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Thread: Where will the United States Space Program go from Here?

  1. #81
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    Only time will tell I suppose. I've given up on NASA HSF getting us anywhere. And I don't blame NASA for this as so many people do. I blame public apathy, and theres just no way around that...except to turn HSF over to the private sector.

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    Actually, considering the risks involved NASA had a good record with the space shuttle. Before it ever flew experts expected a much higher loss rate. I hope Elon Musk can pull off a miracle and get humans back into space without killing anyone. But accidents will happen (just ask the Italians) and if one does occurr I hope it won't kill HSF for good.
    Bob DeWoody

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    Launch Delays are one thing, not trying is something else.
    Lee

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    Lee , long time no see your posts .
    Happy New Year !
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    I agree Modlerbob. The shuttle was actually a pretty forgiving system. Think of the RSLS aborts that could have ended in tragedy if the shuttle was as unsafe as critics like to claim.

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    one word "privatized"

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    The Feb. 7th flight has been postponed:

    1st Private Rocket Launch to Space Station Delayed.
    by Denise Chow, SPACE.com Staff Writer
    Date: 16 January 2012 Time: 01:51 PM ET
    1st Private Rocket Launch to Space Station Delayed | Private Spaceflight & Commercial Space Taxis | Dragon Space Capsule & International Space Station | Space.com


    The Russians and some members of NASA were uncertain about SpaceX's ability to perform the linkup with the ISS successfully. For a $100 billion asset, that is an understandable concern.

    A couple of suggestions. First hire away from the Russians some top guys involved with the Progress cargo vehicle to the ISS and from the Europeans some top guys involved with the ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle(ATV). For the billion dollar cargo supply contract SpaceX has with NASA, it can afford to do that.

    Secondly, prior to the ISS docking mission do some rendezvous missions in space with the Dragon spacecraft. Ideally it would be with a vehicle that it could actually dock with. The Progress M-13M cargo vehicle for instance is scheduled to undock from the ISS in a few days. According to the Wikipedia page the undocking is scheduled for the 25th:

    Progress M-13M.
    Progress M-13M - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    while on this NASA release it's listed as on the 23rd:

    NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 19 January 2012.
    Source: NASA HQ
    Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012
    NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 19 January 2012 | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference

    The release of a small Russian satellite from the Progress and the de-orbit burn for the Progress is scheduled to occur a day later. Could the undocking or least the de-orbit burn be postponed for enough time for SpaceX to launch the Dragon to be able link up with the Progress vehicle?

    In any case, the current plan is not for Dragon to perform the final link-up with ISS under its own power and navigation capabilities but just to get close enough for the robot arm to grapple it and pull it to the station to dock with it. So for this, all the Dragon has to do is demonstrate the ability to get close enough to some orbiting satellite without colliding with it to within a similar distance is it would be to the ISS. It might be able to do this several times with different satellites to further demonstrate this capability.


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    Quote Originally Posted by RGClark View Post
    The Feb. 7th flight has been postponed:

    1st Private Rocket Launch to Space Station Delayed.
    by Denise Chow, SPACE.com Staff Writer
    Date: 16 January 2012 Time: 01:51 PM ET
    1st Private Rocket Launch to Space Station Delayed | Private Spaceflight & Commercial Space Taxis | Dragon Space Capsule & International Space Station | Space.com


    The Russians and some members of NASA were uncertain about SpaceX's ability to perform the linkup with the ISS successfully. For a $100 billion asset, that is an understandable concern.

    A couple of suggestions. First hire away from the Russians some top guys involved with the Progress cargo vehicle to the ISS and from the Europeans some top guys involved with the ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle(ATV). For the billion dollar cargo supply contract SpaceX has with NASA, it can afford to do that.

    Secondly, prior to the ISS docking mission do some rendezvous missions in space with the Dragon spacecraft. Ideally it would be with a vehicle that it could actually dock with. The Progress M-13M cargo vehicle for instance is scheduled to undock from the ISS in a few days. According to the Wikipedia page the undocking is scheduled for the 25th:

    Progress M-13M.
    Progress M-13M - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    while on this NASA release it's listed as on the 23rd:

    NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 19 January 2012.
    Source: NASA HQ
    Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012
    NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 19 January 2012 | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference

    The release of a small Russian satellite from the Progress and the de-orbit burn for the Progress is scheduled to occur a day later. Could the undocking or least the de-orbit burn be postponed for enough time for SpaceX to launch the Dragon to be able link up with the Progress vehicle?

    In any case, the current plan is not for Dragon to perform the final link-up with ISS under its own power and navigation capabilities but just to get close enough for the robot arm to grapple it and pull it to the station to dock with it. So for this, all the Dragon has to do is demonstrate the ability to get close enough to some orbiting satellite without colliding with it to within a similar distance is it would be to the ISS. It might be able to do this several times with different satellites to further demonstrate this capability.


    Bob Clark
    The US got Von Braun and the better German rocket scientists in 1945. NASA got the Canadian engineers from cancellation of the Avro Arrow by the Diefenbaker Conservatives in 1959, and the Mercury project was largely concerned with rendez-vous with the Agena Target Vehicle.

    You're absolutely right RGClark. SpaceX could go head hunting and develop tests for rendez-vous. It makes perfect sense.
    (It worked for NASA).
    Last edited by Voyager3; 01-21-2012 at 03:02 AM.
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    Tests for rendezveous worked for NASA in part because of the budget allocated for Apollo. Space "X" would probably love to be able to do additional tests but then the cost would begin to affect their ability to provide economic access to LEO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lj3d View Post
    Tests for rendezveous worked for NASA in part because of the budget allocated for Apollo. Space "X" would probably love to be able to do additional tests but then the cost would begin to affect their ability to provide economic access to LEO.
    You can't bid for billion dollar contracts with just wishful thinking. You need to prove your concept is viable. NASA already did all the R&D on orbital dynamics. (That's a chunk of change right there). All SpaceX needs to do is prove it can meet those requirements.
    Just because it's private, SpaceX shouldn't be waived on basic performance testing.
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