Author Topic: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2  (Read 522321 times)

Offline oiorionsbelt

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #560 on: 09/17/2014 07:33 pm »
Anyone know why the CST-100 doesn't have an in-flight abort demonstration requirement?
Also can anyone give a status of the human rating of the Atlas V ?

Offline arachnitect

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #561 on: 09/18/2014 05:47 am »
Anyone know why the CST-100 doesn't have an in-flight abort demonstration requirement?
Also can anyone give a status of the human rating of the Atlas V ?

They need an emergency detection system and Dual Engine Centaur.

They've been ground testing the EDS in CCiCap. Most of the necessary hardware (sensors, data buses) are already on the rocket. EDS is a kit that gets installed for crew flights.

Atlas V human rating work has been happening since OSP.

Previous versions of Centaur flew with two engines. The updated version should be through Critical Design Review and ready to start production (that was the plan at least, haven't heard anything about DEC status).

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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Offline robertross

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #563 on: 09/18/2014 03:04 pm »
Not sure this was noted elsewhere:

"Boeing Co's proposal to develop a so-called space taxi for NASA astronauts includes a seat for paying tourists to fly to the International Space Station, the company's program manager said on Wednesday, a first for a U.S. space program."

more here:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/boeing-space-taxi-has-tourist-seat-1.2770088
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #564 on: 09/18/2014 08:01 pm »
Is that a CST-100 docked with a Cygnus???

Yep. Add a ECLSS and you could easily use a pre-launched (maybe by Delta-IV or Falcon Heavy) heavyweight Cygnus as a commercial mission module; maybe a lab of some sort. Or slap it on the front of a BE-3-powered propulsion module as a DSH-lite.
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Online intrepidpursuit

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #565 on: 09/19/2014 01:49 am »
Do we know for sure that they are launching on an Atlas V? I know there was discussion of other launch vehicles early on. They downplayed the Russian engine connection in the press conference, could they be flying on an all US built rocket?

Offline yg1968

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #566 on: 09/19/2014 02:08 am »
Do we know for sure that they are launching on an Atlas V? I know there was discussion of other launch vehicles early on. They downplayed the Russian engine connection in the press conference, could they be flying on an all US built rocket?

Yes, an Atlas V 422.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #567 on: 09/19/2014 12:39 pm »
I am personally glad that there are two competitors.

Mods.  Not sure where to post this.  Not sure either if it would be productive to open a new thread on the downselect news.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #568 on: 10/02/2014 03:38 pm »
As I've posted before, I like the engineering.  I think there's real long-term potential in the modular concept, beyond LEO.

I brought his over from the CCtCap thread because OT there.

Can you expand on that modular concept? Anything, that Dragon with its trunk cannot do?

Offline Nindalf

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #569 on: 10/02/2014 04:12 pm »
As I've posted before, I like the engineering.  I think there's real long-term potential in the modular concept, beyond LEO.

I brought his over from the CCtCap thread because OT there.

Can you expand on that modular concept? Anything, that Dragon with its trunk cannot do?
It's not just the pieces CST-100 splits into operationally, the components within them are also relatively easy to recombine and modify.  Weight can be stripped off where capabilities are not needed, capacity can be increased where needed.

I think with this modular approach they'd have little difficulty recreating all the components of the Apollo spacecraft out of this (with a nozzle extension on the RS-88), and making larger space-storable and refuelable propulsion modules, and systems for aerobraking things other than capsules, from a moon return to LEO.

The Bigelow moon base concept art shows what appears to be CST-family lunar landers / return vehicles, sitting by the landed base.

SpaceX could probably also build something along these lines, but they always talk about Mars.  They want to sell flights, not vehicles, and especially not custom vehicles.  The Boeing CST approach seems much more customizable, or at least they're showing us how it's customizable.

Offline obi-wan

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #570 on: 10/02/2014 04:45 pm »
As I've posted before, I like the engineering.  I think there's real long-term potential in the modular concept, beyond LEO.

I brought his over from the CCtCap thread because OT there.

Can you expand on that modular concept? Anything, that Dragon with its trunk cannot do?
It's not just the pieces CST-100 splits into operationally, the components within them are also relatively easy to recombine and modify.  Weight can be stripped off where capabilities are not needed, capacity can be increased where needed.

