Skip to comments.Dragon arrives at space station in historic 1st
Posted on 05/25/2012 8:45:26 AM PDT by mandaladon
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) The privately bankrolled Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station for a historic docking Friday, captured by astronauts wielding a giant robot arm.
It succeeded in making the first commercial delivery into the cosmos.
U.S. astronaut Donald Pettit used the space station's 58-foot robot arm to snare the gleaming white Dragon after a few hours of extra checks and maneuvers. The two vessels came together while sailing above Australia.
"Looks like we've got us a dragon by the tail," Pettit announced from 250 miles up once he locked onto Dragon's docking mechanism.
"You've made a lot of folks happy down here over in Hawthorne and right here in Houston," radioed NASA's Mission Control. "Great job guys."
NASA controllers clapped as their counterparts at SpaceX's control center in Hawthorne, Calif. including SpaceX's billionaire maestro, Elon Musk, of PayPal fame lifted their arms in triumph and jumped out of their seats to exchange high fives.
This is the first time a private company has attempted to send a vessel to the space station, an achievement previously reserved for a small, elite group of government agencies. And it's the first U.S. craft to visit the station since the final shuttle flight last July.
The astronauts wasted no time getting the Dragon capsule into position for actual docking to the space station. The unmanned capsule is carrying 1,000 pounds of supplies on this unprecedented test flight.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Yeah right. Look what it got us--preeminence in space in virtually every area. The only country to land on the moon. A GPS system that allows us to use precision munitions. The most advanced communications system in the world. I could go on and on.
Our 1950s-60s space program put us at the top of the heap and now we are are in decay. We have to pay the Russians to put our people in space. And sheeple like you have Obamagasms because a quasi private company (NASA funded half of the project and provided extensive logistic support) puts 1,000 pounds into space and that is supposed to ensure our future. Pay attention to Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan, not these crony capitalists trying to make a fast buck.
This rocket will be launched from NASA's Mid-Atlantic Regoinal Spaceport on Wallops Island, VA.
And Musk did fund the company privately, and has been paid BASED ON PERFORMANCE.
I think that's a better way than cost plus contracts.
The spacecraft parked at the ISS (another waste of NASA money) could have carried about 14000 lbs, but not for this test.
Neil and Gene are great guys. But their way of doing things has moved from a government agency to free enterprise.
And I'm glad for that. We do need to be 1st in space, and government won't get us there. Ref the last 30 years of circle-jerk at NASA.
Get the government agency wannabe engineers out of the way and let someone that can, do what is required without a hundred meetings.
And you can get a federal tax break of $7,500 if you buy one. Not surprisingly, Musk favors a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. The Tesla Roadster has a base price of US $109,000. And the planned Model S sedan, is anticipated to begin production for the 2012 model year with a base price of US $57,400, which will also have a federal tax subsidy. This is just crony capitalism and I bet that Musk makes major contributions to the Dems and Obama. So much for the marketplace, which is being subdized by the taxpayer to help the wealthy buy high end electric cars.
The government is going to be the biggest customer regardless. Just like the defense industry, there will just be a few companies to provide these services and there will be cost overruns and cost plus contracts.
This is just a fig leaf disguising the fact that the US is in a state of decline. We are broke and there will be many painful decisions ahead. We will see the usual guns versus butter battles that mark declining powers. The welfare system is collapsing, but the left will do whatever is necessary to keep it going a little longer even if it means eviscerating defense and reducing expenditures on space exploration. You can continue to believe the fairy tale that the gutting of NASA was just a good management decision. People like Armstrong and Cernan know better.
So exactly when will Musk be putting Americans back into space?
Before NASA does. He's got most of the certification checklist stuff completed.
Man, you really got a nut against SpaceX.
After reading your posts, I strongly recommend others review through the rest of the thread for the actual story.
Musk can put stuff in orbit for 1/10th(insert current figure here) of what NASA and the Lockheed/GD/RestoftheBigGuys can.
Success or failure of the new commercial space effort -- the cornerstone of President Barack Obama's vision for NASA -- does not hinge on a single mission but rather many missions over many years, Pettit stressed.
