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  [Discuss] SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 (Page 6)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2
NavySpaceFan
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posted 05-31-2020 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not sue about the first, but for second, the silver border is for U.S. Air (Space?) Force with gold for U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps naval aviation.

Paul78zephyr
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posted 05-31-2020 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was Doug Hurley injured on his head at the time he ingressed the ISS?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-31-2020 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kenny Todd, NASA's ISS Mission Operations Integration Manager, confirmed that Hurley bumped his head while exiting the Dragon, but he is fine.
quote:
Originally posted by RocketmanRob:
Is that the new mission control model?
SpaceX has chosen to staff its own mission control, so NASA's flight controllers in Houston take over only once the space agency's crew members are aboard the space station. (Boeing has contracted with NASA's Flight Operations Directorate, so Houston will take over for Starliner missions once the spacecraft is released into orbit.)

music_space
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posted 05-31-2020 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a glorious week-end!

Question: since, nowadays, voice communications can be multiplexed with control (and other) signals, is there an operational reason for which SpaceX uses its own version of Apollo-era Quindar tones?

And do we know for which ISS maintenance and scientific tasks the Demo-2 crew trained for?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-31-2020 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From what I understand, the quindar tones are used as an audio cue for mission control to take notice that a transmission is about to begin.

As for training, I believe the only task-specific preparation they underwent was Behnken taking part in some neutral buoyancy runs to be ready for possible spacewalks during his stay. Otherwise, they were given a general orientation on the station's configuration and will pitch in where needed.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-31-2020 05:03 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 NavySpaceFan:
Okay, what was that piece of music they played...
Alan Boyle with GeekWire had the same question and one of his Twitter followers had the answer:
"Eyes Wide Open" from album "Front Ends & Setups, Vol 1" by Warner Chappelle Production Music. Composer, Lisle Moore.
For those who didn't hear the track, here is NASA's Launch America theme (aka "Eyes Wide Open"):

NavySpaceFan
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posted 05-31-2020 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Rob!!!! I knew you'd have the answers.

RocketmanRob
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posted 05-31-2020 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RocketmanRob   Click Here to Email RocketmanRob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by NavySpaceFan:
...the silver border is for U.S. Air (Space?) Force with gold for U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps naval aviation.
Thanks for the explanation. Really appreciate it!

RocketmanRob
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posted 05-31-2020 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RocketmanRob   Click Here to Email RocketmanRob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
SpaceX has chosen to staff its own mission control...
Interesting to hear that there are different approaches for the SpaceX vs Boeing flights. Thanks for the background Robert!

oly
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posted 05-31-2020 09:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
SpaceX has chosen to staff its own mission control
Yet another service SpaceX provide that add to the column of positives when the Dragon and CST-100 systems are compared against each other. It must be getting crowded inside the SpaceX factory.

moorouge
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posted 06-01-2020 06:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has anyone else noticed the similarity between this flight and that of Gagarin - both relied heavily on automatic systems.

So much for sixty years of progress.

oly
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posted 06-01-2020 06:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Out of curiosity, which direction should progress take, towards the automated flight design or manual control?

The significance of the SpaceX system is that they bring raw materials and off the shelf parts in one end of their factory and push a crew rated space flight system, including the flight suits, out the other end. That the first stage, crew module, and fairings are reusable, and for a cost lower than NASA currently pay to overseas launch providers.

SpaceX never aimed for their system to be the state of the art, progressive, or revolutionary, they aimed to design a system that was cost-effective, safe, and reusable. Looking cool and progressive was a byproduct of their inventiveness.

ejectr
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posted 06-01-2020 07:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
...both relied heavily on automatic systems.
I believe all the spacecraft, from Mercury to the present had auto or manual control. Same as Endeavour. It's just a choice on when you want or need to use it.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-01-2020 09:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Karen Nyberg (via Twitter):
When nerves and apprehension turn into exhilarating pride.

ejectr
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posted 06-01-2020 10:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice. He'll remember that day all his years, and who knows, maybe he'll choose to travel in his mom and dad's path.

