Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

SpaceX launch!

A new era in space exploration and exploitation is underway now that SpaceX has successfully launched a rocket and connected it to the International Space Station (ISS).  Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX, is a fucking genius.  I hear that he wants to build a spaceport in my (future) backyard.  I say, please do!

It's a good thing that we have forward-looking billionaires in this country that are willing to do things like Elon Musk, because the Republicans in Congress seem hell-bent on destroying the ability of government to do anything besides provide tax cuts to the wealthy and launch wars. 

This article first appeared on January 7.

SpaceX Cargo Launch to ISS is Successful
by Alex Knapp, Forbes Staff
SpaceX can now put another milestone in its scrap book – the commercial spaceflight company successfully launched its Dragon space capsule to the International Space Station at 8:35 ET on Sunday. Coming after its first successful docking mission with the International Space Station, this marks the first time that a commercial spacecraft will be docking with the International Space Station with cargo. The capsule is expected to berth with the station at 7:22 am ET on Wednesday.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched the Dragon space capsule on Sunday, January 5, 2014. This marks the first commercial cargo mission to the Station.
The Dragon capsule was launched with SpaceX’s own Falcon 9 rocket, which also sent the Dragon to the space station on its previous mission.  With another successful launch under its belt, and assuming a successful dock on Wednesday, the success of SpaceX means that NASA is no longer solely reliant on the Russian space program to send supplies and cargo to the International Space Station.
“Just over one year after the retirement of the space shuttle, we have returned space station cargo resupply missions to U.S. soil and are bringing the jobs associated with this work back to America,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a press release. “The SpaceX launch tonight marks the official start of commercial resupply missions by American companies operating out of U.S. spaceports like the one right here in Florida.”
This is the first of 12 missions that Dragon will be making to the Station through 2016 on a $1.6 billion contract from NASA. On this trip, Dragon is taking 882 pounds of supplies, which are primarily intended to support over 166 different scientific investigations taking place on board the station. It also contains supplies for the crew. Dragon will remain berthed with the Station for 18 days, returning to Earth on October 28 with about 1600 pounds of cargo.
“We are right where we need to be at this stage in the mission,” said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in a statement. “We still have a lot of work to do, of course, as we guide Dragon’s approach to the space station. But the launch was an unqualified success.”

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