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Old 06-02-2012, 07:56 PM   #961
FADEC
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Originally Posted by Urwumpe View Post
 PICA-X is ablative. But with very good properties.
Yes. Not comparable to the Apollo heat shield which literally burned away during entry.
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:17 PM   #962
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Thanks Urwumpe and FADEC, now I understand it better.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:27 AM   #963
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Originally Posted by Urwumpe View Post
 It is just thermal protection for space, that has the unlucky fate to also double as thermal protection during reentry. The parachutes are, if you pay attention at the drop test, on the bottom of the spacecraft during reentry, on the "wind protected" side.
Actually the chute compartment is on the "hot" side of the upper surfaces.


A bit of heat soaking may reduce the required power for the parachute heaters.
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:03 AM   #964
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But still not as hot as the heatshield on the bottom/aft side of the craft- the one made of PICA-X.
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:08 AM   #965
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The life support system is completely in place including the redundancies. This was so with the first Dragon launch back in 2010 as well. He mentioned that for both flights, if there were passengers, they would have had a nice ride. Sure there were no such provisions for passengers such as seats and eats, sanitary facility, (Although, I'd have traded holding it for the first demo back in 2010 as short as the mission was), etc, but those are minor things. The one last major component to be developed is the launch abort system development and integration to the Dragon. NASA recently kicked in $75 million to assist SpaceX in finishing off that development, so a manned mission can't be too far off. The trick will be to repeat the recent performance a dozen times with equal success to prove out Dragon's reliability and safety.... a big task no doubt.

In the end though, Dragon is ready for people, it was designed for people from the get go, and if your not too picky about abort capabilities, you could do nothing more than toss in some seats, climb in, and go right now, and since the first Dragon flight. Part of the demonstration flights are to prove out the life support systems. Dragon spent a couple of days in orbit before arriving at the station, and showed up with fully charged batteries.... Something that wasn't expected, but good news none the less.

I think these cargo missions will really give SpaceX the needed proven track record Falcon and Dragon both need to show they have the Moxie for human space flight, and I think it's just awesome. Truly history in the making... let's all stay tuned.
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:04 AM   #966
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 if your not too picky about abort capabilities, you could do nothing more than toss in some seats, climb in, and go right now
Astronauts are not too picky anyway I think. I personally would not be as well and take a seat on the next flight

The Shuttle did launch with humans aboard on its maiden voyage. Unimaginably these days (but why is this?). And a pad abort for example was not possible while RTLS was never demonstrated (which I consider a highly risky maneuver). I already would go so far to call Dragon already safer than STS. Because foam can't damage the heat shield, which was actually the major issue of STS.

Adding abort capability from the pad all the way up to orbit is a nice feature for sure. But it is also one of those makes-everyone-feel-safe things (almost like cycle helmets which sell like hot cakes although they did not increase safety statistically). An abort system might not help if the rocket blows up unexpectedly. And how often had an ascent to be aborted, requiring a launch abort system in US space flight history? Never, as far as I know. But of course it can't be wrong to have that capability.

Last edited by FADEC; 06-03-2012 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:00 AM   #967
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Originally Posted by C3PO View Post
 Actually the chute compartment is on the "hot" side of the upper surfaces.
{image}

A bit of heat soaking may reduce the required power for the parachute heaters.
That is a bit worrisome. From the video, the parachute lines if not attached at one point to the capsule are attached quite close together. When added to the fact its on the side that is the most scorched, it raises a possible "single point failure" scenario:

Awesome Video of Dragonís Descent and Landing.
Posted by Doug Messier on June 1, 2012, at 10:59 am in News
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/06/...t-and-landing/


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Old 06-06-2012, 02:54 PM   #968
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 I discuss this on my blog:

On the lasting importance of the SpaceX accomplishment.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/201...of-spacex.html


Bob Clark
A German suborbital venture similar to the XCOR Lynx craft called Project Enterprise:

http://www.european-spacetourism.eu/index.html (in German)

http://www.european-spacetourism.eu/...romo_Video.wmv

The point of my blog post on the Spacex accomplishment was that other countries such as those of the ESA could produce their own man-rated launchers and spacecraft at costs in the few hundred million dollars range, not the billions previously thought, by following the SpaceX private development approach.
Now note that Sierra Nevada is producing an orbital spaceplane in the Dream Chaser at the few hundred million dollars range as part of NASA's CCDEV program. Note also that they are developing it in parallel to a suborbital tourism version.
Then likewise Project Enterprise could produce an orbital spaceplane at costs in the few hundred million range in parallel to their suborbital version, as privately financed.


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Old 06-15-2012, 05:00 PM   #969
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Originally Posted by RGClark View Post
 I discuss this on my blog:

On the lasting importance of the SpaceX accomplishment.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/201...of-spacex.html


Bob Clark
Proposes the orbital DC-Y as a private, commercial passenger launcher at a few hundred million development cost:

On the lasting importance of the SpaceX accomplishment, Page 2.
http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/201...spacex_15.html


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Old 07-17-2012, 06:16 PM   #970
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You Tube Mission highlights

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