17 thoughts on “Off The Air”

    1. Well when you factor in all the CO2 emitted by anti-nuclear protesters shouting meaningless slogans, there had to be a blip. Here in the Northeast back in the 70’s and 80’s there was an eruption of CO2 emissions from protesting and then later decomposing clam shells, known sea born carbon concentrates.

  1. I’m watching or latest leak/puncture on the space station and I’m wondering why we don’t have a couple of 7 man dragon lifeboats rotating up to the station.

  2. Because there aren’t any available and never will be. Another thing that should have been done is cross-spacecraft suit compatability. Russian and SpaceX flight suits are custom made per wearer, and custom made per spacecraft. In addition, when NASA mandated the current seat pattern in Dragon 2, that made the 7 seat Dragon unavailable as well, requiring a major redesign to get it back. Right now therre are 4 crew Dragons and 3 cargo Dragons (not interconvertible, currently 1 each at ISS, occupying all two of the USOS docking ports). There is one open Russian port available (on Prichal), and Soyuz MS-23 is in place at Baikonur, availble to fly a rescue mission if needed. There are no “instant launch” manned spacecraft available on Earth and never have been. MS-23 can probably fly in 2 weeks or so, if needed. Ideas to the contrary are based on ignornace (Dragon can do it!) and propaganda (Russians can’t do it with their Potemkin space program). This stuff is not a secret/ Anybody can know it. Except space journalists, who continue to print fantasies.

  3. PS: It’s not to late to have a 7 seat Starliner, since the seats are replaced by simple cargo pallets. There are 5 seat mounts on CFT, so presumably they could send that up with 2 crew, as planned, in April, and come back with 5 aboard (flying up extra generic Boeing suits). But MS-23 is already scheduled to fly in March. So why bother?

    SpaceX is building a 5th crew Dragon for its own purposes, to be available in 2024. Then there’ll be 5 Dragons and 2 Starliners, and that’s all there are likely ever to be, until Starship is crew-rated, when and if…

    1. Any idea what the crewed configuration of Starship will look like? Why couldn’t it just incorporate the pressurized part of Crew Dragon largely as is (minus service module, heat-shield, and LES/OMT Super Dracos) within that enormous interior?

      1. Basically, you can fit an entire Transhab inside Starship with room to spare for a cargo deck, so basically I think it will look like that (and polyethylene and Kevlar will make pretty good radiation protection, with fresh, gray, and black water tanks between the hab and the hull). There’s really no reason to use Dragon pressure vessels and there won’t be any spares anyway. Lunar Starship is already shaping up as 3 decks (2 crew, 1 cargo) with a service module/docking tunnel up top (sort of like Dragon XL). The LEO cargo/satellite/tanker starship (I think they will be at least partially interconvertible) had to have a small fuel tank in the nose to balance during empty EDL, but the crewed version will never be “empty.” Guesswork on my part, of course. For short duration flights, like Polaris 3 and dearMoon, tthe ECLSS could be off the shelf mining gear (you can buy big rebreather cabinets, forex).

  4. Since this is a free thread, idle thoughts on the Ukrainian President addressing a joint session of Congress tonight. Will the Russian’s nuke Washington DC to prevent the spread of ‘dis-information’? We should be so lucky….

    Hm, or maybe they’ll snatch Ed Snowden and hold him for ransom in exchange for Zelinsky?

    1. Overall not a bad speech, esp. if you’re Ukrainian. As a citizen of the USA I keep wondering how tightly into their corner we wish to box ourselves? Neither side in this war wishes to negotiate. Ukraine did little about what happened after 2014, no national mobilization, no big war or invasion of the Crimean peninsula. So why not that as a starting point for negotiations? What happened to wanting to talk? Zelinsky says battlefield victory next year? We’ll see. What if not? What’s next? Why do all the exit ramps off this battle road require a 180 degree turn?

  5. Happy Winter Solstice Everyone. In a few more days maybe we will have a sign that the Sun will NOT sink forever below the Southern Horizon. It’s been slowing down since the Equinox, thank goodness! Sacrificing those virgins is paying off!!!

  6. The more I think about it, the more I realize putting five seats and 3 spare Boeing spacesuits on Starliner CFT is the best solution. Sending MS-23 up empty wastes a crew rotation vehicle. It should go up with its crew, and the MS-22 crew should go home on CFT. Then MS-22 could be sent down empty and we’ll see if it was okay or not. Maybe this would also be a good time for the Russians to agree to putting an IDA on Prichal-Aft and not charge $100mln a month for it. If there was one there now, a Dragon could come up with 1 crew and make an emergency pickup, without disrupting everything else on ISS. Right now, if there a sick crew member, the entire ISS segment crew goes home in their ship. With a third NDS port, a Dragon ambulance could come up, maybe with a doctor on board. With 5 Dragons, there will be enough to keep one ready for launch on a few days’ notice.

        1. CFT is the third Starliner flight, after OFT (had big problems by survived EDL) and OFT-2 (succeeded more or less on Boeing’s dime). CFT is supposed to fly in April 2023 with Sunita Williams and Barry Wilmore aboard. Add three more seats and it’s the ride home for the MS-22 crew. If you look at pictures, the Boeing blue space suit is more generic than the one-piece Sokol and SpaceX suits. It’s the simplest solution, but… oh, right. Fat chance.

  7. NASA should re-order the 7-seat Starliner, which would be no big deal. Then it would be wise to order 1 or 2 more Starliners. That way Starliner could fulfill the crew rotation flights, with Dragon to support Axiom and other commercial flights as needed. In the grand scheme of things, an IDA should be added to Prichal-aft so there’d be 3 docking ports of Dragon and Starliner. Given how much Boeing and Roskosmos would want to be paid… chance of fatness, followed by a rain of flaming toads.

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