David C
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posted 06-01-2020 01:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oly:
SpaceX never aimed for their system to be the state of the art, progressive, or revolutionary, they aimed to design a system that was cost-effective, safe, and reusable. Looking cool and progressive was a byproduct of their inventiveness.
Good points. SpaceX are also very interested in the M word, you know, Mars. As such they are are interested in getting experience with approaches and systems that will work here as well as there. Proving those technologies early on rather than leaving big bites having to be taken later.

Now human pilots are fantastic at doing stuff they do all the time (proficiency); and in extrapolating actions into unplanned situations within environments where they have experience. Traditionally NASA astronauts maintained proficiency in T-38s (and helicopters during Apollo). Overlaid on top of that was simulation on the ground, and in flight (STA and special T-38s for shuttle). For the moon something extra was also required — experience of an alien environment. That was provided by the LLTV. All of that is needed to make a human pilot an asset not a liability.

Trips to Mars of several months duration and stays in the cramped confines and microgravity environment of the ISS are both extremely hostile to attempting to maintain skilled pilot qualifications. They degrade human abilities is ways that we still don't fully understand. Add to that severely limiting crew mission capability by having to hold open specialist pilot berths when crew size is very small. The time for the specialist pilot astronaut may be temporarily at an end. I stress temporarily, because I personally believe a really good pilot always beats a computer. I know I can. Or, if they're still designated as "pilots", they'll be spending most of their training and mission on other tasks. That's just a different way of saying the same thing.

Incidentally, these reasons are very similar to why SP Korolev originally preferred automated systems. I think NASA were absolutely right not to go that way for Apollo, it’s really only four or five days from last training flight on Earth to Tranquility Base. Mars isn't.

It makes sense that shuttle may have been "the last hurrah for the flyboys," for a while at least. But they'll be back.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-01-2020 01:36 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 oly:
SpaceX never aimed for their system to be the state of the art, progressive, or revolutionary...
Elon Musk, Gwynne Shotwell, Benji Reed and others have been very clear from the start that they intended Crew Dragon to be a 21st century spacecraft. To quote Reed, "the most advanced spacecraft in the world."

SpaceX sees the role of humans in human spaceflight differently than past efforts. Musk, as the company's chief engineer, has said that flying humans should be no different than flying mice to the space station. They are live cargo.

To Musk, that is the definition of progress. Yes, the Crew Dragon can be flown manually, but per the company's flight rules, the crew only becomes involved if both the on board computers and the ground is unavailable. Crew intervention is a last resort.

Case in point, SpaceX's original term for its astronaut crew was "Dragon Riders." Today, during a press conference from the space station, Hurley said that he and Behnken preferred "Dragon Drivers," but the company's intent is clear.

Blackarrow
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posted 06-01-2020 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmmm.... sounds like the old "spam in a can" argument. The "Dragon riders/drivers" issue could be right out of Project Mercury. Test pilots will always want the option to take over if the computer fails.

I suggest that one of the reasons the public warms to astronauts like Hurley and Behnken is because they are perceived to be skillful enough to save the day if the pesky computer blows a circuit. I know it's not that simple, but the average viewer knows and understands people better than modern spacecraft electronics.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-01-2020 05:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think the comparison that SpaceX would make (rather than Mercury) is today's passenger airliners. There are pilots in the cockpit, but the passengers know nothing about their qualifications and for most of the flight, the autopilot is in control.

Another comparison might be Tesla's (and other companies') pursuit of driverless cars. Eventually, the Uber or Lyft you call will be the car itself, no driver needed.

Many would call that progress, and that is the vision SpaceX seems to be pursuing, at least for low Earth orbit missions.

mercsim
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posted 06-01-2020 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mercsim   Click Here to Email mercsim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX is currently only going to LEO but I think the astronauts for deep space (Mars) mission will need special skill sets. I am a pilot and see it all the time in that community. There are pilots that can fly the snot out of any airplane and then there are pilot/mechanics that can fly and fix anything. Those are much rarer.

