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NASA ISS Science

SpaceX Dragon Launch To ISS Set For April 30th 127

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the where-no-government-succeeded-before dept.
Spy Handler writes "NASA announced today a tentative April 30th date for SpaceX launch to the International Space Station on an unmanned cargo mission. 'Everything looks good as we head toward the April 30 launch date,' said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations. If successful, SpaceX will become the first private company to launch a space vehicle and dock with the ISS."
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SpaceX Dragon Launch To ISS Set For April 30th

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  • Most Excellent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Penguinshit (591885) on Tuesday April 17, 2012 @05:22AM (#39708413) Homepage Journal
    It's time to turn LEO over to commercial operators and let NASA get back to pushing frontiers. It was right to kill Constellation and Ares.
  • Re:Most Excellent (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Canazza (1428553) on Tuesday April 17, 2012 @06:01AM (#39708489)

    This is a *brand new* private market. We need competition. So far who do we have? SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. And even Virgin only go Sub-orbital and is mostly publicity runs.
    There's alot of players missing at the moment. For example: Where's Boeing? One of the biggest Government contractors for aircraft hasn't thought to invest in their own space vehicles?
    I get the feeling that when SpaceX actually has a proper, reliable, regular launch schedule that the market for private space launches will absoloutly boom.

  • Why all the hype?! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday April 17, 2012 @07:21AM (#39708655) Homepage

    I glanced over the article... hoping to find some pictures.. didn't find any. Boring. Then I read some of the words. Someone was in there whining "the space station is moving faster than a bullet!!!" Yeah? So? It's orbital space. That's how it works and speed is "relative." That's why it's not such a big deal to negotiate an exit from a freeway moving at 70MPH... the other cars are moving at that speed too! I'm not saying that docking to something in orbital space is child's play, but to talk about the station's speed relative to the earth is ridiculous and irrelevant. Only two things seem relevant to me. The first is the speed of the two objects relative to each other. The second is the possibility of space junk getting in the way.

    All this stuff is interesting but it's not rocket science... well... okay, so it IS rocket science... but rocket science is not so new and awesome any more you know?

  • by dpilot (134227) on Tuesday April 17, 2012 @08:01AM (#39708793) Homepage Journal

    How do you buy a much higher quality toaster? On occasion I have tried to buy higher quality appliances. Price is no indicator. Brand is only a weak indicator. Reviews are only a weak indicator, because product lines are constantly being churned, even if the name has remained the same.

  • by Covalent (1001277) on Tuesday April 17, 2012 @08:10AM (#39708827)
    Orbital flight is great. So is docking with the ISS.

    But my hope is that the future of private space is a private space station that does what a space station really should: Serve as an rotating orbital way station (e.g. see 2001). If you store fuel there, NASA can purchase fuel for fast-track missions to Mars, Europa, whatever. Let SpaceX raise money via space tourism and charging for the fuel. People can LIVE there (artificial gravity eliminates many problems) and train for Lunar or Martian missions there (closer to the rotating hub there are natural low-gravity zones). People can also increase their gravity on the return trip from these missions so as to be able to return to earth.

    This would make the space station a usable thing for MANY missions, not just an extremely expensive orbital platform. It would also facilitate our permanent colonization of other worlds. And (best part) it can be done with existing tech.

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