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  SpaceX Dragon 2 propulsive landing tests

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Author Topic:   SpaceX Dragon 2 propulsive landing tests
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 33868
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-30-2014 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently released its draft environmental assessment (PDF) for issuing an experimental permit to SpaceX for operation of the company's DragonFly reusable launch vehicle (RLV) at the company's test site in McGregor Texas. The document provides some insight into the test flights that SpaceX plans to qualify its Dragon V2 propulsive landing modes.
The DragonFly RLV is the Dragon capsule with an integrated trunk (which may or may not be attached during a DragonFly operation) and up to four steel landing legs...

The DragonFly RLV weighs approximately 14,000 pounds (lbs) un‐fueled, with a height of 17 ft and a base width of 13 ft. Each pair of SuperDraco engines (eight total engines) are mounted to a monolithic aluminum bracket. This bracket is connected to the pressure vessel with three mounts.

The propulsion system uses a nitrogen tetroxide (NTO) and monomethylhydrazine (MMH) propellant combination. The amount of propellant for each type of operation varies and is discussed further in Section 2.1.1.1, Proposed Operations. The DragonFly RLV has a maximum operational propellant load of approximately 400 gallons; however, the propellant loads would be different depending on the test type.

SpaceX has proposed four types of operations (test) with the DragonFly RLV:
  • Propulsive Assist - Drop the RLV from a helicopter from up to 10,000 ft, deploy parachutes and land with SuperDraco engines; engines would fire for 5 seconds

  • Full Propulsive Landing - Drop the RLV from a helicopter from up to 10,000 ft and land only with SuperDraco engines (no parachute); engines would fire for 5 seconds

  • Propulsive Assist Hopping - RLV takes off from launch pad and lands with parachutes; engines would fire for 25 seconds

  • Full Propulsive Hopping - RLV takes off from launch pad, hovers, and lands propulsive (no parachute); engines would fire for 25 seconds

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 33868
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-21-2016 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX video
Dragon 2 Propulsive Hover Test

On Nov. 24, SpaceX's Dragon 2, powered by eight SuperDraco engines, executed a picture-perfect propulsive hover test at the company's rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas.

Eight SuperDraco thrusters, positioned around the perimeter of the vehicle in pairs called "jet packs," fired up simultaneously to raise the Crew Dragon spacecraft for a five-second hover, generating approximately 33,000 lbs of thrust before returning the vehicle to its resting position.

This test was the second of a two-part milestone under NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The first test — a short firing of the engines intended to verify a healthy propulsion system — was completed Nov. 22, and the longer burn two days later demonstrated vehicle control while hovering.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 33868
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-21-2016 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX photos

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