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37 votes
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Why did SpaceX choose to use Hydrazine over newer "green" propellants for Dragon 2?

TL;DR: The low technology readiness, the very, very low thrust, and the need for a catalyst bed means this was and still is the wrong technology for the intended purpose of a launch abort system and ...
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34 votes
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Would this chair support astronaut during launch in Crew Dragon

1.) Chairs needed to be custom molded / adjusted for the astronauts. There's stories of people sitting down in bathtubs of foam to create the perfect shape. That is an extra comfort of the Soyuz ...
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28 votes

Why does SpaceX have a launch window for a pad abort test?

There are many different constraints that putting a time window around a launch attempt (even a pad abort) can help manage. Orbital constraints, facilities availability and many more. In the case of ...
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18 votes
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What standard was used by NASA to certify the Dragon capsule controls as safe for crewed flight?

As I am not privy to the contractual interactions between NASA and SpaceX, I cannot say with an absolute certainty that NASA and SpaceX had astronauts, pilots, etc. evaluate the vehicle beforehand ...
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17 votes
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Why is Dragon the only spacecraft that is currently in use to not need a fairing for launch?

Dragon is not the first manned spacecraft to launch without a fairing Mercury had a Launch Escape Tower bolted to the top. Gemini had ejection seats so no tower was needed Starting with Apollo, a ...
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15 votes
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Could the current dragon v2 heat shield withstand a reentry from the moon?

Yes. According to SpaceX; PICA-X, which is SpaceX's proprietary derivative of the PICA (Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator) heatshield designed by NASA, can withstand reentries from "Lunar and ...
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15 votes
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How much of Dragon might have survived the explosion of CRS-7 and for how long?

As the RUD event occurred during stage 1 flight the Dragon wouldn't having been travelling fast enough to need a heatsheild to survive reentry. (And from 44.5 km it hadn't really gone high enough to ...
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15 votes
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Why hasn't Dragon been reused before CRS-11?

The NASA contract for the CRS missions specified a new Dragon for each flight. That would explain why no Dragon has been reused on an ISS logistics mission. But that does not answer why SpaceX has ...
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14 votes
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Dragon V2: How many times can the spacecraft be reused? Is the spacecraft's heat shield reusable?

Musk indicated that Dragon 2 could be reused "with minimal rework and fueling" about 10 times between overhauls. This is the target number but these are early days. The previous ablative shield was ...
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14 votes
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Who can now resupply the ISS?

You forgot HTV, the Japanese vehicle that has a fairly large payload. It has a planned flight Aug 15, 2015. There are several more HTV flights planned on the manifest. Progress is due to fly again ...
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13 votes

Why will SpaceX do Pad Abort test from a truss, not a real first and second stage?

It's got to be hugely expensive to transport and erect a Falcon even if you don't intend to launch it. The potential for damaging part of the rocket in the test makes it even less attractive. Why ...
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12 votes

Reason for different "cone angles" of different space capsules?

As usual in this sort of thing, there's no single optimal answer because the capsule has to do a few different things, so the shape has to balance different requirements. A narrow cone angle gives ...
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12 votes
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Will the 2018 Mars Dragon Lander be the largest lander on Mars to date?

Yes, by quite a bit. Right now the heaviest object soft landed on Mars is Curiosity, as you noted. The mass of it is 900 kg. The Red Dragon is 6400 kg, plus payload of up to 2000 kg (Maybe more for ...
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11 votes

SpaceX Dragon, what's new?

It's the Dragon logo! That's it! They changed it from this: to this: The logo was leaked to Reddit community /r/SpaceX a while back, and first appeared on the Dragon v2 test article. This is the ...
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11 votes
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Is that Dragon's cargo exposed to space environment in this picture?

Yes, that section is usually called trunk and it may contain unpressurized cargo - up to 14 m3 (compared to 10 m3 of pressurized payload) (source) You can see it being loaded with BEAM (Twitter ...
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11 votes
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Could Dragon 1.0 be used as an emergency Earth return vehicle

It's better than nothing, of course. I don't think it has carbon scrubbers but other than that it's climate controlled and pressurized (Elon: "If someone were to stowaway on the unmanned version of ...
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10 votes

Can Dragon, or Dragon V2 be used to boost the ISS orbit?

I shall answer myself, since in wondering and writing about it, I think I know the answer. Probably not. The issue is that a Dragon capsule (Cargo version) only has Draco thrusters for maneuvering. ...
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10 votes
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What payload was expected for the 2018 Mars Dragon flight ("Red Dragon")

Aviation Week seems to be the best source right now. A few interesting bits: NASA is spending up to $30 million in support, mostly to help gain information for EDL on Mars. A photo might be taken ...
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9 votes
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Is the Dragon useful as a Lunar hopper?

The Manned Dragon capsule, the Dragon 2, is designed to be able to do a powered escape from a launch stack. That requires at least 1.1 Gees thrust (and ISTR a requirement of 3 Gees). Further, it's ...
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9 votes

Reason for different "cone angles" of different space capsules?

This is such an expansive question that it is difficult to answer without writing an entire essay. The answer comes down to the systems engineering process and the mission requirements. As in all ...
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9 votes
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Why is the Dragon small compared with the Falcon 9 LEO payload

First of all, the difference in capacity is actually greater than you included. Dragon launches without a fairing, thus there is an increased capacity as a result of launching without the fairing. The ...
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9 votes
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When will they be landing Dragon retropropulsively?

SpaceX had a permit/environmental assessment for their Dragonfly test vehicle/series of tests. It included the full gamut of ground level tests (at least one completed, hover test on a crane (video) ...
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9 votes
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Does Dragon have any timeframes during launch where there is not a planned survivable abort mode?

No. One of NASA's requirements for Crew Dragon and Starliner is that they are able to provide a full envelope abort window for the launch. 5.6.1.2 The CCTS shall provide abort capability from the ...
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8 votes

How is unpressurized cargo useful at the ISS?

There are many payloads that are large, and need transport to the station. Things the Shuttle used to provide. If you carried them pressurized, they would need to be sized to fit through the CBM ...
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8 votes
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How is unpressurized cargo useful at the ISS?

Unpressurized volume is used to deliver payloads that will be used externally on the International Space Station (ISS), i.e. external cargo. It also holds the two Dragon's solar panels and about 14 ...
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8 votes

Can Dragon, or Dragon V2 be used to boost the ISS orbit?

In addition to Geoff's answer: There was no requirement for the CRS spacecraft to provide ISS reboost. The two reboost methods available now (Progress, and the ISS' own engines on Zvezda) were seen ...
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  • 121k
8 votes

Are there any drawbacks or potential dangers on using touch-sensitive instrument panels on spacecraft?

If you look at the SpaceX design, you see that there are the large touch screen displays. But there are also standard physical buttons for manual controls. As noted in the comments, while under ...
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8 votes

Why does SpaceX not label the Dragon capsules externally?

The dragon capsule has limited painting on it because it has to stay in space for long periods of time and the addition of logos would affect the thermal performance of the exterior at that spot, ...
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8 votes
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What Dragon was used in May 2015 Pad Abort test?

The best I've been able to come up with is interior shots from the unveiling and of the test article (complete with test dummy), but I'd say the visual difference is a pretty compelling argument that ...
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  • 7,086
8 votes

How does the landing accuracy of Dragon (under parachutes) compare to Soyuz?

No values for Soyuz or Dragon on wiki splashdown page, but the lake listed for the one Soyuz water landing seems to be like 20x40km. NASA shows the Soyuz landing zone as 25km wide. There is a thread ...
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