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Space The Military Science

SpaceX Awarded First Military Contract 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the somebody-warn-chris-knight dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ars reports that commercial space company SpaceX has gotten its first launch contracts from a military organization. The United States Air Force has hired SpaceX to launch the NASA DSCOVR satellite aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, and several other satellites aboard a Falcon Heavy. (The Heavy isn't finished yet, and SpaceX currently has no place to launch it, but the contract gives them three years to do so.) 'According to the mission requirements, the Falcon Heavy must carry its payload up to an orbit of 720 km and deploy a COSMIC-2 weather- and atmospheric-monitoring satellite, up to six auxiliary payloads (probably microsats), and up to eight P-POD CubeSat deployers. The rocket should then restart and continue all the way up to a 6,000 x 12,000 km orbit and deploy the ballast, more science experiments and more microsats.'"
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SpaceX Awarded First Military Contract

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  • Re:NASA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Synerg1y (2169962) on Friday December 07, 2012 @02:56PM (#42218295)
    Some engineers at NASA must be very sad right now. SpaceX is doing what they couldn't: More economical space flight" [policymic.com] .

    Then again they might've set their sights a little bit further, but still opportunity missed.
  • Re:NASA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07, 2012 @03:10PM (#42218451)

    I'm pretty sure their goal is the still the same:

    Do as much as possible with the funds they have, while simultaneously defending themselves from an incompetent legislature who believes it's more important that we spend money on bombing brown people instead of investing in the future of not only our own country, but our very existence as a species.

    That aside, hell yes, SpaceX. While I'm not an idiot who believes the "free" market is the answer to everything, commercial enterprises becoming involved in actual spaceflight is perhaps one of the most important things that will occur during my own lifetime. (I'm still bitter, though, because it's 2012 and I should be living on the Moon by now.)

  • Re:NASA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thud457 (234763) on Friday December 07, 2012 @03:13PM (#42218491) Homepage Journal
    Amazing what you can accomplish when you get Congressional pork-barrel politics out of the way.

    We should try that for other failing agencies.
    oh dear, did I just say that out loud?
  • Re:NASA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07, 2012 @03:35PM (#42218785)

    public heath care -> try to save money -> goal, make people healthy so they don't need health care
    private health care -> try to earn money -> goal, keep people sick so they need health care

  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Friday December 07, 2012 @03:45PM (#42218915)
    Is it just me, or does deploying 20 satellites with 1 rocket sound like we're still actually getting somewhere, even when it sometimes feels like space tech progress stopped 30 years ago?

    Yes, it's just you. I guess you missed the nuclear powered remote control truck on Mars. Or the constellation of satellites that beam a constant signal down to the computer in your pocket with such precision as to be able to tell you where you are within a few feet. Or the pair of satellites flying in perfect tandem, mapping the gravitational pull of the Moon. Oh look...we might have found water ice in Mercury.

    But you're right. I guess we haven't done anything in the last 30 years.
  • Re:NASA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by englishknnigits (1568303) on Friday December 07, 2012 @04:09PM (#42219197)
    What you actually meant to write:
    1) public heath insurance -> try to provide money for campaign contributors -> goal, make people sick so they need health care and are dependent on the government
    2) public health care -> try to provide money for campaign contributors -> goal, try to provide the greatest quantity of the most expensive treatments
    3) private health insurance -> try to earn money -> goal, pay the least amount for health care (can be through either refusing to cover things, negotiations, and/or keeping clients healthy)
    4) private health care -> try to earn money -> goal, try to provide the greatest quantity of the most expensive treatments

    1 and 2 are in collusion with each other (bad), 3 and 4 are in opposition to one another (good).

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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