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Orbital Becomes Second Private Firm To Send Cargo Craft To ISS 69

An anonymous reader writes "Orbital Sciences Corp.'s unmanned Cygnus spacecraft delivered 3,000 pounds of equipment, fresh fruit, and Christmas presents from the families of all six ISS spacemen today. 'From the men and women involved in the design, integration and test, to those who launched the Antares (rocket) and operated the Cygnus, our whole team has performed at a very high level for our NASA customer, and I am very proud of their extraordinary efforts,' said David W. Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Orbital, in a written statement from the company."
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Orbital Becomes Second Private Firm To Send Cargo Craft To ISS

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 12, 2014 @07:25PM (#45934525)

    This is the second time they've done it, so the they became the second private firm last year.

  • Re:A field of Two (Score:4, Informative)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @07:54PM (#45934645)

    This whole "look how gr8 commercial spaceflight can do so much better than government!" stuff is nonsense propaganda.

    Again, SpaceX built a new rocket engine and two new rockets and launched them into space for less than NASA spent to put a dummy upper stage on top of a shuttle SRB and launch it into the Atlantic Ocean.

    Aerospace, except in perhaps the first 5 years of flight, has always been about the government making the long-term investments and R&D, and private companies delivering final products.

    So, you're claiming that government developed and funded the 747 and 787?

  • Re:A field of Two (Score:3, Informative)

    by beltsbear ( 2489652 ) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @10:51PM (#45935841)

    Once you get something to 60,000 ft you can design the nozzle to be 20% more efficient for that altitude and higher vs one that was efficient at lower altitudes. This gives you a pretty big advantage other then the height and that rocket can take you all the way to space. Now you are only throwing out one stage and have a rocket that can carry a higher mass vs it's size to orbit.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.