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#251 2020-01-18 21:00:11

SpaceNut
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#252 2020-01-19 13:17:35

GW Johnson
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Re: COTS - status

Spacenut:

Spacex's delay was for unacceptably-rough seas in the recovery area.

All:

I see that Spacex has now flown its in-flight abort test at max dynamic pressure successfully.  Congrats to them.  Assuming that the data confirm the perceived success,  they might fly manned to ISS as soon as March.  It seems they have now met or exceeded all contract requirements to do this manned flight.

Boeing did not do an in-flight abort test.  Instead they flew a pad abort test.  But they got credit for "testing the escape system",  even though this was a far less challenging abort condition.  So that requirement is considered by NASA to be met.

NASA is still trying to figure out whether enough was demonstrated on Boeing's uncrewed flight that failed to reach ISS.  If they decide Boeing did "good enough",  then the way is clear for Boeing to fly manned to ISS as well.  If not,  then Boeing will have to repeat the unmanned ISS flight.  Nobody is yet talking about when the crewed flight might take place,  if the NASA decision is "good enough".  It's many months off if the decision is to repeat the unmanned flight.

That seems to be the status for the crew transport program. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#253 2020-01-20 02:02:55

kbd512
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Re: COTS - status

GW,

I'm crossing my fingers that SpaceX is now cleared to fly at the earliest opportunity.  It's been nearly a decade since we've sent our astronauts into space and delivering them to ISS aboard American rockets and capsules would be a big win for us.  The entire point of commercial crew was to affordably deliver crew to ISS and I think SpaceX can accomplish that now.  It seems like it took ages to get here, but now we're finally ready.

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#254 2020-01-20 10:18:51

GW Johnson
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Re: COTS - status

Kbd512:

I quite agree with you.  It's been unconscionably too long since the US had a working rocket and capsule to orbit.  Pretty much illustrates what can go wrong when Congress micromanages NASA for political pork purposes.  Another illustration of that evil is SLS,  as we both have complained.

I forgot to mention that one chute failed during Boeing's pad abort test.  But the capsule landed gently enough despite the chute failure,  so they got a "pass" on the test from NASA. 

I saw a news release this morning that pushed Spacex's manned flight to April from March.  Supposedly,  that was for extra training for the two astronauts,  so they can stay on ISS for months instead of weeks. 

My own personal interpretation is that NASA will give Boeing a "pass" on the unmanned ISS flight that failed,  and also wants to delay Spacex as much as they can,  so that Boeing will not look so bad at being beaten to ISS with a crew.  That's decades of big-time under-the-table money's effect for you.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#255 2020-01-20 10:34:35

SpaceNut
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Re: COTS - status

Spmething that started in 2004 with the retiring of shuttle and then with the introduction of Nasa to provide seed money and services to get the cots program going 2008. Something that they dug there heals in hard against and still are.
I am still rooting for Dreamchaser to become successful as well.

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#256 2020-01-20 11:38:13

Oldfart1939
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Re: COTS - status

I listened carefully to the post flight press conference, and it was Elon himself who stated the slippage from March to April. He commented the Dragon 2 was scheduled for delivery "around the end of March." Bridenstine chimed in with the comment that this short delay would give the astronauts some additional training time for a more lengthy role on ISS. The duration of reside time of mission D-2 at ISS was "still under consideration."

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2020-01-20 11:39:03)

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#257 2020-01-20 12:14:49

SpaceNut
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Re: COTS - status

I would venture that the time onboard ISS is from testing that was not done to prove out capsule systems life limitations without being connected to the ISS resources. This is the sleep mode where its unoccupied. The wake up is also just as tough to prove when you are not proving a life line from the ISS as well. The interface to ISS is also unproven for the Dragon 2 support.

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#258 2020-01-20 13:17:20

Oldfart1939
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Re: COTS - status

Just read some additional information regards the D-2 mission capsule; the capsule which was just flown in the inflight abort test was the system designed for only a short-term stay at ISS. The one being delivered is the upgraded version with the longer reside time at ISS, with improved/expanded/upgraded systems. This is a win-win for NASA.

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#259 2020-01-27 11:37:25

SpaceNut
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Re: COTS - status

Once we achive man to the ISS we are next onto cargo delivery to the moon as the next steps in support of the gateway.

