Project Hubble Reboost

francisdrake

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0544.jpg0013.jpg

NASA is considering to reboost the Hubble space telescope (HST) into a higher orbit, using a specially equipped Dragon capsule.
It would have a rear docking port installed in the trunk. This allows the Dragon capsule to use its main thrusters in the nose for orbital maneuvers while docked to the HST.

This addon uses BrianJ's DM2 Dragon and adds a rear docking port by overwriting the capsules config-file.
Using a mod-manager (like JSGME) is recommended to easily undo any changes.
The data are in the attached zip-file.

For this proof-of-concept version I used Orbiter's default HST, knowing there is the much nicer HST(EX) available.

When using the rear docking port, remember this:
  • Switch the Docking MFD to Dock 2.
  • The left-right and roll commandos are inverted when flying backwards.

I could reach Hubble and boost it to a 500 x 500 km orbit, but after undocking and the deorbit burn, I had only 17 kg of RCS fuel remaining.
Hope this improves in the future! :) Any comments and remarks are welcome!
---
Edit 03-11-2022: Vers. 01, now supporting also the high-resolution HST (EX).
Edit 16-12-2023: Vers. 03, Soft capture port added, using now Dragon cupola, experimental EVA.
 

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Donamy

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They could probably use a cargo Dragon for that.
 

Gargantua2024

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17 kg left in the fuel reserves....unless they add an additional fuel tank in the trunk (if there's any space left, did that mean they'll expend a Dragon capsule for that?
 

francisdrake

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@Donamy: Yes, if it is a pure reboost mission, a cargo Dragon would be the better option. I am sure it could automatically or remote controlled latch on to the HST docking port.

@Gargantua2024: The fuel reserve increased, when I dropped the trunk before the deorbit burn. 300 kg fuel was left then.
Reason I took the trunk with me initially was to avoid having it lingering around in the same orbit as Hubble, being a potential collision hazard.

A compromise may be to do a perigee lowering maneuver with the trunk first, then separate and do the final reentry burn.
The trunk would be left in a lower orbit. This orbit would decay over time and the trunk may reenter some months later.

To BrianJ, Donamy and Felix: The HST (EX) looks amazingly better!
0567m.jpg
 

francisdrake

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New version 01 attached to the top post!

This version includes three scenarios for the high-resolution HST (EX) for Orbiter 2016.
Several corrections were made, like initial orbital parameters, launch date and launch trajectory.

Added a pdf documentation file, giving tips how to minimize fuel consumption on the approach, how to fly backwards to use the rear docking port and maneuver the Dragon-HST stack.
 

Donamy

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You also wouldn't need the docking port on the nose.
 

francisdrake

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That's right, there is no use for the forward docking port.
Maybe I will try the 'Inspiration4' varaint of the Crew Dragon.for these mission.
 

barrygolden

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Wow !! you guys are way head of me. Looks super and if we can get an EVA suit would make a super addon

I do have an issue with the HST for lack of detail
might need to add the soft dock feature as well
maybe some hand rails on the dragon
 

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    HST.png
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  • soft docking 2.png
    soft docking 2.png
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francisdrake

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Yes, the version 01 contains also scenarios with BrainJ's HST(EX). They are in the folder "Hubble Reboost for HST(EX)"

I played around with an EVA spacesuit. The texture I found on ArtStation.
But honestly, EVAs are not good in Orbiter.
There is no collision checking. You constantly drift through the meshes of other vessels.
The EVA can be set up for a nice screenshot, but will not give the experience of crawling along a vessel in deep space.

0320a.jpg
 

N_Molson

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Yes, the version 01 contains also scenarios with BrainJ's HST(EX). They are in the folder "Hubble Reboost for HST(EX)"

I played around with an EVA spacesuit. The texture I found on ArtStation.
But honestly, EVAs are not good in Orbiter.
There is no collision checking. You constantly drift through the meshes of other vessels.
The EVA can be set up for a nice screenshot, but will not give the experience of crawling along a vessel in deep space.

What I don't get is that Orbiter 2016 has everything it requires... The possiblity to define collision boxes... From there checking each frame that 2 collision boxes are not intersecting each other is rather trivial for a modern computer... Terrain/vessel works so why not vessel/vessel...
 

barrygolden

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Still don't have any detail or controls on the HST the Dragon looks super. The EVA guy looks good as well from what I can see not sure if he has the small back pack or not and might think about the helmet from the Movie "the Martian " its bigger and this suit could be used down the road for a Mars landing EVA
 

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  • HST.png
    HST.png
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BrianJ

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Hi,
just thought I'd chip in and say I could set the Dragon up to spawn an EVA guy.....but I'd need a suitable EVA mesh (only one I have working is NASA style and not at all SpaceX-like).
As @francisdrake says, the EVA experience in Orbiter suffers from no collision detection - on the other hand, I quite enjoyed using the EVA guys on the HST-Ex servicing mission to replace modules and get a little "taste" of what working in space might be like.
And I'm in favour of giving the user the option of EVA.
I am kind of busy with other stuff but if people think Dragon EVA guy is a good idea, maybe I can find some time over the holidays......
there is an invisible tether addon that you can simulate an EVA.
Hi Don - are you talking about TetherMFD? Works quite well but does suffer from lack of collision detection and goes through walls, etc. My solution for HST-Ex EVA guy was to have him attached to shuttle and move/rotate the attach point.

Also, there is additionally Don's "SAL HST Rescue" add-on which does have EVA guys.

Dragon "handrails" could simply be attached to Dragon as "payload" mesh (you won't be able to grab 'em though, of course).

OK, that's my 2-cents-worth :)
Cheers,
BrianJ
 

barrygolden

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Let you guys know that I was able to get the HST ex to show all its detail and it came to life looks super
it would be really neat to use some new Space X type suits
 

francisdrake

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the helmet from the Movie "the Martian " its bigger and this suit could be used down the road for a Mars landing EVA
The texture for the suit is in fact from a Mars EVA suit concept. It was the best futuristic suit I could find with a quick google search.
--> I would appreciate if we find a volunteer "Space suit fashion designer" within Orbiters community, who could make some nice current and near future space suits on a low-poly astronaut model. ;)

but if people think Dragon EVA guy is a good idea, maybe I can find some time over the holidays ...
You have my vote! :)
I think a Dragon-base spacewalk will come soon, probably on a private mission.

I assume the procedure would be somewhat like the Gemini spacewalks:
  • Everybody don space suits
  • Evacuate capsule
  • Open main hatch (because the docking hatch is too small for an astronaut wearing the PLSS backback.
  • One or two guys go out. At least another one is waiting inside the hatch as support, if needed.
  • After the spacewalk re-fill the capsule with air.
 

francisdrake

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this HST needs the soft dock
Made a simple one, included in the "Hubble_Reboost-03" Version.

It is attached to the rear attachment point, but is only for decoration.
The docking is handled by a docking port added to the hst_ex.cfg.

0338a.jpg
 
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