Author Topic: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks  (Read 45792 times)

Offline SimonFD

So let me understand this. Currently, during even a static fire, they close off the pad, put up road blocks , remove everyone to a distance to 50,000 miles and then do the static fire.

What Nasa are proposing is the same process, but then stick their prized Astos and employees (and Spacex) in a bus, drive back to the pad, climb the gantry, out on the crew arm , open the hatch and get the crew seated (and if I remember from the Shuttle days this took forever) all the while standing a couple of metres away from this fully fuelled and loaded , hissing and grumbling rocket.

Are they serious? Seems to me it's lack of logic and more "we've always done it this way and therefore there is no other way" thinking.

Is it not the other way around? Put the astros in an un-fueled rocket and then leave?
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Offline kevinof

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #101 on: 01/19/2018 09:35 AM »
SpaceX want to have an empty rocket, get the crew on and then fuel.

Nasa wan't to fuel first, then go back to the pad with the astros and get them onboard.



So let me understand this. Currently, during even a static fire, they close off the pad, put up road blocks , remove everyone to a distance to 50,000 miles and then do the static fire.

What Nasa are proposing is the same process, but then stick their prized Astos and employees (and Spacex) in a bus, drive back to the pad, climb the gantry, out on the crew arm , open the hatch and get the crew seated (and if I remember from the Shuttle days this took forever) all the while standing a couple of metres away from this fully fuelled and loaded , hissing and grumbling rocket.

Are they serious? Seems to me it's lack of logic and more "we've always done it this way and therefore there is no other way" thinking.

Is it not the other way around? Put the astros in an un-fueled rocket and then leave?
« Last Edit: 01/19/2018 09:35 AM by kevinof »

Offline Jim

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #102 on: 01/19/2018 12:36 PM »
So let me understand this. Currently, during even a static fire, they close off the pad, put up road blocks , remove everyone to a distance to 50,000 miles and then do the static fire.

What Nasa are proposing is the same process, but then stick their prized Astos and employees (and Spacex) in a bus, drive back to the pad, climb the gantry, out on the crew arm , open the hatch and get the crew seated (and if I remember from the Shuttle days this took forever) all the while standing a couple of metres away from this fully fuelled and loaded , hissing and grumbling rocket.

Are they serious? Seems to me it's lack of logic and more "we've always done it this way and therefore there is no other way" thinking.

Just stop this nonsense.  The lack of logic applies to posts like these.
 It is a common practice  to go near a fueled rocket.  See Ice teams, red teams, closeout crew, etc.   

What is not common is to be near a rocket while it is in the process of being fueled.  See Amos-5.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2018 12:37 PM by Jim »

Offline Jim

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #103 on: 01/19/2018 12:43 PM »
Apollo had a slide wire even though it had an LES.  LES is like an ejection seat, it is the last resort, you avoid it if possible

Offline spacenut

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #104 on: 01/19/2018 12:44 PM »
Why can't SpaceX not use super cooled LOX and land the rocket on the drone ship?  Super cooling is what 12% more LOX than standard?  The Dragon II is only going to LEO.

Offline woods170

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #105 on: 01/19/2018 12:47 PM »
What is not common is to be near a rocket while it is in the process of being fueled.  See Amos-5.

That would be Amos-6. You're the second one to get this wrong. Some character at Capitol Hill recently referred to it as Amos-9.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2018 12:48 PM by woods170 »

Offline woods170

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #106 on: 01/19/2018 12:50 PM »
Why can't SpaceX not use super cooled LOX and land the rocket on the drone ship?  Super cooling is what 12% more LOX than standard?  The Dragon II is only going to LEO.


Falcon 9 and GSE have been changed to ALWAYS use super-cooled LOX. There is no going back. Not without a costly complete reversal of earlier changes.

Offline Ugger55

Apollo had a slide wire even though it had an LES.  LES is like an ejection seat, it is the last resort, you avoid it if possible

Could a difference be due to SpaceX's preference for mechanical reusable systems over pyro systems though. Would a Dragon operating its LES damage the attached rocket. Is the LES sep a mechanical connection like they use for S1 sep and Fairing sep, and would it be quick enough for use in LES or have they gone with a pyro disconnect just for LES?

With Apollo, LES activation on a stable stack would, I imagine render the stack unusable at best, destroy it at worst. Is this likely true for Falcon too?

Personally I'd not like to approach a rocket "on foot" if it has fuel in it, id much rather sit in a safe system beforehand....

Online rockets4life97

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #108 on: 01/19/2018 01:25 PM »
Seems to me we have two historically rare failure modes: failure while fueling and failure while fueled in a stable state on the pad. The second has been "normalized" as it is the current practice. The true risk of each is probably unknown (and unknowable statistically due to the the problem of defining the tail of the distribution).

I'd personally risk fewer people. I put a very high price on human life. I'd take a failure risk that killed 4 people 5 times as often than one that killed 20 people in one go.