Future astronauts may not need the flying skills as much but they will definitely need the Mark Watney skills. There are good engineers, good mechanics and good computer people. Astronauts leaving LEO will need to be it all.

And not to mention the personalities and social skills to be cooped up with fellow astronauts for that long. They will be a special breed indeed.

Delta7
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posted 06-01-2020 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This gives rise to the question of will all Dragon crews include one member with flying experience (i.e. pilot astronauts), as opposed to all scientists, engineers, doctors, etc.? Will NASA insist on this, at least for the foreseeable future?

328KF
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posted 06-01-2020 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mercsim:
...and then there are pilot/mechanics that can fly AND fix anything. Those are much rarer.
I'm both! Send me!

To Robert’s point, there is not much correlation between SpaceX's approach and modern transport aircraft. I'm not sure how you compare "passengers know nothing about their qualifications," when anybody flying on a Dragon would certainly know the qualifications of the person "flying" it. And it is widely known that any pilot in command on an airline roster is required to hold an Air Transport Pilot license.

Additionally, aircraft are manually flown routinely for every takeoff, many approaches, and most landings. The enroute automation only reduces workload (in most cases) of doing mundane straight and level flying for long hours. We have a long way to go — generations — before the traveling public is willing to get on a "pilotless" aircraft, or even a single pilot aircraft, and there is no ground controlled flying capability.

On one schedule I saw, the proposed tourist flight will include a SpaceX astronaut. I don't know who that would be, but I can't imagine those tourists would want to go into orbit without a "Dragon Driver."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-01-2020 08:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My point was only in response to Geoffrey's observation about how astronauts are perceived by the public.

SpaceX has said it has no plans for its own astronaut corps. If a schedule showed a pilot being part of a mission, that is something the customer is arranging, not SpaceX. NASA decides its own crews and commercial customers will, per SpaceX, do the same.

dcfowler1
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posted 06-01-2020 11:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dcfowler1   Click Here to Email dcfowler1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That said, SpaceX (or Boeing) could, in the near future decide to fly some proprietary non-ISS missions, and may need some in-house talent to pilot them (and who will likely be ex-NASA guys).

oly
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posted 06-02-2020 02:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At this point in time crewed Dragon has one destination. Any fair paying passengers who become space tourists on the ISS will have to be supervised/chaperoned by somebody, most likely the pilot/captain.

Additional skillset should include tourist guide, cleaner, technical expert, and entertainment officer.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-02-2020 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley and Chris Cassidy rang the Nasdaq Opening Bell from the International Space Station to commemorate SpaceX's Demo-2 mission.

Blackarrow
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posted 06-02-2020 05:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Changing the subject, Robert?

Seriously, though, there is nothing wrong with SpaceX thinking of its Dragon crew as "human cargo" so long as the "human cargo" has the flying skills — and the option — to step up if the need arises. There may be two ways of looking at the role of Dragon and its occupants, but those two ways don't have to be incompatible.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-02-2020 06:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Based on the comments by SpaceX's leaders, the company's approach to crew requirements has been that the customer decides.

Dragon 2 was designed to be flown by its on board computers and by the ground, no crew needed (and to that point, the same model spacecraft that is being used to fly astronauts will now also fly uncrewed missions with cargo).

Therefore, it is possible we will see commercial (non-NASA) crewed flights without a veteran pilot on board. It is possible (if not likely) that the passengers may be given some training on using Dragon's controls, but to say someone with flying skills is needed in order for there to be nothing wrong is ascribing requirements that SpaceX has yet to set.

