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B787_300

CCiCap was announced, SpaceX and Boeing were selected

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Go DreamChaser! Go Boeing! I wish SpaceX could win too but i don't it could against these two!

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Go DreamChaser! Go Boeing! I wish SpaceX could win too but i *doubt* it could against these two!

and it most CERTAINLY can...

but tomorrow will tell

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I am excited. DreamChaser is coolest in my opinion, but I'm sure all three would make decent space taxis.

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Does an announcement of an announcement really justify six exclamation marks?

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So, let me see if I understand this...

Three major companies are competing for a contract to build (is design done?) a space taxi (similar to something like the Endeavor?) for NASA? What are the three designs from each of the companies? I've been totally consumed with my little time studying the Mars 2020 rover, Rosetta, and GPR/IPR instruments. I can't be the only one oblivious to all of this haha.

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but it also has the advantage of being a lifting body

How is that an advantage?

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Man, I can't wait to hear the announcement. I've been looking forward to this for a good while now, and it just re-sparked my interest when I watched the Bloomberg documentary on Netflix 'The Next Space Race' (or something along those lines) over the weekend. So exciting.

My money is on SpaceX. The Dreamchaser looks nice, and the CST-100 is a safe bet (being not much more than a new Apollo CSM), but the Dragon has the technology and real-world track record to not only get the job done, but also to spark major public interest in space travel again. It just has a 'cool factor' that the other 2 don't. SpaceX all the way.

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How is that an advantage?

cross range on landing, supposedly faster turn around, can land at any major airport, and more importantly to the American Public, it looks cool.

I kid you not on that last point btw

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Does Dream Chaser have the ability to return cargo to Earth like the shuttle? I think that would make it a good option. If we see it at work for ~30 years like the shuttle it could see use in the earliest shot at asteroid mining. Nothing in large scales we would have to develop special craft for that. Just returning the very first material mined by an asteroid that has been dragged back to LEO.

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No more or less than any other crewed spacecraft. There's no payload bay, if that's what you mean.

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So it's just a capsule with wings? It's still good if it can land on a runway I guess.

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Thanks for all the helpful information B787.

I really should be more up to date with this considering I just found out (2 minutes ago) that I live 5 minutes away from SpaceX. I had no idea.

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nice either there will be a party over there tonight or some sad times

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Either NASA will be conservative and pick two capsules, or it will be cautiously progressive picking one capsule and a quasi-shuttle. In any case i hope SpaceX will win :D

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Does Dream Chaser have the ability to return cargo to Earth like the shuttle? I think that would make it a good option. If we see it at work for ~30 years like the shuttle it could see use in the earliest shot at asteroid mining. Nothing in large scales we would have to develop special craft for that. Just returning the very first material mined by an asteroid that has been dragged back to LEO.

Both the Dragon V2 and the Dream Chaser can and will return some cargo to Earth. NASA will not fly in the full 7-seat configuration, but rather use 3 or 4 seats per launch; the remaining seats can be swapped out for cargo space. It's not a dedicated bulk cargo bay, but the ISS has no bulk cargo to return to Earth anyway. Waste and garbage and such are stuffed into unmanned supply vehicles like Progress or Cygnus and they then burn up in the atmosphere. It's individual experiments that need to be returned, each of which is its own special package.

CST-100 may or may not be able to do the same. I have no information on this. It would make sense to have that capability.

The advantage of the Dream Chaser's lifting body design is that it will pull a lot less G's on reentry. SNC said something like 1.5G maximum, while capsules do more than twice as much. They claim that this would be perfect to return extremely sensitive experiments to Earth.

Overall, I am happy that we finally get the announcement. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that NASA will be able to award two contracts, and that they'll go to my personal favorites. But ultimately I hope the choice(s) made will be sensible and useful.

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Both the Dragon V2 and the Dream Chaser can and will return some cargo to Earth. NASA will not fly in the full 7-seat configuration, but rather use 3 or 4 seats per launch; the remaining seats can be swapped out for cargo space. It's not a dedicated bulk cargo bay, but the ISS has no bulk cargo to return to Earth anyway. Waste and garbage and such are stuffed into unmanned supply vehicles like Progress or Cygnus and they then burn up in the atmosphere. It's individual experiments that need to be returned, each of which is its own special package.