Rather than be angry and bitter that times have changed, perhaps you should rejoice that America is moving forward again on space.
As I said earlier. NASA wasted billions on ARES that will never fly, and Space-X will put Americans back into space again in a couple of years. It's hard to argue with success.
“So you would run away from religious oppression? That would not be very religious of you.”
Really? The Founders ‘weren’t religious”? I seem to recall that they “ran away from religious oppression” in Europe when they came to America.
“The US no longer has a way to transport its people into space and must depend upon the Russians to do it. It will be a long time before we can ever be truly number 1 in manned space exploration.”
I guess you’re a big SpaceX fan then, since this same Dragon capsule is designed to carry up to seven people. It needs to finish the man-rating process, but is expected to carry passengers within 3-4 years. It is by far the best shot at have manned American spacecraft in the near term.
Nope. SpaceX isn't the only company pursuing this, which means competition. Further, SpaceX has committed to lowering the cost of space travel and is providing the lowest per-ton cost to orbit. In other words, it is walking the walk.
I also personally think the SpaceX engineering approach is the best going right now.
If you take a look at the SpaceX flight manifest you'll see there are a lot of non-government customers. I expect with the shining success of this mission SpaceX will see a lot of new contracts with commercial entities.
What is "embarrassing and unacceptable" is NASA's "vision" of the next heavy-lift rocket system. Solid boosters have never been a good idea for non-military spacecraft.
I think the idea of NASA looking at the more bleeding-edge areas while commercial companies pursue well understood engineering is a good one. At least until NASA can be transformed into an innovative and efficient organization.
What is really needed is a vision for nuclear powered space travel, but that will have to wait for a sane administration.
Dream on. Obama’s vision is a disaster just like everything else he has touched. His buddies like Musk will profit and the country will be the big loser. So in the years ahead, the US will be paying the Russians to ferry our astronauts to the space station. If delivering 1,000 LBs to the space station is your idea of success, then you are delusional.
Yeah right. In the meantime we have the reality of depending on someone else to fill the void. And who's to say that 3-4 years is realistic? It sounds like the same kind of crap the electric car people put out.
Er, genius, this was a demonstration flight and an incredibly successful one at that. Even if the capsule were to burn up on re-entry, the most important milestones have been met, and there were many. There was no need to take a max load of cargo this time.
At any rate Falcon Heavy will be able to deliver 55,000 kg to orbit - more than twice as much as the Space Shuttle, Delta IV Heavy, Titan IV-B or the Russian Proton M. Happy now?
As I said before, SpaceX is walking the walk.
NASA has no chance of doing anything sooner, and its latest design is a steaming pile of junk. SpaceX is the best shot we have, period.
By the way, as far as raw capability, Dragon could carry people next week. Caution and NASA bureaucracy are the only things holding it back.
You keep pointing out his failure with the electric car, but you minimize his successes with Space-X. He's building an infrastructure that NASA doesn't have, after the billions they have wasted.
Tell me again about ARES. And their flight tests... Wait.. they never did actually develop a flight test item, after spending billions.
Your bitterness and hate have deluded you. I've been watching Elon for a decade. He's made mis-steps. And he's pushing forward.
What has your vaunted 'government program' given us in the last decade? Urine samples from the ISS?
NASA sucks at space.
The US is broke. We will be in no position to support a major space program. This privatization of the manned space program is just eyewash put out by Obama and his cronies. You are being sold a bill of goods that attempts to put a good face on a bad situation.
The same thing is happening with national security. We are reducing our military with the rationalization that we now have a new strategy. No more capability to fight two wars at the same time or one and 1/2 wars. Costs are forcing our strategic withdrawal and the reduction of our forces. It is part of the guns versus butter battle that has played out in other welfare states. The UK, the Soviets, and Western Europe have made the decision that butter is more important, at least politically.
Our space program is being scaled back and dismantled. We are told privatization will solve our problems. Nonsense.
All they had to do is copy what NASA did and used in the 1960s.
What private industry did was nothing new.