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Old August 4 2012, 09:21 PM   #196
gturner
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

I wonder if the State Department had anything to do with this, regarding size and pace. With NASA still dependent on the Russians for access to the ISS, our hands are kind of tied when it comes to disputes over Iran and Syria.
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Old August 4 2012, 09:35 PM   #197
publiusr
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

The Russians have upped their game
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz1_lv.html#khsi2
http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthre...s-After-Launch
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Old August 4 2012, 11:13 PM   #198
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Well, the upgraded Soyuz would be an improvement, but they'd have done better with some of their more advanced designs that got cancelled, such as the 6-crew Prospective Piloted Transportation System.

There's one interesting capsule configuration that I've never seen proposed, which is to flip and Apollo, CST-100, or Dragon style capsule upside down. That one little flip brings on a bunch of interesting improvements, although the seating needs to re-orient for different flight phases.

With the capsule upside-down on the stack, it allows jettisonable solid abort motors or permanent liquids to occupy the area under the inverted cone, aiming mostly downwards instead of outwards. That eliminates most of the cosine losses of most current abort-rocket configurations.

During an abort, the capsule is already oriented with the heat-shield facing forward, so the capsule doesn't need to do a 180-degree flip prior to either a re-entry or a low-altitude drogue chute deployment.

At allows the capsule to be launched already docked to another module (similar to the Soyuz orbital module) and yet still be on top of the stack for an abort. This allows the capsule to be pre-mated to wildly different types of modules (such as ISS multiple docking adapters, spacelab modules, etc) without worrying about the stress loads added to the capsule, becaus the capsule isn't under the weight of anything above it. This means the abort system doesn't have to be redesigned, upgraded, and requalified by increases to the size of the attached modules (as would be the case with enlarging a Soyuz orbital module). It also means the capsule isn't sandwiched between a service module and a mated habitable module like the Soyuz is, requiring both to be jettisoned prior to re-entry.

This naturally brings about some other spiffy benefits.

Since the stack would have the capsule's heat-shield at one end and a service module engine bell at the other end, docking would have to be done sideways, with a three or four-way docking adapter laid out like a T or + joint. When docking, the pilots would be staring straight out at the side-facing docking adapter through the front Apollo-style windows. The crew could also observe from any attached orbital module. Since the docking occurs sideways, impact shock can be aborbed in bending loads on the entire stack, instead of linearly with the stress concentrated on the crew capsule, which currently is the squashed bug in between a heavy service module and a space station.

In this configuration, another craft can come attach to the first craft's unused docking port, and several could chain together this way. A capsule could undock and leave a fully functioning docking adapter, habitable crew module, and a service module attached to the ISS.

In the case of something like the Dragon's abort system, where SpaceX also plants to use it for a rocket landing, you could even land the capsule upside-down, avoiding the cosine losses and allowing the pilot a downward view. It would put the landing legs on the opposite end from the heat shield and make their deployment much simpler. It also means the crew could just drop out of the bottom of the craft through its docking hatch instead of climbing out and sliding down or going out a now unnecessary side-hatch. (They could enter on the pad via the side-docking adapter.) For a parachute water landing, the capsule would splash down on the heat shield like normal, and the crew would come out the top.

There are many advantages, but the seats would probably need to re-orient for different flight phases, and that might not be highly space efficient.
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Old August 7 2012, 12:19 AM   #199
publiusr
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Excalibur Almaz was a capsule where the retros and the escape tower were combined...A stabilo type tractor rocket. pretty stable.
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Old August 7 2012, 12:43 AM   #200
sojourner
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

^T-space took the "shuttlecock" style capsule the furthest.
YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post

Since I'm not their accountant, I can't say if they just got an extra 400 million they can spare.
The winning teams don't just get the money, they have to complete milestones and get payed for each one.

As for the russians, I'll beleive they've actually decided to build a new design when it launches. They're almost as bad as NASA for creating Powerpoint presentations.
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Old August 24 2012, 03:38 AM   #201
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

SpaceX's next cargo run is in October.

http://www.universetoday.com/96996/s...on-in-october/
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Old August 25 2012, 07:46 PM   #202
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Getting to space that quickly will really get folks attention.

The Russians keep promising another Energiya try

www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=3&id=355341
www.nasawatch.com/archives/2012/08/energia-20---ru.html

New sat plant http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Ru...Plant_999.html

More on the NewSoyuz LV
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/...er-soyuz-2-1v/

The Russians are getting a lot of flak from their recent space failures though
http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthre...ion-satellites

And another Briz has failed.
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Old September 1 2012, 04:57 AM   #203
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

The Next Falcon 9 is testing on the pad

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Old September 1 2012, 06:06 AM   #204
sojourner
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Cute that they did the WDR without the dragon capsule onboard.
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Old September 2 2012, 12:31 AM   #205
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

^ IIRC, the capsule is still being assembled in Texas and hasn't even been shipped to the pad yet. The COTS-2 configuration is ever so slightly different from the operational Cargo carrier configuration, with the biggest difference being the two or three tons of cargo squeezed into the trunk and the capsule each (cargo which, I do not know that spacex has actually received yet).
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Old September 3 2012, 06:40 AM   #206
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

I thought I had read that it had made it on site recently, but no matter. I just thought it was cute.
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Old September 8 2012, 07:23 PM   #207
publiusr
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Boeing's entry making progress.
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/...-september-10/
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Old September 9 2012, 12:50 AM   #208
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Yay! Boeing is refurbishing a building! big news!
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Old October 7 2012, 10:48 AM   #209
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

First cargo flight is tomorrow. Let's get ready for the real business. And let's hope it goes as smooth as the last one, and smoother.

NASA/SpaceX conference for CRS-1

In here, Gwynne Shotwell denies my earlier speculations that SpaceX might be doing science or exploration flights on its own. I hope advances in their efficiency and hardware proves her wrong.

CRS-1 press kit (PDF)

With real cargo on board the cargo manifest seems long. Although it's pretty light – 400 kg only. The heavy stuff will be the next time. And Europe has two small payloads up and two small payloads in this one.
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Old October 7 2012, 05:28 PM   #210
sojourner
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

From what I understand the cargo was limited by volume, not weight this time. Lots of large fluffy items.
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