still a formidable and resource-intensive challenge that SpaceX has ahead of them.

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