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Astronauts Open Dragon Capsule Hatch 138

Hexydes writes "Early in the morning (5:53 am EST) on May 26th, 2012, NASA gave the go-ahead for the Expedition 31 crew to begin the procedure to open the hatch on the Dragon capsule, now directly attached to the ISS. 'The hatch opening begins four days of operations to unload more than 1,000 pounds of cargo from the first commercial spacecraft to visit the space station and reload it with experiments and cargo for a return trip to Earth. It is scheduled for splashdown several hundred miles west of California on May 31. Wearing protective masks and goggles, as is customary for the opening of a hatch to any newly arrived vehicle at the station, Pettit entered the Dragon with Station Commander Oleg Kononenko. The goggles and masks will be removed once the station atmosphere has had a chance to mix air with the air inside the Dragon itself.' Here is a video of the procedure."
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Astronauts Open Dragon Capsule Hatch

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  • by bobstreo ( 1320787 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @09:23AM (#40120309)

    Yeah except for the part where you're trying to stop the 1000 pounds of cargo trying to bash it's way out of the space
    station part.

    Also I'm guessing it's not just sitting on one pallet in the middle of the capsule.

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @09:27AM (#40120327) Homepage Journal
    IIRC, even if the gravity is 0 you still have mass and inertia to deal with. "Heavy" stuff will be harder to get moving and stop moving once it's where it's supposed to be. Also, with Newton's third law, even tossing something with fairly low mass will have an effect on your position. So you'd have to brace or bounce off a wall or something. That would probably make the logistics of unloading a large cargo fairly... interesting...
  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @10:33PM (#40125371) Homepage

    Specifically, THIS Falcon 9 was disposable. At some future time, the first stage, and I think the second stage too, will land vertically after a powered descent, and will even have fold-out legs to land on. Only the "trunk" section behind the capsule and the solar panels attached to it are specifically not going to be reusable, because they reach orbit without a heat shield.

    There are also plans for the crew capsule to do a powered ground landing, but that will make use of the enhanced maneuvering rockets that will be designed to work as a (non-disposable) launch abort system.

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?