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B787_300

CCiCap was announced, SpaceX and Boeing were selected

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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.

Bigelow doesn't have any customers either.

What other wealthy countries? ESA and JAXA are committed to the ISS until at least 2024 and China is building its own space station. Maybe after that, Bigelow might be able to find someone to pay for his station, but how does SpaceX keep Dragon V2 operational for a decade without anywhere to go?

If he can really bring down the costs with F9R manned LEO launches, it's going to be a game changer in space.

Even if he brings the cost of a manned launch down to the crazy optimistic figure of $60 million, that's still $10 million per passenger. And that is a totally unrealistic reduction compared to the current CCtCap prices.

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.

European space agencies exist to subsidize domestic R&D, not to buy off-the-shelf launch services from US corporations for the sake of it.

The UK is part of ESA and their current funding is symbolic at best. The only way for the UKSA to get their own space program is to withdraw from ESA and increase their budget tenfold, which is not going to happen. No European country has the will or the budget to fund their own independent manned spaceflight program, even with the commercial crew vehicles.

Edited by Nibb31

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Europe (in perticular Germany) is actually eyeing the Dream Chaser, not the Dragon V2. They say it could be launched on an Ariane 5 if they can somehow stuff it into the fairing. Might require a variant with a slightly shorter wingspan, but that is regarded as easier to pull off than redoing the FCS for the Ariane 5 with the Dream Chaser sitting open on top. Though of course, France wants an Ariane 6 while Germany wants to keep the 5, so this is ultimately dependant on how that particular discussion ends (an Ariane 6 could be built to carry the Dream Chaser as-is). Japan is also on the Dream Chaser boat.

I've not heard SpaceX announce any actual deals for the DragonV2 besides the hopeful NASA contract. They've also stated that losing said contract will not cancel the DragonV2 program, but it will slow development down significantly (i.e. it will likely be sidelined until a new customer can be found).

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ESA might charter one or two flights from SNC to send up European crew members on the existing DreamChaser/Atlas but I don't think anyone in ESA is seriously thinking about putting a DreamChaser on top of an Ariane 5. That would require a major investment (including redesigning the Ariane 5 for manned flights and building manned operation facilities in Kourou), which would be prohibitive.

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Bigelow doesn't have any customers either.

They'll launch a module to the ISS next year. Beyond that, who knows? I wasn't speaking about 2017 either and the ISS doesn't seem to have a safe future after 2020. India had probe missions to the Moon and Mars. The UK want's to have a space program independent from ESA. Even Iran is planning manned space missions which could drag other rivals into considering it, like the UAE which is working together with Bigelow. Interesting changes are happening right now which will influence the future. I'm not saying all of this is will happen but I wouldn't rule them out.

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ESA might charter one or two flights from SNC to send up European crew members on the existing DreamChaser/Atlas but I don't think anyone in ESA is seriously thinking about putting a DreamChaser on top of an Ariane 5. That would require a major investment (including redesigning the Ariane 5 for manned flights and building manned operation facilities in Kourou), which would be prohibitive.

Source: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/01/dream-chasers-european-deal-opens-ambitions/

Basically it's a "simulations show it might be possible" kind of thing. If they can fit it into the fairing it's apparently not that big of a deal. The Ariane 5 was designed to carry a manned spaceplane anyway (but that was cancelled long ago in the 90s).

I mean, there's no question that this isn't anywhere near-term, but ESA at least considers it worth funding a study over. We'll see what that study finds about the feasibility when it's done, I suppose.

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They'll launch a module to the ISS next year.

It's a test module, and they have been launching test modules since 2006. They are no closer now than they were then to having an actual paying customer.

Beyond that, who knows? I wasn't speaking about 2017 either and the ISS doesn't seem to have a safe future after 2020.

If the ISS ends in 2020, that's only 3 years of commercial crew flights. With 2 providers and 1 flight every 6 months, they'll only get 3 flights each. After all this malarkey, I certainly hope for them that the ISS is extended until 2024 at least!

India had probe missions to the Moon and Mars.

And they do this to develop a domestic R&D capability. Why would they buy a ticket from a US supplier when they are developing their own spacecraft and launcher family?

The UK want's to have a space program independent from ESA.

No they don't. The UKSA hardly has enough funding to keep itself running. They don't have enough budget to have a domestic space program, let alone a manned space program. A UKSA that is not member of ESA would also not be a part of the ISS arrangements. They would not have access to the ESA facility on the ISS or any barter arrangement for NASA flights. In fact, a UK astronaut would have nowhere to go.

But if they did want to go alone, why would they buy a separate ticket from a US supplier? Again, like any other national space agency, the point of an independent UKSA would be to promote domestic R&D by subsidizing domestic aerospace companies, not buying off-the-shelf launch services from US providers.

Even Iran is planning manned space missions which could drag other rivals into considering it, like the UAE which is working together with Bigelow. Interesting changes are happening right now which will influence the future. I'm not saying all of this is will happen but I wouldn't rule them out.

Anything is possible. But a lot of all that is highly improbable.

Edited by Nibb31

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Source: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/01/dream-chasers-european-deal-opens-ambitions/

Basically it's a "simulations show it might be possible" kind of thing. If they can fit it into the fairing it's apparently not that big of a deal. The Ariane 5 was designed to carry a manned spaceplane anyway (but that was cancelled long ago in the 90s).

Hermes was cancelled well before actual development of Ariane 5 started. Ariane was "sized" for Hermes, but none of the actual design is currently man-rated. It would need a major redesign, which is not going to happen at this stage in the Ariane lifecycle. You would also need to invest in new facilities in Kourou for crew operations, heavy launch pad modifications, and expansion of the airbase and naval facilities for S&R operations in case of an abort...

And why would it need a fairing? DreamChaser doesn't use a fairing for Atlas V launches. It could only cause more problems in case of an abort.

I mean, there's no question that this isn't anywhere near-term, but ESA at least considers it worth funding a study over. We'll see what that study finds about the feasibility when it's done, I suppose.

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If the ISS ends in 2020, that's only 3 years of commercial crew flights. With 2 providers and 1 flight every 6 months, they'll only get 3 flights each. After all this malarkey, I certainly hope for them that the ISS is extended until 2024 at least!

Unfortunately, it seems like co-operation is going to be split into two parts. NASA will want as many international partners in a new space station project as possible. Russia is getting closer to China. I think the same commercial crew supporter will remain if there will be a US station in LEO. If Roscosmos will be forced to quit the ISS project (by it's administration), it will be disassembled or at least separated in two. Right now that's where things are heading to.

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GOOOOOOOOOOD Morning and welcome to the morning of the announcement. Nothing new came up since my last update, but that should all change shortly. It is Currently 9:05 am on the East Coast so the work day is just getting started

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AND I SPOKE TOO SOON, looks like the companies will know at 10-11 becasue there is a 4pm press conference!!!

another link http://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2014/09/16/crew-transportation-announcement-today/

Edited by B787_300

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I don't really see how.

With money. Musk got more than enough and he already said that Dragon V2 will happen no matter what.

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.

Don't be so short-sighted. It's not about making flights tomorrow to LEO and back but rather ISS/Future space stations/whatever Musk has today in his mind for Mars exploration.

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 ?

No idea. Ask SpaceX fanboys, they already got everything sorted out down to details.

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.

ESA and JAXA according to current contracts are not interested in anything else than technology exchange (eg. DC will use ESA docking port) plus few rental flights in future. It's nothing that could possibly cover the expenses required to make that thing fly into space. Remembers - spaceplanes tend to be the most expensive kind of spaceships. Many have tried, very few have succeeded. Though yes - SNC did say that they're going to continue the project even without NASA money... as much as I'd like to believe it will be they case and they're going to succeed - I doubt it will be the case. SNC is very ambitious project and they really do need that cash, more than anyone else in whole programme.

And as for Boeing - they most likely will discontinue their capsule if they won't receive cash from NASA.

No they don't. The UKSA hardly has enough funding to keep itself running. They don't have enough budget to have a domestic space program, let alone a manned space program. A UKSA that is not member of ESA would also not be a part of the ISS arrangements. They would not have access to the ESA facility on the ISS or any barter arrangement for NASA flights. In fact, a UK astronaut would have nowhere to go.

UK Space Agency is a joke right now. They keep on doing the same mistakes they did in '80s and '90s - being unable to find any agreement with major players, only this time they don't have money to develop anything worthwhile on their own. They suffer typical problems to the post-imperial organizations. Still think they're major players with strong decisive power while in fact that got surprisingly little to say with money they got and the current management issues. UKSA should take an example from Italian Space Agency - they are smaller players in ESA yet somehow manage to find a common ground with other countries in Europe and even despite of years in trouble - they did manage to push Vega and so far it works beautifully. The only good thing UKSA actually managed to do in last few years is pushing British private space sector.