The requirement to return equipment is covered by Cargo Dragon, which is the only vehicle that can return an ISPR module. Most experiments are designed to withstand launch and reentry and are packaged in ISPR racks, which are too big to fit through LIDS/NDS port that the crewed vehicles use. So the low-G capability of DreamChaser, while nice to have, is not a hard requirement and is counterbalanced by DreamChaser's unproven abort modes and lower survivability ratings.

Edited by Nibb31

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Either NASA will be conservative and pick two capsules, or it will be cautiously progressive picking one capsule and a quasi-shuttle. In any case i hope SpaceX will win :D

It's meaningless if SpaceX wins.

They will continue their project no matter what.

That's not the case for the other two (Boeing will abandon the project for sure, SNC says that they will keep on running, but many people doubt if that's even possible without cash injections from NASA)

I for one hope that SpaceX looses.

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It's meaningless if SpaceX wins.

They will continue their project no matter what.

I don't really see how. There is no customer base for Dragon V2 other than NASA. I can see it doing a couple of test flights, maybe one with Elon on board, but tourists aren't exactly queuing up for $10 million tickets to LEO and I haven't seen any institutional buyers other than the US Government. There might be a few foreign governments willing to pay to have their first astronaut, but that doesn't provide enough flights to justify a reusable spacecraft.

Musk wants to go to Mars, but there's a huge technological, industrial, and even societal gap between what SpaceX can do today and building a colony on Mars, even if Dragon V2 does fly next year. It's a gap that is decades and billions of dollars wide, so how does Musk keep SpaceX afloat while he bridges that gap if he doesn't get CCtCap ?

NASA is the only way for SpaceX to acquire experience in manned spaceflight. Without the commercial crew contract, it's back to launching commercial comsats to GEO and a couple of DoD launches. They can improve the F9 rocket, and they might even go for BFR if SLS is cancelled, but Dragon V2 is dead in the water with no demand.

That's not the case for the other two (Boeing will abandon the project for sure, SNC says that they will keep on running, but many people doubt if that's even possible without cash injections from NASA)

At least DC has seen some interest from ESA and JAXA. They might be able to charter a flight or two from them, but they're pretty much in the same boat as SpaceX if they get cut out.

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I don't really see how. There is no customer base for Dragon V2 other than NASA. I can see it doing a couple of test flights, maybe one with Elon on board, but tourists aren't exactly queuing up for $10 million tickets to LEO and I haven't seen any institutional buyers other than the US Government. There might be a few foreign governments willing to pay to have their first astronaut, but that doesn't provide enough flights to justify a reusable spacecraft.

Musk wants to go to Mars, but there's a huge technological, industrial, and even societal gap between what SpaceX can do today and building a colony on Mars, even if Dragon V2 does fly next year. It's a gap that is decades and billions of dollars wide, so how does Musk keep SpaceX afloat while he bridges that gap if he doesn't get CCtCap ?

NASA is the only way for SpaceX to acquire experience in manned spaceflight. Without the commercial crew contract, it's back to launching commercial comsats to GEO and a couple of DoD launches. They can improve the F9 rocket, and they might even go for BFR if SLS is cancelled, but Dragon V2 is dead in the water with no demand.

At least DC has seen some interest from ESA and JAXA. They might be able to charter a flight or two from them, but they're pretty much in the same boat as SpaceX if they get cut out.

Space X may support the planned Bigelow Station Alpha which is planned to be built from 2017. European and other wealthy countries may be potential customers for the project if it gets started.

If he can really bring down the costs with F9R manned LEO launches, it's going to be a game changer in space. The UK for e.g. seeks ways to get a more or less own space program and until Skylon might be an option for crewed spaceflight, they may pick the Dragon V2 until then. Once the CCP party is over Boeing, SpaceX, Bigelow, SNC and others will lobby for US friendly countries to use their equipment.

Edited by Reddragon

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