I think with this modular approach they'd have little difficulty recreating all the components of the Apollo spacecraft out of this (with a nozzle extension on the RS-88), and making larger space-storable and refuelable propulsion modules, and systems for aerobraking things other than capsules, from a moon return to LEO.

The Bigelow moon base concept art shows what appears to be CST-family lunar landers / return vehicles, sitting by the landed base.

SpaceX could probably also build something along these lines, but they always talk about Mars.  They want to sell flights, not vehicles, and especially not custom vehicles.  The Boeing CST approach seems much more customizable, or at least they're showing us how it's customizable.

Can you give links to that level of detail about CST-100? From what I've seen,they're tighter-lipped about their design than SpaceX. I could really use CST-100 design details, particularly about their service module. Thanks!

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #571 on: 10/02/2014 05:14 pm »
SpaceX could probably also build something along these lines, but they always talk about Mars.  They want to sell flights, not vehicles, and especially not custom vehicles.  The Boeing CST approach seems much more customizable, or at least they're showing us how it's customizable.

This one is a good argument. SpaceX may not want to do it. But given a very good incentive, like a similar amount Boeing would charge, they may change their mind. They do need money.

I don't see what could be stripped off CST-100 except the airbags and go back to water landing. The Dragon trunk is empty. It should be easier to install anything needed there.

Offline Nindalf

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #572 on: 10/02/2014 05:48 pm »
Can you give links to that level of detail about CST-100? From what I've seen,they're tighter-lipped about their design than SpaceX. I could really use CST-100 design details, particularly about their service module. Thanks!
Have you looked at their basic materials?
http://www.boeing.com/assets/pdf/defense-space/space/ccts/docs/CCDev2%20Boeing%20CST-100%20Overview.pdf

I don't have any special, detailed sources.  They've been emphasizing how it will be to put together, over how it will work, from the beginning.  It's a system integrator's design, from the clamshell pressure vessel on up.

It's like Dragon V2 is an iBook, Dream Chaser is a Nintendo 3DS, and CST-100 is a Dell minitower PC with a separate monitor and keyboard: which one you want is a matter of taste and intended use, but it's just obvious which is the easiest to provide in a wide variety of configurations.

RS-88 was originally designed as a LOX/ethanol engine for a small launch vehicle, which they've adapted to NTO/MMH.  It's certainly suitable for adaptations such a gimbal mount and nozzle extension, if you want to use it for major orbital maneuvers, and since it's throttleable and fast-lighting, it's likely suitable as the main engine of a lunar lander.

I don't see what could be stripped off CST-100 except the airbags and go back to water landing. The Dragon trunk is empty. It should be easier to install anything needed there.
If you want a CST-family lunar lander/ascent vehicle, it doesn't need the LAS, the heat shield, the parachute, the air bags, or the aeroshell.  It can launch in a fairing, uncrewed, for LEO rendezvous.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #573 on: 10/02/2014 05:56 pm »
I don't see what could be stripped off CST-100 except the airbags and go back to water landing. The Dragon trunk is empty. It should be easier to install anything needed there.
If you want a CST-family lunar lander/ascent vehicle, it doesn't need the LAS, the heat shield, the parachute, the air bags, or the aeroshell.  It can launch in a fairing, uncrewed, for LEO rendezvous.

And a new pressure vessel because a capsule makes no sense for a lunar lander. So we are talking about a new vehicle with some componenents, like avionics and engines reused. Not about a modified CST-100.

Offline Nindalf

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #574 on: 10/02/2014 06:17 pm »
And a new pressure vessel because a capsule makes no sense for a lunar lander.
There's a point where you have to stop optimizing for mass and performance and start optimizing for cost and reliability.  I mean, a moon base isn't going to happen unless there are major improvements in launch cost and rate.

Especially once you're moving out beyond LEO, where you can't just have a default plan of initiating reentry if anything goes wrong, you need components that are tested and proven in space.  Once you have something that's not overly massive and can be trusted to keep crews alive and do rendezvous, you want to use those systems, instead of designing a lunar lander from scratch.