BA002
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posted 06-02-2020 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BA002   Click Here to Email BA002     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ejectr:
I believe all the spacecraft, from Mercury to the present had auto or manual control. Same as Endeavour. It's just a choice on when you want or need to use it.
That may be true, but, as in aviation, what manual means has changed dramatically. In Mercury, the hand controller as used in the proportional manual mode was physically linked to the thrusters. In the evolution to Apollo that was changed to fly-by-wire, and in Endeavour even the hand controller is gone.

In aviation you see similar developments, where cables are replaced by fly-by-wire that increasingly depend on computers to translate the pilot's intention as indicated by a yoke or stick movement into what the flight controls movement should be. So, as the reliability of all this automation increases, it is used more and more to make manual less and less really manual, to the point where the role of human intervention is limited by the constraints within that preprogrammed framework.

Until you get to a point where the question arises what benefit there is to having human intervention at all. I am not saying we are there yet, but I think it is the inevitable outcome of the trend in technology.

Applied to spaceflight, I think the public's excitement is mainly in the human experience of going into orbit or the moon, rather than in the actual control of the spacecraft.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-02-2020 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And now, for your viewing pleasure, the Demo-2 Falcon 9 first stage landing and arriving back at the port (photos: SpaceX):

328KF
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posted 06-02-2020 09:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Therefore, it is possible we will see commercial (non-NASA) crewed flights without a veteran pilot on board. It is possible (if not likely) that the passengers may be given some training on using Dragon's controls...
This is a terrifying scenario, and one I hope no uninformed customer is ever dumb enough to be okay with it. Yeah, let’s grab a passenger out of the back and give them some basic flight training so the whole load has a remote chance of getting home.

Comms fail. Mechanical systems fail. Automation fails. I hope the federal authorities, even with their liberal "hands off" approach to helping this industry get going, never sign off on this insanity.

No doubt, in decades to come, there will be advances in technology and society that may allow this to be a reality, but that's not here yet.

Spaceflight is not a carnival ride.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-02-2020 09:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Crew Dragon flew to the space station, docked, undocked and returned to Earth without any astronauts on board in 2019. And it will do so again, numerous times, on NASA-contracted cargo runs.

Autonomous spaceflight with only the ground as backup is already here.

328KF
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posted 06-02-2020 10:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I said technology AND society. There is something in the human psyche that is comforted, reassured by having a human brain to intervene when technology fails.

Sending an automated cargo ship to space is not and will never be the same as sending a ship full of humans, particular those who have the net worth to afford such a trip.

Engineers are really really smart people in general, and invent amazing things. But the greatest trap they can fall into is the fallacy that one can engineer out failure. I’ve read period comments from prominent figures that the shuttle was engineered to be very fault tolerant, yet it only took a cold-stiffened O-ring, and a chunk of loose ET foam to destroy two of them.

I understand that there is this camp that believes that if Elon Musk says it’s good, who are we to question him? Those who do aren’t as some suggest, stuck in the past. They just understand the value of history and the lessons learned from it.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-02-2020 10:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As you noted, the legal criteria for commercial crewed spaceflight is only that the passengers be informed of and understand the risks.

There may be, as you say, many who will not want to fly on a spacecraft without a crew. There may be others, though, who are as informed but who will decide that a staffed flight control room is a suitable backup for the autonomous systems (and their decision need not have anything to do with Elon Musk).

As noted earlier, SpaceX has said such decisions will be left to their customers. If their customers want to fly a pilot, as NASA has decided to do, then SpaceX will support that. If another customer wants to fly without one, well, that is why SpaceX designed Dragon to be capable of autonomous flight.

I would suggest we wait until there is an actual case by which to judge rather than debate what might or might not happen.

perineau
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posted 06-03-2020 01:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for perineau   Click Here to Email perineau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
...the Demo-2 Falcon 9 first stage landing and arriving back at the port
Thanks for the above booster return pics - times have changed!

oly
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posted 06-03-2020 03:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
I said technology AND society. There is something in the human psyche that is comforted, reassured by having a human brain to intervene when technology fails.
Driverless trains have been in service for many years now, and while there were cases in the first few days of operation where some passengers refused to get on a train without a driver, the community accepted the new norm. Today many airports have driverless passenger transfer systems.

Using aviation as an example is also flawed, there is an expanding fleet of autonomous drones in operation and chances are that the next generation of fighter aircraft will be pilotless.

Civil aviation is also investigating pilotless aircraft, as well as the current trend of reducing the training pilots go through (ICAO Multicrew Pilots License) now sees aircrew skip many steps of pilot training, spend more time in simulators, and the introduction of single pilot commercial airline operations is being seriously considered. The next generation of airliners may also be pilotless.

Companies are investing heavily in pilotless drone development for Uber in the sky, and more than one company is developing the next generation of autonomous cars (and driverless buses and taxis are under trial in several countries).

Automated systems have been controlling vehicle traffic management systems for years, the mining industry has driverless trains, trucks, heavy machinery, and hazard avoidance.

Back to rockets and spacecraft, there is still a human with their finger on the self destruct button should a launch go off nominal, and I don't believe this person is required to undergo years of aircrew and astronaut training. Launch abort systems have been automated for years because the reaction times during a launch vehicle failure are far better than human reactions.

Automated spacecraft system inputs can use far less propellant than human controlled inputs, and the navigation can be more precise.

We have reached the point in technology development where the biggest detractor against automated systems is the human fear of the unknown and a bunch of old guys saying "I don't like it."

Mike Dixon
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posted 06-03-2020 06:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Dixon   Click Here to Email Mike Dixon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All I can say to that is I'll believe it when I see it, especially in the aviation sector.

oly
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posted 06-03-2020 06:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Within Australia there are already many pilotless systems in operation and more on the way, including pilotless surveillance aircraft (MQ-4C Triton) that can operate autonomously, a recent contact EOI for the RAAF/Boeing Loyal Wingman AI attack drone, pilotless agricultural and mining survey drones, and fish spotting systems.

Dubai and New Zealand have pilotless flying taxis under trial, and pilotless aircraft are being pushed by both Airbus and Boeing.

Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Soyuz and shuttle flew the majority of their missions using automated systems, and the Apollo lunar module was also flown by computer for the majority of each mission. It is not a huge leap to fly a crewed mission autonomously, none of the current or upcoming vehicles have manual control as the primary flight system.

Dragon missions are automated, Crew Dragon has been designed to operate autonomously and will come online with this capability pending a successful completion of test flight.

Skylon
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posted 06-03-2020 08:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skylon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As noted, NASA's systems already have flown automated. I would say the key difference is for the 1960's and 70's, rendezvous, docking for all these vehicles, landing on the Moon itself (for Apollo only) and landing on a runway (shuttle) are actions you technically could have given to automation in the 60's, 70's and 80's.

And indeed the Russians did, but at the cost of the space race. This wasn't the one factor, but Russia's struggle to have reliable rendezvous systems was something that hurt their chances of achieving a lunar landing and impacted the reliability of early Soyuz missions. NASA instead built on the skill set of its astronauts and turned those tasks over to the people flying the vehicles from the start.

There was a downside to this for NASA as well. The decision to design the shuttle as a system that had to be flown manned made STS-1 a massive risk to the point of hubris. During DM-2's countdown I kept in the back of my head "this is not as risky as STS-1 — Falcon 9 and Dragon have flown unmanned."

However, time has changed and technology has evolved to allow for automated control over more critical phases of spaceflight. It certainly is a good idea to have a human who can respond to a problem aboard. However, greater automation must occur if you are going to see spaceflight become more routine, otherwise the training space-fliers will continue need to be limited to fairly specific and limited pool of individuals.



Editor's note: With the start of a new page, we're going to return this thread to its original topic, the Demo-2 mission. Thank you.

Headshot
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posted 06-03-2020 09:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did Boeing ever send a congratulations message to SpaceX?


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