SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space station

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by RAMA, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    They're going to use the Martian cows to produce fuel on Mars!
     
  2. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    Something to do with the Zubrin live-off-the-land approach. I think there is some controversy between Space X and Dynetics over the number of engines to be used in the stratolauncher concept. From what I've read, Dynetics was trying to get them to reduce the number of engines.
     
  3. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Sojourner
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    Reduce from what to what?
     
  4. gturner

    gturner Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    I assume from 5 to 4 Merlins, which is what was done.

    They could've reduced the number of turbofans from 6 to 4 by going with bigger engines, but I suppose there are far more surplus 747 engines than 777 engines.
     
  5. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    AN-225 would still beat it for payload--just not wingspan. I hear scuttlebutt that there was a second AN-225 and that it was awaiting money for assembly for Antonov airlines.
     
  6. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Sojourner
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    I haven't read anything confirming the number of engines being used. I have seen artists concepts using both 4 and 5 engines though. And why would a change in number of engines be "controversial"? Beyond the fact that having less might not be enough to do the job?
     
  7. gturner

    gturner Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Location:
    Kentucky
  8. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Sojourner
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    Not sure how much credit I would give that stratolaunch article. It also states that SpaceX will use the Merlin 1B engine. That model was developmental only and superceded by the C and D production models.


    There's a thread about Sally Ride already in Misc.
     
  9. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    SpaceX's video editing room is called Stanley Kubrick. They are making it difficult for anybody not to be their fanboy, aren't they?
     
  10. gturner

    gturner Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    That'll bite 'em in the butt if they land on the moon. :lol:

    BTW, the best retort I've seen to the conspiracy idiots is:

    "If NASA faked the moon landings, don't you think they'd have faked another major accomplishment by now?"
     
  11. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Sojourner
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    ^Done by XKCD.
    [​IMG]


    (Yes, XKCD allows hotlinking. The site even provides the image code on the page.)
     
  12. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    I enjoyed this one, but given the average reasoning skills of a moon hoaxer, they're more likely to be convinced by:

    “Kubrick is dead, you idiot, he couldn't have done a believable moon landing shoot even if they managed to chase Elvis away from the filming set. Did you know of all people Vladimir Putin personally expressed great appreciation for Louis Armstrong? How can you doubt he walked on the Moon after Putin's personal endorsement?”
     
  13. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    Hey, I didn't come to this forum the last few days, and now I'm surprised to find that this hasn't been posted.

    NASA just accepted SpaceX, Boeing and Sierra Nevada on the next phase of their commercial crew program.

    http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/crew/ccicap-announcement.html

    The short version is that SpaceX just got 440 million bucks. This is around the same amount of money they cite as the development cost of Falcon 9, and the development cost of the Dragon capsule.

    But they practically have a human-capable Dragon already. Even the SuperDraco thrusters are nearly done, and if I understand correctly the development of those was paid in the previous phase (correct me if I'm wrong), so the only thing missing are some nice cushions!

    Since I'm not their accountant, I can't say if they just got an extra 400 million they can spare. And I don't think you can discount that they have seats to install, not to mention control equipment that Musk is already bragging about, and from the sound of it, it would somewhat resemble the front panel of the Tesla cars. But if they can put some of those money into the development of something extra, I'm truly looking forward to it.

    Hopefully now they'd have a better chance to finish the reusability which isn't getting any specially alloted money.
     
  14. gturner

    gturner Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    Boeing and Sierra Nevada (love their pale ale) also got funding. Will the seats for the Boeing CST-100 have tray tables?
     
  15. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    Maybe if they forget to remove the tray tables when they are refitting the scrapped plane seats? I can't see what a tray table behind your back is useful for, though. Perhaps it will stop the contraband you hid behind your seat from falling to the ceiling, but I have it on good authority that astronauts don't carry contraband.
     
  16. gturner

    gturner Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Location:
    Kentucky
    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.
     
  17. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
  18. gturner

    gturner Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Location:
    Kentucky
    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.
     
  19. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    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.
     
  20. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Sojourner
    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    ^T-space took the "shuttlecock" style capsule the furthest.
    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.