Launch Schedule (August 22)

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ThreatMatrix, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. ThreatMatrix

    ThreatMatrix In shambles
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    What an exciting time to be alive. After years in the doldrums our space program is coming alive as we prepare to head back to the moon and beyond.

    1) On August 22nd NASA will be launching a Delta IV (ULA) rocket from the cape to drop off a GPS sat in GEO orbit. The Delta IV rocket is one of the two heavy lift rockets currently available. Being heavy lift it should provide quite a spectacular launch.
    But what is more exciting is a planned crew mission coming up later this year (or early next year). This will mark the first time astronauts have been launched from American soil. Currently the only ride to to the space station has been a Russian Soyuz rocket.

    2) Crew Dragon 2: (Nov 2019 but likely later). This will be the first crewed mission. Dragon 1 was an uncrewed supply mission that successfully docked with the ISS in July.
    Destination: LEO (ISS)
    Rocket: Falcon 9 (SpaceX)
    Crew Module: Dragon (SpaceX)

    3) Boeing Orbital Test Flight (Early 2020). Boeing is the other game in town when it comes to sending astronauts to the ISS. This will be uncrewed but I expect they will have a crewed mission by the end of the year.
    Destination: LEO (ISS)
    Rocket: Atlas V (ULA)
    Crew Module:Starliner (Boeing)

    Some things to unpack here. The Delta IV (ULA) and Atlas V (ULA) are currently the only Heavy LIft rockets in operation. NASA is developing the SLS based on the shuttle launch rockets. And SpaceX plans to strap 3 Falcon 9 rockets together for the Falcon Heavy. New Glen (Blue Origin) - a Jeff Bezos joint - has also quietly been in testing. And ULA Iis working on the Vulcan rockets. So while SpaceX gets all the publicity there are quite a few other players.

    SpaceX and Boeing tested self propulsive landing versions of the Dragon and Starliner respectively. Very, very cool. However, for reasons, they went with the tried and true method of landing the capsules via parachute. The Dragon will actually land on sea and the Starliner will land at land. Both are to be reuasable however the Starliner will require less refurbishing due to not having to deal with the corrosive nature of salt water.

    Elon Musk (SpaceX) has changed his focus somewhat. Elon has realized that he needs to get a piece of the NASA pie and has changed the mission of the BFR (now called Starship) so that it can land on the moon. But if you haven't seen the Starship and how it lands the crew capsule it is pretty cool, First the rocket is all shiny steel and has three landing legs. It literally and on purpose looks like something from the 50's. The Starliner will sit atop a new rocket simply called the Super Heavy. The Starliner will re-enter in a way similar to the shuttle. One side will be turned towards the atmosphere and the heat shield on that side will bleed cooling liquid similar to how deicing works on the leading edge of an aircraft wing. After the spacecraft has bled off all the energy of rentry it will flip vertical and land self propulsively.
     
    #1 ThreatMatrix, Aug 8, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
    • AuggieDosta

      AuggieDosta I Don't Re Member

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      What do you mean when you say, "This will mark the first time astronauts have been launched from American soil. Currently the only ride to to the space station has been a Russian Soyuz rocket."?

      A little clarification is needed as, as written, this is not true.
       
    • TLB

      TLB Just chillin'
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      OP didn't include a link from which he is quoting, but I sincerely doubt he actually wrote that. As such, I believe it is a copy-paste of an article, but quick searches aren't giving me whom he quoted.

      However, this interests me, so I did the google search for you to answer your question. The ISS has been supported by

      Of the US spaceships listed, Cygnus was a single use payload rocket (no astronauts to ISS), and Dragon has also only delivered payloads to date though it is re-usable. As such, no astronauts to board the ISS have been launched from the US, they caught rides on the Russian rockets.
       
      • AuggieDosta

        AuggieDosta I Don't Re Member

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        Wow, I would have lost good money on this as I thought we put astronauts in the ISS via the shuttle at least once. Perhaps they were just re-supply missions.

        I appreciate the clarity.
        :fistbump:
         
        • ThreatMatrix

          ThreatMatrix In shambles
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          Since the shuttle of course.sorry I rushed that.
           
