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#1 2017-12-28 23:19:47

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,419

2018; What lies ahead in the coming year. Your wishes and predictions.

2018 appears to be a very significant year in the march to worlds beyond Earth. I'm interested in rocket architecture advances, and scheduled missions.

First, SpaceX has stated that the long-awaited Falcon Heavy will begin flying. Hopefully in early to mid January, since we've all seen the photos Tweeted by Elon of his midnight cherry red Tesla as the payload. There are at least 2 other Falcon Heavy launches in the manifest published on www.spaceflight101.com.

Second SpaceX goal is the first flight of the crew-rated Dragon 2 spacecraft. This is scheduled sometime in the first half of 2018, along with the in-flight abort test using a special Falcon 9 with only 3 engines. Also tentatively scheduled for mid 2018.

As per usual, the ULA of Boeing/Lockheed-Martin has nothing significant planned regarding flights of the SLS, which has now slipped to late 2019, and possibly even early 2020.

Will SpaceX actually manage a launch of the 2 paying customers around the moon? I have some doubts, and suspect more likely a launch in early 2019 if this isn't simply cancelled outright.

Will Boeing get their new spacecraftcraft a test flight on the way to a commercial crew resupply for the ISS?

Will SpaceX fly a crewed mission to the ISS?

My wild prediction department: Musk will again announce a further downsizing of his BFR to something much more manageable--similar to the previous concept of the Falcon X.

OK, these are my predictions, guesses, and wild speculations.

The floor is now open to all comers! Rant and rave away to heart's content! Criticize, agree, disagree! Go for it!

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2017-12-28 23:21:31)

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#2 2017-12-28 23:23:41

RobS
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From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
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Re: 2018; What lies ahead in the coming year. Your wishes and predictions.

There was also some talk of switching the Falcons to raptor methalox engines. I doubt that will happen now because the plan is to phase out the Falcon entirely. But it's an option that could be revived if the BFR's design changes again. I doubt the BFR will shrink further, though.

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#3 2017-12-29 00:02:03

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,419

Re: 2018; What lies ahead in the coming year. Your wishes and predictions.

RobS-

That's a very good option that I've proposed on this site. That would be a quick way of flight qualifying the new engines. I earlier proposed switching the second stage to methylox propulsion for some in-flight qualification testing. It could conceivably increase the payload to orbit due to a higher thrust rating of the engine and a slightly higher Isp than RP-1/LOX.

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#4 2017-12-29 05:14:56

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: 2018; What lies ahead in the coming year. Your wishes and predictions.

The end of 2017 was remarkable for the first ever public confirmation that government agencies have concluded there are extreme performance aircraft operating around Earth that do not have a human origin...I can't really think of anything more stunning than that. We have now seen the video of what the experienced naval pilots observing a UFO saw.  Many commentators are suggesting this is only the first step in a process of public disclosure and that we will see much more in 2018. If so, humanity is set for a futureshock of unimaginable proportions. Could be we find out what is like to be in a primitive society suddenly confronted by a strange but technically very advanced culture: traumatic, demoralising and disorientating.

2018 is the declared year in which Space X begin construction of the BFR. Will be remarkable to see that commence if it does.

I hope 2018 is the year Musk explains how the propellant manufacturing plant will actually work on Mars...what will be the power requirement, where will that come from, where will the plant be processed.

Aren't NASA sending a seismic monitoring unit to Mars this year?


Oldfart1939 wrote:

2018 appears to be a very significant year in the march to worlds beyond Earth. I'm interested in rocket architecture advances, and scheduled missions.

First, SpaceX has stated that the long-awaited Falcon Heavy will begin flying. Hopefully in early to mid January, since we've all seen the photos Tweeted by Elon of his midnight cherry red Tesla as the payload. There are at least 2 other Falcon Heavy launches in the manifest published on www.spaceflight101.com.

Second SpaceX goal is the first flight of the crew-rated Dragon 2 spacecraft. This is scheduled sometime in the first half of 2018, along with the in-flight abort test using a special Falcon 9 with only 3 engines. Also tentatively scheduled for mid 2018.

As per usual, the ULA of Boeing/Lockheed-Martin has nothing significant planned regarding flights of the SLS, which has now slipped to late 2019, and possibly even early 2020.

Will SpaceX actually manage a launch of the 2 paying customers around the moon? I have some doubts, and suspect more likely a launch in early 2019 if this isn't simply cancelled outright.

Will Boeing get their new spacecraftcraft a test flight on the way to a commercial crew resupply for the ISS?

Will SpaceX fly a crewed mission to the ISS?

My wild prediction department: Musk will again announce a further downsizing of his BFR to something much more manageable--similar to the previous concept of the Falcon X.

OK, these are my predictions, guesses, and wild speculations.

The floor is now open to all comers! Rant and rave away to heart's content! Criticize, agree, disagree! Go for it!


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#5 2017-12-29 05:39:22

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,262

Re: 2018; What lies ahead in the coming year. Your wishes and predictions.

To run the upper stage on methane and LOX a new design f Spacex vehicle would be required due to the extra tank capacity needed for relatively low density fuel compared with paraffin. If they were to just change the relative tank volumes between LOX and fuel they would suffer a reduction in mass delivered to orbit, wouldn't they?

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#6 2017-12-29 14:28:10

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,852
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Re: 2018; What lies ahead in the coming year. Your wishes and predictions.

My wish-list:

  • EM1: Exploration Mission 1. Unmanned launch of SLS block 1, sending Orion around the Moon and back. Launch the damn thing this winter, before spring. It should have been launched in December 2017.

  • Falcon Heavy test launch. Currently scheduled for January.

  • Dragon v2. Currently scheduled for April (uncrewed), and August (crewed).

  • CST-100 Starliner. Currently scheduled for August (uncrewed), and November (crewed).

  • InSight (that seismic monitoring unit). Currently scheduled launch May 5, landing November 26.

now my wish, not scheduled by anybody

  • Test artificial gravity by spinning a crewed spacecraft tethered to a spent cargo ship, and change orbit while spinning just to prove you can. This would demonstrate mid-course correction enroute to Mars. Could be done with Dragon v2 with Dragon v1, or CST-100 with Cygnus, or mix-and-match.

  • Order all future Mars orbiters to use aerocapture. No excuses, if it fails like Mars Climate Orbiter, keep doing it until they get it right. There are no future orbiters scheduled for Mars, but aerocapture has to be tested.

  • Install a shower and sink on ISS; the ones designed for the Hab module. NASA says the Water Processing Assembly already installed on ISS can handle wash water. And add a direct carbon dioxide electrolysis unit to recover O2 from CO2 currently dumped in space; MOXIE or other. The goal is to improve life support so it can be used for Mars, use ISS to test/demonstrate life support for Mars.

  • Fix the Urine Processing Assembly so it doesn't get clogged by calcium deposits. NASA is working on this, but the last report I read is dated July 2017, it doesn't have a completion date.

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