Poll

Which vehicle/spacecraft will be next to carry crew to orbit from the US?

F9/Dragon
269 (83.5%)
AtlasV/CST100
18 (5.6%)
AtlasV/DreamChaser
16 (5%)
F9/DreamChaser
3 (0.9%)
F9/CST100
4 (1.2%)
SLS/Orion
6 (1.9%)
Delta IV/Orion
6 (1.9%)

Total Members Voted: 322

Voting closed: 06/30/2014 11:24 pm


Author Topic: Which vehicle/spacecraft will be next to carry crew to orbit from the US?  (Read 56494 times)

Online rcoppola

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2079
  • USA
  • Liked: 1434
  • Likes Given: 625
SpaceX does have a big head start with the cargo Dragon. I think modifying it to a manned vehicle gives them the edge.


SpaceX' edge is overstated: they're changing pretty much everything for manned dragon (aero, propulsion, power, recovery, ecs, etc.). I assume the mods are all well underway, but we've seen very few of them in the open.

I think SpaceX will win by submitting a ridiculously low bid.


I've already seen a hint of some internal support for Orion on Delta IV

That would have been good to have circa 2007.
Perhaps the ease, or lack thereof,  to move from Cargo Dragon to Crew Dragon is overstated but their "Lead" in being able to offer a fully integrated Crew capability at a very competitive price isn't. NASA will not simply place their astronauts on Dragon because of a ridiculously low bid.

The systems have to be proven out against stringent HSF guidelines. The fact that they will be able to offer a very good price along with excellent engineering, is one of the main tenets of this program in the first place. One of the biggest cost and engineering proof positives is how well F9v1.1 is proving to be so far. As well as all the incredible ops experience they are/will get while servicing the ISS over the next few years. And certainly having exclusive rights to modify Pad-39A doesn't hurt either.
« Last Edit: 01/08/2014 01:03 am by rcoppola »
Sail the oceans of space and set foot upon new lands!
http://www.stormsurgemedia.com

Offline manboy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2082
  • Texas, USA, Earth
  • Liked: 127
  • Likes Given: 539
Probably Falcon 9/Dragon. But it's definitely not a sure thing.

What purpose to Orion on Ares I?
Pay for some of the development of Ares V, increase commonality and reduce the recurring cost of the Ares V.
« Last Edit: 01/08/2014 03:05 am by manboy »
"Cheese has been sent into space before. But the same cheese has never been sent into space twice." - StephenB

Offline ChefPat

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1052
  • Earth, for now
  • Liked: 123
  • Likes Given: 1022
I voted with the majority. F9/Dragon in 4th quarter 2015. SpaceX will continue their aggressive schedule & fly crew long before anybody else does.
Why wasn't the Blue Origin biconic capsule included in the poll?
Playing Politics with Commercial Crew is Un-American!!!

Offline Avron

  • Canadian Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4926
  • Liked: 151
  • Likes Given: 154
Whats the FAA regs for flying humans without NASA funding /support? Is there any direct relationship?

Offline ClaytonBirchenough

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 777
  • ~ 1 AU
    • LinkedIn
  • Liked: 34
  • Likes Given: 348
What purpose to Orion on Ares I?

There were Ares V payloads or an EDS to rendezvous with...
Clayton Birchenough
Astro. Engineer and Computational Mathematics @ ERAU

Offline joek

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3077
  • Liked: 841
  • Likes Given: 420
Whats the FAA regs for flying humans without NASA funding /support? Is there any direct relationship?

No direct relationship. FAA's focus is public safety; they do not currently have authority to address occupant safety.  NASA adds requirements for crew and mission safety.  FAA and NASA are still working to ensure their requirements and regulations do not conflict.

Thus, if you wanted to launch people tomorrow with no NASA involvement, you would need an FAA launch and reentry license just as with any other flight.  From the FAA's perspective the payload would be subject to the same safety considerations as any other payload.  Beyond that there are a few human-specific FAA regulations you would have to meet.

Attached is a pdf of a presentation given by the FAA at the CCtCap pre-proposal conference which should help.

Offline Avron

  • Canadian Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4926
  • Liked: 151
  • Likes Given: 154
Whats the FAA regs for flying humans without NASA funding /support? Is there any direct relationship?


Thus, if you wanted to launch people tomorrow with no NASA involvement, you would need an FAA launch and reentry license just as with any other flight.  From the FAA's perspective the payload would be subject to the same safety considerations as any other payload.  Beyond that there are a few human-specific FAA regulations you would have to meet.

Attached is a pdf of a presentation given by the FAA at the CCtCap pre-proposal conference which should help.

Many thanks..

get licence "FAA launch and reentry"
sign consent form
clear with range
light the candle 

Offline rockinghorse

The poll sure looks like a real squeaker so far.
My heart is still with Dream Chaser though!  :)

I too like Dream Chaser, because the name is so cool and I like winged EDL vehicles more. But also spacecraft that is named after Puff the Magic Dragon, cannot be too wrong!

I think that what Dream Chaser needs in order to have bright future, is integrated upper stage engines. Therefore although Dragon probably wins the race to orbit, Dream Chaser 2 may be the long term winner with crewed flights.

Offline ClaytonBirchenough

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 777
  • ~ 1 AU
    • LinkedIn
  • Liked: 34
  • Likes Given: 348
I too like Dream Chaser, because the name is so cool and I like winged EDL vehicles more. But also spacecraft that is named after Puff the Magic Dragon, cannot be too wrong!

