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ISS NASA Space Science

SpaceX Given Approval For ISS Mission 143

An anonymous reader sends this snippet from an AFP report: "California-based rocket maker SpaceX said that it will make a test flight in late November to the International Space Station, now that NASA has retired its space shuttle program. 'SpaceX has been hard at work preparing for our next flight — a mission designed to demonstrate that a privately-developed space transportation system can deliver cargo to and from the International Space Station (ISS),' the company, also called Space Exploration Technologies, said in a statement. The mission is the second to be carried out by SpaceX, one of a handful of firms competing to make a spaceship to replace the now-defunct US shuttle, which had been used to carry supplies and equipment to the orbiting outpost. 'NASA has given us a November 30, 2011 launch date, which should be followed nine days later by Dragon berthing at the ISS,' the company said." SpaceX has an information sheet for the Dragon capsule, as well as an interesting post about the costs involved in their launches.
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SpaceX Given Approval For ISS Mission

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  • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @01:12AM (#37115592)
    Apparently the ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle and JAXA's H-II Transfer vehicle can also resupply the ISS [], so the Russians do not have a lock on unmanned missions to it. I wonder when Dragon will be ready for human "payload"?
  • by vbraga ( 228124 ) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @11:23AM (#37119490) Journal

    The cited article has no links to Bigelow. It's difficult to imagine it would happen in the actual political context. One of the main aims of the Brazilian space program is to develop the local industry. Buying from SpaceX or Bigelow with a technology transfer program is difficult to imagine (there are legal American restrictions too). Buying without a technology transfer program should be a no-no and will probably be seen as a useless marketing gimmick, much like the when the first Brazilian astronaut flew in a Soyuz capsule just like a space tourist.

    The article cites the "Cruzeiro do Sul" proposed rocket family. "Cruzeiro do Sul" depends of the Russian cooperation. Russia (MAI) has been providing training to engineers. How well the training is going and how much time it will take until those newly trained engineers to be able to engage in a useful project remains to be seen. I do have a lot of admiration for the IAE guys but I don't have much faith in the Russian cooperation program. And now Jobim resigned from the Defense Ministery - Jobim was a major backer of the Russian cooperation agreement - my hopes aren't high.

    A new Brazilian capsule is probably out of question since SARA - a proposed unnamed reentry capsule for microgravity experiments - didn't even fly yet. And I'm not sure it will, considering the current deep budget cuts.

    Don't take AEB press releases seriously. AEB is the problem, not the solution. The Brazilian space program is run by two entities: INPE (satellites, space physics research) and IAE/CTA (launchers). AEB is just a useless bureaucratic overhead, created because politicians and international observers didn't like the space program being run by the Air Force (maybe out of the fear of a imaginary secret ballistic missile program).

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