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SpaceX Cargo Capsule Leaves Space Station For Home 56

An anonymous reader writes "The commercial cargo ship Dragon left the International Space Station, and is heading home with nearly two tons of science experiments and old equipment. From the article: 'The unpiloted Dragon departed the International Space Station at 9:26 a.m. EDT to begin a trip expected to culminate just after 3 p.m. with a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, about 300 miles west of Baja California. NASA astronaut and station commander Steve Swanson controlled a 58-foot robotic arm that pulled the Dragon from its Harmony node port at 8 a.m., then released the capsule into space 266 miles over the ocean south of Australia.'"
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SpaceX Cargo Capsule Leaves Space Station For Home

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  • Re:Some calculations (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bbn ( 172659 ) <> on Sunday May 18, 2014 @04:50PM (#47033655)

    The space shuttle was $450 million per mission not including development costs. That would lift 24 ton and a lot of volume to ISS. That was good for building the space station but perhaps overkill for the maintenance. They are not even using the full capability of the Dragon spacecraft.

    The Dragon will only move 3.3 ton to the ISS. If you only count weight by dollar this is more expensive than a Space Shuttle launch. On the other hand you will get much more frequent deliveries which may be what is needed now.

    If you count development costs, each Space Shuttle launch was 1.5 billion USD. Viewed this way, the CRS program for Space X is just one shuttle. And perhaps this is the correct way to do the accounting considering that the 1.6 billion that Space X receives also has to cover their development costs. I would expect that they can give a good discount on future launches, should NASA want more than 12.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!