• ThomasLMatula

    That really reminds me of the spacecraft from Georges Méliès a trip to the Moon in 1902.

  • P.K. Sink
  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    And I thought it was kinda (orig) Buck Roger’s ish, but you’re right, it hearkens further into the past. Those prominent draco thrusters are almost orphans now only being used for their secondary functions. With BFR on the medium horizon promising to make this system obsolete I’m a bit doubtful anyone will put the time and money into making the Dragon capable of setting down on dry land.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Speaking of BFR, it looks like Elon Musk is going full speed forward on it. “Wanna build a Mars Rocket?” He’s hiring for BFR.

    http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/217464

    BFR Build Engineer

    If he makes orbit with it in 2020 its game over for SLS/Orion. And the Block 5/Dragon2 will quickly become museum pieces, although they may need to hang around a few years to serve NASA needs… πŸ™‚

    https://phys.org/news/2018-03-spacex-bfr-orbital.html

  • ThomasLMatula

    All its missing is the SpaceX logo πŸ™‚

  • Michael Halpern

    Can’t wait to see her ontop of a Falcon 9 at 39a

  • Jan Bach Andersen

    It is a littel sad that it’s not gone land as is was supposed to do , it would have bin really fantastic to watch..

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I saw that, but if BFR is really going to fly in 1.5 or so years most of the design engineering is done, and they need to be deep into the manufacturing engineering phase. Either way, when BFR become avail (Whenever it really happens.) the cargo version can be loaded with a squadron of Orlons, Starliners, and/or Dragons per flight. Perhaps one of the BFR cargo shuttles should be christened “Kitty Hawk” and designated a SCV (Space Carrier Vehicle).

  • ThomasLMatula

    Maybe Sir Richard will be able to hire a BFR to take a SpaceshipTwo into orbit and return it after allowing to “fly” around the Earth once in formation with it. Yes, lots of fun things will be possible with BFR if it meets its performance goals.

    I was also wondering if anyone at NASA has considered that the BFR would actually be capable of returning the modules of the ISS to Earth to be put into Museums. If will probably be a lot easier, and safer, than just letting it burn up. If the Russians want I am sure it could return their modules to them as well πŸ™‚

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    As I’ve said before BFR will be maritime, not aerospace. It’s a true ship you can just pile things on. As for meeting performance goals it can come in massively overweight by a factor of two in some places and the engines can underperform by many seconds of Isp and still exceed the Saturn V in upmass in reusable mode. That’s why I have some faith it will fly before 2025.

    I think your ideas on ISS cleanup is probably just what’s going to happen but probably after a BFR enabled reboost first to extend its lifetime. As for the Russians …. It would make their old Shuttle vs Salyut 7 nightmare finally come true. Only this time, they’d ask for it willingly – heck, they’d pay for it.

  • 76 er

    Bringing parts down for museum exhibition is a good idea. NASA might also consider, at the end of ISS’s usefulness about boosting it up to L5 instead and renaming it the International Space Museum.

  • Paul451

    I think your ideas on ISS cleanup is probably just what’s going to happen but probably after a BFR enabled reboost first to extend its lifetime.

    Why? The BFS essentially is a space-station. At most, you’d launch a set of fresh solar arrays (much higher output these days) and extra radiators, on a structure to remain in orbit, and let a BFS dock with that when someone wants a science mission. You get to bring up specialised labs for each mission, refurbish equipment between runs, etc. And the cost is trivial, compared to anything related to the ISS.

  • Michael Halpern

    Actually i would use BFR lifted B330s and B2100s to replace ISS, that way you don’t have to leave BFS up for long

  • Paul451

    If they are even contemplating P2P BFR flights, they expect to build many boosters and ships. Using one (or three or ten) to carry paying researchers seems a small thing. Assuming there’s enough market (enough funds) amongst universities and national research institutes around the world.

  • Michael Halpern

    sure, but the P2P fleet will be very active, and only be in 0g for 30min at a time, it it isn’t a question of not having enough, its a matter of if it makes sense to leave one on orbit for extended periods of time, when you could instead off load onto a station, and have that ship available for other missions

  • Paul451

    But “many” means they expect to mass producing them. Which means that, like Falcon, they will design the production to be as low cost as possible. So it depends on the relative cost of one extra assembly-line produced spaceship which can be diverted to other uses during quiet times, versus a bespoke space-station which requires continuous maintenance and has no other use.

    Also… will this BA-module space-station have a lifeboat? ISS always has sufficient Soyuzes on-station to ensure evacuation. Will the BA-station have its own lifeboats? Will they be multiple capsules like Dragon/Starliner (needing to be brought up and back for maintenance, so you need a set of spares), or will there be a BFS on permanent standby… In which case, you’ve already go a BFS or an equivalent cost of capsules dedicated permanently to the station… so why not just use the BFS as the station?

  • Michael Halpern

    not necessarily, 10-12 a year, if not fewer, maybe 5-8,

  • Paul451

    Even if they were averaging just a couple of launchers per yr, would the cost of building one extra set be greater than the cost of building and maintaining a bespoke spacestation?

    Especially when that extra ship/booster is plug’n’play compatible with the rest of the fleet, thus for example can be substituted with a Mars-ship if one of the originals is lost in an accident or needs too-late-for-the-launch-window maintenance.

    You aren’t wasting a ship in orbit, you’re putting your necessary spares to money-making use.

    (And as I said, would you operate the Bigelow station without guaranteed crew return? If not, then what have you saved?)

  • Michael Halpern

    No someone else would own the station they would just provide transportation