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SpaceX Successfully Delivers Supplies To ISS 87

Reuters reports on the successful SpaceX-carried resupply mission to the ISS: "A cargo ship owned by Space Exploration Technologies arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday, with a delivery of supplies and science experiments for the crew and a pair of legs for the experimental humanoid robot aboard that one day may be used in a spacewalk. Station commander Koichi Wakata used the outpost's 58-foot (18-meter) robotic crane to snare the Dragon capsule from orbit at 7:14 a.m. (1114 GMT), ending its 36-hour journey. ... "The Easter Dragon is knocking at the door," astronaut Randy Bresnik radioed to the crew from Mission Control in Houston. Space Exploration, known as SpaceX, had planned to launch its Dragon cargo ship in March, but was delayed by technical problems, including a two-week hold to replace a damaged U.S. Air Force radar tracking system."
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SpaceX Successfully Delivers Supplies To ISS

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  • Yay for SpaceX (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Sunday April 20, 2014 @05:45PM (#46801471)

    Not only can they deliver supplies to the ISS without the need to pay the Russians to do it but they can probably do it cheaper than the Russians too.

  • The BFD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iroll ( 717924 ) on Sunday April 20, 2014 @06:27PM (#46801725) Homepage

    Lost in the moronic editing by the eggs-and-dye-mostly department:

    After the Falcon 9's first-stage section separated from the upper-stage motor and Dragon capsule, the discarded rocket relit some of its engines to slow its fall back through the atmosphere and position itself to touch down vertically on the ocean before gravity turned it horizontal. The booster also was equipped with four 25-foot-long landings for stabilization.

    Data transmitted from an airplane tracking the booster's descent indicated it splashed down intact in the Atlantic Ocean - a first for the company.

    "Data upload from tracking plane shows landing in Atlantic was good! Several boats enroute through heavy seas," SpaceX's chief executive, Elon Musk, posted on Twitter late Friday.

    This is a Big Fucking Deal. SpaceX publicly gave odds for this working at about 1 in 3. This is an important incremental step in (literally) landing their lower stages, rather than trashing them (like every other launch system) or attempting to recover them after splashdown (like shuttle boosters).

  • Re:Big Whoop. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Sunday April 20, 2014 @08:40PM (#46802309)

    Forty-three years later, private industry figures out how to send a rocket up there. With taxpayers footing the bill.

    Unlike every previous launch, however, we the taxpayers are paying a fixed price to SpaceX, instead of the bloated cost-plus contracts that are large part of the reason why there hasn't been much progress in manned spaceflight in the last four decades. Not all of the free-market claims about government inefficiency are nonsense - the previous contractors (all "private industry", loosely defined) had no incentive to develop reusable rockets, because the government just kept paying for new ones.

  • Re:Yay for SpaceX (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Monday April 21, 2014 @02:08AM (#46803339) Journal
    Actually, as long as you are willing to skip the launch abort system, dragon rider would be ready within 1-2 months to launch humans. In addition, in under 2 months, they could put a craft up to the ISS and return westerners if Russia were to strand us.
    And if the house republicans will quit trying to gut CCxDev, SpaceX will launch humans within 12 months.
  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Monday April 21, 2014 @02:26AM (#46803375) Journal
    Well, SPaceX's F9 currently has the world's best record of 100% success (though one 2nd ary payload failed, but that was due to NASA not allowing a longer burn time). As such, I know that I would be happy to ride F9 up.
    Heck, by the time that dragon rider launches next year with humans, F9 will have gone up more than 20 x. I think that it more then enough.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban