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Blue Origin Thread (merged)

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1 hour ago, kerbiloid said:

Not only manned. The pictured Dragon v1 makes hype also with its ability to return heavy cargo in its capsule, rather than single-use tin cans like ATV, HTV, etc.
So, its capsule weights several tonnes. And these tonnes could be additional cargo.

Problem is not weight but volume. an single use craft can have an larger pressurized volume for its weight. 
Still its not an problem, spacex probably designed dragon after nasa guidelines they could easy have made it higher if they needed and an longer trunk. 
As it is the volume is to low to utilize the maximum weight in normal settings 

The return capacity is important Soyuz has an very limited return capacity in it cramped return module 

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13 hours ago, sojourner said:

While the Dragon may be volume limited greater than weight limited, it does have one advantage over all of the other craft you mentioned.  It can return cargo to Earth.  Also, it's not "over promised" if the vehicle can actually do what is claimed.  The only reason it hasn't is that NASA has yet to give it a cargo that meets the weight requirements at that volume.

NASA is the client, is SpaceX who needs to adapt to the NASA cargo not the other way, more when the dragon was designed to meet NASA's needs. Of course is overpromised, and also an unproven claim. And the capacity to return cargo IIRC wasn't a requisite

2 hours ago, Tullius said:

let's not forget that it is mostly about the cost per kg to ISS

With is also higher that the cygnus.

Dragon is a good modular spacecraft, which probably make it worse than any specialized design for any given mission, but very versatile, just not as good like SpaceX marketing claims.

You could see how little I like marketing

Edited by kunok
typos everywhere

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9 minutes ago, kunok said:

You could see how little I like marketing

What? You seem to be trying to tell us how amazingly good SpaceX's marketing department is. :wink:

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Another crowded week, as Progress 66 launched last night for ISS.

Edited by tater

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18 hours ago, kunok said:

Is just that the cargo capacity of the dragon advised by SpaceX, like in the picture posted by @tater, is not realistic. Useful things are usually a lot less denser that what dragon will allow in the little space it have. In this dragon it was only 2389kg, and only 1492kg are pressurized. That's less than half the announced payload.

Dragon is a good cargo spacecraft, with it's limitations, but please, stop repeating the over-promising claims of SpaceX

Dragon is a fairly light payload for spacex.  You may have noticed that the booster returned to land, something that never happens with a full load.  Perhaps my "half a payload" was pretty inaccurate, but spacex certainly had more cargo room for that flight.

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2 hours ago, kunok said:

Dragon is a good modular spacecraft, which probably make it worse than any specialized design for any given mission, but very versatile, just not as good like SpaceX marketing claims.

 

Wasn't Dragon designed to be able to carry both cargo and crew before they decided to leave Dragon as a cargo only and instead develop Dragon v2? I mean, on SpaceX's youtube page some of the first animations regarding crew transport to the ISS are shown with Dragon docking to the ISS without use of canadarm

 

 

Even the description of that video states:

In August 2012, NASA chose SpaceX to complete final modifications necessary to prepare Dragon for crew and return Americans to space. While Dragon is initially being used to transport cargo to the International Space Station, both Dragon and Falcon 9 were designed from the beginning to transport people. The Dragon crew vehicle will feature seats for seven astronauts, the most technically advanced launch escape system ever developed, and advanced environments and controls.

 

Now, if Dragon was designed as cargo craft only I am sure it could have been much more optimized for that purpose.

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Soon (tm)

Would be interesting to know its delta-V budget. As LES test was, iirc 6g x 6s ~= 400 m/s.
According to braeunig.us descriptions, other ships require 300-350 m/s just for orbital operations.
Landing (from 150 m/s vertical speed) would require ~150 * 2 = 300 m/s,

350 + 300 = 400

Edited by kerbiloid

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17 minutes ago, RCgothic said:

Latest I'm hearing is NET 12th March for Echostar 23.

Yes, they had to move it to avoid conflict with the Delta launch on the 8th/9th.

