Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Commercial Space - Military Space
  [Discuss] SpaceX Dragon: First flight to the ISS (Page 2)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search


This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 
next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   [Discuss] SpaceX Dragon: First flight to the ISS
Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 05-21-2012 07:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Personally, as much as I've had my reservations about SpaceX before, I am taking the "wait and see" approach right now rather than letting criticisms fly. Right or wrong, they seem to be the basket NASA has placed its eggs in and they have to deliver. If anything, this launch abort and turnaround should tell more about what they are capable of than any success. Technically they can fly stuff. But can they put the fat to the fire when needed to fix a problem? We shall now find out. Welcome to the launch business school of hard knocks.

I would say my only "minor" quibble is perhaps they should have a bit more of a dress and appearance code with their mission control team in California for launch days. Some of the guys looked more like a rock band than flight controllers. But I guess I am just biased by seeing MCC guys at NASA wearing their attire. But, when your company has a microscope on it from a webcast to the world at large, you want to put forth a good first impression.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-21-2012 02:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wired reports on the specific valve that resulted in Saturday's first launch attempt ending in an abort.
After examining the problematic engine, SpaceX engineers were able to trace the high-pressure problem to a valve that controls the flow of nitrogen used to purge the engine before ignition. Using the inert nitrogen gas to purge rocket engines is common and has been used for decades. The nitrogen displaces gases and/or liquids, effectively cleaning the engine and preventing any volatile mixtures before ignition.

A check valve that allows the nitrogen purge prior to ignition in the Merlin engine was stuck open just before launch. This stuck valve allowed "liquid oxygen to flow from the main injector [for the rocket engine itself] into the gas generator injector" that generates hot turbine gas, which drives the turbopumps, according to SpaceX.

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 355
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 05-21-2012 08:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
...I would say my only "minor" quibble is perhaps they should have a bit more of a dress and appearance code with their mission control team in California for launch days.
As a resident of Silicon Valley, much of what these guys were wearing were actually clothing upgrades for many companies (particularly start-ups) in CA. You might not like to see what some of the guys in the biotech fields (e.g. creating something that will actually go inside your BODY) look like.

GACspaceguy
Member

Posts: 1394
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 05-22-2012 03:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great launch! I could see it from here in Guyton from my front porch. It was super to see a launch to the ISS again.

By the way, fantastic launch photo Robert. Where did you watch the launch from and how did you compose the shot?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-22-2012 03:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Fred — I watched the launch from just behind my camera, which was positioned at the Kennedy Space Center turn basin between the press site and Vehicle Assembly Building.

The composition was somewhat dictated by circumstances. The transporter under the orbiter mockup was moved there late on Monday, requiring a change in plans in order to see the launch pad.

garymilgrom
Member

Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 05-22-2012 05:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kudos to SpaceX on this important step.

Robert your photo is great, but poignant too. If SpaceX can say "fire-breathing Dragon" then I'll say the torch is passed in this photo.

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 05-22-2012 06:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry to say I was asleep during the launch. But, it looked good on the replay. Excellent scrub turnaround and success getting the bird off the pad. Now the REAL fun stuff can begin.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-22-2012 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Matt Stroshane a photographer for Walt Disney World Resort captured the Falcon 9 launch over Mission: SPACE at Epcot:
Since I started working at Disney, I have wanted to make a photo featuring one of our space-themed attractions in the foreground and a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral 60 miles away in the background. Well, all of the planets aligned for me this morning as I was able to capture the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launching to the International Space Station in front of Mission: SPACE at Epcot.

That red streak in the sky is the flame from the rocket engines over a 64-second exposure as it arced into orbit.

SpaceKSCBlog
Member

Posts: 112
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Nov 2011

posted 05-22-2012 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I filmed it from NASA Causeway East, four miles to the west of LC-40. Click here to watch.

Glint
Member

Posts: 747
From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 05-22-2012 08:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice video. Loved the buzz of crickets you captured. They are like bookends to the video. Guess when you're a cricket growing up at the Cape rocket launches don't phase you all that much.

butch wilks
Member

Posts: 190
From: Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 05-23-2012 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for butch wilks   Click Here to Email butch wilks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert just seen your photo being used by the BBC on there news web page. Hope they had your okay to use it.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-23-2012 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is a similar shot, but was taken by a Reuters photographer.

garymilgrom
Member

Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 05-25-2012 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why does Dragon need to be captured with the robotic arm (grappled)? Why can't it dock directly? Will future versions have this capability?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-25-2012 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX plans its crewed version of Dragon to dock directly, but like JAXA's HTV, the cargo version of Dragon is designed to be grappled and berthed.

