TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Will Dragon V2 be ready for deep space?

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by sderrick, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. sderrick

    sderrick Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    USA
    I keep hearing in articles about the new Orion space craft, that the Dragon V2 is not built for deep space. I'm assuming they are talking about the crafts electronics and possible other equipment's resilience to radiation? Oh, and I guess this radiation shileding would apply to humans on board as well?

    I've heard Musk say a number of times that Dragon V2 may be the first craft to carry people to Mars. If this is the case, why do the science jounalists(sic) keep repeating this?

    Will Orion be in anyway be more capable for deep space than Dragoin V2?

    Scott
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,570
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I'm with you. In fact, I recall hearing that the Dragon v2 would be able to soft land on any solid planetary body in the solar system.
     
  3. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,485
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    It could probably soft land on the gas giants too, for whatever that is worth...
     
  4. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    2,524
    Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Of course not. Orion only carries four astronauts. So if you loaded Dragon V2 with consumables and life support for only four, I'd bet you could go just as far as Orion can.

    The Orion/SLS/Constellation program has cost NASA over $8 billion so far. Can you imagine what SpaceX could accomplish with that same amount? Look at what they will actually accomplish with a measly $2.6 billion. Look at what they have done with $1.6 billion! I bet Elon could land someone on Mars and get them back safely for $8 billion. I bet they could build a lunar base for $8 billion. You want a space station? I bet Elon and SpaceX could do that with $8 billion too.
     
  5. sderrick

    sderrick Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    USA
    I would like to see an official rebuttal to this claim about Orion being more deep space capable than Dragon V2. If it really is as capable I would have thought Elon would have blasted it out ot the media? Why the silence?
     
  6. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    2,524
    Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Because Orion is a major NASA project. SpaceX is currently involved in two major NASA projects that pay them huge amounts of money. So you don't bite the hand that feeds you. If NASA suddenly cut them off in favor of someone else, then you'd see the sharp teeth come out.

    I believe SpaceX is working under the principle that their innovations speak for themselves and when successful the lower prices will drive the customers to them. So far that strategy is working and when it doesn't, like with the Air Force, you get to hear about it. Elon basically shamed the Air Force and the government into allowing them in since their costs are so much lower than anyone else.
     
  7. freds

    freds Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    I think he would rather prove it in action. The only reason for the lawsuit was the underhanded deal by the ULA and the Air Force that would have locked out SpaceX for years if it stands.

    Also most of the life support in the Dragon V2 is internal not in a support stage so the trunk would need a redesign for longer duration missions. I image that will change when these types of mission gets close to funding. Though knowing SpaceX I could see them sending along a mini Bigelow space habitat module instead.
     
  8. sderrick

    sderrick Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    USA
    I think thats a pretty weak excuse. Elon is not know for being shy or letting anybody trash his projects. I can only assume Orion is actually better suited for deep space as all the latest articles state.

     
  9. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    2,524
    Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    It does have extra shielding and additional safety systems designed for longer voyages. I found this article that explains the details:

    NASA's 1st Deep-Space Capsule in 40 Years Ready for Debut

    But there isn't supposed to be a manned flight until 2021! C'mon, we know that SpaceX will be light years ahead of anything Orion can do by then. They go on to say that they might get to Mars by 2030! Elon and SpaceX will doing circles around SLS by then. There will be a Dragon V4 by 2021. Elon will already have a Deep Space Dragon built or have the designs solidly in place.

    I'm very willing to take bets that SpaceX will beat SLS and Orion to Mars. I'd also bet that SLS is old news and retired by 2020.

    All of that said, I doubt Elon will trash SLS or Orion since they are really not a threat to anything that he is doing. The more I think about it, I would think that Falcon Heavy will carry Orion out of the atmosphere and into deep space. That allows NASA to have a backup for the Deep Space Dragon since they seem to focused on SpaceX plus some other manufacturer for their projects.
     
  10. CliffG

    CliffG Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2014
    Messages:
    249
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Indeed. We'll see tomorrow how it does in the dress rehearsal: launch, orbits, & return.

    And, there seems to be some doubt that SLS will be funded that long:

    space.com article on SLS vs. Falcon Heavy (and ULA!)
    Booz-Allen cost assessment of SLS
     
  11. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    791
    Location:
    Burlington, WI
    The current version of Dragon V2 is being designed for travel to and from the ISS. Due to that fact, it doesn't currently have the everything it needs to go beyond low earth orbit. It would need additional propulsion (delta-v) for beyond LEO operations like the service module does for Orion. It would need improved communications and other systems to deal with extended flight time. That said, could Dragon be modified or adapted for missions beyond LEO? Sure. Just needs the funding for Spacex to make it happen. Right now NASA is not contracting the beyond LEO missions like they are for ISS crew rotation missions. Once NASA does that, I am sure Spacex would submit a bid. However, based on Elon's comments I find it unlikely that Spacex would put people on a Dragon going to mars. Just too small. That's where MCT comes in. Dragon may well be modified for a simple beyond LEO mission like a lunar free-return mission, just to demonstrate the capability. Spacex may do something like that on it's own dime. Before MCT we might also see some Dragons being used to put some green houses on Mars to fulfill Elon's original dream behind the inception of spacex.
     
  12. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,402
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    I doubt the current Orion capsule is not ready for beyond LEO missions. Media reports exaggerate its capabilities b parroting whatever Boeing says about it. Sure, in the future it will go beyond LEO if NASA gets funding for such missions, but that is many years away.

    A future Dragon version will go beyond LEO. I'm thrilled thinking this will happen in my lifetime!
     
  13. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    791
    Location:
    Burlington, WI
    Your phrasing is a little confusing, but the mission for Orion that is currently scheduled for launch tomorrow is already beyond low earth orbit. Or technically it is one low earth orbit followed by an apogee burn to an intersecting with earth orbit (non-orbit really). But technically it's not low earth orbit as it's going about 3600 miles out.
     
  14. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,402
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    #14 ecarfan, Dec 4, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
    Sorry, meant to post "I doubt the current Orion capsule is ready for beyond LEO missions" by which I meant it is not yet ready for trips to the moon or Mars.
     
  15. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    791
    Location:
    Burlington, WI
    I think the Orion capsule has the potential to be a good earth to moon orbit vehicle, but needs a lunar lander. Mars? I don't see how the Orion capsule is appropriate at all.
     

Share This Page