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CRS-2 Contenders- Who do you think will get the contract?


fredinno
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WHO WILL WIN?  

165 members have voted

  1. 1. WHO WILL WIN?

    • SNC Dream Chaser
    • SpaceX Dragon
    • OrbitalATK Cygnus
    • Boeing CST-100 Starliner
    • Lockheed Martin Jupiter-Exoliner Space Tug (FOR TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION, NOT FULL CRS CONTRACT)


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I'm not sure Cygnus even needs to be downmass capable, provided SpaceX can ramp up their flight rate (and they will, considering they have the majority of their flights still left for CRS-1, while we're almost at the start of 2016 and CRS-2 is supposed to start in 2017).

The ISS generates a fair amount of trash. Disposal of such by destructive reentry is absolutely required on a regular basis, and I am not sure whether or not Progress alone is enough to handle all of it. I mean, you could conceivably return trash to Earth and dispose of it there, but this adds extra cost because waste disposal isn't free, and neither is the organizational overhead involved in it. Even if the vehicle costs the exact same, it's cheaper to just let it burn up. In order to make it worth returning trash to Earth for disposal, the vehicle itself would have to save a significant amount of money, generally implying you'd have to refly it cheaply. Orbital ATK has no such plans for Cygnus.

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The ISS generates a fair amount of trash. Disposal of such by destructive reentry is absolutely required on a regular basis, and I am not sure whether or not Progress alone is enough to handle all of it.

It isn't. The requirements for CRS-2 that've been made public include 14-17 tons and 55-70M3/year of downmass (same as the pressurised upmass requirement); we don't have the exact figures for how they want that split return/disposal, but it's going to be mostly disposal. There are also requirements for 1.5-4 tons/year of unpressurised cargo disposal, new for CRS-2.

Dragon can't take down nearly as much as it can put up, so it alone can't fulfill the pressurised downmass requirement unless they send up extra capacity.

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CST-100 has unpressurised cargo as a mission module, next-gen Cygnus could do the same. NASA are trying to reduce the number of cargo flights for easier fitting into ISS manifest, Dragon has the lowest upmass figures of any of the vehicles. If you look at the actual payload carried on most flights, it only just reaches the requirements for CRS-2.

I understood that the CRS contracts were based on the amount of upmass. So NASA do not loose out if the upmass of the vehicle is small as the contract would require more launches. A more capable vehicle would be able to complete the contract with fewer launches, but that does not give NASA more upmass. Correct me if I am wrong.

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That was true last time, but for CRS-2 NASA are specifying 4 or 5 launches a year per for that upmass/volume. Presumably that's the volume they find better for the astros and VV scheduling.

Cygnus Extended is capable of that upmass capability in the required amount of launches.

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Everyone here has been talking about Dragon Vs. Dream Chaser, but I haven't heard anyone's thoughts on Jupiter/Exoliner. That's the proposal I'd really like to see.

Because it's most probably dead. It was a nice proposal, but its scope is way beyond what NASA wants for CRS missions at the expense of complicating operations.

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Because there's been rumours about it having been dropped for months, from people who generally have good sources.
Because it's most probably dead. It was a nice proposal, but its scope is way beyond what NASA wants for CRS missions at the expense of complicating operations.

Well shoot.

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Announcement has been delayed, possibly into next year. Probably linked with the NASA budget still being under negotiation.

Hmm... According to this article (partial paywall), not only is it delayed to "no later than January 30th, 2016," but NASA has informed Boeing that they were eliminated from the competition. If that is true, then this would leave Orbital, SNC and SpaceX as the only remaining contenders. Someone please correct em if I'm wrong.

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Because it's most probably dead. It was a nice proposal, but its scope is way beyond what NASA wants for CRS missions at the expense of complicating operations.

It is confirmed dead, actually.

