NASA & SpaceX: Journey to the Future

Walter Kittel

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I had the pleasure of watching a two hour presentation on the partnership between NASA and SpaceX earlier Monday evening (the title of the thread). For anyone who is interested ini viewing this program it will air several times on the Discovery channel later today. While it did have a 'promotional' angle or perspective on the enterprise, it was still very informative and quite entertaining. The advancements in technology from the Space Shuttle to the Dragon capsule are quite vivid. (Loved the naming of the test dummy in some of the earlier capsule test phases. Very appropriate.)

I'm posting this also as a reminder that there will be live coverage of the first manned flight to the ISS from the United States since 2011 on Wednesday afternoon. Really looking forward to watching the launch and hoping for the best. If the weather does not cooperate with the scheduled Wednesday launch, the next attempt will take place on Saturday.


The show is worth your time if you have an interest in this sort of thing.

- Walter.
 
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John*Wells

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Without going too far so as not to violate HTF Rules, I have been a critic of Elon Musk and remain so. I hope he can deliver as he Boasts
 

Walter Kittel

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Without going too far so as not to violate HTF Rules, I have been a critic of Elon Musk and remain so. I hope he can deliver as he Boasts
The program goes into quite a bit of detail regarding the NASA requirements (and steps) that SpaceX had to meet to get to the point where NASA is going to permit two of its astronauts to participate in the Commercial Crew Program in cooperation with SpaceX. To be sure, there are a lot of talented people working very hard to make this a success, but Elon Musk had the vision and the will to get to this point.

- Walter.
 
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John*Wells

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The program goes into quite a bit of detail regarding the NASA requirements (and steps) that SpaceX had to meet to get to the point where NASA is going to permit two of its astronauts to participate in the Commercial Crew Program in cooperation with SpaceX. To be sure, there are a lot of talented people working very hard to make this a success, but Elon Musk had the vision and the will to get to this point.

- Walter.

I Will have to find it and watch. My work schedule hasn't left much free time lately
 

John*Wells

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Anyone notice how the interior view of the capsule looks like Star Trek Starfleet runabout?
 

Walter Kittel

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Anyone notice how the interior view of the capsule looks like Star Trek Starfleet runabout?
Hadn't made that connection, but it certainly isn't your grandfather's space capsule. I am guessing that they must have redundant controllers for the capsule's touch screens. Seems like most everything goes through those screens.

Well, no launch today. Hope Saturday works out okay.

- Walter.
 

Johnny Angell

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Without going too far so as not to violate HTF Rules, I have been a critic of Elon Musk and remain so. I hope he can deliver as he Boasts
Well, perhaps he’s better than a scientist who built weapons for Hitler and used slave labor to do it.
 

John*Wells

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Hadn't made that connection, but it certainly isn't your grandfather's space capsule. I am guessing that they must have redundant controllers for the capsule's touch screens. Seems like most everything goes through those screens.

Well, no launch today. Hope Saturday works out okay.
 

Francois Caron

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Weather has always been an issue in Florida. It's the main compromise for selecting a launch point that gives vehicles an Earth powered boost upwards as well as providing a very large safe area in case anything goes horribly wrong.
 
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John*Wells

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I remember my Dad waking my sister and me up to see the first shuttle launch on TV. We lived in Florida then and it was awesome. I’ve lived there twice since then and the space center and seeing a launch is an awesome sight

By the way I should quit posting from my phone. Sorry about that Walter. I had a quote fail lol
 
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John*Wells

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Weather has always been an issue in Florida. It's the main compromise for selecting a launch point that gives vehicles an Earth powered boost upwards as well as providing a very large safe area in case anything goes horribly wrong.
I read some years ago that picking Florida had to do with the position of the moon in relation to the launch point more than anything else. That and the Kennedy Space center is station 1 of what was the Atlantic Missile Range. The space Center is also neighbor to a beautiful protected wildlife area
 
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Walter Kittel

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I can't recall specifics but I believe that many of the locations involved in the U.S. aerospace industry and infrastructure were chosen due to the ranking politicians at the time of their creation, with these individuals ensuring that their districts / states got a 'piece of the pie'. I have no idea how much of a factor this may have been in the selection of Cape Canaveral / Merritt Island for launch operations.

- Walter.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I was watching today, right up until the launch was scrubbed, and I'll be watching again on Saturday.

It's interesting how the space shuttle strategy has been abandoned by NASA. The Dragon capsule/Falcon rocket combination reminded me a lot of the Apollo module/Saturn V rocket combination of the late sixties and early seventies -- albeit with both components far more streamlined than the old ones.
 

John*Wells

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I was watching today, right up until the launch was scrubbed, and I'll be watching again on Saturday.

