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Author Topic: MPCV - Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle  (Read 11899 times)
Moonwalker
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« on: July 14, 2011, 01:08:42 AM »

I think it might be good to start a kind of news topic for the MPCV as it's getting quite interesting I think, especially once STS is retired and everybody is looking for what's probably next.

The Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is what was formerly known as Orion. Although Constellation was canceled, and whether NASA developes the SLS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Launch_System) or a different design, they still continue to develope the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle as the future manned system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-Purpose_Crew_Vehicle

This is nice high res images which show the latest work on the heatshield:

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/558174main_crew_capsule_full.jpg

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/546366main_mpcv-building_full.jpg

Looks like they are using similar tiles as on the Shuttles.

Nice video of a splashdown test which was done recenty:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHaNtONW6u8

And a MPCV demonstration at the Kennedy Space Center from July 7th, 2011:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KDyezVYPBY&feature=player_embedded
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 01:10:39 AM by Moonwalker » Logged
Moonwalker
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 01:23:55 AM »

What's next for NASA spaceflight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-wXjYid4_8&feature=relmfu
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Cras
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 02:00:28 PM »

From what I understand, its heatshield will not be based on Shuttle because sinces its main goal is BEO, its re-entry velocity will be significantly higher than that of the Shuttle.

But the Orion will be a very interesting vehicle.  Look forward to its progress very much.  Hope to see it orbiting the Moon sooner rather than later.
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2011, 01:56:00 PM »

Apollo on steroids... that's what it is. We are still many generations away from "taking off" Earth, leaving for a 2-days Moon trip (yes, 2 days), then land there, do whatever, and return home - all with the same vehicle, without extreme entries, ocean or ground parachute drops etc. If we won't have a smooth lift-off and landing, there is no tourism!

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Moonwalker
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2011, 03:29:47 PM »

The MPCV certainly won't fly to the Moon at all. The Moon is not a goal anymore because we've already been there. NASA is seriously thinking about going farther beyond - asteroids and then Mars in future. But the MPCV basically is a crew vehicle for launch and reentry. Living will take place in different spacecraft during missions beyond earth orbit in future for sure.

As for the heat shield of the MPCV: it doesn't look like they are using a completely different technology. They certainly don't use exactly the same tiles as with the Shuttle, but similar tiles. I guess it requires just a change in production and thickness to make them withstand temperatures when returning home from a BEO mission. Just compare the latest MPCV tiles with the Shuttle tiles. They look similar rather than completey different. I think the MPCV will hugely be based on experiences gained with STS, just as the SLS might be.
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Moonwalker
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2011, 03:58:54 PM »

And most importantly, just in case I understood it right when I read "all with the same vehicle": the MPCV is not a lander. Multi-purpose just means that it is a capsule for both, LEO and BEO mission capability.
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 04:28:16 PM »

I am talking about Space Tourism, not NASA and the Moon is a valid Touristic attraction - at least for me - but Space Tourism (trips to the Moon for example) will need a very different vehicle if it is to attract, and be affordable for "the masses".

It took aviation three generations to become a major touristic vehicle. It could be interesting to see if this will happen with Space Tourism during the same time span.

/Admin
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Moonwalker
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 04:00:59 AM »

I fail to see the relation between space tourism and the MPCV.
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Cras
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2011, 02:13:40 AM »

The MPCV certainly won't fly to the Moon at all.

Certainly?  I would not say that.  NASA themselves are not sure yet where they are going to go.  It is clear there are those in NASA who feel the moon should be the next step.  Some say Mars.  Others, for whatever reason, say we should go to an Asteroid.  Would love to hear why they think this is a good idea over Mars or the Moon. 

But the MPCV is designed for BEO, and it designed to be easily upgradable.

One of the supposed destinations for Orion is to be GEO, with possible satillete repair, which will certainly be an interesting mission.
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Moonwalker
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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2011, 01:37:41 PM »

The MPCV certainly won't fly to the Moon at all.

Certainly?  I would not say that.  NASA themselves are not sure yet where they are going to go. It is clear there are those in NASA who feel the moon should be the next step.  Some say Mars.  Others, for whatever reason, say we should go to an Asteroid.  Would love to hear why they think this is a good idea over Mars or the Moon.

NASA actually is sure these days. There are only funds missing (as usual). The goal still is Mars, whilst deep-space rendezvous and asteroid flybys are natural stepping points, as recommended by the Augustine Commission (aside from canceling Constellation). There are always individuals who think different of course. Just like a lot of NASA people think it's wrong to cancel STS. But Washington decides in the end. And it looks like there won't ever be any funds for missions to the Moon again. Everything one can read about the MPCV and NASAs new goal says asteroids and then Mars, just as recommended by the Augustine Commission. And those recommendations are quite logical. We need to gain deep-space experiences in order to fly to Mars, which we don't gain by flying 10 day missions between earth and Moon (and so wasting extra billions and systems which become obsolete when flying to Mars; nobody will fund it for sure). That's what Constellation was lacking sadly. It ended on the Moon, just like Apollo did. If we really want to go to Mars, we need to focus on long-time deep-space missions before.

One of the supposed destinations for Orion is to be GEO, with possible satillete repair, which will certainly be an interesting mission.

Almost like a Shuttle mission, but just without a payload bay and RMS. But I can live with that Grin
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Yossarian1943
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 01:05:27 AM »

Apollo on steroids... that's what it is. /Admin

Well said.

MPCV, is it really a technological progress?
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Moonwalker
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2011, 02:58:35 AM »

MPCV, is it really a technological progress?

It's a little bit like the question if the glass is half-full or half empty. Depends on how one looks at it Smiley

Compared to the Space Shuttle: no, it isn't a technological progress. Compared to Apollo: yes it is, because it is based on Shuttle derived technology Grin It is not intended to be used to carry 20 tons payload into earth orbit but to carry crews into space and beyond earth orbit. And for this purpose the MPCV is perfect.

But the MPCV won't be the basic spacecraft anyway on the way to asteroids and mars. It will certainly be ISS-like stuff in which the crew can live and work. The MPCV just will bring them up, dock, fly to the destination, return, separate and bring the crew home.
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Moonwalker
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2011, 05:37:58 PM »

NASA gearing up for Orion’s 2013 debut via Delta IV Heavy

Quote
The efforts relating to the debut launch of Orion – otherwise known as the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) – on a “multi-hour” test flight are ramping up, as managers discuss the preliminary objectives, which may include a “human capable” version of the spacecraft being tested. A launch date of July, 2013 has been set, with the Delta IV Heavy assigned to the role of launch vehicle.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/08/oft-1-nasa-orions-2013-debut-via-delta-iv-heavy/
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