Hermes was cancelled well before actual development of Ariane 5 started. Ariane was "sized" for Hermes, but none of the actual design is currently man-rated. It would need a major redesign, which is not going to happen at this stage in the Ariane lifecycle. You would also need to invest in new facilities in Kourou for crew operations, heavy launch pad modifications, and expansion of the airbase and naval facilities for S&R operations in case of an abort...

And why would it need a fairing? DreamChaser doesn't use a fairing for Atlas V launches. It could only cause more problems in case of an abort.

Fairing would be needed to speed up the development and cut costs on accounting for modified aerodynamics of the launch vehicle with DC on top. At least that's the official version from DLR.

If ESA would want to - they can get the US man-rating certification for Ariane 5 as launcher fulfils the requirements already, only problem with the Dream Chaser could possibly be an escape system, but then again - they already done initial designs for Hermes escape mechanism, essentially an adapter with boosters ontop of the EPS, so needed be - idea can be resurrected. Besides - isn't it similar to what DC will be using on Atlas V anyway?

And: No, Hermes wasn't cancelled before Ariane 5 development begun. Final approval of Ariane 5 was done in 1987, years before Hermes was cancelled. Year after that they already started building a launch pad in Kourou. Hermes was cancelled in 1992. By that time not only rocket design was done, but they even gone through series of tests for the new Vulcain engine and in 1993 EAP (Solid Rocket Booster) was tested.

Edited by Sky_walker

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Nice post sky_walker. If you want to talk to SpaceX fanboys head over to /r/spacex . Also what is the source on Boeing not continuing dev if they don't get the money?

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I certainly hope for them that the ISS is extended until 2024 at least!

It already was. :wink:

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Nice post sky_walker. If you want to talk to SpaceX fanboys head over to /r/spacex .

I'll pass :) I'm allergic to them.

Also what is the source on Boeing not continuing dev if they don't get the money?

Ok, to be fair - noone but Boeing can tell what would happen for sure. But Boeing is pretty much the only company giving such a clear signs that they most likely will abandon the project if no money is won.

Some random quotes from quick google search:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/boeing-takes-lead-to-build-space-taxi-1410820865

Boeing officials have repeatedly said they won't continue to develop the CST-100 manned capsule, which has been in development for three years, without further government support.

http://www.americaspace.com/?p=66434

As good as things look for Boeing, the company is preparing for the possibility that NASA will not award a contract to fly the CST-100, as the company recently sent out potential layoff notices to more than 200 of its employees involved with CST-100’s development, a move stated by Boeing Commerical Crew program manager John Mulholland as “a standard way to minimize potential business impact, it would be hard to close a business case without that backstop of NASA development funds.â€Â

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/08/20/space-florida-sets-boeing-commercial-crew-rent/

However, the company is not expected to continue with CST-100 development if it does receive additional funds from the space agency.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2014/09/09/nasa-awards-contracts-to-virgin-galactic-and-other-suborbital-providers/

“We haven’t made that decision yet. We would have to take a step back, review the potential business case and go from there,†the spokesperson told me. “It would be more difficult to close the business case without the NASA foundation business.â€Â
Edited by Sky_walker

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IMHO, the "we haven't made that decision yet" line is for the media coverage... the "send layoff notices to employees more than a month before the CCtCap announcement" is the internal, honest variant. There's little doubt about what's going to happen in the event Boeing loses, really.

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Dragon 2 is really cool and Dream chaser looks amazing

I really hope that "coolness" and "amazing looks" were not the top criteria in the competition.

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Come on now Nibb31. He neither said that he thought they were, nor that he thought that they should be. He just expressed a personal opinion about the contestants.

There's pointing out errors to people, and then there's plain being mean to people.

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And update time

* [11:42AM 16 September EDT]: A potent tweet from @NASAWatch: "WRT speculation about #NASA #CCiCAP winners: Those who know don't speak; those who speak don't know.". Retweeted by Jeff Foust.

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yep linked to a NASA blog post earlier

Sorry, I didn't realize.

Time to jump in the hype space taxi I guess.

Edited by Reddragon

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At this rate they're going to push out the apple watch for 'least surprising surprise announcement'.

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