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Dragon Vehicle

Posted by: beancounter - Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:07 am
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Dragon Vehicle 
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Post Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:07 am
Thought I'd start a topic on the Dragon space vehicle since this is quite an interesting vehicle in its own right.

Feel free to discuss/compare with other similar vehicles.

My understanding of the Dragon vehicle is as follows:
1. Cargo to/from ISS
2. Crew to/from ISS
3. Cargo/Crew to/from ISS
4. DragonLab for experiments, equipment testing, etc, free flying for periods up to 2 years.

Now the cargo stuff is pretty straightforward :) however crew is another issue since it requires apparently a crew escape mechanism which SpaceX say will require up to 3 years for development. Lifeboat doesn't require crew escape so less development time required for this option.

Came across an interesting bit of info' yesterday when I was trolling through YouTube about crew escape. Seems SpaceX is doing this one differently as well and it'll be interesting to see if they can pull it off:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9J6ENlNxRYw

Cheers.

PS Really looking forward to F9 launch.

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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:38 am
Can't see the vid (at work :P ) and my net sucks at home (Comcast :( )
Is it similiar to the MLAS that was tested by NASA recently?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MLAS


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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:53 pm
Thanks for the video link. I am intrigued. It would be great to hear more details. The orbital maneuvering system is hypergolic. How does that scale from 90lbf draco thrusters to whatever force is necessary to out-race the first stage just before Main engine cutoff?

They will definitely need beefed up plumbing. On the whole, I like it. Escape towers always seemed like one more potential problem to me.


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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:32 am
Don't think they're going to be using the thrusters, it would have to be much more powerful but still liquid fuel system. Wonder if they're planning on integrating with the second stage main engine.

Seems to me that this might be possible since if you needed the abort, then wouldn't need the engine for anything else but if you didn't abort then you'd have your normal second stage engine.

Having another powerful engine plus possibly additional fuel, etc to lug to orbit on the chance that you might need it seems a waste. Also doesn't seem like the sort of path SpaceX would likely go down. They're into efficiency and reliability not wasted effort.

Cheers.

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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:12 am
Last I heard on the configuration was:
1. New LAS motor will use the hypogolic fuel load used by the Draco thrusters.
2. Still planning for land landings couple of senerios: legs, crushable shockers, bags, motor/s - seems like the design still has some way to go before finalised.

Cheers

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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:20 am
@ beancounter
Please don't take this as an offense, but I just noticed that you have been speculating about something that doesn't make much sense:

beancounter wrote:
Wonder if they're planning on integrating with the second stage main engine.

With that approach, how could you abort if there is a problem with the second stage? In that interview from March, Musk explicitly stated that they are aiming at abort capability all the way up to orbit, so the LAS has to be independent of the second stage.

And with regard to your most recent post:
beancounter wrote:
Last I heard on the configuration was:
1. New LAS motor will use the hypogolic fuel load used by the Draco thrusters.
2. Still planning for land landings couple of senerios: legs, crushable shockers, bags, motor/s - seems like the design still has some way to go before finalised.

Cheers

That the LAS motor(s) will use the fuel load for orbital maneuvering is exactly what Musk has said back in March - and it makes perfect sense since you never really need that fuel for both applications.

But to say something more positive as well: Thanks for telling us about their plans for land landings. I didn't even know that they were working on that at all! 8)

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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:29 am
Marcus Zottl wrote:
@ beancounter
Please don't take this as an offense, but I just noticed that you have been speculating about something that doesn't make much sense:

beancounter wrote:
Wonder if they're planning on integrating with the second stage main engine.

With that approach, how could you abort if there is a problem with the second stage? In that interview from March, Musk explicitly stated that they are aiming at abort capability all the way up to orbit, so the LAS has to be independent of the second stage.

And with regard to your most recent post:
beancounter wrote:
Last I heard on the configuration was:
1. New LAS motor will use the hypogolic fuel load used by the Draco thrusters.
2. Still planning for land landings couple of senerios: legs, crushable shockers, bags, motor/s - seems like the design still has some way to go before finalised.

Cheers

That the LAS motor(s) will use the fuel load for orbital maneuvering is exactly what Musk has said back in March - and it makes perfect sense since you never really need that fuel for both applications.

But to say something more positive as well: Thanks for telling us about their plans for land landings. I didn't even know that they were working on that at all! 8)


Yeh didn't think that one through so point to you Macus. Just trying to get a bit of life going in the thread :)

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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:27 am
New Update on the SpaceX page showing testing of Dragon parachutes.

http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20100820

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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:35 am
Quote:
Once the ability to accurately control reentry is proven, SpaceX plans to add deployable landing gear and use thrusters to safely land Dragon on land.


That's interesting


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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:25 am
Mchl wrote:
Quote:
Once the ability to accurately control reentry is proven, SpaceX plans to add deployable landing gear and use thrusters to safely land Dragon on land.


That's interesting


Agreed. Seems to me that this is not the sort of thing you'd just add. Therefore SpaceX seems to have had this in their 'plan' from the beginning along with lots of other things I guess. And this would make sense given Elon's vision of extending life to other planets. Be interesting to know how deep this runs in the culture of the company.

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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:17 pm
beancounter wrote:
Be interesting to know how deep this runs in the culture of the company.


You mean like, if they only have one specific brand of chocolate bars in vending machines in their cantine? ;)


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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:14 pm
Very interesting an escape system that uses the same fuel & tanks as the OMS. Presumably this will also provide a extra redundant propulsion system that would in a pinch could be used for the de-orbit burn?

DaveX


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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:40 am
According to their latest update on the website, the Draco thrusters are also used during descent to accurately select a landing point (to within 100meters apparently).

So very much multi purpose.


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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:46 pm
i wonder why they decided to use hypergolic fuel for the draco subsystem.. seems anti-SpaceX. i guess the "ease" of use in space made up for the fact that it's really nasty or something.

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Post Re: Dragon Vehicle   Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:29 pm
I guess it is because of their number one goal: reliability.
There can't really go much wrong with hypergolics with regard to ignition reliability and long time storage.

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