- - - Updated - - -

Hmm... According to this article (partial paywall), not only is it delayed to "no later than January 30th, 2016," but NASA has informed Boeing that they were eliminated from the competition. If that is true, then this would leave Orbital, SNC and SpaceX as the only remaining contenders. Someone please correct em if I'm wrong.

Well, a lot of people voting were wrong then.

- - - Updated - - -

Announcement has been delayed, possibly into next year. Probably linked with the NASA budget still being under negotiation.

Darn it, and so close, too! I was supposed to be announced in November 5th!

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Hmm... According to this article (partial paywall), not only is it delayed to "no later than January 30th, 2016," but NASA has informed Boeing that they were eliminated from the competition. If that is true, then this would leave Orbital, SNC and SpaceX as the only remaining contenders. Someone please correct em if I'm wrong.

Well technically, Lockheed Martin has not confirmed that they're out... not like Boeing has decided to step forward and do. I mean, everyone expects them to be out, and that they've been out for a long time already, but LM never said a single word about it.

It's also been said that the winners have already been chosen, which is probably why Boeing went "ah screw it, make it official" in the first place. The delay is just for "re-open[ing] discussions with offerors in the competitive range". Whatever that means is anyone's guess. Perhaps they're waiting for Cygnus and Dragon to both resume flying, as they're scheduled to do during December and January respectively.

SNC meanwhile basically said "We're still in the competition", though the choice of words makes me wonder. Do they honestly believe that they'll get a contract? And if so... did NASA choose (or possibly is examining) to spread across three suppliers? Because if not, chances are overwhelmingly in favor of Dragon/Cygnus. At minimum though, it appears that NASA considers SNC an "offeror in the competitive range", meaning their pitch has been evaluated to be about as good as those of SpaceX and Orbital-ATK. While Boeing already took their hat. Food for thought, if nothing else!

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Good that Boeing's been axed, I didn't like their proposal at all. SpaceX and SNC were WAY cooler.

Also Lockheed Martin, because they blackmailed their way through one round.

DreamChaser MASTER RACE

... I'd not get my hopes high for dreamchaser... If it's not Boeing it's probably gonna be orbital that gets the contract along with spaceX...

What missions and roles are left for CST-100 now ?

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  • 2 months later...
On November 5, 2015 at 4:45 PM, Kryten said:

Well it won commercial crew, so... that. Also Boeing are still partnering with Bigelow for transport to his stations, assuming they ever get off the ground.

Sorry for the necro, but yes I don't really see Bigelow's stations getting off the ground unless they have significant ESA/NASA/PKM support, which honestly I don't see happening until well into the ISS's remaining years begin to diminish. It's the same thing with Commercial Crew — Boeing, SNC, and SpaceX all saw little to no incentive to produce a manned capsule until NASA gave them the opportunity to build and manage one.

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On November 2, 2015 at 0:04 AM, Firwen said:

Has Orbital Sciences ever talk about downmass or reentry for Cygnus ?

Up to my knowledge, nor Cygnus nor Cygnus enhanced have been design for it. They are built around a Thales Alenia aerospace pressurized module, single-block and without heat-shield or re-entry capacity.

If downmass and re-entry are a main requirement for CRS-2, that's imply a major redesign of their vehicle.

The only other two spacecraft being already designed for re-entry being the Dream Chaser and CST-100.

NASA only needs one downmass vehicle- downmass vehicles are more expensive per pound of cargo due to being heavier.

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2 hours ago, gliese-aerospace said:

Sorry for the necro, but yes I don't really see Bigelow's stations getting off the ground unless they have significant ESA/NASA/PKM support, which honestly I don't see happening until well into the ISS's remaining years begin to diminish. It's the same thing with Commercial Crew — Boeing, SNC, and SpaceX all saw little to no incentive to produce a manned capsule until NASA gave them the opportunity to build and manage one.

Yeah, so far there are not many customers up there willing to buy...