It's interesting how the space shuttle strategy has been abandoned by NASA. The Dragon capsule/Falcon rocket combination reminded me a lot of the Apollo module/Saturn V rocket combination of the late sixties and early seventies -- albeit with both components far more streamlined than the old ones.

The shuttle concept was intended to promote reusability. While NASA Wanted to save money, they were also constrained by a Nixon policy directive which confined Human space flight to Low Earth orbit. I Dont know whether that was because Nixon thought we beat the Soviets and that was really the objective in the first place or he wanted to take a swipe at John F Kennedy who had pushed for the Moon landing and exploration of space beyond that. (which Reagan doubled down on in 1986 when he asked Congress and NASA to build a Space Station )

NASA is now at a place where they are allowing Commercial companies to handle ISS Transport while NASA Has a Vehicle Called the Space Launch System or SLS which will be used to send Astronauts back to the Moon and on to Mars. The SLS Will use Shuttle Booster rocket tech and the Orion Crew Capsule as Adam points out similar to Apollo. I had hoped that with current tech we would have been able to make Capsules themselves Reusable and Instead of landing in the Salt water as Apollo did, land on land but NASA and Space X Seem to still insist on landing in Water
 
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Johnny Angell

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The shuttle concept was intended to promote reusability. NASA Wanted to save money and they were also constrained by a Nixon policy directive which confined Human space flight to Low Earth orbit. I Dont know whether that was because Nixon thought we beat the Soviets and that was really the objective in the first place or he wanted to take a swipe at John F Kennedy who had pushed for the Moon landing and exploration of space beyond that. (which Reagan doubled down on in 1986 when he asked Congress and NASA to build a Space Station )

NASA is now at a place where they are allowing Commercial companies to handle ISS Transport while NASA Has a Vehicle Called the Space Launch System or SLS which will be used to send Astronauts back to the Moon and on to Mars. The SLS Will use Shuttle Booster rocket tech and the Orion Crew Capsule as Adam points out similar to Apollo. I had hoped that with current tech we would have been able to make Capsules themselves Reusable and Instead of landing in the Salt water as Apollo did, land on land but NASA and Space X Seem to still insist on landing in Water
It’s my understanding, NASA does not want to mount the crew capule anywhere but at the top. There’s too much falling debris that can damage the crew capsule when it’s on the side. That’s what brought down the Columbia.

The shuttle was a failure in that it did not become a space truck. The idea was at least 2 flights a month. The shuttle required so much work between launches that it could not fulfill it’s original goal. James Michener, in his novel Space (I think that’s the name), really criticized the shuttle. Almost every single heat tile was unique and they required replacing often.
 
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John*Wells

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It’s my understanding, NASA does not want to mount the crew capule anywhere but at the top. There’s too much falling debris that can damage the crew capsule when it’s on the side. That’s what brought down the Columbia.

The shuttle was a failure in that it did not become a space truck. The idea was at least 2 flights a month. The shuttle required so much work between launches that it could not fulfill it’s original goal. James Michener, in his novel Space (I think that’s the name), really criticized the shuttle. Almost every single heat tile was unique and they required replacing often.
I’ll have to download that and read it. Yes the shuttle was one giant jigsaw puzzle on its underside. Even though I’m partial to it because I grew up glued to the Tv every time it launched. Even saw it in person once. It was awesome

I don’t mind the capsule concept of the Moon landing era. I just wish NASA and private industry could come up with a strut landing system Where the capsule lands like say Voyager on Star Trek when it would land on tv.

once you hit salt water, everything in that Apollo or even the SpaceX capsule is useless. Avionics, computers etc
 

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I’ll have to download that and read it. Yes the shuttle was one giant jigsaw puzzle on its underside. Even though I’m partial to it because I grew up glued to the Tv every time it launched. Even saw it in person once. It was awesome

I don’t mind the capsule concept of the Moon landing era. I just wish NASA and private industry could come up with a strut landing system Where the capsule lands like say Voyager on Star Trek when it would land on tv.

once you hit salt water, everything in that Apollo or even the SpaceX capsule is useless. Avionics, computers etc
Well SpaceX has proved that a strut landing system on dry land will work. They just need to put it on the capsule. I suspect that in time when the safety element has been proven, that it will be considered.

We are hoping the clouds clear up. When they launch one of these we can see the flame plume way over here in the Tampa area.
 

John*Wells

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Well SpaceX has proved that a strut landing system on dry land will work. They just need to put it on the capsule. I suspect that in time when the safety element has been proven, that it will be considered.

We are hoping the clouds clear up. When they launch one of these we can see the flame plume way over here in the Tampa area.
I miss Tampa. I lived there from 2008 to 2014 and loved every minute. Before that I lived about 2 hours north of there when I was a kid. I went to the 2nd to last shuttle launch and toured the space center. It’s an awesome place
 

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