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Spacedocks

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Mon Aug 01, 2005 11:23 am
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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:14 am
German articles today say that the risks of the repair of the Shuttle has largely to do with the circumstance that the arm carrying an astronaut under the Shuttle had to be controlled by another astronaut while that astronaut could see how close to the Shuttle the repairing astronaut already is.

This means that the repairing astronaut should be enabled to control such an arm himself - better yet if the arm would be equipped by sensor enabling him to control itself by a computer. This could be similar to the technology going to be used in cars as an accident-prevention-system.

What about that? To me it seems to be pointing to an in- and deflatable hangar made of movable rods and bars.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:19 am
Under www.marssociety.de there was an article on the 8th of October saying that it is planned to use the ISS for repairing Orion and other space vehicles if there occur problems during docking to other components of them or during tests.

This way expensive hardware isn't lost in case of those problems.

I didn't find a source listed nor any links but the author Jürgen Herholz is said to have been involved in several european space projects including Spacelab, Hermes and the european ISS-module Columbus.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:54 pm
Hello, First post on this great site! :D

Good, fully immersive, anthropomorphic telerobotics would obliviate the need for a "dry (air?) dock" in LEO. Should also eliminate the need for almost all EVA work too. Need something done outside? Just "login" to a telebot and go do it.

While a pressurized dock would be a nice to have for reasons mentioned earlier, there are other payloads that HAVE to come up first. But perversely because telerobotics isn't mature yet, we are at that awkward state where we have neither. So astronauts will continue to have to fumble around in their pressureized mittens.

Maybe someday...


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 20, 2006 6:49 pm
I don't see why telerobotics shouldn't be mature. Every bit of technology to make those robots are here. The only thing is that they aren't used much because we haven't had the need or either fully automated robots could do the trick also, which are probably more reliable anyway. A robot for assembling (stupid example) steel (or whatever material) beams to create a construction could easily be done by a robot, either automated or manually controlled by a person. If this construction would be enormous, say a few thousand beams then it would be economicly better do built a robot which will do the assembling part.

For certain niche tasks, like the rewiring of the space shuttle, is (more or less) a one-off task. Or at least not that regular so you would built a robot just to do that.

So, imho, unless there will be an actual economical and practical need, those robots won't be built and thus not used. Sadly though. It could reduce the risky spacebusiness by a lot.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:55 pm
One point causing me thoughts - without having found soluations yet - is arrival and departure of vehcles at or from a spacedock.

In principle it has to be expected that there will be more than one vehicle at a time at the spacedock as well as several vehicles approaching or departing. Also there will be arrivals and departures in parallel.

This is not only a problem for flight controllers but the construction of the spacedock will have to be so that no vehicle hits parts of the spacedock as it arrives or departs.

Would the spacedock have to move the vehicles? Would there have to be catapult-like equipments to remove a vehicle from the spacedock fast enough?

...



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Post    Posted on: Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:28 pm
Are we talking about star trek spacedocks here or a rudamentary spacedock we might developen right now?

Talking about the second, at least, what would i would do if had to design and pay for it would contact mr. bigelow and ask him how he can scale up his inflatables big time withouth the need of massive internal trusses. more like setting up a simple inflatable tent, only to keep the walls at their place. You only need the pressure and the air i assume, so that would be ideally imo. Plus you can't float further away then the inflatable walls.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:47 am
You would want the dock to still maintain most of its size and shape while unpressurized, so vehicles can enter and exit cleanly. But the internal girders & trusses needn't be solid. They too can be inflateable, just separately from the exterior. Sort of like a big jumping castle. :)


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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:23 pm
Hello, Stefan,

what about the idea or possibility that rudimentary spacedocks that might be developed right now become more and more Star Trek-like as time goes by?

It would be a similarity to some degree - it seems utopic to me that spacedocks will be developed that are more than 400 m long, wide and high or even multiples of that and that are totally pressurized also. I have problems too to imagine that they have gates and the like.

But I can imagine sophisticated equipments, software and multiple docking, ten times as large as the ISS perhaps, located near GEO or above 5000 km at least, specialized for space vehicles and so on.

What I have in mind in my previous post is that vehicles might arrive from all three dimensions at nearly the same time and there may be situations where several of them have to approach and dock at once - the scheudle might force it, there could be emergencies and the like ...



What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:48 pm
As mentioned much earlier in other threads SpaceX's concept is to use the robotic arm of the ISS to dock their Dragon to the ISS.

Perhaps solutions are to be found within this concept.

Then spacedocks wouldn't be that Start Trek-like.

The interesting point might be that robotic arms might be developed that are adjusted and optimized to dock vehicles of different shape, kind, propulsion, size and so on to a spacedock or an orbital spaceport. This might involves adapters and the like. They might be able to safely creep along the dock and vehicles - and they might simply hold vehicles close to the ISS that are undocked temporaryly.

What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:21 pm
Just a few moments ago another aspect came to my mind.

Regarding safety as well as adjustment to significantly different kinds of missions it might be of meaning to provide several distinct locations of a spacedock:

one for passenger and crew components
one for engines
one for tanks

To this a modular composition of space vehicles would correspond which would mean that to one and the same passenger compartment a plasma engine with the according tank would be added for ong distance trips while a chemical engine with the according tank would be added for shorter distance trips.

Then there could be speciaized, higher sopisticated and better adjusted repair and maintenance ocatons in a spacedock.



What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:06 pm
I think Stefan is right. Surgeons operate on people by telepresence these days. It shouldn't be hard to mount that kind of equipment on the end of an arm, or even on a free-flying unmanned platform. Then the astronaut just stays inside (or even on Earth) and fixes the spacecraft by telepresence.

Now, I don't know which is cooler, a space dock or a swarm of remote controlled repair droids, but I do know that the latter one is a lot closer to reality.


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