Conveniently though, NASA is perfectly willing. Only last month, IIRC, they made it clear in no uncertain terms that they want out of the ISS project as soon as possible (i.e. likely 2024) and will not build another station, period. And then they went on to say: commercial providers, listen up! Supporting us in LEO will be your task then. Start preparing now.

So not only NASA willing to procure commercial LEO services in the future, but they're in fact demanding them :P And then there's China, seeking to build a station of their own with international participation, which becomes another possible destination. Meanwhile, Jan Wörner keeps pondering his Moon Village idea so loudly and insistently, and getting so many interested looks for it, that ESA will soon at least have to put forth a study in that regard... and meanwhile in the US, the FAA board has already unanimously agreed that Moon Village is awesome and they seriously recommend (and will support) commercial involvement. Russia, for ther part, had space station and Moon plans of their own... though who knows if they survive the budget cuts. Amusingly, buying some services commercially may be a valid cost saving strategy for them. And then there's India and Iran, both eyeing to commence human spaceflight programs for the very first time, who may enjoy having a convenient LEO destination like an independent commercial station to reach during practice flights...

Commercial space is on a massive upsurge right now. It's surged up in the past and fell short of critical mass, retreating again to pull itself together for the next round. Who knows, maybe they'll make it this time? But even if not, they're getting closer with each surge, and it's becoming more and more likely that getting over the initial hump is not far away anymore. It's perfectly possible that it'll happen this time.

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5 hours ago, Streetwind said:

Yeah, so far there are not many customers up there willing to buy...

Conveniently though, NASA is perfectly willing. Only last month, IIRC, they made it clear in no uncertain terms that they want out of the ISS project as soon as possible (i.e. likely 2024) and will not build another station, period. And then they went on to say: commercial providers, listen up! Supporting us in LEO will be your task then. Start preparing now.

So not only NASA willing to procure commercial LEO services in the future, but they're in fact demanding them :P And then there's China, seeking to build a station of their own with international participation, which becomes another possible destination. Meanwhile, Jan Wörner keeps pondering his Moon Village idea so loudly and insistently, and getting so many interested looks for it, that ESA will soon at least have to put forth a study in that regard... and meanwhile in the US, the FAA board has already unanimously agreed that Moon Village is awesome and they seriously recommend (and will support) commercial involvement. Russia, for ther part, had space station and Moon plans of their own... though who knows if they survive the budget cuts. Amusingly, buying some services commercially may be a valid cost saving strategy for them. And then there's India and Iran, both eyeing to commence human spaceflight programs for the very first time, who may enjoy having a convenient LEO destination like an independent commercial station to reach during practice flights...

Commercial space is on a massive upsurge right now. It's surged up in the past and fell short of critical mass, retreating again to pull itself together for the next round. Who knows, maybe they'll make it this time? But even if not, they're getting closer with each surge, and it's becoming more and more likely that getting over the initial hump is not far away anymore. It's perfectly possible that it'll happen this time.

...Yes,because China will DEFINATELY use an American vehicle instead of their own Capsule to go to and from Tianggong.

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5 hours ago, fredinno said:

...Yes,because China will DEFINATELY use an American vehicle instead of their own Capsule to go to and from Tianggong.

I don't presume to know what China plans. I only know they've been shopping around for international participation for a while now. NASA is sadly banned by US law from cooperating with the Chinese space agency (something NASA openly criticises), but ESA has informally signalled interest, Roscosmos has a long history of cooperation with China, ISRO has long had a tentative interest in human spaceflight but not really the budget to do it all by themselves... Some of these organizations don't have spacecraft of their own to run cargo or crewed missions with. Which means they'll be buying those services from someone else. Maybe they'll buy from China, but who knows, maybe some commercial company will make a cheaper offer? I'm not discounting the possibility. It'll be more than half a decade before China's new station becomes an actual thing, and a lot can happen in that timespan. Especially given how blazingly fast things are moving in the space sector right now.

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