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Swamprat
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xx Space-X Plans Trip to ISS
« Thread started on: Jul 26th, 2011, 6:38pm »

Private Spacecraft Plans Landmark Docking With International Space Station

Published July 26, 2011
FoxNews.com

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An artist's illustration of SpaceX's Dragon space capsule in Earth orbit.

Fly me to the moon? Sure thing.

Private spaceflight company Space Exploration (SpaceX) has received tentative approval from NASA to send its Dragon cargo craft on a landmark first mission to the International Space Station on November 30, which would make it the first private company to dock with the space station.

A successful docking on December 9 would be a dramatic validation of NASA's plan to replace the now-retired space shuttle fleet with cheaper, private vehicles -- though how the space agency would send astronauts to space remains an open question.

The Dragon capsule, one of several vehicles competing to haul cargo for NASA into space, had planned two test missions for this winter. One would gauge the capsule's ability to do a "drive-by" of the space station, where it would approach close enough to test navigation and communication gear. A second mission would test the craft's ability to dock.

But SpaceX is ready now, the company argues. Why not combine the two and hit the milestone earlier?

“We technically have agreed with SpaceX that we want to combine those flights,” William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for space operations, said at a July 21 media briefing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. “We are doing all the planning to go ahead and have those missions combined, but we haven’t given them formal approval yet.”

If approved, SpaceX would deliver cargo to the space station in early December. And if successful, it would validate NASA's plan to replace the shuttle with dramatically cheaper private spacecraft.

SpaceX will charge NASA at least $1.6 billion for 12 cargo shipments to the ISS, or $133 million per flight. The space shuttle costs exceed $1 billion per flight.

SpaceX is not alone, however: Orbital Sciences Corp. also has a contract with NASA to supply cargo ships. And it plans to launch the Cygnus resupply ship into space in February 2012.

SpaceX's craft consists of two parts: the Falcon 9 rocket, a multistage reusable rocket capable of lifting significant amounts of cargo, and Dragon, a reusable space capsule that will carry the cargo, dock and parachute back to Earth, ultimately splash-landing in the ocean.

The first and second stages of the Falcon 9 rocket for SpaceX's cargo flight are already at the company's Cape Canaveral launch pad. The Dragon spacecraft is due to arrive in August or September, the news site noted.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/07/26/private-spacecraft-plans-first-docking-with-international-space-station/#ixzz1TFy0Zmfc
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xx Re: Space-X Plans Trip to ISS
« Reply #1 on: Apr 13th, 2012, 08:39am »

Dragon Expected to Set Historic Course: SpaceX Spacecraft and Rocket On Demo Flight to International Space Station

ScienceDaily (Apr. 12, 2012) — The upcoming launch of a SpaceX spacecraft and rocket on a demonstration flight to the International Space Station is expected to cross a key milestone on the path to operational, commercial missions.

"It's almost like the lead-up to Apollo, in my mind," said Mike Horkachuck, NASA's project executive for SpaceX. "You had Mercury then you had Gemini and eventually you had Apollo. This would be similar in the sense that, we're not going to the moon or anything as spectacular as that, but we are in the beginnings of commercializing space. This may be the Mercury equivalent to eventually flying crew and then eventually leading to, in the long run, passenger travel in space."

California-based Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, is preparing to launch an ambitious mission to dock its Dragon spacecraft to the space station and return it to Earth. The spacecraft will not have a crew, but will carry about 1,200 pounds of cargo that the astronauts and cosmonauts living on the station will be able to use. The capsule will go into space atop a Falcon 9 rocket also built by SpaceX.

Because the mission is a test flight, the cargo is not material deemed critical to the crew, Horkachuck said. Launch is targeted for April 30 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, within sight of the launch pads the space shuttles used to carry the station's components into orbit. There also are several tests and reviews coming up later this month similar to those performed ahead of space shuttle missions.

If this mission is successful, the Dragon is expected to become operational and launch regular supply runs to the station. Unlike any other cargo carrier, the Dragon can bring things back to Earth, too, a boon for scientists whose research is taking place on the orbiting laboratory.

SpaceX already has two successful Falcon 9 launches to its credit, along with a history making demonstration of the Dragon capsule that in December 2010, became the first privately built and operated spacecraft to be launched to and recovered from Earth orbit.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120412193044.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fmatter_energy+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Matter+%26+Energy+News%29
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xx Re: Space-X Plans Trip to ISS
« Reply #2 on: Apr 13th, 2012, 10:02pm »

Drive by gave me visions of a capsule shooting by the ISS with rocket launchers hanging out the window. grin

Let us limit privatization of space just a tad, eh? I wonder if Capone types might someday invade space? Well we grow, or as they say, will boys be boys?

To be honest, had you never posted that, I would never have realized how inevitable it is that human tendency will even find its way into space. I now realize it's necessary to take the standard precautions.
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xx Re: Space-X Plans Trip to ISS
« Reply #3 on: Apr 30th, 2012, 3:11pm »

regardless of youre ufo viewpoints it does sound like the private space outfits can and will progress a lot faster than we are seeing.. so NASA will stick to its two missions what we need are propulsion systems cough antigravity to get us into space a whole lot cheaper in the public domain
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xx New Target Launch Date 5/19 for SpaceX
« Reply #4 on: May 6th, 2012, 12:52pm »

SpaceX Launch Now Targeted for May 19

Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, of Hawthorne, Calif., on Friday targeted May 19 for the launch of its upcoming demonstration mission to the International Space Station.

This follows a launch dress rehearsal April 30 by the SpaceX launch team that concluded with a brief engine firing to verify the company's Falcon 9 rocket is ready to launch. The practice countdown also tested some of the systems on the Dragon spacecraft that will fly to the space station.

"Woohoo, rocket hold down firing completed and all looks good!" reported Elon Musk on his Twitter account. Musk is the owner and chief designer for SpaceX, or Space Exploration Technologies. The company's engineers are reviewing data from the test, SpaceX reported.

SpaceX is preparing for its second Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, or COTS, demonstration to show that private industry can build and launch spacecraft on regular cargo resupply missions to the station. This rocket and spacecraft will not carry people, but will have about 1,200 pounds of supplies onboard for the six astronauts and cosmonauts working on the space station.

Read more: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/cargo/spacex_update_staticfiring.html
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