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  [Discuss] SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft
Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-29-2017 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA photo release (Credit: SpaceX)
Astronaut Bob Behnken emerges from a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft in manufacturing at SpaceX's headquarters and factory in Hawthorne, California.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-19-2017 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Elon Musk, speaking today (July 19) at the International Space Station Research and Development conference in Washington, D.C., confirmed that SpaceX has canceled plans to propulsively land the Dragon 2 spacecraft.
That was a tough decision. The reason we decided not to pursue that heavily is that it would have taken a tremendous amount of effort to qualify that for safety for crew transport.
Crews returning from the International Space Station on Dragon will be recovered after a parachute-assisted ocean splashdown.

Aeropix
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posted 07-20-2017 12:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aeropix   Click Here to Email Aeropix     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's disappointing, though I am sure Mr. Musk will not give up on the vision of propulsive landings.

Maybe he can certify it for later flights? Or do a parachute assisted land-return like the Russians have been doing for 60 years? Certainly that should not be a huge engineering hurdle given SpaceX vision and drive to accomplish new things.

Hopefully we still can see something new and exciting for the American return to manned launches as the program matures. I guess it takes a lot of effort to tidy up the last details now they are in the home stretch.

What's the latest estimate for the first crew launch?

SkyMan1958
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posted 07-20-2017 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One major issue I see cropping up is what happens if there is an emergency?

The Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules were aided in their pickup by having the world's largest Navy essentially at their beck and call. For the Soviets/Russians, having the capsule land on land at least meant the crew was relatively safe once they landed, even if they have to land in the Amazon.

With the Dragon 2, if they don't land off of Southern California, where are the other pickup ships if the crew has to land in the middle of the Indian Ocean etc.?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-20-2017 01:52 PM     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 Aeropix:
...give up on the vision of propulsive landings.
SpaceX still has plans for propulsive landings, but not with Dragon.
quote:
What's the latest estimate for the first crew launch?
Musk said yesterday he felt they were still on track to launch next year.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-20-2017 01:54 PM     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 SkyMan1958:
...where are the other pickup ships if the crew has to land in the middle of the Indian Ocean etc.?
As with Orion, there will not be contingency ships staged for recovery; in the case of an unexpected off-course landing the crew will need to wait for ships to arrive.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-21-2017 09:30 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 Robert Pearlman:
...on track to launch next year.
Further to this, NASA yesterday (July 20) posted the following targeted test dates:
  • SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1: February 2018
  • SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): June 2018

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-21-2017 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Further to the discussion about Dragon 2 recovery, from NASA:
SpaceX, NASA and Air Force personnel who will help astronauts out of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft returning from a mission to the International Space Station have begun practicing for that using a full-size model of the spacecraft.

In certain unusual recovery situations, SpaceX may need to work with the U.S. Air Force to send parajumpers to recover astronauts from the capsule in the water. Recently, the Recovery Trainer was lowered into the Indian River Lagoon near NASA's Kennedy Space Center so Air Force pararescue and others could learn techniques for getting aboard the spacecraft and rescuing the astronauts.

...the Recovery Trainer was built by SpaceX and subsequently modified by Kennedy’s Prototype Lab to SpaceX specifications. The same dimensions as the outside mold line of a Crew Dragon, it has indicators where thrusters will be and other markings on the exterior. Inside, the crew area matches that of the operational spacecraft and includes an instrument panel.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-29-2017 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per the schedule shared at a NASA Advisory Council on Wednesday (Nov. 29):
  • April 2018: Flight to ISS without crew (Demo Mission 1)
  • August 2018: Flight to ISS with crew (Demo Mission 2)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-05-2018 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA has provided an update on what's ahead for Dragon in 2018:
  • Spacecraft: SpaceX is making significant progress on the six Crew Dragon spacecraft that the company currently has in various stages of production and testing. SpaceX's structural qualification module has undergone extensive testing, which is scheduled to be complete in the first half of 2018. The company will continue ongoing hardware and software testing on its Environment Control and Life Support System, or ECLSS, module, through early 2018. The crew module that will be used to support SpaceX's upcoming Demonstration Mission 1 has had its critical onboard avionics powered up and has completed integration of the module's pressure section and service section's structural components with preparations ongoing for its flight in 2018. Progress continues on SpaceX's spacecraft for Demonstration Mission 2 and both of the company's initial crew rotation missions.

  • Spacesuit: SpaceX will continue ongoing qualification and validation testing on its advanced spacesuits next year, including NASA's four CCP flight test astronauts for a variety of the assessments, including suit-fit, reach and visibility assessments, and pressure tests. The company is in the process of manufacturing custom suits for each of the four astronauts, which will ensure a proper fit and comfortable ride to and from the International Space Station in the Crew Dragon spacecraft.

  • Merlin/SuperDraco Testing: 2018 will see continued, rigorous qualification testing of SpaceX's Block 5 M1D and MVacD engines at the company's engine development and testing facility in McGregor, Texas. These advanced engines are manufactured by SpaceX at their headquarters in Hawthorne, California, and will power Falcon 9's first and second stages respectively as they lift the Crew Dragon spacecraft into orbit to rendezvous with the International Space Station. SpaceX also will complete major integrated system testing of its Draco and 3-D-printed SuperDraco thrusters on the company's SuperModule test stand in 2018.

  • Demo-1 Flight Test: SpaceX is targeting the second quarter of 2018 for its first demonstration mission with Crew Dragon to and from the International Space Station. This uncrewed mission will launch from Pad 39A, serving as an important rehearsal for later missions carrying NASA astronauts. Using Crew Dragon's advanced autonomous rendezvous and docking capabilities, SpaceX will complete a full mission profile to test the crewed Block 5 Falcon 9, the Dragon Spacecraft, and associated ground systems including Mission Control in Hawthorne.

  • In-Flight Abort Test: SpaceX is slated to complete an important in-flight abort test using both Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon in the time between the company's two demonstration flights in 2018. Using Crew Dragon's powerful onboard SuperDraco thrusters, built at the company's headquarters in California and tested in Texas, SpaceX will demonstrate its capability to swiftly carry astronauts to safety in the unlikely event of an in-flight anomaly. The test will be conducted from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.

  • Demo-2 Flight Test: SpaceX is progressing towards its first crewed mission under the Commercial Crew Program – Demo-2 – in the third quarter of 2018. This mission will see two NASA astronauts flying to and from the International Space Station in SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This mission will represent a major milestone in the return of crewed flights to the space station from American soil. This second demonstration mission will serve as a precursor to fully operational crew rotation missions under NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

  • Launch Complex 39A: Over the course of 2017, SpaceX reactivated Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, successfully launching a dozen missions from the historic pad. In 2018, SpaceX will continue upgrading LC-39A to support upcoming commercial crew missions, including the installation of their Crew Access Arm and white room on LC-39A's fixed service structure in the spring.

  • Parachutes: SpaceX completed the first round of qualification testing for Crew Dragon's parachute system in 2017. The second round of parachute system validation testing will be completed by mid-2018.

  • Recovery Trainer Testing: In preparation for the unlikely event of an unusual recovery situation, SpaceX has been working closely with NASA and the Department of Defense to practice to ensure safety throughout various contingency crew recovery scenarios. The company will complete an additional round of in-water rescue trainer exercises off the coast of Florida in 2018.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 01-11-2018 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA on Thursday (Jan. 11) updated the schedule for SpaceX's Dragon V2 tests:
  • SpaceX Demo Mission 1 (uncrewed): August 2018 (previously April)
  • SpaceX Demo Mission 2 (crewed): December 2018 (previously August)


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