SPACEX TO SEND PRIVATELY CREWED DRAGON SPACECRAFT BEYOND THE MOON NEXT YEAR

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Kittamaru, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    http://www.spacex.com/news/2017/02/...rewed-dragon-spacecraft-beyond-moon-next-year

    *blink* This... will certainly be interesting!

    Who here would be up for a trip 'round the moon?
     
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    This is wonderful news for those of us who grew up with the Apollo moon program back in the day. When this launches, I expect the whole world will be watching. Robot exploration is great, but nothing captures people's imagination like manned space expeditions.

    Would I go around the Moon if I had the opportunity? Definitely.
    (Even if there was a significant chance of dying. I'm at the stage in my life where I'm ready to take that risk. Dying above the far side of the Moon is much cooler than dying in bed.)

    I wonder who these two "private citizens" are. They must be exceedingly rich if they can make it worth SpaceX's time to do this. And I expect that this is the kind of idea that would catch Elon Musk's attention. (Could Musk be one of the two? Jeff Bezos would probably be up for it too.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
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  5. Oystein Registered Senior Member

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    No offense, but I wouldn't be on that maiden flight if I was paid to.
     
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Probably no risk of it actually happening. They're not even doing their first manned flight (to the ISS) until late 2018.
     
  8. Oystein Registered Senior Member

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    Also, that has nothing to do with my feelings about SPACEX. I think it is a very fine corporation, doing great and unique things. It's just WAY TOO SOON to be thinking about an orbital Moon trip.
     
  9. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I get the feeling that this thing is aiming for the 50th anniversary of the December 1968 Apollo 8 mission.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_8.

    That was only the second manned Apollo mission and only the third flight of the Saturn V booster. It was the first manned flight to leave low Earth orbit and reach the Moon, going around it without landing. NASA was more willing to take risks back in the good old days.

    It's telling and more than a little sad that no humans have left low Earth orbit since 1972, 45 years ago. I think that Elon Musk and those like him in the burgeoning private spaceflight industry would like to speed things up and if possible return to the 1960's pace of ambitious new missions every few years.

    As Musk says, the two mysterious unnamed "private citizens" who are paying to fly on this thing (Musk says they know each other and aren't from Hollywood... I still wonder if he's one of them) already know the risks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  10. Oystein Registered Senior Member

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    Yeah, that's what all the news outlets have been saying since the announcement.
     
  11. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years and they will travel faster and further into the Solar System than any before them.

    I was under the impression that deep space referred to the region's of space beyond the outermost limits of our Solar System

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  12. Oystein Registered Senior Member

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    Yeah, me too. I expect this crap from the press. They usually have no clue. You'd think the folks at SPACEX would know better. Oh well. It's not a terrible faux pas.
     
  13. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Isn't that 'interstellar space'?

    I'm not sure that 'deep space' has a precise meaning. It's relative to context, like 'deep sea'.

    NASA uses it to mean something like 'interplanetary' with their 'deep space network' of communications sites that they use to send commands to and receive data from space exploration robots out to the Kuiper belt. It refers to space-vehicles far away, with 'far away' imprecisely defined. Anything above low Earth orbit, I guess.

    https://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/
     
  15. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    That could be correct

    Meaning between stars

    Intergalactic between galaxies

    I understand the definetions are not precise but I'm fairly certain Deep Space is not really behind the moon

    Beyond our Solar System sounds more reasonable

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  16. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    Consider what Elon Musk proposed for Mars colonists, a one way ticket, I concur.
     
  17. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Several questions

    1. Can the Falcon Heavy do this and still be reusable? It is claimed the Falcon Heavy can lift 54.4 mertic tons to orbit and 13.6 mtons to mars (or the moon), but that is fully expendable mode, only 50-60% of that capacity is for re-usability (straps ons land back on land and core lands on barge at sea) so 29.9±3.8 mt to LEO and 7.5±1 t to mars or the moon. The Dragon 2 will weigh ~10 t so it is unlikely this will be a reusable mission.

    2. Who the hell paid tens of millions of dollars to fly around the moon? There are only a few thousand billionaires on the planet so it can't be hard to whittled down. Once named how will the public react? Will there be disgust that the rich are so rich they can now go to the moon while they (the public) can't even hold a cashier job? Or will these people be seen like astronaut heros?

    3. Next year, Really? Yeah I doubt that, maybe by 2020. Then again the December of next year will be the 50th anniversary of the first human flyby of the moon so it is a specific goal and they did drop Red Dragon for 2018 and it looks like that rocket is now being marked for this.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
  18. Boris2 Valued Senior Member

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  19. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    SpaceX makes it clear in their announcement that only after they have got Dragon 2 working and have sent a crew up to the ISS as charted by NASA, only after that would they do this joy ride around the moon. True if I was NASA I would not be comfortable that there are other customers for the Dragon 2 that could be dividing attention away, but SpaceX none the less has stated NASA comes first.

    "Later this year, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, we will launch our Crew Dragon (Dragon Version 2) spacecraft to the International Space Station. This first demonstration mission will be in automatic mode, without people on board. A subsequent mission with crew is expected to fly in the second quarter of 2018. SpaceX is currently contracted to perform an average of four Dragon 2 missions to the ISS per year, three carrying cargo and one carrying crew. By also flying privately crewed missions, which NASA has encouraged, long-term costs to the government decline and more flight reliability history is gained, benefiting both government and private missions. Once operational Crew Dragon missions are underway for NASA, SpaceX will launch the private mission on a journey to circumnavigate the moon and return to Earth."


    Also I don't trust ass-technica as they have produced some "fake-news" articles before. So what is being presented by ass-technica here is a compilation of speculation designed for intrigue when there may in fact be no problem.
     
  20. Boris2 Valued Senior Member

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    Hmmm dunno whether to trust someone's value who uses 'fake news" and misrepresents a sources name. And of course SpaceX would say that.
     
  21. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    What if I told you gawker was bad you would believe me because I didn't call them by their true name "anal cancer of the internet"?

    Look has ass-technica actually quoted anyone INSIDE NASA? Sure what ass said makes sense but they have no, proof only supposition. As for SpaceX they HAVE TO get the capsule flying for NASA before sending one around the moon in order to pretest the dam thing.
     
  22. Boris2 Valued Senior Member

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    The author appears to be a fairly good reporter. That's how I judged opinion pieces. See and now you are just trying to troll me with the "ass' comments. You are looking more and more a fool.
     
  23. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Oh no I'm looking like a fool.



    Do you have anything to say about Dragon 2 to the moon?
     

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