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SpaceX rocket launches, hailed as 'new era'


Posted on Tuesday, 22 May, 2012 | Comment icon 28 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf


Image credit: NASA

 
SpaceX has successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon cargo capsule bound for the ISS.

Celebrated by NASA as a "historic mission", the launch marks the first time a private company has sent a spacecraft to the space station and is set to kick start a new era of spaceflight and exploration. "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."

The Dragon capsule will carry 1,200 pounds of supplies for the crew of the ISS which will be unloaded when it docks with the station in about three days time. It will remain docked for three weeks while the astronauts retrieve the supplies and then stock it back up with used science equipment for return back down to Earth.

"A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket thundered into space and delivered a Dragon cargo capsule into orbit on May 22, 2012."

  View: Full article |  Source: NASA

  Discuss: View comments (28)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #19 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 24 May, 2012, 0:01
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 seriou... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 24 May, 2012, 0:12
To get back on topic... SpaceX Reports Dragon Ready for Station FlybyWed, 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 ... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by Merc14 on 24 May, 2012, 0:53
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.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Daveisback on 24 May, 2012, 1:32
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.
Comment icon #23 Posted by IronGhost on 24 May, 2012, 2:53
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 s... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 24 May, 2012, 10:32
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... [More]
Comment icon #25 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 24 May, 2012, 11:40
Dragon Completes Today's Demonstration Objectivest Thu, 24 May 2012 12:34:45 AM GMT+0100 The SpaceX Dragon capsule, visible through International Space Station’s cameras, passed directly below the orbiting complex at a distance of 2.5 km at 7:24 a.m. EDT, fulfilling all demonstration objectives for the day. A final height adjustment burn to depart the vicinity of the space station will occur at 7:57 a.m., at which point Dragon begins its “racetrack” trajectory to re-approach the station for grapple and berthing attempts on Friday. Source
Comment icon #26 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 24 May, 2012, 12:03
Ok but this is the basic capsule design and rocket that will carry astronauts in a future mission. Yes, but the capsule will need a lot of modifications. The current Dragon is designed for a 30 day stay at the ISS. The manned version (known as the DragonRider) will be designed for 180 day stays, with a requirement that it should be able to stay docked for 210 days in case of emergencies. Dragon currently has no life support system or launch escape system (LES) both of which will be needed by DragonRider. DragonRider will employ a novel LES. Instead of a launch escape tower as currently used by... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 24 May, 2012, 12:32
Dragon Begins Trajectory to Re-Approach Station Friday Thu, 24 May 2012 01:22:26 PM GMT+0100 SpaceX completed a final height adjustment burn of the Dragon capsule at 8:09 a.m. EDT to depart the vicinity of the International Space Station. Dragon now begins its “racetrack” trajectory to re-approach the station for grapple and berthing attempts on Friday. A news briefing on today’s successful demonstration mission milestones will air live on NASA TV from the Johnson Space Center at 10 a.m.: www.nasa.gov/ntv Source
Comment icon #28 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 24 May, 2012, 22:50
NASA has now released some photos of the Dragon taken from the ISS during today's fly past. I have posted them on UMs image gallery. They can be found HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE


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