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Dragon First Flight

Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:28 pm

All in all, not a bad day for Elon Musk et al at SpaceX.

-- succesful launch to orbit;
-- apparently succesful ops on orbit;
-- succesful splashdown in the Pacific

Musk aparently is now pushing for a rendezvous with ISS on the next Dragon flight, not the 3rd one. I think that the usual NASA conservative evolutionary approach here will dictate a succesful 2nd flight, with solar panels and all the other do-dads that might be found on Dragon, prior to it actually flying up to the station.

That said, an impressive debut for private venture on orbit ops. And it no doubt points to a new opening to space for the USA and others. For example, I'm wondering if some entity was wanting to put up a smallish, man-tended lab, would Dragon be available for taxiing the crew to & from it ?
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
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RE: Dragon First Flight

Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:34 pm

Congratulations to SpaceX! What a historic day..this really is a BIG deal.

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
For example, I'm wondering if some entity was wanting to put up a smallish, man-tended lab, would Dragon be available for taxiing the crew to & from it ?

Well, as it stands now Dragon is only equipped with a passive CBM (common berthing mechanism), like the modules currently attached to the ISS. Dragon doesn't really "dock" with station in the traditional sense; it will be grappled in free flight with the SRMS (robot arm) and mated to a free CBM. This would be infeasible with the kind of small, man-tended lab to which you're referring.

They'd have to fit Dragon with a docking mechanism like LIDS to make that work.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
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RE: Dragon First Flight

Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:15 am

Dragon would have a LIDS adapter for crewed operations. The big thing would be an LAS for crewed, and they're not likely to develop that on their own without NASA money.

About 9 years ago, Elon walked into a warehouse where Tom Mueller was buiding a rocket engine and asked him if he could build something bigger. Now they've had four consectutive successes on less money that NASA spends on preliminary design. Hard not to be impressed.

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