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During the scrubbed launch yesterday, one of the commentators mentioned there were more restrictions on crewed launches vs a launch of a satellite or Cargo Dragon. Is there a list of differences?

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  • $\begingroup$ Good question. There are weather limitations on the abort splashdown areas in the North Atlantic that don't apply to uncrewed flights, but I don't know the details. $\endgroup$ May 28 '20 at 13:36
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List questions are bad, but a very important distinction between an unmanned launch and a manned launch is similar to Shuttle launches.

That is, the abort sites need to be viable. In the Shuttle case, weather at the alternate abort landing sites (Very long runways all over the world, JFK, somewhere in Europe, Easter Island) has to be sufficient to be safe to land in.

For Crew Dragon, the weather/seas at the alternate abort sites needs to be safe to abort.

Of course on a regular Falcon 9 mission, the seas at the first stage landing location (where OCISLY is waiting to catch the booster) needs to be good enough to land.

No doubt there are more, but this is the big one since it means weather in multiple locations must meet the criteria.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you have any references? $\endgroup$ May 28 '20 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ "Of course on a regular Falcon 9 mission, the seas at the first stage landing location (where OCISLY is waiting to catch the booster) needs to be good enough to land." – I'd guess they'd rather throw away the booster than postpone the launch. At least, that seems to be what they did until now. $\endgroup$ May 28 '20 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ @JörgWMittag A fine question on its own, in fact I was pretty sure I asked that question... space.stackexchange.com/questions/29684/… $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    May 28 '20 at 15:30

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