Test of Crew Dragon’s launch escape capabilities

Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
7,181
https://www.spacex.com/webcast

https://www.cnet.com/news/nasa-and-spacex-are-prepping-to-explode-a-falcon-9-rocket-over-the-atlantic/
It's likely to undergo what SpaceX fans refer to tongue-in-cheek as a "rapid scheduled disassembly." In other words, it's going to break apart and/or explode over the Atlantic Ocean.

According to the final environmental assessment for the test filed with the Federal Aviation Administration, a Falcon 9 carrying the Crew Dragon will launch from Florida's Kennedy Space Center and fly for about 88 seconds before the test is initiated. Once the Dragon separates from the Falcon 9 first and second stages, the rocket is expected to become uncontrollable and break apart.
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The hope is actually that this planned disassembly is also a fiery affair, so that most of the Falcon 9's remaining fuel is consumed in one big explosion in the sky rather than ending up in the ocean.
 

Travm

Joined Aug 16, 2016
289
Perfect, so now if the rocket gently fails the crew can gently leave the rocket. What happens when it goes full fireball? Why didn't they test that.

Edit, I guess it did blow up but i guess if the rocket explodes under power while the capsule is attached it's just game over. This only works if the rocket fails gently?
 
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Travm

Joined Aug 16, 2016
289
I get that.
If only lawmakers understood the impracticality of some of their rules.
Hopefully taxpayers aren't on the hook for testing this quasi useless system. This would have been a 500 million dollar test?

Edit. Don't take any of this too negatively, the engineering involved in this is amazing, and I love it. Just questioning the usefulness of this specific system
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,056
Are you a dreamer? Taxpayers are on the hook for every penny eventually. Then again, 50 years after Lindbergh (1927), we had already been on the moon enough times to not want/need to return.
 

Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
7,181
I get that.
If only lawmakers understood the impracticality of some of their rules.
Hopefully taxpayers aren't on the hook for testing this quasi useless system. This would have been a 500 million dollar test?

Edit. Don't take any of this too negatively, the engineering involved in this is amazing, and I love it. Just questioning the usefulness of this specific system
A catastrophic instantaneous explosion out of the blue is possible but SpaceX telemetry is A+. The odds are that they will see some sort of abort level deviation from normal that at least gives them a gamblers chance to escape. Even the Challenger gave telemetry that indicated a possible engine malfunction before it exploded.
 

Travm

Joined Aug 16, 2016
289
A catastrophic instantaneous explosion out of the blue is possible but SpaceX telemetry is A+. The odds are that they will see some sort of abort level deviation from normal that at least gives them a gamblers chance to escape. Even the Challenger gave telemetry that indicated a possible engine malfunction before it exploded.
Didn't they notice the h2 pressure anomaly on the pad? Challenger should have never launched iirc
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,014
Not only that but the boosters were solid-fuel rockets and someone failed to read the datasheet for their O-ring minimum temp spec. Morton-Thiokol got the blame for that but it was Hercules propellent, Herucles carbon-fiber rocket shell and assembled at the Hercules Bacchus UT facility.
 

Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
7,181
Not only that but the boosters were solid-fuel rockets and someone failed to read the datasheet for their O-ring minimum temp spec. Morton-Thiokol got the blame for that but it was Hercules propellent, Herucles carbon-fiber rocket shell and assembled at the Hercules Bacchus UT facility.
The drop in the booster chamber pressure was measurable for some time before the catastrophic failure. The guidance computer was also compensating for the yaw induced by the thrust from the O ring leak but the truth is, the SHuttle was doomed from the moment it lifted off the pad. It was impossible to abort the SRBs in the launch. That's not the case with a Falcon 9 rocket at the same launch profile point. Vertical stack rockets with capsules launch escape rockets systems have operational since the 60's.
 

BobaMosfet

Joined Jul 1, 2009
1,059
The drop in the booster chamber pressure was measurable for some time before the catastrophic failure. The guidance computer was also compensating for the yaw induced by the thrust from the O ring leak but the truth is, the SHuttle was doomed from the moment it lifted off the pad. It was impossible to abort the SRBs in the launch. That's not the case with a Falcon 9 rocket at the same launch profile point. Vertical stack rockets with capsules launch escape rockets systems have operational since the 60's.
As a side note, as I recall, engineers told them to NOT launch because they were concerned. The launch occurred anyway, due to administration/budget/politics- it had already been delayed several times. Once of prevention worth a pound of cure.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,014
You can go all the way back to the basic design. Even if they jettisoned the solid fuel boosters the main tank was damaged and dropping it wouldn't have allowed the shuttle to land since it flew like a brick. It had NO abort capability.
 

Travm

Joined Aug 16, 2016
289
As a side note, as I recall, engineers told them to NOT launch because they were concerned. The launch occurred anyway, due to administration/budget/politics- it had already been delayed several times. Once of prevention worth a pound of cure.
What disgusts me about that is the engineers are legally liable to not make things that fail, yet the politicians, lawmakers, and company heads ignore them, people die, and no one is punished.

Hopefully space x never needs to see this system used. I still think it's a useless system. Almost like a parachute on a submarine.
 
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