Skip to comments.SpaceX launch of Dragon capsule to space station to put NASA strategy on display
Posted on 05/01/2012 8:02:19 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
In a refurbished Air Force hangar on Cape Canaveral, engineers from NASA and commercial space company SpaceX on Tuesday pored over data from a launchpad test of a gleaming white rocket poised to be the next step in U.S. space strategy.
The review may be the final hurdle before a much-delayed and highly anticipated launch the first attempt to send a privately designed and built unmanned spacecraft to the international space station.
What SpaceX and NASA hope to do is part of a plan begun under President George W. Bush and enhanced by President Obama to turn travel to and from the space station into a largely private and less costly venture, freeing up NASA to plan for deep-space journeys to asteroids, the moon and ultimately Mars.
Its proving to be harder and more complicated and more expensive than [SpaceX founder] Elon Musk anticipated, said Dale Ketcham of the Spaceport Research and Policy Institute at Central Florida University. But its still more efficient than NASA.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Best of luck to Space X even though I don’t think they will need it.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step - just ask NASA.
Here is the famous “4-Inch Launch” aka “Kaputnik” ...
I'm confident they'll get past the first steps. But until they dock and return the above statement is simply not true.
Until they get Dock #1, the "efficiency" vs NASA is still a dollars-divided-by-zero affair.
At least it didn’t blow up...
I don’t see the business case for this, without massive government subsidies this just doesn’t make sense. Wonder if this is yet another Solyndra that will soon cost the tax payers untold amounts of money that will be pocketed by a few connected insiders.
Just so long as a SpaceX launch evokes less patriotism and nationalism as a NASA launch with ‘UNITED STATES’ emblazoned down the side would.. Obama’s all for it!
If this was NASA doing what Elon is doing with SpaceX it would cost the tax payer about three to five times as much.
IIRC, the company that owned the satellite he launched, Razaksat, on the Falcon 1 rocket was only charged about $6 or $7 million dollars to be launched into orbit. If NASA would have launched it the cost would have been around $30 million.
Here’s a Wiki.
‘Musk believes the high prices of other space-launch services are driven in part by unnecessary bureaucracy. He has stated that one of his goals is to improve the cost and reliability of access to space, ultimately by a factor of ten. SpaceX became the first private company to successfully launch and return a spacecraft from orbit on 8 December 2010, after its Dragon capsule returned from a two-orbit flight. Space Foundation recognized SpaceX for its successful Dragon launch and recovery with the Space Achievement Award in 2011.
‘At various conferences, SpaceX has revealed concept slides for future engine, stage, and launch vehicle designs. Development of these designs would be predicated on demand for increased performance. Company plans in 2004 called for “development of a heavy lift product and even a super-heavy, if there is customer demand” with each size increase resulting in a significant decrease in cost per pound to orbit. Projected dollar cost per pound to orbit could drop from $4,000 to $1,300 ($8,800/kg to $2,900/kg) between Falcon 1 and the five-engine concept vehicle, Falcon 5. CEO Elon Musk said: “I believe $500 per pound ($1,100/kg) or less is very achievable.”’
Right now the cost to launch a satellite is $10,000 per pound. If his company can bring it down to half or a tenth of that then access to space to a greater number of people increases significantly.
In the same wiki it mentions this.
“...On 4 August 2008, SpaceX accepted a further $20 million USD investment from the Founders Fund. The company has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2002, growing from 160 employees in November 2005 to more than 500 by July 2008, to over 1,100 in 2010. Two-thirds of the company is owned by its founder and his 70 millions of shares are worth $875 million on private markets, which roughly value SpaceX at $1.3 billion as of February 2012. An initial public offering may append by the end of 2013.”
If he goes public with SpaceX I’m certainly going invest!
American flags are on their spacecraft, rockets, and inside their CA headquarters?
These will be some of the most advanced spacecraft ever flown
What's your *real* beef here?
SpaceX Dragon Capsule, SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, California
NASA astronaut Rex Walheim checks out the Dragon spacecraft at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.
SpaceX Hawthorne, California: SpaceX and NASA conducted a daylong review of the Dragon crew vehicle layout using the Dragon engineering model equipped with seats and representations of crew systems. Image credit: SpaceX
Test crew included (from top left): NASA Crew Survival Engineering Team Lead Dustin Gohmert, NASA Astronaut Tony Antonelli, NASA Astronaut Lee Archambault, SpaceX Mission Operations Engineer Laura Crabtree, SpaceX Thermal Engineer Brenda Hernandez, NASA Astronaut Rex Walheim, and NASA Astronaut Tim Kopra. Image credit: Roger Gilbertson / SpaceX Image credit: SpaceX
The seven seats mount to strong, lightweight supporting structures attached to the pressure vessel walls. Each seat can hold an adult up to 6 feet 5 inches tall, 250 lbs, and has a liner that is custom-fit for the crewmember.
With all seven crewmembers in their seats, Dragon has sufficient interior space for three additional people to stand and assist the crew with their launch preparations.
In fact, Dragon has so much interior volume, that we could place an entire three-person Russian Soyuz capsule descent module inside Dragons pressure vessel.
Stay tuned for more updates as we work towards making Dragon the most advanced spacecraft ever flown.
I thought the NASA strategy was muslim outreach?
I think what SpaceX is doing is great, however, Obama prefers them over NASA because it takes OUR TRADITION OF PATRIOTISM AND NATIONALISM OUT OF SPACE EXPLORATION for the sake of COMMERCIALIZATION of such endeavors where THE COLLECTIVE 'UNITED STATES' is no longer the leader.. It pisses me off to see 'UNITED STATES' on a launch vehicle replaced with A BILLBOARD FOR A PRIVATE COMPANY (SpaceX). Tell me this isn't part of Obama's end game. Just another scrapping of an American tradition. Enter Michelle: (Applause)
SpaceX’s cost projections were (are) very optimistic, though they throw enough “eventually”s and “projected to”s into their business plan to cover themselves. They’re largely estimating cost savings on lean management and volume, but the excessive beauracracy didn’t disappear, it’s just not within the company. SpaceX still has to meet NASA’s criteria (and deal with all the associated overhead) to be able to launch from a NASA spaceport and dock with the ISS.
I’m still not sure if Musk is playing the government contractor game (bid low, arrange favorable terms on contract and make up the difference on overages), or if he truly believes his business plan is sound. In truth, he doesn’t need to live up to 1,000/pound to low earth orbit; a “modest” cost decrease from 10,000/pound even to 8,000/pound to launch into space is a significant improvement, but it won’t get nearly as many headlines.
But what does that have to do with what you said above?
You've been shown American flags all over SpaceX vehicles and SpaceX facilities/headquarters located in Southern California.
My 'beef' is the big picture here.. Look at everything Obama does or condones
Do you realize SpaceX has been around years before the Obama Administration?
BTW, I prefer them over NASA too. I want government out of space exploration, education, energy, our vehicles, our businesses, and our lives.
Like everything else, governments role in space should be very limited.
good luck spaceX