First commercial Moon delivery assignments to will advance Artemis

NASA has finalized the first 16 science experiments and technology demonstrations, ranging from chemistry to communications, to be delivered to the surface of the Moon under the Artemis program. Scheduled to fly next year, the payloads will launch aboard the first two lander deliveries of the agency's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.
In May 2019, the agency awarded two orders for scientific payload delivery to Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines, with both flights targeted to land on the Moon next year. Astrobotic, which will launch its Peregrine lander on a United Launch Alliance rocket, will carry 11 NASA payloads to the lunar surface, while Intuitive Machines, which will launch its Nova-C lander on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, will carry five NASA payloads to the Moon.
Each partner is responsible for payload integration and operations, launching from Earth and landing on the Moon, as well as securing any additional customers on their flights, if desired. The payloads are each about the size of a shoebox and range in mass from around two to 33 pounds (one to 15 kilograms).

A long list of equipment to be sent before man lands on the moon in 2024.

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#260 2020-02-01 21:49:25

SpaceNut
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Re: COTS - status

Another step forward for station modules being more commercial has happened in  Axiom Space to build commercial space station segment first module launching in the second half of 2024.

Axiom-ISS.png

Axiom Space, an American company headquartered in Houston, Texas, to design, build and launch three large pressurized modules and a large Earth observation window to the International Space Station (ISS).

These are seemingly designed to work with the Gateway as well as the missions for mars and not just for the ISS to tryout first.

“NASA and Axiom will next begin negotiations on the terms and price of a fixed-price contract with a five-year base performance period and a two-year option” which indicates that these details have not been completely ironed out yet

What you order something before you know what its going to cost?

Axiom has a dream of there own space station
7a1cc33e-80db-4eea-9d62-9bc979923166.png

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#261 2020-02-07 13:08:28

GW Johnson
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Re: COTS - status

I just found a story on the CBS news website that Boeing and NASA have announced there was a second software glitch besides the timer issue.  The article says either issue could have destroyed the capsule.  Only intervention from the ground prevented such losses.

The report's description of the second issue was confusing,  obviously written by someone who did not understand the issue.  All I could tell was that it had something to do with separating the service module for entry.

So,  that's two potentially-fatal errors in the Starliner system,  yet NASA has yet to decide whether or not to require a second successful unmanned flight to ISS before allowing astronauts to fly in it.  So said the article.

Meanwhile,  we are still anticipating Spacex's Dragon to fly sometime this spring with men.  Also so says the article.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#262 2020-02-08 19:58:31

SpaceNut
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Re: COTS - status

The first test flight of software untested in flight mode found after launch the rocket time was off by 11 hours but the second defect in thruster operation was also a software coding problem...

Boeing spacecraft could have been destroyed by flawed onboard software if engineers had not reprogrammed it mid-flight engineers realized there was trouble shortly after it separated from the rocket and failed to fire its engines.

The additional on orbit time allowed for the second coding fail to be found...

second error, in the code controlling how the Starliner capsule separates from its “service module,” a collection of equipment discarded before re-entry. The bad code could have caused the capsule to collide with the service module, possibly destroying it or damaging its heat shield, which would make returning to Earth a suicide mission.

That would have caused a crew to be lost....

Boeing said last week it would take a $410 million charge to its earnings due to the test failure, which could include the cost of repeating the demonstration flight.

So they will need to pay for an extra flight test to prove all software bugs have been removed...

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#263 2020-02-11 12:03:24

elderflower
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Re: COTS - status

Boeing's procedures for software preparation and testing might seem a little shaky!

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#264 2020-03-21 13:23:50

SpaceNut
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Re: COTS - status

Not sure if the virus is going to adjust this time line but NASA, SpaceX plan return to human spaceflight from U.S. soil in mid-May

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#265 2020-03-30 11:43:15

GW Johnson
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Re: COTS - status

As far as I can tell,  the final manned demo flight of crew Dragon/Falcon-9 to ISS is still on for sometime in May.  I saw nothing about this on the Spacex website,  but have seen news reports from a number of sources. 

I did see some news reports that Spacex has been hired by NASA to make at least two cargo deliveries to NASA's Gateway thingamabob around the moon.  These flights use something new called Dragon XL atop a Falcon-Heavy.  The contract is for two flights,  but the program plan calls for multi-billion dollar efforts over about 15 years,  which smells like follow-on cargo delivery contracts.  So it looks like NASA cannot afford its own rocket (SLS) for this work.

Dragon XL is something new.  Spacex has nothing about it on their website.  They are showing the heat shield tiles on a 6-leg Starship,  and the 6-legged (finned) Super Heavy.  Both are shown as stainless steel construction.  There is only "100+ metric ton payload" mentioned,  and a change to 1200 metric tons of propellant in Starship,  from the 1100 tons last year and before.   Super Heavy is listed as 3300 tons of propellant.  There is no hint of inert weights for either.  But they have never shown inert weights for the Falcons,  either.

