Author Topic: Magic Dragon  (Read 5223 times)

Offline krytek

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Magic Dragon
« on: 12/24/2011 09:29 pm »
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/picture-uk-built-spacex-capsule-revealed-222995/
Stumbled upon this article today. No idea if it was discussed before.
Do you think there's any truth to the article?
I mean SpaceX were known to have connections and investments in the UK,
but the whole dragon design...

Offline Wyvern

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Re: Magic Dragon
« Reply #1 on: 12/24/2011 09:52 pm »
Wow this sure is a twist.

Feel kinda sorry for Elson on the whole ITAR thing, must have sucked not knowing even the dimensions of the rocket you are designing your capsule for.
Darn it where is my Moon base!

Offline grakenverb

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Re: Magic Dragon
« Reply #2 on: 12/24/2011 10:00 pm »
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/picture-uk-built-spacex-capsule-revealed-222995/
Stumbled upon this article today. No idea if it was discussed before.
Do you think there's any truth to the article?
I mean SpaceX were known to have connections and investments in the UK,
but the whole dragon design...

Bobthemonkey beat you to it: 

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12713.msg269002#msg269002

 :)
« Last Edit: 12/24/2011 10:02 pm by grakenverb »

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: Magic Dragon
« Reply #3 on: 12/25/2011 02:09 am »
Yes that was for real, that was the pre COTS program manned mission for SpaceX.  Once COTS started they moved from MagicDragon to Dragon and Falcon5 to Falcon9 as being the manned vehicle.

This also added a good bit of delay, but hopefully it was worth it.
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Offline go4mars

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Re: Magic Dragon
« Reply #4 on: 12/26/2011 01:08 pm »
Looks like a much smaller diameter (but similar volume?).   I hope they have a company historian on staff so in another decade or 3 we can read all about the progression, the trade-offs, etc. 
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Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Magic Dragon
« Reply #5 on: 12/27/2011 03:39 am »
Looks like a much smaller diameter (but similar volume?).   I hope they have a company historian on staff so in another decade or 3 we can read all about the progression, the trade-offs, etc. 

I briefed Elon on a concept very similar to one discussed in the attached PDF in 2003.  (In fact, the brief was much more detailed and under NDA with HMX; a 2003 rendering of that updated version is shown below).  I was essentially offering to sell our "XV" spacecraft to SpaceX for crew and cargo.  Elon decided he didn't want to buy his crewed spacecraft from a third party and turned down my offer.  In 2004, I met with Gwynne Shotwell of SpaceX to discuss buying a Falcon 5 to launch a commercial XV, since I thought I had some funding to build a prototype and SpaceX was offering the F5 for only $12M (how times have changed!).  She took one look at the illustration and turned it over and said [paraphrasing] "I can't look at that...it's like something we are building." 

My funding never materialized so I frankly didn't give it any more thought until those photos started showing up a few years later, but it seems likely there was some connection between my original AltAcess brief and whatever was being built in the UK.  But I have never seen an exterior moldline photo, so there is no way to be sure.  Of course, there were lots of concepts floating around that could have been the model for whatever Magic Dragon was, but I have always wondered about what might have been...if only we had been able to work together on such a venture.


Offline RocketmanUS

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Re: Magic Dragon
« Reply #6 on: 12/27/2011 05:08 am »
Looks like a much smaller diameter (but similar volume?).   I hope they have a company historian on staff so in another decade or 3 we can read all about the progression, the trade-offs, etc. 

I briefed Elon on a concept very similar to one discussed in the attached PDF in 2003.  (In fact, the brief was much more detailed and under NDA with HMX; a 2003 rendering of that updated version is shown below).  I was essentially offering to sell our "XV" spacecraft to SpaceX for crew and cargo.  Elon decided he didn't want to buy his crewed spacecraft from a third party and turned down my offer.  In 2004, I met with Gwynne Shotwell of SpaceX to discuss buying a Falcon 5 to launch a commercial XV, since I thought I had some funding to build a prototype and SpaceX was offering the F5 for only $12M (how times have changed!).  She took one look at the illustration and turned it over and said [paraphrasing] "I can't look at that...it's like something we are building." 

