Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1
Waspie_Dwarf

SpaceX Launches Falcon 9/Dragon

29 posts in this topic

SpaceX Launches Falcon 9/Dragon on Historic Mission

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket thundered into space and delivered a Dragon cargo capsule into orbit on May 22, 2012. The launch began an ambitious mission to show that the company is ready to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.

"We're now back on the brink of a new future, a future that embraces the innovation the private sector brings to the table," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "The significance of this day cannot be overstated. While there is a lot of work ahead to successfully complete this mission, we are off to a good start."

Working with an instantaneous launch window, SpaceX, short for Space Exploration Technologies of Hawthorne, Calif., proceeded through a flawless countdown. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida came at 3:44 a.m. EDT, just as the station was crossing 249 miles above the North Atlantic.

"Every bit of adrenaline in my body released at that moment," said Elon Musk about the moment the rocket lifted off the pad. Musk is the founder, CEO and chief designer of SpaceX. "People were really giving it their all. For us, it was like winning the Super Bowl."

The launch came three days after the rocket aborted a previous launch attempt. William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, lauded the company for getting the craft ready for the successful launch.

arrow3.gifSource

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great news. This could be the beginning of a whole new era in manned space flight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fingers cross for mission sucessfully completed and more to come.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

God`s Speed Scotty ! ,and the others ! :innocent:

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

rockets are obsolete and man can get nowhere of interest with them.

the beginning of a new era ?

its like putting the old T ford back into production

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

rockets are obsolete and man can get nowhere of interest with them.

the beginning of a new era ?

its like putting the old T ford back into production

You're right, we should just quit now since we don't have warp drive or similar. Just like crossing the Atlantic in a square rigger, what's the point. just redoing what the vikings did but with different sails. Why run wires across the Atlantic since it is just the same old telegraph with longer wires. Ivybridge is just another integrated circuit no different in principle than the Pentium so why bother, man can do nowhere of interest with silicon chips.

'Nuff said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

But it's still rather symbolic, at this point. Consider that the Falcon 9 is more or less 50+ year old technology overall -- not largely different from the Atlas rockets developed on the 1950s by General Dynamics.

Second, the taxpayer is still footing the bill. If the Dragon module succeeds and docks with the ISS, SpaceX sends the bill to ISS. Theyre just farming out basic space trucking to a private company.

What's exciting, if anything, is that this may be the beginning of a greater infrastructure for space exploration involving private industry -- but to make it really exciting, they have to not merely be a replacement for what NASA can no longer do without the Shuttle -- they have to start embarking out on their own ventures, such as mining the asteroids for profits, etc.

But what's really really really needed are all new technologies -- getting away or beyond the old liquid fuel and solid fuel rockets and go to some kind of next-generation launch technology ... and so forth ...

Edited by IronGhost

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we still need to invent teleporters, time machines, people silencers, personal robots, blindness curers, and cancer curers for a new era.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we still need to invent teleporters, time machines, people silencers, personal robots, blindness curers, and cancer curers for a new era.

Here ! Here ! Im all in on that statement ! Im still working on the replicator ! Im really hungry for some 10hr, Smoked Baby backs ! in a mili-sec !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

rockets are obsolete and man can get nowhere of interest with them.

the beginning of a new era ?

its like putting the old T ford back into production

A technology can only become obsolete when there is something better to replace it, for getting into low Earth orbit not only is there no better alternative, there is currently no alternative at all. To go to somewhere you deem interesting we still have to get into orbit first.

Your model T Ford example falls rather flat. Take a look at what powers a modern Formula 1 car... it's basically the same internal combustion engine technology that powered the model T, albeit brought up to date with modern electronics and materials. I would hardly call a modern car obsolete, yet it is using 150 year old technology.

But it's still rather symbolic, at this point. Consider that the Falcon 9 is more or less 50+ year old technology overall -- not largely different from the Atlas rockets developed on the 1950s by General Dynamics.

See my answer above.

Second, the taxpayer is still footing the bill. If the Dragon module succeeds and docks with the ISS, SpaceX sends the bill to ISS. Theyre just farming out basic space trucking to a private company.

This is only seeing part of the picture. The Falcon rocket was largely developed with private funds. It is also only one of 2 vehicles which will be capable of providing this service.Orbital Sciences are a little way behind, but are preparing their Natures/Cygnus rocket and spacecraft for its first launch. Once both these vehicles have passed testing NASA will be in a position it has not been in before, it will be able to buy services from the lowest bidder. The US tax payer may still foot the bill but, if all goes to plan, it will be a reduced bill.