Offline kevinof

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #109 on: 01/19/2018 01:26 PM »
The reason a LAS would be activated in the first place would be that there is a big problem (ie kaboom) with the rocket. There's not going to be much left of the stack no matter what the engineering. No difference between Falcon and any other rocket.

Apollo had a slide wire even though it had an LES.  LES is like an ejection seat, it is the last resort, you avoid it if possible

Could a difference be due to SpaceX's preference for mechanical reusable systems over pyro systems though. Would a Dragon operating its LES damage the attached rocket. Is the LES sep a mechanical connection like they use for S1 sep and Fairing sep, and would it be quick enough for use in LES or have they gone with a pyro disconnect just for LES?

With Apollo, LES activation on a stable stack would, I imagine render the stack unusable at best, destroy it at worst. Is this likely true for Falcon too?

Personally I'd not like to approach a rocket "on foot" if it has fuel in it, id much rather sit in a safe system beforehand....

Offline Ugger55

The reason a LAS would be activated in the first place would be that there is a big problem (ie kaboom) with the rocket. There's not going to be much left of the stack no matter what the engineering. No difference between Falcon and any other rocket.

Apollo had a slide wire even though it had an LES.  LES is like an ejection seat, it is the last resort, you avoid it if possible

Could a difference be due to SpaceX's preference for mechanical reusable systems over pyro systems though. Would a Dragon operating its LES damage the attached rocket. Is the LES sep a mechanical connection like they use for S1 sep and Fairing sep, and would it be quick enough for use in LES or have they gone with a pyro disconnect just for LES?

With Apollo, LES activation on a stable stack would, I imagine render the stack unusable at best, destroy it at worst. Is this likely true for Falcon too?

Personally I'd not like to approach a rocket "on foot" if it has fuel in it, id much rather sit in a safe system beforehand....

Oh completely agree there in principle. Was wondering what the engineering solution being implemented would be. Was it a Gemini launch where there was a near activation of the LAS? In such a situation, were the Dragon LAS to be activated what would happen.

I'd be interested to know what other scenarios could exist (past kaboom) that in current launcher configurations use the "all launch crew leg it" egress method.

To me, it just feels wrong that we trust a LAS to work on a rocket when it is flying, subsonic, transonic, supersonic, at Max-Q, and whena fully fuelled bomb on a pad with its fuse lit (terminal count). But we don't seem to trust that system during fuelling. Instead, conventional knowledge is that tens of people will stand in elevators going up and down hundreds of feet next to this primed rocket, jumping about on people to get them in to chairs, swinging doors open and closed etc. with not a worry in the world yet none of them could escape were there to be some untelegraphed RUD 
« Last Edit: 01/19/2018 01:53 PM by Ugger55 »

Offline Jim

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #111 on: 01/19/2018 02:31 PM »

To me, it just feels wrong that we trust a LAS to work on a rocket when it is flying, subsonic, transonic, supersonic, at Max-Q, 

It is because it is the only method available.  It is not the best or safest method when there are other available on the ground.  That is why slidewire and elevators are used.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2018 02:32 PM by Jim »

Offline Jim

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #112 on: 01/19/2018 02:33 PM »
But we don't seem to trust that system during fuelling.

No, the rocket is not trusted and hence why put crew near it.

Steady state replenishment is not unlike the propellant tank farm while tankers are refilling the big sphere before launch. 
« Last Edit: 01/19/2018 02:36 PM by Jim »

Offline jak Kennedy

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #113 on: 01/19/2018 03:28 PM »

To me, it just feels wrong that we trust a LAS to work on a rocket when it is flying, subsonic, transonic, supersonic, at Max-Q, 

It is because it is the only method available.  It is not the best or safest method when there are other available on the ground.  That is why slidewire and elevators are used.

I think there is an assumption that it is "not the best or safest method"  Have the slidewires or elevators ever been used in an emergency? They certainly do not sound like the quickest way to get clear of a rocket. The LAS has been proved in the case of Soyuz 7K-ST 16L. Only after events happen does NASA seem to reconsider 'change'.

Offline Jim

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #114 on: 01/19/2018 04:22 PM »

I think there is an assumption that it is "not the best or safest method"  Have the slidewires or elevators ever been used in an emergency? They certainly do not sound like the quickest way to get clear of a rocket. The LAS has been proved in the case of Soyuz 7K-ST 16L. Only after events happen does NASA seem to reconsider 'change'.

That was due a fire, there are other events that don't need such a quick and injurious method.

Offline RDoc

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #115 on: 01/19/2018 06:14 PM »
Nope. Dragon2 is not their end-game. BFR is where they want to be and why waste the money and time getting legs on a Dragon?
I'm not at all clear on how this is going to work. First, there's the issue of what ASAP will think of the BFR/BFS. At least so far, I'm unaware of any plan for a crew escape system, certainly not after first stage separation. That probably will not go down very well with them.

