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Dragon Capsule Heads Home From ISS 70

Posted by samzenpus
from the homeward-bound dept.
An Anonymous Coward sent word that the SpaceX Dragon capsule is heading home from the International Space Station. From the article: "The unmanned Dragon space capsule set off from the International Space Station Sunday for the cargo-laden return trip to Earth after successfully delivering its first commercial payload, NASA said. Using a robotic arm, an astronaut aboard the floating laboratory detached and released the capsule at 1329 GMT after an 18-day mission to resupply the space station, the first ever by a privately-owned company, SpaceX. The next step will be to bring the capsule out of orbit by intermittently firing its onboard engines to slow its speed. It is then supposed to parachute into the Pacific Ocean off the California coast at 1920 GMT."
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Dragon Capsule Heads Home From ISS

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  • Re: loss of focus (Score:3, Insightful)

    by menno_h (2670089) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:11PM (#41798291) Homepage

    Of course I like the fact that space travel is becoming a commercial matter, with more opportunities for us civvies, but here we also see the decline of NASA. They used to build one cool thing after another and launch greater and greater mission (Gemini, Apollo, Pioneer, Mariner, etc), but now the NASA is losing it's momentum and budget.
    One cause of this is because it doesn't set any real goals any more. In the good ol' days NASA had goals; put a man on the moon, put a robot on Mars, send a satellite to the edge of the solar system, etc, but now it's primary occupation is the ISS, where they do research which might one day be useful. (in the far future)
    Yes, curiosity was cool, but it wasn't new. It wasn't groundbreaking research and technology. According to Robert Zubrin [youtube.com] who explains this far better than I can, we could have people on Mars by now.
    The reason we don't is because the NASA has become unfocused.
    Dragon, to me, symbolizes this.

  • Re: loss of focus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:23PM (#41798373)

    What blows my mind is that people think landing a science tank on mars demonstrates a mundane lack of goals.

  • Re: loss of focus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by menno_h (2670089) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @03:31PM (#41798845) Homepage

    At this point, it would be completely irresponsible to put fertile men and women on a long-term trip. Chances are the woman and her baby would die.

    If we don't have gravity (or centrifugal imitations of gravity) other bad things could happen.
    Even if the baby survives, imagine the shock of encountering gravity after more than a year in space. It will not be familiar with gravity, which might lead to it jumping of an object, expecting to fly, but falling instead.
    The child's muscles might also be very underdeveloped and it's bones would be way too high on collagen and not strong enough for a gravitational environment.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.

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