What's exciting, if anything, is that this may be the beginning of a greater infrastructure for space exploration involving private industry -- but to make it really exciting, they have to not merely be a replacement for what NASA can no longer do without the Shuttle -- they have to start embarking out on their own ventures, such as mining the asteroids for profits, etc.

This is the whole point of the current strategy, to kick start the commercialisation of space.

But what's really really really needed are all new technologies -- getting away or beyond the old liquid fuel and solid fuel rockets and go to some kind of next-generation launch technology ... and so forth ...

Why? If it ain't broken, don't fix it. Rockets will be the war we get into orbit for the foreseeable future. They may become more exotic.. a British firm has designs for an air breathing rocket, but it is still a rocket none the less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we still need to invent teleporters, time machines, people silencers, personal robots, blindness curers, and cancer curers for a new era.

Here ! Here ! Im all in on that statement ! Im still working on the replicator ! Im really hungry for some 10hr, Smoked Baby backs ! in a mili-sec !

These posts are on topic how exactly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get what you're saying, Waspie, and I'm all happy about what's happening here.

But, jeepers, I mean, in what other industry would we be going bonkers over a return to 50-60 year old technology and be haling it as a new era. Imagine if we were to tell everybody today that they had to trade in their iPod or mp3 player for a radio the size of a breadbox humming with vacuum tubes.

In the world of science and technology, a half-century is an enormously long time -- think about how the Wright brothers made the first flight in 1903 and just 66 years later we were walking on the moon. It's been about that long since Falcon-class rockets first started lifting stuff into LEO.

There's been so much legitimate talk of other stuff -- rail launchers to orbit, space elevators, various singe-stage-to-orbit launchers -- hey, come on, give me at least a single-stage to orbit vehicle ! -- all of this stuff and more is within our grasp now -- yet we're dialing it back to the 50s! it's difficult not to be a little circumspect about it all.

Yes, yes, getting private guys involved is great -- but I'm thinking in terms of technological determinism here ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get what you're saying, Waspie, and I'm all happy about what's happening here.

But, jeepers, I mean, in what other industry would we be going bonkers over a return to 50-60 year old technology and be haling it as a new era. Imagine if we were to tell everybody today that they had to trade in their iPod or mp3 player for a radio the size of a breadbox humming with vacuum tubes.

In the world of science and technology, a half-century is an enormously long time -- think about how the Wright brothers made the first flight in 1903 and just 66 years later we were walking on the moon. It's been about that long since Falcon-class rockets first started lifting stuff into LEO.

There's been so much legitimate talk of other stuff -- rail launchers to orbit, space elevators, various singe-stage-to-orbit launchers -- hey, come on, give me at least a single-stage to orbit vehicle ! -- all of this stuff and more is within our grasp now -- yet we're dialing it back to the 50s! it's difficult not to be a little circumspect about it all.

Yes, yes, getting private guys involved is great -- but I'm thinking in terms of technological determinism here ....

I don't think it is so much a celebration of technology as it is the first sucessful (so far) commercial venture into space with a man-capable ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But, jeepers, I mean, in what other industry would we be going bonkers over a return to 50-60 year old technology and be haling it as a new era. Imagine if we were to tell everybody today that they had to trade in their iPod or mp3 player for a radio the size of a breadbox humming with vacuum tubes.

But that ISN'T what is happening here. There is no going back to anything because there has never been any alternative. Even the shuttle was rocket technology (and 1970's rocket technology at that). I gave you the example of the internal combustion engine. Manufactures are always boasting of advances, yet at the heart of virtually every motor vehicle on the road is a concept old even before the first liquid fuelled rocket took to the skies. You go and tell Ferrari that they are not better than a model T.

In the world of science and technology, a half-century is an enormously long time -- think about how the Wright brothers made the first flight in 1903 and just 66 years later we were walking on the moon. It's been about that long since Falcon-class rockets first started lifting stuff into LEO.

Exactly and why has progress been slow in spaceflight... because everything that has been done has been done under the whim of governments. There has been no competition. No entrepreneurship. These (and warfare) are rhe things that drove aviation forward. This is the new war which is opening up. It has little to do with the technology and everything to do with who controls it.

