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#101 2021-04-26 08:04:17

GW Johnson
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,385

Re: New Red Dragon Mission?


The original crew Dragon design had retropropulsive landing as prime,  with chutes as an emergency backup.  It had landing legs through the heat shield,  and was intended to land at the launch site on land,  thus bypassing all the effort and expense of a water landing.  It had the Super Draco thrusters to make that landing,  in addition to being the launch escape propulsion. 

Red Dragon was a crew Dragon with the life support and crew accommodations removed,  replaced by cargo racks and other custom-made equipment inside.  The chutes were deleted to save weight.  When the COTS portion of NASA dictated chute-based water landings and no legs,  that overruled the JPL portion of NASA that was getting interested in Red Dragon. 

The excuse was not liking holes through the heat shield,  but that really does not hold water!  USAF flew a Gemini-B prototype in 1969 with a hatch cut through the heat shield.  And Shuttle had gear doors through its heat shield. So much for fears about stuff through a heat shield!

Thus,  Red Dragon died.  And Crew Dragon is more expensive to operate than it should be.  That outcome is entirely NASA's fault.  Contract money drove that:  the government customer is always "right",  even when he is dead wrong.  Before they screwed it all up,  I had estimated performance for cargo Dragon,  crew Dragon,  and Red Dragon.  It was posted on my "exrocketman" site maybe 3 years ago.  It included payload estimates landed on Mars.


Last edited by GW Johnson (2021-04-26 08:07:11)

GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

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


#102 2021-04-26 18:22:53

From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 22,264

Re: New Red Dragon Mission?

So basically they are the same ship and that said put the modes back in and we have a ship that can land now.... since we have nothing else that is human rated for the event.
Yes this is a one way mission since we must build, from pieces something capable of return to orbit....

That said we should design a clean sheet lander for humans to mars or the stage to get a capsule back to orbit from other parts that land with them....


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