          • ThreatMatrix

            ThreatMatrix In shambles
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            No link because it's all coming out of my head. Except of course looking up the details of the next two launches.
             
            • ThreatMatrix

              ThreatMatrix In shambles
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              I plan on writin more about space going forward. Once I get a new laptop. Currently I'm using an old iPad and it's a little difficult to use.
              There's a shyt ton of things going on these days and a shyt ton of companies involved. It's a bit confusing to keep straight. For instance Boeings crew module is the Starliner but SpaceX has something called Starlink and its moon/Mars lander is called Starship. And to confuse it more their test bed is called Starhopper.
              With all these companies plans change weekly. Musk tends to tweet out every brain fart he has so what he says he's doing this week may not be what he's doing next week. Jeff Bezos over at Blue Origin plays it a bit closer to the vest, not announcing anything until there's a rocket on the launch pad. For instance you probably didn't know that Blue Origin has also launched and landed a first stage self propulsively (New Shepard). In keeping with their naming system the next rocket is callled New Glenn.
              In any case, I plan on posting because by doing so it helps me to keep everything straight in my own head.
               
            • ThreatMatrix

              ThreatMatrix In shambles
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              Also I will focus on what's going on with NASA and US based rocket companies. There's just too much to cover otherwise.
              But back to Dragon and Starliner since they are the only two contracted to deliver crew to the ISS. First, the ISS is scheduled to be decommonisioned in 2024. The ISS costs NASA something like $3B/yr which is huge portion of their budget. By 2024 the Artemis program should be well under way and US astronauts will once again be on the moon.
              Dragon/Starliner aren't planned to be able to dock with the Lunar Gateway Station which is the rest stop for missions to the surface of the moon. Only NASA's Orion capsule, launched aboard SLS, will do that.
              Both Boeing and SpaceX have other plans for their crew capsules though. Both plan to use the capsules for space tourism. In fact they each have 7 seats but NASA only plans or send up to 4 astronauts at a time.

              Dragon can only launch on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. But the neat think about Dragon is that it will carry a trunk that can be used to bring payload to the ISS which can be retrieved by the Canada Arm. Conversely the ISS can load trash in the trunk and the trunk will detach and burn up on rentry. Waste Management in Space! BTW google the dragon cockpit and see how cool it is. The Dragon will parachute to sea and then only be used for non crewed missions.
              Starliner can launch on several different rockets for what that's worth. Unlike Dragon it doesn't have a trunk. Instead it carries a service module that has solar panels and such which it eventually dumps. The service module also contains the abort system.
              Sooo. The Starliner returns to land without its abort motors and can be reused for crewed missions. The Dragon returns to sea with its abort motors. But because it's not reused for crewed missions the abort system isnt needed.
               
            • TLB

              TLB Just chillin'
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              Great stuff. Can you include links at times, please? It eases my ability to share the info beyond 'I read from a guy on the internet'. Thanks.

              You're making a few questions from in my head, but I'll wait until I can properly put them forth before asking.
               
            • ThreatMatrix

              ThreatMatrix In shambles
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              Certainly. Again when I get the laptop I'll be able to clean things up a bit and post pics and videos. Sources can be a little tough because I don't remember where I learned everything. Usually, I'll start thinking about something and then go down a rabbit hole of just digging up whatever I can find on the subject then I'll take all that's in my head and write it down in an organized manner.
              But, instead of just copy-pastaing I will be writing what they call "original content". I know, unusual concept around here. In other words I'll think of a subject and just drop everything I find interesting about it. But since I don't have an editor I'll have to do the fact checking myself. I have lots of ideas for future topics. What I'm trying to do is put everything in context in an easy to understand explainer type format so that you don't have to click through links.
              I'll be talking about a little company called Rocket Labs next. And I'm thinking of doing a Space: 101 type tutorial. I'm open to ideas. Also, I can't point out enough that, the space biz is very fluid. What these companies have said they were going to do a year or a month or sometimes weeks ago is not what they are planning today.
               

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