There's been so much legitimate talk of other stuff -- rail launchers to orbit, space elevators, various singe-stage-to-orbit launchers -- hey, come on, give me at least a single-stage to orbit vehicle ! -- all of this stuff and more is within our grasp now -- yet we're dialing it back to the 50s! it's difficult not to be a little circumspect about it all.

Talk is cheap, developing new technology isn't. Just because people talk about a fantastic new technology does not mean it magically comes into existence.

None of those technologies you have mentioned is actually "within our grasp". All of it is still some way off from becoming fact. Even your single stage to orbit vehicle is harder to achieve than you give it credit. NASA spent a fortune attempting to make such a vehicle (the X-33). In the end the project was cancelled because modern materials just have not advanced to the point where the lightness and strength could be achieved economically.

Yes, yes, getting private guys involved is great -- but I'm thinking in terms of technological determinism here ....

Getting private guys involved is essential. It will be from private companies seeking profits, not from government agencies, that the sort of advances you demand will come.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it is so much a celebration of technology as it is the first sucessful (so far) commercial venture into space with a man-capable ship.

This version of the Dragon isn't man capable. This flight comes under a NASA programme called COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services) run by NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO).

The manned version of Dragon is being developed under a separate C3PO programme called CCDev ( Commercial Crew Development).

SpaceX is just one of four companies competing for funding as part of that programme (along with Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Boeing). There is no guarantee that Dragon will win through this process or that a manned Dragon spacecraft will ever visit the ISS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This version of the Dragon isn't man capable. This flight comes under a NASA programme called COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services) run by NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO).

The manned version of Dragon is being developed under a separate C3PO programme called CCDev ( Commercial Crew Development).

SpaceX is just one of four companies competing for funding as part of that programme (along with Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Boeing). There is no guarantee that Dragon will win through this process or that a manned Dragon spacecraft will ever visit the ISS.

I thought this Dragon capsule was to be modified for manned flight to the ISS at a future date as part of the crew development program?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sod the 1950s rockets, I say. Maglevs, rail guns or launch rings are doable with "existing technology". Space will be conquered with equal parts (more or less) government, capitalism and new technology -- not egregiously expensive and dangerous 1950s tech. http://www.gizmag.com/startram-maglev-to-leo/21700/

launch_ring.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought this Dragon capsule was to be modified for manned flight to the ISS at a future date as part of the crew development program?

Exactly. The key words are modified and future. As it stands the Dragon capsule us not ready to carry astronauts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sod the 1950s rockets, I say. Maglevs, rail guns or launch rings are doable with "existing technology". Space will be conquered with equal parts (more or less) government, capitalism and new technology -- not egregiously expensive and dangerous 1950s tech.

First you claimed rockets were obsolete, when they aren't, now you are claiming them to be dangerous but providing the same amount of evidence to support your claims, ie none at all. To be honest, so far I can see no logic in your position, only an irrational dislike of rocket technology.

Your maglev article is interesting, but do you seriously think that it will be practical? Where are you going to be able to build a tube 1,000 miles long with the end suspended more than 12 miles high? Who is going to invest $60 billion in something that might work, especially when you consider that development costs of the Falcon rockets was only $390 million and that was technology that was known to work

The article contains an awful lot of ifs and maybes. Than there is an issue not even addressed in the article. Satellites need to be launched into a varity of different orbital inclinations, depending on their function. Rockets offer this flexibility by being able to launch on any trajectory. A thousand mile long tube will only offer one orbital inclination. If built it might supplement rockets but it certainly won't replace them.

When it comes to safety the Falcon 9 has an ability to reach orbit even with an engine failure at lift off, no other launcher since the Saturn V has this capability.

What evidence can you provide to show that any of these technologies will be more reliable, safer and cheaper to operate in the near term, than rocket technology?

Repeating the same false mantra over and over again does nor make it true. Your claim that the Falcon 9 is 50s technology is wrong on so many levels.

  1. Liquid propulsion rockets were proposed as the best method for achieving earth orbit in 1903
  2. The first liquid propulsion rocket flew in 1926
  3. Modern liquid fuelled rocketry began not in rhe 50's but with the German V2 (A4) which first flew in 1942
  4. The Falcon 9 is constructed using modern techniques and materials, far more advanced than those available in the 50s

Don't get me wrong, I would like to see this technology come to fruition in my life time as much as you, but I'm a realist. Rocket technology is more likely to be invested in because it is simple, efficient and it works. Just as it will take a long time for electric cars to replace the internal combustion engine, it will take along time to replace rockets with any alternative. My only caveat to that is if something comes along which is such an improvement that it truly renders rockets obsolete, in the same way that jets rendered props obsolete, but that technology has not yet been invented/perfected.

