It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule may have been Destroyed during testing

page: 1
12
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 03:26 PM
link   

Draco and SuperDraco Thrusters being tested

On Saturday April 20, 2019, SpaceX conducted a ground test fire of the thrusters on the new Crew Dragon capsule. The tests were in preparation for the upcoming abort test. The abort test is to demonstrate the capability to allow astronauts in the capsule to escape from the rocket should there be a problem with the rocket. The Crew Dragon would detach from the main rocket and the very powerful smaller rockets, called SuperDraco Thrusters, would push it up and away from the main rocket to get the capsule away from danger.

The test conducted was a ground test fire with the capsule bolted down (to put it mildly) to a test stand. The Super Draco engines were fired as were the even smaller maneuvering thrusters, called Draco. This allows the engineers to be sure the capsule's engines will work prior to strapped it onto a $50+ million rocket. In the sense that NASA and SpaceX's ground test prevented a loss of a very expensive rocket, the test was wildly successful.

However...



There was a problem. In aerospace speak, they call something, anything, that is out of the ordinary an 'anomaly.' They had an anomaly. In spades. There was an explosion and the cloud from the explosion could be seen for miles. NASA and SpaceX have not been very forthcoming about the nature of the anomaly. Given the cloud, it couldn't be good.

Now, we know just how bad it was. Not officially. But! There was a video of the explosion posted to twitter:

twitter.com...

It does not appear to be on youtube or I would embed that. Even so, it appears the anomaly was catastrophic: it appears the capsule was destroyed.

Rocket science is really plumbing dialed up to difficulty ten thousand. Knowing that, it would mean the probable cause is a valve that failed to properly close. SpaceX had a recent problem with a stuck valve, so that would strike me as the likely cause.

I have serious doubts the Crew Dragon will be providing astronaut flights to the space station by year's end given the 'anomaly.' We shall see what NASA and SpaceX say and do. No one wants another Challenger or Columbia though and, as we have learned over and over, space is hard.




posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 03:38 PM
link   
Scott Manley posted this vid about the incident. He seems very knowledgeable about space stuff.



@ 35 seconds in mentions the orange smoke seen is very dangerous dinitrogen tetroxide, whatever that means.



posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 03:41 PM
link   
a reply to: anzha

Well.. the test provided results, so its a good test.. and hopefully prevented loss of lives.

And do not tell me they only build one of these.. build two, one for testing and one for upgrading.
They cannot be that stupid they play it all on red, I hope.



posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 03:44 PM
link   
a reply to: Spacespider

They have built multiple. However, SpaceX always ground tests the one they plan on using next. This was the capsule intended for the abort test. The one that recently flew to the ISS will require months of refurbishment.



posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 03:46 PM
link   
a reply to: thov420


orange smoke seen is very dangerous dinitrogen tetroxide


That's hydrazine and it is nasty shbt.



posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 04:37 PM
link   
I'm not sure they are going to be able to fix that problem. It might look good on computer simulations but not in real life.



posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 04:39 PM
link   

originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: thov420


orange smoke seen is very dangerous dinitrogen tetroxide


That's hydrazine and it is nasty shbt.


hydrazine? so that would be a mushroom cloud then.



posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 05:07 PM
link   
a reply to: anzha

God I used to hate that crap. Want to ruin a day, put out over the radio an F-16 is coming in with an active EPU. You get about 15 minutes to tow and secure it, then get the hell away from it.



posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 05:51 PM
link   
Was the same as the above video


edit on 21-4-2019 by mikell because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 08:26 PM
link   

originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: thov420


orange smoke seen is very dangerous dinitrogen tetroxide


That's hydrazine and it is nasty shbt.

No, it's the oxydizer for the rocket fuel. dinitrogen tetroxide. Hydrazine doesn't create red smoke.

BTW, it was the recovered capsule, not a new one. You can see the reentry burn marks on the hull.



Perhaps the rockets were damaged while the capsule was in the water after landing?
edit on 21-4-2019 by wildespace because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 09:19 PM
link   
a reply to: wildespace

Was supposed to fly again with live crew in May

Looks like that mission is scrubbed for a least couple of months until replacement spacecraft is ready

This was a test of the SUPER DRACO thrusters

Dragon is unique in that the SUPER DRACO thrusters used both for orbital maneuvering and as Launch Escape System (LES)

Most LES system used a separate solid fuel rocket mounted on the nose of the capsule . The LES is used to take capsuke off a malfunctioning booster at launch time

The SUPER DRACO uses a mixture of Di Nitrogen Tetra oxide (N2O4( and Mono Methyl Hydrazine (MMH)- this mixture is hypergolic which means ignite on contact . This eliminates need for separate ignition system and allows multiple restarts with a fast reaction time



posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 09:23 PM
link   
a reply to: wildespace

SPACE X had a rough week

First the recovered booster from Falcon Heavy launch was damaged when toppled over on landing barge

High sea caused one of the landing legs to buckle and booster to topple over

Now this disaster with the Dragon capsule



posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 09:46 PM
link   
Jeebus whose idea was it to privatize the space race???

