Great news today! NASA split the CRS-2 contract for ISS resupply three ways, between the existing SpaceX Dragon, Orbital Cygnus, and (finally!) new space plane Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser! A space plane will once again fly to orbit!
Dream Chaser had originally lost the crew contract to SpaceX and Boeing CST-100 (now called SpaceLiner). Now it will be repurposed for cargo delivery and low-stress return, due to its high lift gliding return profile.
The Dream Chaser is the culmination of almost forty years of design and refinement, starting from the HL-20 lifting body design. It will be great to see it get off the drawing board!
It already had a successful glide test, with another coming up shortly. The first orbital test launch will be sometime in 2017-18, now that funding is coming in again.
The upcoming awarding of the contracts. Musk wanted a demonstration that his rocket would be reuseable, therebye justifying his inclusion in the contract, and maybe a bigger pie slice.
Tin foil conspiracy?
If the next landing succeds i will write the most grovelling apology on here ever
I'm kind of disappointed that it has a service module now. It sort of defeats the purpose of a space plane. Plus, the newest proposal goes inside a fairing.
So you are saying that the Falcon 9 taking of, deploying its payload and landing again was somehow faked? The one witnessed by thousands of people on live stream, tracket by everyone from NASA to the US air force and watched by hundreds of people on the ground? That one?
no you'll just continue sucking whatever cocks are presented to you as always
>>alright, the Space Shuttle was a piece of shit, how [does NASA] regain face?
wrong project. That's SLS. oh, and it isn't "regain face", it's "keep Shuttle contractors employed in my districts"
Dream Chaser isn't NASA, but private company Sierra Nevada, who acquired the design when they bought SpaceDev.
Also: video of how the system works for cargo transport. I forgot the new system had folding wings and no windows.
>They can build a space plane but they can't build a website
Seriously, what is this fucking schoolboy html4 garbage?
>Space Shuttle is below the line
Also, I love how the Dream Chaser looks like a natural progression of the original Space Shuttle. Like the Shuttle 2.0
Black coming down.
Not the black/white demarcation line is well defined.
This is good because it provides a strong diversity of options that will increase long-term success. The spaceplane can use multiple rockets and lands on runways, spacex and orbital can use multiple launch sites providing options for future space stations.
Now all we need is launch costs to continue to drop while at the same time work on getting commercial/private space stations in orbit.
Some potential station uses include:
>foreign government stations
We already have a spaceplane that goes to orbit. It's called the X-37b.
Heres how it works....
(Congressman x on the phone) "Hey Elon, we gonna place tranche II contracts for ISS supply"
(Elon) "Great, hope we are on the list, we are doing great work here, development is going well, but slowly"
(Congressman x) "Sure Elon, 'bout that, we really need an international propaganda coup, ya know, something to get the people interested in space and away from economics"
(Elon) "What you have in mind senator?"
(Congressman x) "Well son, we know you got that test rocket flying around at low level - we needca successful landing"
(Elon) "But its 5 days to launch, and its fraud!"
(Congresman x) Dontchya worry son, just make sure only you are videoing it - 30 days till the contracts are placed boy"
Elon, pissed by this, complies... but doesnt bother to repaint the second rocket... fuck the government.
I'm pretty sure you will toss any attempt at reason out the window, but here it goes:
The Falcon 9( and almost any rocket) har 2 internal tanks. One for containing the fuel, RP-1, and one for the oxidizer, LOX.
Now, the tank on the bottom contains the fuel at about -5 Celsius, and the top tank contains the oxidizer at about -240 Celsius. Due to weight constrains the tank walls are not that much insulated, but the bulkhead between the tanks are, to keep the their wildly different temperatures ranges separated.
Now, the fuel is loaded right before launch, so it wont heat up to much, but that still leaves time for ice to form on the side of the rocket, and much faster/more on the tank with -240 Celsius than the one with -5 Celsius. If you watch any of the old Saturn V launch tapes, you will see huge chunks of ice falling of at launch. Same is happening on your picture of the Falcon 9 launching. Ice will continue to form there until the LOX tank is empty, but it also depends on humidity and such.
Now, when it comes back down, there is still a large amount of fuel and oxidizer left. But as i mentioned, those -5 Celsius wont make much ice, making the surface of the lower tank pretty much ice-free at this point. That means that any rocket exhaust will stick directly on the fuselage. Now, on the upper tank, you have a lot more Oxidizer at a lot lover temp. This will continue to build ice while its returning as well, continually making a surface for the soot/shit to stick too. And then vibrations will make the ice fall off in chunks, and then new ice is formed and so on. You can see that the tank gets dirtier above a certain point again, this is due to the tank not being full any more, so no/not so much fuel at the top to produce an ice cover.
Of course, the rockets flight path and aerodynamic properties could also contribute to different amounts of residue.
This raises an interesting question: just how much of its first-stage propellant did this Falcon 9 actually use up? Did it still have enough mass that it could have hovered on a single engine? That might make the landing far easier.
It looks as if it still had about 2/5 of its propellant.
This bunch of satellites was a very light load to LEO (the actual maximum LEO payload of the latest version of Falcon 9, used as an expendable rocket, is probably about 20 tons now -- the launch with successful recovery only had about a 2-ton payload), and the upper stage impulse had been increased with fuel densification. The upper stage could have done practically the entire job of getting to orbit, just by being lifted to an altitude where its extended-nozzle engine wouldn't destroy itself due to being grossly overexpanded for sea-level air pressure.
Some people in the rocket business experience with VTVL "moon landers" are saying, "Sure, they can hover and land as long as the weight is within the range of engine throttling, but they're going to have a hell of a time making thrust > weight landings work."
If the weight is less than your minimum thrust, then you have to time your engine ignition within narrow margins. It's much harder than if you have the ability to hover, and take the landing as slow as you want.
They might still have a way to go before this is a practical way to recover stages, without drastically underloading the launch vehicle.
>Dream Chaser isn't NASA, but private company Sierra Nevada, who acquired the NASA design when they bought SpaceDev, and has no real prospects of selling it to anyone but NASA.
Sierra Nevada is like Bigelow: they just bought some NASA tech, developed by government scientists with public money, and lobby to sell it back to NASA.
Just money men making deals, incapable of any real creation.
>Now all we need is launch costs to continue to drop while at the same time work on getting commercial/private space stations in orbit.
Supposedly, Bigelow is ready to move forward with his inflatable space hotels. He did launch two real working prototypes, with the BEAM module also going up to the ISS on the next Dragon mission. For the station itself, he says he has been waiting for there to be multiple crew options using a standard docking port for redundancy. So minimum of 2018 for the Commercial Crew vehicles to be ready: SpaceX Dragon2 and Boeing CST-100 Starliner.
That's the party line, but for all we know that is just an excuse to hide other problems. There are plenty of rumors of Bigelow mismanagement.