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Thread: NASA Commercial Crew Program (ISS test flights may convert to operational)

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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Default NASA Commercial Crew Program (ISS test flights may convert to operational)

    Complicating this is that Boeing's Starliner suffered a launch abort system test failure a few weeks ago, with the engines spilling hydrazine on the test article and stand. This could delay their flight test program into 2019-2020.

    SpaceX Crew Dragon DM-1 (un-crewed test flight) has arrived at Cape Canaveral and is waiting for its Falcon 9 booster. This booster, Falcon 9 B1051, will leave SpaceX's Hawthorne, CA factory soon then go to their McGregor, TX test site for engine tests. Then it's off to the Cape.

    NASA Commercial Crew flight test astronauts


    SpaceX Crew Dragon left, Boeing Starliner right




    https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/n...spacex-flights

    NASA to Name Astronauts Assigned to First Boeing, SpaceX Flights

    NASA will announce on Friday, Aug. 3, the astronauts assigned to crew the first flight tests and missions of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon, and begin a new era in American spaceflight. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will preside over the event, which will begin at 11 a.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency's website.

    NASA will announce the crew assignments for the crew flight tests and the first post-certification mission for both Boeing and SpaceX. NASA partnered with Boeing and SpaceX to develop the Starliner spacecraft to launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and the Crew Dragon launching atop the Falcon 9 rocket, respectively.

    U.S. media are invited to attend the event at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and, afterward, speak with the astronauts about their assignments. Media wishing to attend must contact Johnson's newsroom at 281-483-5111 by 4 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Aug. 1.

    Johnson Space Center Director Mark Geyer and Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana will join Bridenstine and representatives from Boeing and SpaceX to introduce the crews.

    NASA's Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems designed to carry crews safely to and from low-Earth orbit. The Starliner and Crew Dragon will launch American astronauts on American-made spacecraft from American soil to the International Space Station for the first time since NASA retired its Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

    Commercial transportation to and from the space station will enable expanded station use, additional research time and broader opportunities of discovery aboard the orbiting laboratory. The station is critical for NASA to understand and overcome the challenges of long-duration spaceflight, and necessary for a sustainable presence on the Moon and missions deeper into the solar system, including Mars.

    Following the announcement, the astronauts will participate in a Reddit Ask Me Anything at 12:30 p.m. at:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AMA/

    Images and video highlights from the announcement will be available at:

    https://images.nasa.gov

    -end-
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 25th July 2018 at 18:19.
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    Official Commercial Crew flight schedule from NASA

    https://blogs.nasa.g...flight-dates-3/

    Targeted Test Flight Dates

    Boeing Starliner OFT (uncrewed): late 2018/early 2019
    Boeing Starliner CFT (crewed): mid-2019

    SpaceX Crew Dragon DM-1 (uncrewed): November 2018
    SpaceX Crew Dragon DM-2 (crewed): April 2019

    Barring anything unforseen, it looks like SpaceX gets the US flag and Shuttle model trophies left by the last Shuttle crew for its first successor.

    Not a surprise as Boeing suffered a launch abort system test failure in June which they're still analyzing; half it's eight propellant valves failed to close, spilling hydrazine on the test stand and vehicle service module. Truth is, at a minimum Starliner's crewed test flight may slip into 2020. Worst case: their uncrewed and launch pad abort tests may also slip.

    Trophy flag
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 2nd August 2018 at 13:59.
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    PCM = Post Certification Mission

    Crew Dragon DM-2: Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken

    Crew Dragon PCM-1: Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins

    Starliner CFT: Eric Boe, Nicole Aunapu Mann, Chris Ferguson (Boeing test pilot)

    Starliner PCM-1: Josh Cassada and Sunita "Suni" Williams



    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 3rd August 2018 at 11:31.
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    From the AMA

    hristinaremter USA: is there a bathroom on the new commercial flights? dragon and starliner crew

    NASA: For Dragon, yes. -Bob
    >
    [NOTE: Crew Dragon was designed for beyond Earth orbit, such as lunar missions, so...bathroom]

    >
    rhoracio: big congratulations to you all! Q: would you please explain does SpaceX'es helmet visor open?

    NASA: The visor does open. We normally have it open on our way to the pad, but closed for launch and for entry. -Bob

    NASA: Yes. There's two push buttons about where your chin is. They allow it to pop open whenever you need it to. - Doug






    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 3rd August 2018 at 18:25.
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    Crew Access Arm going up soon...

    https://twitter.com/ken_kremer/statu...21963081379840

    Ken Kremer @ken_kremer
    2/2:My new image gallery @SpaceX #CrewAccessArm shows great progress today 4 'Astronaut Walkway to the Stars!Work crews/cranes active!Busily slung arm in hoisting harness @NASAKennedy #pad39A. Gantry Install upcoming 4 #CrewDragon flights.Uncrewed 1stflight Nov2018! @ken_kremer
    11:36 PM - Aug 18, 2018





    Inside the Crew Access Arm

    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 19th August 2018 at 02:41.
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    Tom McCool @Cygnusx112
    #SpaceX is in the process of lifting the crew access arm into place this morning! #Astronauts will use this to board the spacecraft. #SpaceFlight #CCP
    10:10 AM - Aug 20, 2018



    Dr. Mordrid
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    Official beauty pic,

    85' (25.9m) long
    265' (80.77m) above sea level
    70' (21.34m) higher than the Shuttle crew arm
    Steel + aluminum

    SpaceX ✔ @SpaceX
    Crew access arm installed at Launch Complex 39A in Florida; will serve as a bridge for @NASA astronauts to board Crew Dragon.
    9:41 PM - Aug 24, 2018



    Isco @isco__
    Replying to @elonmusk
    Are you going to install cladding to the rest of the tower?
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Yes ❤, looks brutal otherwise
    12:04 AM - Aug 25, 2018

    Concept
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 24th August 2018 at 23:04.
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    Deployed

    Lupi Cocoa Beach @aWildLupiDragon
    CREW ACCESS ARM
    12:10 PM - Aug 24, 2018

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    https://spacenews.com/nasa-keeps-ope...-demo-flights/

    NASA keeps open option of extended commercial crew demo flights

    WASHINGTON — NASA is continuing to study using commercial crew test flights as space station crew rotation missions, but won’t make a final decision regarding that until next summer.

    At a meeting of the human exploration and operations committee of the NASA Advisory Council Aug. 27 at NASA’s Ames Research Center, agency officials said they were keeping the option open of using the crewed test flights of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon to maintain a U.S. presence on the International Space Station, while expressing confidence either or both vehicles will be certified for crew rotation missions by the end of next year.

    "If we can bring commercial crew online this year and next year, then we have sufficient margin to overlap with the Soyuz capability," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations.

    NASA’s access to Soyuz seats runs out in January 2020, a few months later than previously planned after NASA and the other ISS partners agreed to stretch out the schedule of Soyuz flights. SpaceX is currently scheduled to perform a crewed flight test in April 2019, followed by Boeing in mid-2019, according to updated schedules announced by NASA in early August.
    >
    Dr. Mordrid
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    The Demo Mission-1 (un-crewed) Crew Dragon vehicle should be ready for flight by the end of September.

    Falcon 9 core B1051.1 and its upper stage are at the SpaceX McGregor, Texas test center undergoing pre-flight checks and test firings.

    This being the first Commrrcial Crew configuration Falcon 9 Block 5, those tests will be more extensive than usual.

    They're targeting a November launch.







    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 30th August 2018 at 03:11.
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