Posts Tagged ‘Dragon’

By Mike Hubbartt, © Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved.

SpaceX achieved a huge milestone in their pursuit of private industry space travel. This morning they launched their Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, which carried the Dragon spacecraft into a near earth orbit. The impressive fact about this accomplishment is not launching a rocket, but actually recovering the launched vehicle. SpaceX is the first commercial company to recover their payload, which splashed down in the ocean.

Click here to read the SpaceX company press release about today’s mission.

SpaceX hopes to use their rocket and spacecraft to provide supplies and personnel to the ISS after the NASA shuttles are retired. SpaceX is not alone in this venture – Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic company has developed a spacecraft that potentially could access the ISS, although the main intent of the company seems more in line with providing rides for tourists.

Personally, I wish both companies nothing but success in their efforts. Both companies can offer low earth orbit services, freeing up NASA’s budget to go to other planets and asteroids, as well as undertake other long range unmanned exploration missions.

There are environmental issues that affect space, such as the number and types of satellites in orbit, the International Space Station, and commercial space vessels like SpaceShipTwo/WhiteKnightTwo and Falcon 9/Dragon.

On June 4, 2010, SpaceX successfully launched their Falcon 9 spacecraft and it reached low earth orbit while carrying a test version of their Dragon spacecraft. Dragon caries the payload of people, pressurized cargo, and unpressurized cargo. The Falcon/Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to begin providing transport of people and supplies to the International Space Station starting in 2012 at a substantially lower cost than using the space shuttle.

To see a QT video of the simulated rendezvous of the Dragon and ISS, click here.

To see the company website of SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies), go here.

Now this is exciting, as this could be the way regular citizens get to go into space.

Question: How much do you think this will affect the jobs of current NASA and satellite companies that produce technology for the aerospace industry?