SpaceX 'Test' Flight Off And Running

from the well-that's-nice dept

Well, well. After some delays and an aborted attempt a few days ago, it appears that the SpaceX "test" flight to get a bit of cargo into orbit and aimed at the International Space Station has worked according to plan -- and we're now a step closer to a private space program (photo from NASA):
The SpaceX folks webcast the whole thing from its website (hopefully, they'll post the video for people to rewatch -- as of right now there's nothing). The White House immediately offered its congratulations for "the potential of a new era in American spaceflight..." powered by the private sector.

This is the second time that SpaceX has gotten this far, but rather than just orbiting the earth a couple times, the current mission goal is to have the Dragon capsule actually dock with the International Space Station (and deliver some food). The actual docking process is a bit complex, apparently, so there are still some worries. However, things certainly seem to be progressing.

And, of course, this is just one of many stepping stones towards actually offering private manned spaceflight, which goes beyond just touching the edges of space, but actually into orbit. Either way, it's an important milestone along the way.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    teka, May 22nd, 2012 @ 2:14am

    bravo SpaceX!

    and it looks like the webcast is being replayed through livestream on demand, just hit play.

    http://new.livestream.com/accounts/142499/events/626741

     

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    teka, May 22nd, 2012 @ 2:17am

    oops, nevermind, that is video from the abort.


    second time was the charm it seems!
    it's not like this is rocket science or something

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 3:29am

    Cue the patent trolls now that SpaceX has had a successful launch in 3..2..1...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 3:31am

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/05/bi-liquid-success-at-copenhagen-suborbitals/

    Another milestone is Copenhagen Suborbitals tested their liquid rocket engine successfully.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 3:43am

    "powered by the private sector."

    with everything learned from the government, it is an accomplishment, yes, but its pretty easy when you 50 plus years of stuff to learn from

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 3:54am

     

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    Major Tom, May 22nd, 2012 @ 4:15am

    Given that the private sector cuts corners more than government run programs, I will not be signing up for their manned space program.

     

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      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 7:01am

      Re:

      Please be sarcasm....please, please, please!

       

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 8:31am

      Re:

      The saying "Good enough for government work" is based on real life experience. I have never once heard anyone say "Good enough for private sector work" Have you?

       

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        Chargone (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 7:57pm

        Re: Re:

        amusingly, here abouts, at one point government work, at least when it came to construction, was somewhat famous for the exact opposite, causing many complaints about things being over budget or whatever.

        'over engineering' they called it.

        funny how one such over-engineered building was pretty much the least damaged brick structure in several major earthquakes...

        (it was a railway station. built to deal with the vibrations of the trains coming and going and such like. they went a bit nuts with the structural integrity, to the point where, from memory, the sum total damage was a few bricks coming loose from the top of the clock tower. compared to a lot of other stone and brick buildings outright Collapsing, that's pretty impressive.)

        about the only area where government work is Known for being sloppy here-abouts is budgets and when ideology or greed gets in the way of facts when it comes to law making.

        cutting corners and such Is a lot more common in the private sector here. at least that you hear about. (and again, usually with construction.)

         

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          Chargone (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 7:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          errr...

          though, with the constant budget cuts and reorganizations in the name of 'efficiency' rather than getting things done Properly, i wouldn't be surprised to see that change...

          (seriously: when all costs are affordable and the outcome is superior, the less efficient way is better. one boosts efficiency to save on raw materials or increase output without lowering quality. if you're lowering quality in the name of efficiency as if efficiency were some perfect goal, you're doing it wrong.

          many governments and businesses need to learn this.)

           

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      The eejit (profile), May 22nd, 2012 @ 8:50am

      Re:

      Did you nearly make the Grade?

      'Cause that's the only reason i can think of for the reason why you posted that.

       

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    MrWilson, May 22nd, 2012 @ 5:53am

    I hope this means we can further cut the NASA budget and spend it on education or something else more practical for those of us who aren't interested in finding exoplanets or knowing how much space dust there is per cubic parsec in a particular region of space...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2012 @ 10:19am

    So, the era of Space Pirates can begin?

     

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    Rekrul, May 22nd, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    I'm amazed that they got this far- without the government stepping in and imposing a ton of regulations on them and basically drowning the entire project in a sea of red tape.

     

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      Chargone (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 8:03pm

      Re:

      fun fact: a New Zealand company (or private entity of some sort at least) was working on a similar sort of project.

      they kept running into brick walls trying to get parts due to US regulations about the parts they were after being 'strategic resources' or some such.

      their response was to make their own.

      what they made was, in many cases, so good, that the suppliers they were not permitted to buy from switched to buying from Them and using Their parts.

      they also did some fun stuff with eco-friendly fuel.

      from memory, the main problem with their setup was that their first major launch (which was on tv and everything)... the capsule with the test results (and a couple of science experiments or something) was lost at sea. it apparently came down properly and everything but sank or something before they could retrieve it.

      all the spaceflight bits worked fine.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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