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22 hours ago, monophonic said:

What? You seem to be trying to tell us how amazingly good SpaceX's marketing department is. :wink:

I'm an engineer I suffer the marketing and commercial department overpromising things. ;.; (I don't currently have that kind of job but in the past...)

You develop a sixth sense for this kind of things

20 hours ago, Cuky said:

Wasn't Dragon designed to be able to carry both cargo and crew before they decided to leave Dragon as a cargo only and instead develop Dragon v2? I mean, on SpaceX's youtube page some of the first animations regarding crew transport to the ISS are shown with Dragon docking to the ISS without use of canadarm

Yeah, that's true, they now have a cargo spacecraft that isn't really that modular, but that's not necessarily a problem, I suppose that have common manufacturing processes with the crew version, look at Progress and Soyuz (in the other hand Roscosmos have plans to change the Progress to something non soyuz based because it could be cheaper...).

But that's because the lack of mid/long term technical plans in SpaceX, nothing new.

20 hours ago, Cuky said:

the most technically advanced launch escape system ever developed

And here you can see how they were overclaiming since at least 2012.

21 hours ago, wumpus said:

Dragon is a fairly light payload for spacex.  You may have noticed that the booster returned to land, something that never happens with a full load.  Perhaps my "half a payload" was pretty inaccurate, but spacex certainly had more cargo room for that flight.

The Falcon have extra room, not really the Dragon, and because that they announce they can launch extra secondary payloads capacity so they could claim that the dragon has that cargo capacity. Falcon is pretty overpowered for this cargo.

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Second stage capture to the nadir CBM on Node 2. Dragon is installed at station for 30 days. Hatch opening in a few hours after leak checks

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Little things about spaceflight you never think of:

The Dragon capsule has standard navigation lights. :o

C5Wv0GBWYAAhO0a.jpg

Edited by CatastrophicFailure

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8 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Little things about spaceflight you never think of:

The Dragon capsule has standard navigation lights. :o

And what do they teach you in KSP 101???

You gotta have moar lights!!!

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Some tentative/guesstimated future scheduling in SpaceX's crowded manifest:

  • (March 2017) Falcon 9, Echostar-23
  • (March 2017) Falcon 9, SES-10
  • (April 2017) Falcon 9, CRS flight 11
  • (May 2017) Falcon 9, Intelsat 35e
  • (May 2017) Falcon 9, NROL-76
  • (Q2 2017) Falcon Heavy, Demo Flight 1
  • (June 2017) Falcon 9, Iridium NEXT flight 2 - #11-20
  • (July 2017) Falcon 9, SES-11
  • (July 2017) Falcon 9, BulgariaSat-1
  • (August 2017) Falcon 9, CRS flight 12
  • (August 2017) Falcon 9, Iridium NEXT flight 3 - #21-30
  • (September 2017) Falcon 9, KoreaSat 5A
  • (September 2017) Falcon Heavy, STP-2
  • (October 2017) Falcon 9, SES-16
  • (October 2017) Falcon 9, Iridium NEXT flight 4 - #31-40
  • (Q4 2017) Falcon 9, CCtCap Demo Flight 1
  • (November 2017) Falcon 9, CRS flight 13
  • (December 2017) Falcon 9, Bangabandhu-1
  • (December 2017) Falcon 9, Iridium NEXT flight 5 - #41-50
  • (January 2018) Falcon 9, SES-14
  • (January 2018) Falcon 9, Inmarsat 5-F4
  • (February 2018) Falcon 9, Iridium NEXT flight 6 - #51-60
  • (March 2018) Faclon 9, TESS
  • (April 2018) Falcon 9, Iridium NEXT flight 7 - #61-70
  • (Q2 2018) Falcon 9, Iridium NEXT flight 8 - #71-75 / GRACE-FO #1-2

...and more and more and more! There's at least five other payloads originally signed up for 2017 that won't find a launch slot until 2018. For example, SpaceIL is likely going to miss its shot at the Google Lunar X-Prize unless SpaceX bumps someone else into 2018 in order to pull the Spaceflight Industries SSO-A rideshare mission forward. I doubt this will happen.

Also, rumors go that CRS flight 11 and SES-10 might swap places (but not necessarily launch dates).