GACspaceguy
Member

Posts: 1394
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 05-25-2012 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wonderful news that the Dragon is now berthed. I am some what confused as I thought the berthing process was going to take 3-4 hours or more?

At 10:30 a.m. EDT Spaceflight Now's Mission Status page reported that the process would be completed by 4:30-5 p.m. EDT.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-25-2012 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA had allowed about three hours for the berthing, but the crew worked through the procedures quickly enough to get it done in two.

There was some fluctuation to when they would get started with the robotics ops for berthing as well, hence the differing timelines.

jtheoret
Member

Posts: 67
From: Albuquerque, NM USA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 05-25-2012 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jtheoret   Click Here to Email jtheoret     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting and even inspiring that the Dragon docking comes 51 years to the day of Kennedy calling for us to go to the moon. All those baby boomers who were alive to witness the adventure are getting tired of waiting for their turn! A new space age is coming.

cjh5801
Member

Posts: 180
From: Tumwater
Registered: Jun 2009

posted 05-25-2012 04:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cjh5801   Click Here to Email cjh5801     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations to Elon Musk and SpaceX for the successful docking of the Dragon capsule with the ISS. May it usher in a new age for the exploration and exploitation of space.

DChudwin
Member

Posts: 972
From: Lincolnshire IL USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-25-2012 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Through the years there has been a lot of talk about commercial space, with many failed ventures.

A hat tip to Elon Musk and his SpaceX team for bringing this day to reality. While SpaceX has agreements with NASA for commercial cargo and is a competitor for commercial crew, Musk provided the startup money and the organizational philosophy and leadership. Falcon 9 and Dragon were developed for a fraction of what NASA would have spent under traditional cost-plus contracts.

According to an AP story by Marcia Dunn, "Going into Tuesday's launch of this Dragon, NASA had contributed $381 million to SpaceX in seed money. The company has invested more than $1 billion in this commercial effort over the past 10 years."

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 355
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 05-25-2012 08:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
By the way, isn't today the anniversary of Kennedy's speech of the US going to the Moon, "before the decade is out"? Kind of appropriate in my opinion.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

GoesTo11
Member

Posts: 1026
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 05-25-2012 10:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
By the way, isn't today the anniversary of Kennedy's speech of the US going to the Moon, "before the decade is out"? Kind of appropriate in my opinion.

I'd say it is appropriate, because SpaceX's accomplishment today will be looked back on as a milestone achievement in the transition between the first Space Age and the next.

issman1
Member

Posts: 888
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 05-26-2012 07:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will the success of the Dragon C2/C3 flight silence the detractors and naysayers, however prominent? I only hope it serves to spur on commercial crew development.

jasonelam
Member

Posts: 443
From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 05-26-2012 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Really impressed with how this mission is going thus far. SpaceX has definitely made a name for itself with this flight. I can remember watching their early efforts with the Falcon 1 program and being totally convinced this was nothing more than a flash in the pan project. Now I'm eating crow with the rest of the naysayers .

dom
Member

Posts: 439
From:
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 05-26-2012 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I too was skeptical about SpaceX and the Dragon capsule but must admit I'm impressed by this flight. After watching a profile of Musk on CNBC Europe today I have to say I'm also very impressed with his passion for whatever company he's running at the time. Anyone who's prepared to put nearly all the money they made on their last venture into their new company is surely someone who makes things happen.

If he says he'll send people to Mars eventually — I believe him!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-26-2012 09:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
André Kuipers has shared some really awesome shots of the Dragon's approach and capture — as well as a couple of views inside.

MrSpace86
Member

Posts: 1379
From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 05-26-2012 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think this mission is awesome, no doubt about that. However, I wonder what defines "commercial space travel"? Aren't these guys receiving federal money to do these flights? Will there be a fully 100% private spaceflight ever?

But again, congratulations. Missions like these really do refresh the love for spaceflight

Mr. Apollo 17
Member

Posts: 55
From: Ashland, OH USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 05-27-2012 07:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is amazing! I have been following the Dragon for a very long time and it is amazing that it is now docked on the ISS! This may spark an interest in the young people like me and the old that still remember the 1st Space Race. All we need is a historical speech given like JFK's speech of 1961 to start the second Space "Race"!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-27-2012 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MrSpace86:
Aren't these guys receiving federal money to do these flights? Will there be a fully 100% private spaceflight ever?
Ever is a very long time. This is just the second test flight.

The definitions of "commercial" as an adjective include "concerned with or engaged in commerce" and "making or intended to make a profit." Both would clearly apply to SpaceX's Dragon program.

According to NASA and SpaceX, the space agency has contributed $381 million in seed money, whereas SpaceX has invested more than $1 billion.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1705
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 05-27-2012 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
Will the success of the Dragon C2/C3 flight silence the detractors and naysayers, however prominent? I only hope it serves to spur on commercial crew development.
An equally poignant question: If the flight had failed, would that have silenced the proponents?