Rockets are here to stay for the foreseeable future, with or without your approval.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To get back on topic...

SpaceX Reports Dragon Ready for Station Flyby

Wed, 23 May 2012 05:44:54 AM GMT+0100

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reported today that the company's Dragon cargo capsule is ready for a demanding set of tests and maneuvers Thursday morning. "All systems green," Musk tweeted. The maneuvers are slated to include a flyby of the International Space Station that will include communications and navigation system evaluations. The Dragon, which is carrying supplies for the station, lifted off Tuesday morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to begin a demonstration mission to show it can take cargo to the orbiting laboratory.

arrow3.gifSource

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly. The key words are modified and future. As it stands the Dragon capsule us not ready to carry astronauts.

Ok but this is the basic capsule design and rocket that will carry astronauts in a future mission.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SpaceX has lit the candle, hope they can can keep it lit.

Ever read the non-fiction works of http://ricktumlinson.com/ and the Sci-Fi novels Ben Bova. Rick is passionate about private/commercial space efforts even leading a few of his own. Bova has written several novels about commercial space efforts and they are good and might predict what will happen next in this arena.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

SpaceX has lit the candle, hope they can can keep it lit.

Ever read the non-fiction works of http://ricktumlinson.com/ and the Sci-Fi novels Ben Bova. Rick is passionate about private/commercial space efforts even leading a few of his own. Bova has written several novels about commercial space efforts and they are good and might predict what will happen next in this arena.

I've read all of Ben Bova's novels. They're marvelous. He started out as working withing the aerospace industry way back in the 50s before he became a writer. He's very much an insider, knows a lot of astronauts, etc., and so his fiction is very well informed.

I once had a chance to meet him and chat with him at some length about space -- he's rather edgy and argumentative over small things; for example I asked him "What do you think will be the tobacco of space?" meaning, of course, what will it be that will enable business folks to make a profit on space, comparing it to the early English colonies of the Americas, which were failures until they were able to generate cash by growing tobacco and selling it back in Europe, thus driving the colonization process ...

and he immediately said, "it wasn't tobacco! It was sugar cane!" He sort of barked it at me .... I said, "yeah, yeah, whatever, but I think you understand the larger point I am making" and then he sort of softened a bit and discussed a variety of things, but also was rather more vague than I expected ... but he was very eager to see technologies move forward ... he said even the shuttles were viewed by many within the industry to be "hangar queens" --although I am not sure whether Bova himself took that position or not ...

And just think -- the shuttle was a considerable leap forward over simple multi-stage rockets, such as the Falcon 9 -- so -- don't get me wrong -- I know the Falcon 9 is better than nothing -- but no one should get overly excited over 1950 technology even though it is being provided by private industry -- it's all as much a leap backwards as a leap forward -- one should not underestimate the importance of private involvement -- but more so, not overestimate it -- for many complex reason, one of which is that private industry had been involved from the very beginning -- who do you think NASA contracts out to? This is yet more of the same -- contracting out to a private industry like General Dynamics, McDonald Douglas, etc. not to mentions all the telecoms and satellite entities -- and so forth

Edited by IronGhost

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Burns Completed, Station Crew Activating Communications Link

Thu, 24 May 2012 10:01:25 AM GMT+0100

As of 4:43 a.m. EDT, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft completed two critical rendezvous burns to place itself 2.4 km under the space station to begin its fly-under demonstration testing. These tests are designed to verify communications and navigation systems on the Dragon spacecraft before it re-approaches the station for its grapple and berthing on Friday.

The station crew is activating the communications link between the ISS and Dragon. The link will be tested as the Dragon passes directly below the station prior to its departure from the vicinity of the complex. It is expected to fly directly beneath the station at approx. 6:30 a.m. It will then complete an engine firing to leave the station to begin a racetrack trajectory over the next 24 hours to set up for its final rendezvous Friday.

NASA TV coverage is underway. A post-fly-under briefing is scheduled for 10 a.m. and will be carried on NASA TV.

arrow3.gifSource

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.