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Space ISS NASA Transportation

Privately Built Antares Test Flight Successfully Launched From Virginia 85

After high winds (up to 140mph) delayed yesterday's scheduled launch (itself a re-do because of a cabling problem), Orbital Science's Antares rocket has made it to space. This launch was a test run, but Antares is intended to launch supplies to the ISS. Space.com reports: "The third try was the charm for the private Antares rocket, which launched into space from a new pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, its twin engines roaring to life at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) to carry a mock cargo ship out over the Atlantic Ocean and into orbit. The successful liftoff came after two delays caused by a minor mechanical glitch and bad weather." Congratulations to all involved.
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Privately Built Antares Test Flight Successfully Launched From Virginia

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  • Horray for Antares (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @06:18PM (#43511939) Homepage

    Congrats for Antares.
    The more ways to get to orbit, the better!

  • Phonesats (Score:3, Insightful)

    by photonic ( 584757 ) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @07:00PM (#43512087)
    Congrats to orbital, even though launching a new rocket assembled from parts built by Russians by a company that is already working in the space business for many years seems a small accomplishment compared to what SpaceX pulled off. As is common on a first flight, the main payload is an instrumented dead weight. The coolest thing about this mission is IMO some small cubesats they launched as secondary payloads. These are some super cheap phonesats [nasa.gov] built by NASA, which are powered by a Nexus One or Nexus S. Data packets that could be received via amateur radio should hopefully appear here [phonesat.org] soon.
  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @09:42PM (#43512687)

    Yep. If we really want to "survive a catastrophe" it's orders of magnitude cheaper and easier to build a sustainable submarine station on multiple sides of the earth that only open their hatches once every year or so than to send one colony to mars.

    What could kill the human race?
    - Disease. It's trivial to filter out microbes and viruses from air supplies here on earth. An antarctic base is also extremely unlikely to get a pathogen spread to it quickly. Avoiding contact with wildlife and all travel to and from would essentially guarantee even an unfiltered antarctic base would be free of disease transmission.
    - Asteroid/comet. It's highly unlikely that an asteroid would incinerate everybody on every continent. A small underwater base would be easier and safer. Nuclear submarines already provide a perfectly safe refuge if you have multiple subs in multiple oceans preventing the chance of simultaneous impacts. The dust would be problematic and the temperature but with a space heater from Home Depot and some grow-lamps you could just put on a hepa filter and be perfectly fine inside of an insulated aircraft hanger.
    - Nuclear War: It would be nearly impossible to hit a hidden submarine which can hold as many people as proposed martian bases. Also the radiation and fallout from a nuclear war is probably less than just the regular radiation a mars colony would experience on a daily basis from cosmic radiation.
    - The sun goes supernova: This is pretty much the only thing that we would need to be a space faring species to overcome and that's unlikely to happen not to mention we would need interstellar not just interplanetary travel to avoid.

    Any problem that an apocalyptic catastrophe would cause--would only render the earth almost as uninhabitable as everywhere else in our solar system is every single day.

  • by VortexCortex ( 1117377 ) <VortexCortex.project-retrograde@com> on Monday April 22, 2013 @01:27AM (#43513371)

    May we never get to thinking that sending up a rocket into space is easy...

    We may never get to thinking that buliding a mechanical computation device is easy... However, regardless of how difficult that very complex engineering task is, you can't deny it's down right affordable now.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.