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SpaceX Gets Operational License For Cape Canaveral 133

Posted by kdawson
from the throwing-big-stones dept.
FiggyOO writes "For those of you who witnessed the launch of SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket, launch 3, you will be glad to hear that SpaceX has received a license to launch from space complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the Florida coast. This Launch complex is just south of launch pads 39A and 39B which have been used to launch the space shuttles, and will continue in that role for a few more years. This launch complex will enable SpaceX to launch the much-anticipated Falcon 9 rocket, which will eventually carry the Dragon capsule. In doing so, SpaceX hopes to fill the void between the end of the shuttle program and the coming of the Constellation. They have already begun moving into the launch complex, including moving a 125,000 gallon liquid oxygen tank on the back of a semi." We've been following Elon Musk's SpaceX for years.
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SpaceX Gets Operational License For Cape Canaveral

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  • Great (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @02:33PM (#24950301) Homepage Journal

    I hope that I can get to see them launch a successful flight.
    In nothing else it should be a lot cheaper than to launch from Florida than the middle of the Pacific.

  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @02:44PM (#24950483)
    If we must spend public money on a new multipurpose rocket (Ares) system to carry future payloads and capsules then why not fund the SpaceX guys, who at least have had some modicum of success thus far and are well on the way to building a reliable and quality launch vehicle, instead of pouring billions of dollars down the drain to build the Ares design which appears, due to political considerations, to be well on the road to suffering the same design setbacks (and the attendant expensive engineering efforts required to correct them) that beguiled the Shuttle program for many years. If NASA really wants to get the most bang for their buck in the space program then they ought to hire some economist(s) to help evaluate their spending and check claims of "this will save money" when in fact it will not. Projects like the Space Shuttle were interesting from an engineering standpoint but one of the main goals, save money with a re-usable vehicle and launch components, turned out to be a dud (and economists might have been able to tell them that by studying the launch industry and giving their advice before NASA just went ahead with the design).
  • by 54mc (897170) <samuelmcravenNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @02:48PM (#24950541)

    If NASA really wants to get the most bang for their buck in the space program then they ought to hire some economist(s) to help evaluate their spending and check claims of "this will save money" when in fact it will not.

    When has any US government agency ever tried to save money or get bang-for-the-buck?

  • by Free the Cowards (1280296) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @03:03PM (#24950701)

    Let's imagine you're working on some kind of open source project, like a program which draws really cool pictures of bumble bees. And for some reason, a giant government agency decides that bumble bee pictures are critical to their success. They drop $10 million on your lap to make your bumble bee picture drawing program into exactly what they need.

    Six months later, your program is somehow no further along than it was. Every working hour has been tied up doing paperwork, reports, meetings. Your work area is aswarm with government suits, each one with a different list of things to be checked off. You begin to wonder if your bumble bee program will ever make any more forward progress.

    Now why, exactly, would you wish this fate upon a company you appear to like?

  • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @03:04PM (#24950717) Homepage

    If we must spend public money on a new multipurpose rocket (Ares) system to carry future payloads and capsules then why not fund the SpaceX guys

    They are.

    ...Projects like the Space Shuttle were interesting from an engineering standpoint but one of the main goals, save money with a re-usable vehicle and launch components, turned out to be a dud (and economists might have been able to tell them that by studying the launch industry and giving their advice before NASA just went ahead with the design).

    At the time the space shuttle program was started (January 5, 1972) economists could not study the "launch industry" because the launch industry, as we know it, did not exist.

  • That's No Moon! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @03:19PM (#24950905)

    Um, so why doesn't a tank that large have a shadow. Is it made of some space age material I've never heard of?

  • by Cecil (37810) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @03:24PM (#24950965) Homepage

    I think you might also be underestimating the number of bucks spent on that particular endeavor.

  • by TorKlingberg (599697) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @03:30PM (#24951063)
    Is there any reason to believe SpaceX would do a better job than NASA? Other than OMG PRIVATE IS BETTER!!!!11 that is.

    So far they have made a very small rocket that hasn't been able to reach orbit yet. I'm sure they will, and it's great that there is private interest in space flight. However, you can't just dump money dump a big load of cash on a small company and see moon rockets start flowing out.

    It's not like NASA builds everything inhouse anyway. Most of the hardware are built by private companies and bought by NASA. Also, what's wrong with Ares exactly? Of course there are people complaining, but that doesn't mean much.
  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @03:33PM (#24951085)

    At the time the space shuttle program was started (January 5, 1972) economists could not study the "launch industry" because the launch industry, as we know it, did not exist.

    That is a good and valid point, but now that we can study what went wrong with the Shuttle and what we did well, there is really no excuse to make the same kinds of mistakes and mistaken assumptions with the Ares or any other subsequent launch program. We should learn the lessons, what to do and what NOT to do, that the Shuttle program has to teach instead of repeating the same steps and expecting different results.

  • by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @04:11PM (#24951565)

    Lots of people in the US (everyone?) sign up for inflated cell phone service which subsidizes the initial purchase price of the phone. Hell, I do as well since I can't find a carrier with unsubsidized plans.

    People suck at finance.

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