I think that what Dream Chaser needs in order to have bright future, is integrated upper stage engines. Therefore although Dragon probably wins the race to orbit, Dream Chaser 2 may be the long term winner with crewed flights.

C'mon. Still talking about integrating Dream Chaser with an upper stage!?  ::)
Clayton Birchenough
Astro. Engineer and Computational Mathematics @ ERAU

Offline A_M_Swallow

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8599
  • South coast of England
  • Liked: 375
  • Likes Given: 167
{snip}

I think that what Dream Chaser needs in order to have bright future, is integrated upper stage engines. Therefore although Dragon probably wins the race to orbit, Dream Chaser 2 may be the long term winner with crewed flights.

How expensive are upper stage engines?
How expensive is surrounding the engines and fuel tanks with a heat shield?
Include repair and replacement costs.

Over N launches is this cheaper than using expandable upper stages?

Offline M129K

Where's Orion/Ariane 5?  :P

On a more serious note, I voted Delta IV/Orion, though that is more wishful thinking than what I really predict.

Offline ClaytonBirchenough

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 777
  • ~ 1 AU
    • LinkedIn
  • Liked: 34
  • Likes Given: 348
Where's Orion/Ariane 5?  :P

On a more serious note, I voted Delta IV/Orion, though that is more wishful thinking than what I really predict.

I don't understand where Delta IV/Orion is coming from...
Clayton Birchenough
Astro. Engineer and Computational Mathematics @ ERAU

Offline mb199

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 1
Where's Orion/Ariane 5?  :P

On a more serious note, I voted Delta IV/Orion, though that is more wishful thinking than what I really predict.

I don't understand where Delta IV/Orion is coming from...

Agreed, what purpose would there be in putting a manned Orion on top of a Delta IV??

Offline A_M_Swallow

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8599
  • South coast of England
  • Liked: 375
  • Likes Given: 167
Where's Orion/Ariane 5?  :P

On a more serious note, I voted Delta IV/Orion, though that is more wishful thinking than what I really predict.

I don't understand where Delta IV/Orion is coming from...

The unmanned Orion is due to be tested on a Delta IV so they will be integrated.  To make the assembly a viable LEO launch system the Delta IV needs to be man rated.  The expertise, and some of the parts, used to man rate the Atlas V could be used to man rate the Delta IV.

Offline ClaytonBirchenough

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 777
  • ~ 1 AU
    • LinkedIn
  • Liked: 34
  • Likes Given: 348
The unmanned Orion is due to be tested on a Delta IV so they will be integrated.  To make the assembly a viable LEO launch system the Delta IV needs to be man rated.  The expertise, and some of the parts, used to man rate the Atlas V could be used to man rate the Delta IV.

I'm still confused. Commercial crew should take care of the ISS. Orion is a BEO vehicle.
Clayton Birchenough
Astro. Engineer and Computational Mathematics @ ERAU

Offline beancounter

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1252
  • Perth, Western Australia
  • Liked: 106
  • Likes Given: 167
Probably Falcon 9/Dragon. But it's definitely not a sure thing.

What purpose to Orion on Ares I?
Pay for some of the development of Ares V, increase commonality and reduce the recurring cost of the Ares V.

Where are you getting any Ares vehicles from?  They no longer exist.  Actually strike that.  They never did exist.
Beancounter from DownUnder

Offline GalacticIntruder

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 457
  • Huntsville, AL
  • Liked: 176
  • Likes Given: 61
F9 for sure, but I call a dead heat between CST and DragonRider. Boeing could blow SpX out of the water if they weren't so cheap and actually spent their own vast resources on this project. That is not the case so my vote is for DragonRider.  Their obsession about it gives them the edge.  IMO, CST is also a less ambitious craft, so if SpX encounters dev  problems Boeing could win.
Moon landings were fake and the SLS/Orion debacle is the proof.

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4426
  • Liked: 195
  • Likes Given: 397
I'm going with F9 Dragon as the most ahead with Dream Chaser Atlas and CST-100 Atlas vying for second and third.

DC is more complex then the CST-100 but it got a head start and a variant of it's propulsion system is already under going test flights so the two might be very close.



The unmanned Orion is due to be tested on a Delta IV so they will be integrated.  To make the assembly a viable LEO launch system the Delta IV needs to be man rated.  The expertise, and some of the parts, used to man rate the Atlas V could be used to man rate the Delta IV.

Orion still lacks a service module at this point.
« Last Edit: 01/13/2014 05:49 am by Patchouli »

Offline rockinghorse

I think that what Dream Chaser needs in order to have bright future, is integrated upper stage engines. Therefore although Dragon probably wins the race to orbit, Dream Chaser 2 may be the long term winner with crewed flights.
How expensive are upper stage engines?

I would guess that expendable upper stage with rocket engines costs about one million per passenger. Therefore if we ever want affordable space tourism, reusable upperstage is pretty much necessity.

Offline Lars_J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6161
  • California
  • Liked: 665
  • Likes Given: 195
I think that what Dream Chaser needs in order to have bright future, is integrated upper stage engines. Therefore although Dragon probably wins the race to orbit, Dream Chaser 2 may be the long term winner with crewed flights.
How expensive are upper stage engines?

I would guess that expendable upper stage with rocket engines costs about one million per passenger. Therefore if we ever want affordable space tourism, reusable upperstage is pretty much necessity.

And you base this ...guess... based on what data exactly?

Tags: