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Thread: US Commercial Crew spacecraft progress: tests & early missions

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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Default US Commercial Crew spacecraft progress: tests & early missions


    Boeing Starliner (left), SpaceX Crew Dragon (right)

    Tests so far

    SpaceX Crew Dragon Pad Abort Test at LC-40, Cape Canaveral: completed 2015.

    https://youtu.be/1_FXVjf46T8

    SpaceX's Crew Dragon successfully flew the DM-1 un-crewed test flight to ISS.

    https://youtu.be/x7R6caKi99c

    Crew Dragon and Starliner have suffered catastrophic valve failures during test stand events. Both accidents have been reviewed, causes identified, fixes made, and reports accepted.

    Going forward, assuming all goes well...

    SpaceX Crew Dragon SuperDraco abort system test fire November 2 at KSC, using capsule C205 - which is also scheduled to be the In-Flight Abort test vehicle.

    Boeing Starliner In-Flight Abort test November 4 at the White Sands Missile Range.

    Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort test likely in December, flying from Cape Canaveral LC-40.

    Boeing Starliner un-crewed OTF (orbital test flight) to ISS no earlier than December 17, 2019 from LC-41 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS)

    Boeing Starliner CFT (crewed test flight) no earlier than Q1 2020.
    CFT crew: Michael Fincke (NASA), Nicole Aunapu Mann (NASA), Christopher Ferguson (Boeing)

    C206, the former USCV-1* vehicle, will be used for the DM-2 crewed demo flight.
    DM-2 Crew: Bob Behnken (NASA) and Doug Hurley (NASA).

    * USCV-(n) = US Crew Vehicle-(n), AKA Crew-(n) or Crew (One, Two...)

    Crew Dragon DM-2 may go beyond its originally planned 1 week duration, becoming an extended stay mission of up to 210 days. This became possible with the use of capsule C-206, which has the full length mission mods.

    USCV-1 Crew Dragon mission crew

    Commander: Michael S. Hopkins, NASA, USA
    Pilot: Victor J. Glover, NASA, USA
    Mission Specialist 1: Soichi Noguchi, JAXA, Japan
    Backup: Kjell N. Lindgren, NASA, USA

    USCV-2 Starliner mission crew

    Commander: Sunita Williams, NASA, USA
    Pilot: Josh A. Cassada, NASA, USA
    Mission Specialist 1: Thomas Pesquet, ESA, France
    Mission Specialist 2: Andrei Borisenko, Roscosmos, Russia
    Backup (Commander): Barry E. Wilmore NASA, USA
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 25th October 2019 at 00:56.
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    Crew Dragon SuperDraco escape engine tests, each of the eight engines producing 71,000 newtons (16,000 lbf) of thrust.

    In the last sequence the engine is being rapidly throttled, which allows thrust differential steering.

    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 25th October 2019 at 04:10.
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Monday Nov 4 Boeing's Starliner will do its pad abort test at the White Sands Missile Range. This test simulated an escape from a failing rocket on or just above the launch pad.

    The window opens at 0900 Eastern and it'll be streamed and broadcast on NASA TV (at the insistance of NASA Admin. Jim Bridenstine)

    https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#public

    Preview animation. Note that the service module and heat shield must be jettisoned for the air bag landing cushions to deploy. If either doesn't, things will get very bumpy.



    ------

    One more SpaceX Crew Dragon box checked

    SpaceX ✓ @SpaceX
    SpaceX team has completed 13 successful tests in a row of upgraded Mark 3 parachutes for Crew Dragon. Most recent test demonstrated the parachute system's ability to land the spacecraft safely in the unlikely event that one of the four main parachutes fails.

    https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1191067348914098176
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    Reminder

    Boeing's Starliner pad abort test is on for 0900 Eastern today (Monday), and it'll be webcast & broadcast on NASA TV

    https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/
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    Most of Starliners test went according to plan, but only 2 of the 3 parachutes deployed. More work to do...

    Starliner pad abort test

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    Super MURCer MultimediaMan's Avatar
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    OK, Starliner is going to be about 6 months behind, minimum, while the chute issue is tracked down to root and validated as root and then corrected. Moving at "MAX" speed, Boeing had a good, but not great day today...
    Hey, Donny! We got us a German who wants to die for his country... Oblige him. - Lt. Aldo Raine

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    That's not stopping their spin machine!

    Scott Manley @DJSnM (programmer, astrophysicist)

    So... Boeing says this wasn't a parachute failure, because the parachute didn't deploy.
    |
    Emre Kelly @EmreKelly (Florida Today)

    Boeing on #Starliner 2/3 chute deploy: "We did have a deployment anomaly, not a parachute failure. It's too early to determine why all three main parachutes did not deploy, however, having two of three deploy successfully is acceptable for the test parameters and crew safety."

    https://twitter.com/DJSnM/status/1191400247416614912

    Scott Manley's take,

    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 4th November 2019 at 13:47.
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    Super MURCer MultimediaMan's Avatar
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    So, by that logic... hypothetically, if all of the parachutes didn't deploy for the same reason as #3... the capsule would have still made a soft landing, amirite?

    Yeah, if Boeing spent as much on their engineers as they did their PR department, they would actually be competitive in this market...
    Last edited by MultimediaMan; 4th November 2019 at 15:56.
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    Did I mention Starliner can't achieve orbit using Atlas V N22* without firing its launch abort engines? Not enough delta-V. Unassisted insertion won't happen until Vulcan flies in 2021/2022.

    I think Boeing lost its engineering soul with Phil Condit and the McDonnell merger. One stumble after another...

    * no fairing, 2 solid boosters, dual-engine Centaur upper stage
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 4th November 2019 at 21:55.
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    Crew Dragon Static Fire

    Date: NET November 8
    Time: TBA
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    Super MURCer KRSESQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MultimediaMan View Post
    So, by that logic... hypothetically, if all of the parachutes didn't deploy for the same reason as #3... the capsule would have still made a soft landing, amirite?

    Yeah, if Boeing spent as much on their engineers as they did their PR department, they would actually be competitive in this market...
    It was a "parachute deployment mechanism" failure, not a parachute failure. Since the parachute wasn't deployed, We have no idea whether that parachute might have failed or not. So they are technically correct. Which, as we all know, is the best kind of correct.

    (Cut their PR some slack. There's a lot of money riding on this.)

    Disclaimer: not a stockholder

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    Oops

    So how did an un-inspectable part get through PDR/CDR?

    https://spacenews.com/missing-pin-bl...chute-anomaly/

    >
    The pilot parachute is designed to deploy first, and pull out the main parachute. However, Mulholland said that hardware inspections and photographs taken during "closeout" of the vehicle prior to the test showed that a pin that links the pilot and main parachutes was not inserted properly.

    "It's very difficult, when you're connecting that, to verify visually that it's secured properly,” he said, in part because that portion of the parachute system is enclosed in a "protective sheath" intended to limit abrasion but which also makes it difficult to visually confirm the pin is in place. "In this particular case that pin wasn't through the loop, but it wasn’t discovered in initial visual inspections because of that protective sheath."
    >
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 8th November 2019 at 00:22.
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    Third-party video

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    Crew Dragon breathes fire tomorrow, Wednesday Nov. 13

    @nextspaceflight
    A static fire of Crew Dragon's eight SuperDraco engines is now scheduled for tomorrow during daylight hours from SpaceX's test stand near Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral. #SpaceX

    https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/...18382264455169
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