I certainly applaud SpaceX's recent success. I truly hope the successes continue, and I hope the business model can evolve to exclude federal funding completely with the exception of the funding that comes from purchased launch services.

I am curious where the funding numbers are coming from. Numbers I have seen cross-referenced (but not sourced) show about $1B in funding thus far for SpaceX, broken down as follows:

  • Elon Musk: $100M
  • Other venture capital: $100M
  • NASA: $400-500M — COTS funding/progress payments on long term launch contracts and development contracts
  • Other launch customers: $300-400M — other launch customers' progress payments on long term launch contracts

issman1
Member

Posts: 888
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 05-27-2012 01:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had complete confidence SpaceX would succeed, but criticism from certain quarters over the last two years put the onus upon them to succeed.

Had COTS depended solely upon Orbital Sciences, however, I would be less so. That is not to say Orbital won't succeed (I'm rooting for them too) but SpaceX really are the new kids on the block with a certain je ne sais quois about them. It would be nice if some prominent doubters would now relent.

Now how much would Falcon 9 and Dragon have cost US taxpayers if they had been NASA programmes? Considerably more I suspect.

GoesTo11
Member

Posts: 1026
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 05-27-2012 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
Now how much would Falcon 9 and Dragon have cost US taxpayers if they had been NASA programmes? Considerably more I suspect.

I suspect you're right, and this is the real nexus of discussion. This is not about "private industry" versus "government." It's the next evolutionary stage in the partnership between the two. Every spacecraft the US has ever sent aloft was borne on a launch vehicle built by a for-profit company under contract. SpaceX is no different. What IS different is that this represents the first real step in streamlining this process, and consequently lowering the cost of access to orbit.

SpaceX is establishing a new model, one that is necessary if we are to remain (or once again become, depending on your definition of the term) a spacefaring nation. If you doubt that this is extraordinary, consider: This mission had an abort at T-0.00, and then successfully launched three days later without the vehicle even being taken off the pad.

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 355
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 05-27-2012 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would say that commercial space(flight) has been around for quite some time. Communication satellites, at least in the West, are commercial items and the manufacturers/buyers shop around to find launch services to place the satellites in orbit. The launching services tend to be governmental or quasi-governmental organizations, although some are certainly private sector.

It's delivery to the ISS without the total cost of the development of the Falcon9/Dragon system being paid for by the government that is the big step.

gliderpilotuk
Member

Posts: 3043
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 05-27-2012 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
Now how much would Falcon 9 and Dragon have cost US taxpayers if they had been NASA programmes? Considerably more I suspect.
It's certainly an interesting model, just as the "privatisation" of military support services (at least in the UK), e.g. basic helicopter training, aspects of R&D and testing, has resulted in efficiencies. In both cases the key point for the service buyer is not to become dependent on a single private supplier who can independently dictate both future pricing and service terms — especially in the absence of a tight agreement and SLA.

yeknom-ecaps
Member

Posts: 458
From: Northville MI USA
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 05-27-2012 08:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where is the Dragon recovery zone? - Every article I've seen states "off the coast of California" - that's a pretty big area... can anyone narrow it down?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-27-2012 08:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The SpaceX press kit only says:
The Dragon spacecraft is targeted to land in the Pacific Ocean, a few hundred miles west of Southern California.

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 355
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 05-27-2012 09:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would guess that it is in the vicinity of where the previous Dragon landed.

Actually, until SpaceX gets land based landing capabilities for its Dragon, that is one of my major concerns. Unlike Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, where the USN had ships all around the world for emergency landing sites, what is SpaceX gonna' do if their spacecraft has to abort early?

QuiGon Grin
Member

Posts: 42
From: Rutherford, NJ 07070
Registered: Apr 2010

posted 05-28-2012 07:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for QuiGon Grin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today while watching video of Don Pettit enter the Dragon capsule I saw he was wearing a mask. Why?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-28-2012 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The masks and goggles are standard operating procedure for entering any new module or visiting spacecraft (at least when berthed/docked on the U.S. segment) just in case the launch has freed up particles or otherwise made the atmosphere not safe to breath.

Once the atmosphere is verified as clear, the protective gear comes off.

Fezman92
Member

Posts: 1030
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 05-28-2012 07:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After it lands where will the capsule go? Is it going to be reused or displayed somewhere?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-28-2012 08:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX has said it doesn't know.

It will not be re-flown on a NASA mission due to the agency's own requirements that every CRS flight use a new capsule, but SpaceX has proposed its own DragonLab program — flying their capsules as long duration science platforms — for which this capsule could (in theory) be used.


This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement