Airlock

SpaceX: Current missions and future plans. (Renamed thread.)

7968 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

So, this is not the Lunar XPrize team? Are they still on the manifest for "this year" then?

They were a Lunar XPrize team until a few days ago, when they finally gave up, since they would only be able to launch their mission in 2018, and the deadline for the XPrize is end of 2017.

Source: http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/weltall/mond-mission-part-time-scientists-gewinnen-vodafone-als-partner-a-1139371.html (in German)

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3 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

My friend, SpaceX's plans to go to Mars are entirely dependent upon reusability, specifically with their BFR.  Each begets the other. 

 

Do you seriously expect a company with no experience beyond LEO to develop something such as the ITS in a short time? NASA will get there first for sure, and do it much better.

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1 hour ago, sevenperforce said:

Is the distinction between "suborbital sounding-rocket class" and "orbital-class first stage" meaningful? I mean, I suppose you could call New Shepard orbital class. It's notionally possible to launch a payload to LEO from a starting velocity of 1.3 km/s and a stage+payload mass of 4.5 tonnes, but you're cutting it pretty close. Falcon 1 staged a similarly-sized payload at twice the velocity of New Shepard.

There are entire orbital rockets that are less than 4.5 tonnes; it's not ultimately that hard in terms of total energy or impulse. You only have a hard distinction between 'orbital class' and 'suborbital class' if you're talking small rockets, up to maybe two tons.

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8 minutes ago, Yobobhi said:

Do you seriously expect a company with no experience beyond LEO to develop something such as the ITS in a short time? NASA will get there first for sure, and do it much better.

Pss, is more like beyond GEO

And yes, basically is what fans expect, to develop a bigger than Apollo program in record time with less resources and forgetting every middle step in the way.

BTW I talked the other day with an ablative materials engineer (you will be surprised if you don't know that cork based ablatives are pretty good) and PICAX is an ablative material, is not really a reusable material, nor is proven that could withstand multiples reentries, is this kind of things that make people in industry to have very big doubts in SpaceX claims

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20 minutes ago, kunok said:

Pss, is more like beyond GEO

And yes, basically is what fans expect, to develop a bigger than Apollo program in record time with less resources and forgetting every middle step in the way.

BTW I talked the other day with an ablative materials engineer (you will be surprised if you don't know that cork based ablatives are pretty good) and PICAX is an ablative material, is not really a reusable material, nor is proven that could withstand multiples reentries, is this kind of things that make people in industry to have very big doubts in SpaceX claims

As a self-proclaimed NASA fanboy, I understand how outlandish SpaceX's claims are. Maybe they could do a one-off in that time. Or maybe not, as they have ZERO manned experience. But a full-reusable colony ship? Get real.

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One week until a possible booster re-flight!

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8 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

One week until a possible booster re-flight!

Not one week anymore, nine days. But close enough.

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Posted (edited)

22 hours ago, Yobobhi said:

Do you seriously expect a company with no experience beyond LEO to develop something such as the ITS in a short time? NASA will get there first for sure, and do it much better.

I doubt that any SpaceX timelines will stay where they are now, but they will have experience beyond LEO when they fly the ITS for the first time. They will have flown the lunar tourists, and multiple Red Dragon missions.

54ky8i4.png

 

Edited by Mad Rocket Scientist
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2 hours ago, Yobobhi said:

Do you seriously expect a company with no experience beyond LEO to develop something such as the ITS in a short time? NASA will get there first for sure, and do it much better.

I didn't say anything about timeframe. :wink:

But yes, SpaceX will beat NASA to Mars. Just like they'll beat NASA getting people into space. Just like they'll beat NASA going around the moon. So will BO, for that matter.

SpaceX entire focus from the very beginning has been getting people to Mars, and it remains so. The whole commsat/cargo business is merely a means to that end. 

NASA, on the other hand, is mired in politics. Its focus is scattered, as it should be, but it completely changes every 4-8 years (hey, remember the ARM?). I'll be very surprised if SLS ever flies.

Maybe as a one-off. :wink:

1 hour ago, Spaceception said:

One week until a possible booster re-flight!

Yay! I found a valid excuse to take the day off to watch it, too! :D

 

1 hour ago, Firemetal said:

Not one week anymore, nine days.

Well... poop. :(

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1 hour ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

I didn't say anything about timeframe. :wink:

But yes, SpaceX will beat NASA to Mars. Just like they'll beat NASA getting people into space. Just like they'll beat NASA going around the moon. So will BO, for that matter.

Um, I guess you meant to say that they will beat NASA in going around the moon AGAIN, because of course NASA sent people around the moon almost 50 years ago.

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25 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

Um, I guess you meant to say that they will beat NASA in going around the moon AGAIN, because of course NASA sent people around the moon almost 50 years ago.

Repeating that feat at this point has them starting from virtually the same point as SpaceX (or anyone else), so...

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Posted (edited)

Is it known, what and how much has the Dragon capsule returned from the ISS?
(Except common blah-blah like "results of researches and other stuff").

Stupid me still can't realize, whether a several tonnes heavy re-entry capsule is really required for an uncrewed cargo flight.
With a one-way tin can they could deliver several tonnes of water instead, and allow them to have a bath.

Edited by kerbiloid
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12 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

Is it known, what and how much has the Dragon capsule returned from the ISS?
(Except common blah-blah like "results of researches and other stuff").

Stupid me still can't realize, whether a several tonnes heavy re-entry capsule is really required for an uncrewed cargo flight.
With a one-way tin can they could deliver several tonnes of water instead, and allow them to have a bath.