The animation videos do not address Mars,  but one does show a Starship landing on the moon.  The pads on the 6 legs are still too small to support the weight at an acceptable bearing load,  unless there is a well-hardened pad.  They do not show one.   They are too close together to provide much topple stability without a level hardened pad. So I am pretty sure they have not yet thought about what is really required for rough-field landings.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2020-03-30 11:46:22)


GW Johnson
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"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#266 2020-04-07 12:03:51

GW Johnson
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Re: COTS - status

Today's AIAA "Daily Launch" email newsletter says that Boeing and NASA have decided to fly a second unmanned Starliner mission to ISS.  This is because there were two fatal problems on the first flight.  One was the timer problem that burnt up all the propellant so fast.  The other was some sort of software problem that would have led to the jettisoned service module striking the capsule as it readied for entry. The nature of that second problem was not explained in the article,  only that fatal outcome was described.

I never have gotten a clear understanding of what the chute problem was with Spacex's crew Dragon,  but it does not seem to have derailed their upcoming manned demo flight planned for May.  Only the virus outbreak could do that.  Some employees at Spacex California have indeed tested positive,  and the outbreak in Florida is really ramping up.  We'll soon see.

GW


GW Johnson
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"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#267 2020-04-17 18:10:20

GW Johnson
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Re: COTS - status

Today's news says Bridenstine has announced a date for the manned Spacex flight to the ISS.  That's May 27 with arrival on May 28.  The pandemic might delay this. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#268 2020-04-17 18:49:53

kbd512
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Re: COTS - status

GW,

It's about time we returned to space aboard our own rockets.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the success of both missions.  I'm hoping that commercial interests can gradually take over running the ISS.  What happened at Bigelow Aerospace was a shame.  I was looking forward to seeing the first commercial modules attached, or better yet, a brand new space station launched from a single flight of Falcon Heavy or Starship.  In any event, it's still progress, however slow.  Orbital ATK and Airbus can still supply Aluminum technology modules.

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#269 2020-04-17 21:25:03

GW Johnson
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Re: COTS - status

I wholeheartedly concur !!!!

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#270 2020-05-22 20:14:57

SpaceNut
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Re: COTS - status

SpaceX Crew Dragon goes vertical on Kennedy Space Center launch pad; With less than a week before the planned launch of astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with Crew Dragon capsule

spaceX-demo-2_1.png

blastoff still slated for next week Wednesday, May 27 from the Florida Space Coast to the International Space Station (ISS) – as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

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#271 2020-05-24 10:56:52

SpaceNut
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Re: COTS - status

Nasa SpaceX launch: 10 questions about the mission

What is important about a US controlled space flight started back when shuttle flights ended in 2011.

70b7bef810c016a3a3d07518d1e3b99f

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#272 2020-05-28 08:33:05

GW Johnson
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Re: COTS - status

Well,  weather delay.  Next attempt will be Saturday May 30,  2020. Risk was spacecraft hit by lightning. 

Serious risk,  that.  Ask the surviving crew of Apollo 12. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#273 2020-05-28 17:37:29

SpaceNut
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Re: COTS - status

Well no issues for the load and go approach but what about when its done multiple times?

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#274 2020-05-29 18:03:29

kbd512
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Re: COTS - status

SpaceNut,

It's far less dangerous to be strapped to a rocket that's been proven to function correctly multiple times than one that's freshly built, because whether or not everything was put together correctly is a giant question mark until all parts are working together under actual flight conditions.  On that note, I'd much rather walk up to a rocket after fueling has been completed than be sitting on top of it during fueling.  If there was ever an explosion during fueling, there was only a slim to nonexistent chance of escape for the Space Shuttle crews.  I don't think it's a major problem, else we'd have already killed at least one crew during the Space Shuttle program.  Personally, I'm way more concerned with the high pressure Helium tanks rupturing than I am with the engines or propellant fill or feed.  If LOX/LCH4 can get rid of high pressure Helium or Nitrogen tanks, then so much the better.

Nearly all aircraft engines die due to infant mortality or absurd levels of abuse and neglect.  If an engine ran well for a thousand hours, then in all probability it'll run for another thousand hours if that's what it's been designed to do.  Rocket engines obviously have much shorter life spans than most other types of aircraft engines, yet even its mortality is predictable given enough data, which SpaceX should have by now.

Either way, always remember that you're strapped to the world's largest conventional bomb.  It's definitely not something to trifle with.

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#275 2020-05-30 08:52:56

SpaceNut
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Re: COTS - status

I agree that's it is quite the ride. May all go well.

Edit
14:45 still 50/50 chance

16:00 launch has been achieved

First and second stage went off without a hitch.
Capsule is on its way to dock in 19 hours.
Crew will have possibly a month or upto 3 months before coming home
Only thing being watched is to solar panel degrade for limis on the stay.

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