Space X will never man-rate a rocket....

They are behind Von Braun’s NASA in 1957....

I still can’t believe the former president ended the Constellation program and put the shuttle into mothballs...

And for all the deluded Space X apologists; man-rate a rocket and land it back on the ground (not splash like we did in the Gemini program 60 years ago)

1-2% GDP and we’d already have been to Mars...

Where have you gone Werner?

-Chris



posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 10:17 PM
link   
a reply to: wildespace

I remember watching an interview where it was said it costs just as much to build a new one as it does to refurbish one and it doesn't look like it was refurbished before the test. At least not on the outside so I just hope they got the data they needed to advance the program.



posted on Apr, 21 2019 @ 10:56 PM
link   
Any publicity is good publicity.



posted on Apr, 22 2019 @ 01:36 AM
link   
a reply to: firerescue

Was that the launch just the other day? I happened to be browsing youtube and caught the launch live. Hard to describe how impressive it was to watch both side boosters
land and the main booster land on a ship at sea. Stopped after that, didn't know about the booster falling over after landing but I don't think that takes away from SpaceX's capabilities.



posted on Apr, 22 2019 @ 05:21 AM
link   
a reply to: thov420

Yes from the recent Falcon Heavy launch of ARABSAT

Upcoming next launch is scheduled for June 21 for Air Force STP launch

Problem was that SPACE X has a small robotic device it drives under the recovered booster to stabilize and lock it down
A
The Falcon Heavy center core has modifications to attach side boosters which prevent it getting under the booster

Supposedly SPACE X working to modify it for future launches


edit on 22-4-2019 by firerescue because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 22 2019 @ 06:24 AM
link   

edit on 2242019 by Wide-Eyes because: Scammers



posted on Apr, 22 2019 @ 09:16 AM
link   

originally posted by: wildespace
BTW, it was the recovered capsule, not a new one. You can see the reentry burn marks on the hull.

Perhaps the rockets were damaged while the capsule was in the water after landing?


Yeah, it does look like the same capsule.

IF it did blow up, and IF the explosion was caused by the recovered Dragon capsule, then that would strike a blow to SpaceX's plans for used Dragon Capsules to be re-used again for human flight -- unless they can pinpoint the cause of the failure and fix it so it can't happen again on future capsules.

The reusability is promoted a major benefit of the Dragon Capsule.

Interestingly, there was an article earlier this month discussing the need to protect the Capsule's SuperDraco engines (both its maneuvering thrusters and SuperDraco abort engines) from damage caused by launch, reentry, landing, and water recovery. The effects of the thrusters being vulnerable to the elements and protecting them from water is mentioned.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says Crew Dragon reusability a “major improvement”


However, sealing the spacecraft from the elements – both before and after launch – is just one of many challenges for safe operations and efficient reusability. Up next, as Musk notes, is protecting Crew Dragon’s 16 Draco maneuvering thrusters and 8 SuperDraco abort thrusters from water damage, as well as sealing off vulnerable avionics for reuse. With respect to avionics, Musk is very likely referring to the electronics and sensing equipment housed under Dragon 2’s retractable nose cone, a new feature for SpaceX.



edit on 4/22/2019 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 22 2019 @ 11:45 AM
link   
Updating my post above, it does appear now that there is confirmation that the Dragon 2 did in fact explode during a test of its maneuvering thrusters and the launch abort thrusters. The video that was going around looked (to me) like it was the launch abort thruster.

This is a setback for the timetable of the first manned mission not just because it destroyed one of their capsules (and I'm not even sure if it was the capsule intended to be used for the first manned mission -- I'm thinking it was NOT), but more importantly the explosion raises questions about the design of the system altogether.

That is, is there something wrong with the design that might lead to a similar explosion on a totally different and new capsule? I'm guessing SpaceX and NASA would need to know that before the manned test could happen. The answer could conceivably lead to a redesign of the system that failed, which would mean a delay.

Anyway, here is an updated article on the incident and how it might affect SpaceX's schedule:

SpaceX commercial crew vehicle appears to blow up during a test, could delay crewed flight


edit on 4/22/2019 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)




top topics



 
12
<<   2 >>

log in

join