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Article on the new COPVs and Block 5


Active Member
Oct 31, 2014
Hudson, NH
It doesn't appear SpaceX will have much trouble making those 7 crew config proving flights between August and December. They'll also have to squeeze in their in-flight abort test, which is likely to occur around October. Even if the commercial crew flight is pushed out into 2019, I'm still betting on SpaceX to fly astronauts before Boeing.

Loren's article rehashes a bunch of the load and go FUD. There's been a lot of scrutiny because it's not the norm and the aforementioned COPV issue. It would be nice if the media investigated the alternative method of fueling, you know the one where the astronauts ride up on an elevator next to a rocket holding the equivalent of a million pounds of TNT. Instead, just maybe those astronauts would feel a little more at ease protected inside the Dragon capsule during the fueling process. Perhaps that method would also provide less risk to ground crew technicians. NASA's always been aware of the danger of exposing humans to a fully fueled rocket. It's the reason why they have only ever allowed essential personal to be at the launch pad during closeouts.

The astronaut office will have significant influence on the final decision concerning load and go. It's their hide on the ride and I'm confident they're going to give SpaceX a thumbs up. Even in the unlikely event of a pad RUD, the crew will still experience the same happy ending splashdown as the original mission plan. Albeit sooner than expected, the Dragon 2 will get plucked up from the waters of the Atlantic having suffered no casualties.

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