My funding never materialized so I frankly didn't give it any more thought until those photos started showing up a few years later, but it seems likely there was some connection between my original AltAcess brief and whatever was being built in the UK.  But I have never seen an exterior moldline photo, so there is no way to be sure.  Of course, there were lots of concepts floating around that could have been the model for whatever Magic Dragon was, but I have always wondered about what might have been...if only we had been able to work together on such a venture.


Nice PDF on the XV.
Very similar to the Kistler K-1 orbital stage.

Nice to see this version of the XV was to have a land-landing. Now if the new XV design had a land-landing instead of aircapture!
Thread on the XV
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24859.0

I wounder why the UK or ESA did not pick up on the Magic Dragon design?

Offline Prober

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Re: Magic Dragon
« Reply #7 on: 12/27/2011 01:22 pm »
Looks like a much smaller diameter (but similar volume?).   I hope they have a company historian on staff so in another decade or 3 we can read all about the progression, the trade-offs, etc. 

I briefed Elon on a concept very similar to one discussed in the attached PDF in 2003.  (In fact, the brief was much more detailed and under NDA with HMX; a 2003 rendering of that updated version is shown below).  I was essentially offering to sell our "XV" spacecraft to SpaceX for crew and cargo.  Elon decided he didn't want to buy his crewed spacecraft from a third party and turned down my offer.  In 2004, I met with Gwynne Shotwell of SpaceX to discuss buying a Falcon 5 to launch a commercial XV, since I thought I had some funding to build a prototype and SpaceX was offering the F5 for only $12M (how times have changed!).  She took one look at the illustration and turned it over and said [paraphrasing] "I can't look at that...it's like something we are building." 

My funding never materialized so I frankly didn't give it any more thought until those photos started showing up a few years later, but it seems likely there was some connection between my original AltAcess brief and whatever was being built in the UK.  But I have never seen an exterior moldline photo, so there is no way to be sure.  Of course, there were lots of concepts floating around that could have been the model for whatever Magic Dragon was, but I have always wondered about what might have been...if only we had been able to work together on such a venture.


Nice PDF on the XV.
Very similar to the Kistler K-1 orbital stage.

Nice to see this version of the XV was to have a land-landing. Now if the new XV design had a land-landing instead of aircapture!
Thread on the XV
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24859.0

I wounder why the UK or ESA did not pick up on the Magic Dragon design?

Not invented here ?
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Offline Jkew

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Re: Magic Dragon
« Reply #8 on: 12/27/2011 02:02 pm »
Quote
Designed for tourism Elson said SpaceX insisted on square windows for the tourists and that the capsule was designed to be launched by a SpaceX Falcon 5.
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola/2008/04/magic-dragon-the-uks-first-com.html

Square windows?

Offline Prober

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Re: Magic Dragon
« Reply #9 on: 12/27/2011 02:12 pm »
Quote
Designed for tourism Elson said SpaceX insisted on square windows for the tourists and that the capsule was designed to be launched by a SpaceX Falcon 5.
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola/2008/04/magic-dragon-the-uks-first-com.html

Square windows?

Like in aircraft I believe.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2011 12:26 pm by Prober »
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Offline cheesybagel

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Re: Magic Dragon
« Reply #10 on: 12/29/2011 04:40 am »
I wounder why the UK or ESA did not pick up on the Magic Dragon design?

UK government space investments are limited to robotic missions or satellites. There used to be a BAE systems manned capsule proposal back in the 80s but it was canned because of that (and differing budget priorities).

As for ESA, they already launched a capsule once, Apollo like but subscaled, called ARD. It was successfully retrieved off the ocean post reentry by the French Navy. For a fraction of the cost of some random Hermes shuttle studies.
 

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Magic Dragon
« Reply #11 on: 01/02/2012 12:28 pm »
Just astonishing that the UK managed to get enough information through ITAR to get so far.

The design is very Kistler like. Wonder what the re-entry strategy was and weather they were allowed the TPS specs?

It does add to Musk's contention that Spacex is not vertically integrated through *choice* rather that the combination of ITAR bureaucracy and aerospace suppliers used to *big* up front NRE charges for *any* changes of spec make any other corporate structure almost impossible, if you want to offer *serious* price reductions. 
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