It's no sillier than the whole Red Dragon thing.  Development is expensive, and developing a new tool for every job is a big part of why space stuff has cost so much.  Once you've developed a system you're producing in multiples, you want to look for every opportunity to use it.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #575 on: 10/02/2014 06:36 pm »
People have proposed landing on the moon with Dragon. The idea was shot down every time. And with good reason. How is this any different with CST-100?
« Last Edit: 10/02/2014 06:37 pm by guckyfan »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #576 on: 10/03/2014 12:17 am »
Here's a list of Boeing's CST-100 milestones for CCiCap. I've said a number of times that Boeing has yet to build any integrated hardware or software systems. They've done component level hardware testing and software demonstrations for the ascent phase only. If anyone would care to dispute this, please do so by addressing the milestones. I'm happy to be wrong, but you have to show me.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline a_langwich

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #577 on: 10/03/2014 02:07 am »
And a new pressure vessel because a capsule makes no sense for a lunar lander.
There's a point where you have to stop optimizing for mass and performance and start optimizing for cost and reliability.  I mean, a moon base isn't going to happen unless there are major improvements in launch cost and rate.

I would agree, there is a point as you describe.  This is not that point.  You stop optimizing for mass and performance in those places and situations where mass and performance are not the key drivers of the design, and a lunar lander is not such a place.  Every pound of mass on a lunar lander has required tens of pounds of mass to lift it and support it through the rest of the mission profile.  And for at least the next decade or two, what you can do on the moon is crucially limited by the weight of things you can bring, so even if you don't care about saving the tens of pounds of launch mass, you will care about the pound of usable payload that you gave up just to be able to reuse an inapt design.  And for at least the next decade or two, the cost of getting a pound of payload to the surface of the moon is more than enough to pay for a little bit of engineering time to free up that pound by customizing a design.

Having said that, if the choice is between trying to customize a Dragon or CST-100 to become a lander versus another NASA program where they spend $4-10 billion and run trades of every possible combinatorial collection of possibilities, including ones you know you won't use (e.g. no margin of safety), then yeah, maybe something based on those would work better than a cancelled design stopped for lack of budget.  But you'd do still better to ask SpaceX or Boeing to design a better vehicle for that purpose.

RS-88 was originally designed as a LOX/ethanol engine for a small launch vehicle, which they've adapted to NTO/MMH.  It's certainly suitable for adaptations such a gimbal mount and nozzle extension, if you want to use it for major orbital maneuvers, and since it's throttleable and fast-lighting, it's likely suitable as the main engine of a lunar lander.

You keep using singular form "it".  Shouldn't that be "they" since there are 4 mounted pointing diagonally out, not 1 pointing back as in the Apollo SM?  And, since they are pointing diagonally out and may be used for LAS (meaning the tip of the existing nozzle is close to the outer mold line of the vehicle in order to fire during flight), are they really suitable for nozzle extensions? 

Offline newpylong

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #578 on: 10/03/2014 01:41 pm »
Here's a list of Boeing's CST-100 milestones for CCiCap. I've said a number of times that Boeing has yet to build any integrated hardware or software systems. They've done component level hardware testing and software demonstrations for the ascent phase only. If anyone would care to dispute this, please do so by addressing the milestones. I'm happy to be wrong, but you have to show me.

Who cares? Isn't it obvious they have not built as much as SpaceX?

It has been covered ad nauseam that many contracts are signed without hardware.

Different companies, different goals, different approaches.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2014 01:41 pm by newpylong »

Offline Nindalf

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #579 on: 10/03/2014 02:09 pm »
And for at least the next decade or two, the cost of getting a pound of payload to the surface of the moon is more than enough to pay for a little bit of engineering time to free up that pound by customizing a design.
Just how much mass do you think you can shave off of a capsule pressure vessel and still have one that's suitable for a lunar lander / ascent vehicle?

Anyway, a moon base is going to require a lot of mass to the moon surface.  Crew vehicles will be a small fraction of it.  If you have to worry about a few pounds on the crew lander, you're not doing a moon base.

At our current crude level of space technology and general ineptitude in space, engineering effort should be focused on multi-order-of-magnitude gains, like efficiently reusable vehicles, solar and nuclear power systems truly optimized for space, and propellant production from lunar and asteroid sources, rather than asymptotic ones like slightly lighter air cans.

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