Quote

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo craft ended a four-week mission Sunday with a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, returning from the International Space Station with more than 3,600 pounds of cargo, blood and urine samples, and specimens from a rodent research experiment aimed at helping patients with catastrophic bone injuries and osteoporosis.

https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/03/19/spacexs-dragon-supply-carrier-wraps-up-10th-mission-to-space-station/

 

IIRC it's commonly used to return some very heavy equipment for analysis. The only other option is a tiny little reentry pod that goes in a Progress.

And starting in another flight or two, that several tonnes heavy capsule will start getting reused. 

(Also, kinda pointless having enough water for a bath if there are no real bathing facilities aboard. Skylab had an actual space shower, but it was also a much bigger module.)

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Posted (edited)

46 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

more than 3,600 pounds of cargo, blood and urine samples

Still can't imagine a barrel of urine, three canisters of blood and a centner-heavy herd of mice.

Especially after 50 years since first medical experiments on orbit, after tens of Shuttle flights to ISS..

46 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

that several tonnes heavy capsule will start getting reused. 

Yes, every time instead of several tonnes of cargo.

46 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

(Also, kinda pointless having enough water for a bath if there are no real bathing facilities aboard. Skylab had an actual space shower, but it was also a much bigger module.)

Mir

Spoiler

0aa0a9312cd7.jpg

Salyut-6, Salyut-7

Spoiler

fa7dfc71a880.jpg

 

Edited by kerbiloid

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@kerbiloid the point of linking the article was for you to actually, y'know,  the article.  :wink:

It went on to give a pretty through rundown of what Dragon brought back, among which: 

Quote

The items included 2,034.9 pounds (923 kilograms) of science equipment, 825.2 pounds (374.3 kilograms) of vehicle hardware, 279.5 pounds (126.8 kilograms) of crew supplies, 228.6 pounds (103.7 kilograms) of miscellaneous spacewalking gear, and 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms) of computer resources.

And seeing how a  Dragon has never returned empty, NASA obviously has a need for significant downmass since the end of the shuttle era. 

(Also, that first pic is Skylab, not Mir, and my point was that the ISS does not have a shower...)

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Posted (edited)

16 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

that first pic is Skylab

Oops... The first pic googled out with the Mir query. But anyway, Salyut-6, -7 and Mir were equipped with a portable bath cabin, of 2 generations: from a pumped plastic pipe to a full-featured mini-sauna.

16 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

The items included 2,034.9 pounds (923 kilograms) of science equipment, 825.2 pounds (374.3 kilograms) of vehicle hardware, 279.5 pounds (126.8 kilograms) of crew supplies, 228.6 pounds (103.7 kilograms) of miscellaneous spacewalking gear, and 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms) of computer resources.

Yes, that's so. But the returning of "vehicle hardware, crew supplies btw what's that? they return unused towels? spacewalking gear" sounds like "what else can we put into the capsule to leave no empty space, rather than throw it from aboard".

Looks like the listed things usually just get packed into a single-use cargo ship and burn in air, but "as there is no expendable ship, let's send it back to the Earth."

For example, spent regenerative cartridges: afaik usually they send them down by a Progress or so. What's when Dragon instead of Progress?

Edited by kerbiloid
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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, kerbiloid said:

...For example, spent regenerative cartridges: afaik usually they send them down by a Progress or so. What's when Dragon instead of Progress?

I'm not quite sure what you mean. 

Edited by KerbalSaver

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1 hour ago, KerbalSaver said:

I'm not quite sure what you mean. 

What they do with junk when the only option is the dragon? Return it to earth instead of burning in the atmosphere.

The interesting part is: how much of the mass that returns to earth is useful? and how much is just junk?

Remember that IIRC there wasn't a call about being able to return cargo in the commercial cargo program.

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Posted (edited)

18 hours ago, Shpaget said:

F9 first stage does not deliver payload to orbit, it's the second stage that is responsible for almost 80% of the total speed. At the moment of staging, the first stage is traveling at 1660 m/s (in the specific case of CRS-10), which is not a whole lot faster than New Shepard (aprox. 1300 m/s).

That's like saying it's not the gun that does the killing, it's the bullet. The point is, they're part of a system designed for a specific goal, and one is useless without the other. 

Edited by Lukaszenko

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33 minutes ago, Lukaszenko said:

That's like saying it's not the gun that does the killing, it's the bullet. The point is, they're part of a system designed for a specific goal, and one is useless without the other. 

You could change the suborbital capsule in the NS to a second stage with a payload of the same total mass. It won't be in a Falcon9 class but it would be in a Falcon 1 class, but reusable.

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Maybe after trying it several times, they decided that a "space shower" is more trouble than it is worth?

8 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Skylab had an actual space shower, but it was also a much bigger module.

Skylab had 1/3 the pressurized volume of the ISS.

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10 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

Maybe after trying it several times, they decided that a "space shower" is more trouble than it is worth?

Skylab had 1/3 the pressurized volume of the ISS.

A single module of Skylab was bigger than a single module of ISS.

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Posted (edited)

3 minutes ago, Veeltch said:

A single module of Skylab was bigger than a single module of ISS.

I don't see how that's important. ISS obviously has enough volume that if a shower was deemed worthwhile they would have one. It's roughly 3x bigger than either Skylab or Mir.

Edited by mikegarrison

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3 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

I don't see how that's important. ISS obviously has enough volume that if a shower was deemed worthwhile they would have one. It's roughly 3x bigger than either Skylab or Mir.

Apparently the shower is too much of a hassle to include it in already cramped ISS.

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