Then there is the whole question of how many total Commercial Crew launches are there going to be at all. The ISS is not going to be in orbit for very many more years, and it's not clear at all that NASA is going to replace it, nor do any BEO crewed launches other than with with the SLS is it?

I suppose space tourism may take up some launches, but I don't know what, if any, influence ASAP has on those.

Offline woods170

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #116 on: 01/19/2018 07:01 PM »
Nope. Dragon2 is not their end-game. BFR is where they want to be and why waste the money and time getting legs on a Dragon?
I'm not at all clear on how this is going to work. First, there's the issue of what ASAP will think of the BFR/BFS. At least so far, I'm unaware of any plan for a crew escape system, certainly not after first stage separation. That probably will not go down very well with them.

Then there is the whole question of how many total Commercial Crew launches are there going to be at all. The ISS is not going to be in orbit for very many more years, and it's not clear at all that NASA is going to replace it, nor do any BEO crewed launches other than with with the SLS is it?

I suppose space tourism may take up some launches, but I don't know what, if any, influence ASAP has on those.

As long as commercial companies keep NASA out (don't let NASA "run the show") ASAP will have no influence whatsoever.

ASAP is an advisory panel for NASA only.

Keep NASA out and the only agency involved is the FAA. Such as BO is doing with New Shepard and New Glenn. Blue only needs a launch license from the FAA to launch tourists on New Shepard. No permission needed from NASA (let alone ASAP) whatsoever.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2018 07:04 PM by woods170 »

Offline AncientU

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #117 on: 01/19/2018 07:07 PM »
Nope. Dragon2 is not their end-game. BFR is where they want to be and why waste the money and time getting legs on a Dragon?
I'm not at all clear on how this is going to work. First, there's the issue of what ASAP will think of the BFR/BFS. At least so far, I'm unaware of any plan for a crew escape system, certainly not after first stage separation. That probably will not go down very well with them.

Then there is the whole question of how many total Commercial Crew launches are there going to be at all. The ISS is not going to be in orbit for very many more years, and it's not clear at all that NASA is going to replace it, nor do any BEO crewed launches other than with with the SLS is it?

I suppose space tourism may take up some launches, but I don't know what, if any, influence ASAP has on those.

As long as commercial companies keep NASA out (don't let NASA "run the show") ASAP will have no influence whatsoever.

ASAP is an advisory panel for NASA only.

Keep NASA out and the only agency involved is the FAA. Such as BO is doing with New Shepard and New Glenn. Blue only needs a launch license from the FAA to launch tourists on New Shepard. No permission needed from NASA (let alone ASAP) whatsoever.

Exactly.
If SpaceX ever allows NASA/ASAP to start calling shots for BFR/BFS, they haven't learned their lesson.

NASA can fly their astros after signing the disclosure statement like everyone else that fly these vehicles.
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Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #118 on: 01/19/2018 08:46 PM »

To me, it just feels wrong that we trust a LAS to work on a rocket when it is flying, subsonic, transonic, supersonic, at Max-Q, 

It is because it is the only method available.  It is not the best or safest method when there are other available on the ground.  That is why slidewire and elevators are used.

I think there is an assumption that it is "not the best or safest method"  Have the slidewires or elevators ever been used in an emergency? They certainly do not sound like the quickest way to get clear of a rocket. The LAS has been proved in the case of Soyuz 7K-ST 16L. Only after events happen does NASA seem to reconsider 'change'.

You can't prove the safety of something simply by doing it. 5 out of 6 people would tell you russian roulette is perfectly safe.  You have to understand the system as best as reasonably possible.

There are still many many concerns over any form of LAS. For instance, nearly all of them trust parachutes in an environment that includes several tons of rapidly propagating shrapnel.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: ASAP still has concerns over Commercial Crew LOC risks
« Reply #119 on: 01/19/2018 08:48 PM »
Point out two things.

First, HSF is peculiar due to history, politics, and global influence / "soft power" - that means running a rather severe gauntlet to begin with.

Second, when you've run that gauntlet, it has an enduring value. It is possible for those who have done so to be further considered for other missions later.

And while it's especially true that the first doesn't imply the second, especially in this "post truth, fake everything you don't like" world, there are definite consequences to ignoring the linking of the two.

(As there was to using private "cheap" security force to back up actual military personnel last year, leaving a man behind.)

It's infuriating watching this drama without reasonable transparency on actual, underlying issues. The last thing you want is a clear and objective closeout of issues interrupted by obscure and possibly irrelevant/dilatory items added to a program as its gearing up for first flights. Which seems to be happening.

Assuming Dragon 2 still flies its demo missions, not only does it place the burden on NASA (and ASAP) on wrestling with the political demons as to CC missions, it also captures the fact that the process has arrived at a reasonable conclusion, and can be used as a model for BFS (and perhaps later BO capsules).

(One should also realize that many will later study both CC and CRS programs in detail, and no doubt the "heavy hand" of certain influences will be revealed as to be the chief obstacle/inhibitor to cost/time. Expect also this will inform on certain Orion lossage as well in like manner.)

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