As with all space launch manifests, all dates including the very first one are subject to change, repeatedly and without warning. The order of payloads is near guaranteed to change in some form. Even if every launch goes 100% without a hitch, there's no guarantee that SpaceX can keep this mindboggling schedule. I expect that at least two flights scheduled here for 2017 will slip to 2018.

Extra interesting launches:

  • SES-10 (used booster reflight wooo!)
  • Falcon Heavy Demo 1 (triple booster landing wooo!)
  • NROL-76 (vertically integrated payload wooo!)
  • CCtCap Demo 1 (Dragon V2 wooo!)
  • TESS (NASA's newest exoplanet hunter wooo!)

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2 minutes ago, Veeltch said:

What's vertically integrated payload?

A payload that is added to the rocket while it is standing vertical.

SpaceX usually does horizontal integration, means the rocket is lying horizontal as they attach the payload (in the HIF, Horizontal Intagration Facility, IIRC)

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On ‎22‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 9:58 AM, Tullius said:

It is a bit weird to imagine that the cargo needs to be adapted to the transporter, instead of the transporter being developped for a given cargo.

But in the end, Dragon was also developped for manned flight, so there were restrictions on how the cargo version could look like, if they wanted to keep them similar. Maybe in the future, cargo transport will be adapted to Dragons specialities or secondary payloads such as cubesats (which wouldn't be surprising, since there are cubesats that were set out by the ISS), which will add to the efficiency. And in the end, let's not forget that it is mostly about the cost per kg to ISS (and optionnally back).

Not really. It happens all the time for moving cargo around on Earth. Container ships and palletized freight for example. In both cases you have a standard transporter system and adapt the cargo to fit it. Cheaper and easier than having bespoke transporters for myriad different cargo types.

Or am I missing something?

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1 hour ago, RCgothic said:

Why would they change?

Special requirement by the NRO. All of their payloads are designed for vertical integration, because all of their existing certified launchers (Atlas, Delta) use exclusively vertical integration.

If you do horizontal integration, then the mass of the payload hangs sideways off of the rocket, unsupported. That means the payload must have certain structural tolerances in order to support itself hanging like that for an extended amount of time. The NRO doesn't want to build payloads with that kind of extra structural support. Also, it might preclude using some of the extra sensitive equipment types they're using, which might not be able to be supported (fragile giant mirrors etc).

LC39-A has been meant from the start to be able to support vertical integration on Falcon rockets, but right now still requires further upgrades to do so (a taller service structure, cranes). There is a slight possibility that NROL-76 can be horizontally integrated as an exception to the rule, since the timeline offered by SpaceX seems rather short for doing this kind of construction work in the interim. But strictly speaking, vertical integration was a key requirement for US national security launch certification, and the first expectation should be that all NRO payloads are going to be handled this way.

Edited by Streetwind

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5 hours ago, Streetwind said:

LC39-A has been meant from the start to be able to support vertical integration on Falcon rockets, but right now still requires further upgrades to do so (a taller service structure, cranes).

Is that, perhaps, why they left in place that swing-away cover thingy from the Shuttle era whose proper name escapes me at the moment? Maybe they're expecting to adapt that. 

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1 minute ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Is that, perhaps, why they left in place that swing-away cover thingy from the Shuttle era whose proper name escapes me at the moment? Maybe they're expecting to adapt that. 

It's not tall enough. The plan is to use a hammerhead crane on top of the FSS, bringing it to something like the config during early shuttle.

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2 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Is that, perhaps, why they left in place that swing-away cover thingy from the Shuttle era whose proper name escapes me at the moment?

Rotating Service Structure (RSS)

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2 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Is that, perhaps, why they left in place that swing-away cover thingy from the Shuttle era whose proper name escapes me at the moment? Maybe they're expecting to adapt that. 

The RSS (Rotating Service Structure)...  No, that's in the process of being dismantled and scrapped.  (It's not actually in the way of anything, so it's being tackled as time/budget/access allows.)  The FSS (Fixed Service Structure) will (at some point) be expanded to accommodate both vertical integration and crew facilities.

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