Project Hubble Reboost

francisdrake

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0544.jpg0013.jpg

NASA is considering to reboost the Hubble space telescope (HST) into a higher orbit, using a specially equipped Dragon capsule.
It would have a rear docking port installed in the trunk. This allows the Dragon capsule to use its main thrusters in the nose for orbital maneuvers while docked to the HST.

This addon uses BrianJ's DM2 Dragon and adds a rear docking port by overwriting the capsules config-file.
Using a mod-manager (like JSGME) is recommended to easily undo any changes.
The data are in the attached zip-file.

For this proof-of-concept version I used Orbiter's default HST, knowing there is the much nicer HST(EX) available.

When using the rear docking port, remember this:
  • Switch the Docking MFD to Dock 2.
  • The left-right and roll commandos are inverted when flying backwards.

I could reach Hubble and boost it to a 500 x 500 km orbit, but after undocking and the deorbit burn, I had only 17 kg of RCS fuel remaining.
Hope this improves in the future! :) Any comments and remarks are welcome!
---
Edit 03-11-2022: Vers. 01, now supporting also the high-resolution HST (EX).
 

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  • Hubble_Reboost-01.zip
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Donamy

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They could probably use a cargo Dragon for that.
 

Gargantua2024

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17 kg left in the fuel reserves....unless they add an additional fuel tank in the trunk (if there's any space left, did that mean they'll expend a Dragon capsule for that?
 

francisdrake

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@Donamy: Yes, if it is a pure reboost mission, a cargo Dragon would be the better option. I am sure it could automatically or remote controlled latch on to the HST docking port.

@Gargantua2024: The fuel reserve increased, when I dropped the trunk before the deorbit burn. 300 kg fuel was left then.
Reason I took the trunk with me initially was to avoid having it lingering around in the same orbit as Hubble, being a potential collision hazard.

A compromise may be to do a perigee lowering maneuver with the trunk first, then separate and do the final reentry burn.
The trunk would be left in a lower orbit. This orbit would decay over time and the trunk may reenter some months later.

To BrianJ, Donamy and Felix: The HST (EX) looks amazingly better!
0567m.jpg
 

francisdrake

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New version 01 attached to the top post!

This version includes three scenarios for the high-resolution HST (EX) for Orbiter 2016.
Several corrections were made, like initial orbital parameters, launch date and launch trajectory.

Added a pdf documentation file, giving tips how to minimize fuel consumption on the approach, how to fly backwards to use the rear docking port and maneuver the Dragon-HST stack.
 

Donamy

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You also wouldn't need the docking port on the nose.
 
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