DailyDirt: Getting Back Into Space
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Despite a few mishaps with rockets headed for the International Space Station (eg. SpaceX, Orbital Sciences and the Russian space agency all failed to deliver re-supply cargo ships), there have also been some interesting space-faring developments in the last year or so. Fortunately, none of the lost spacecraft were manned missions, and the ISS also has the Japanese HTV as another backup cargo ship. And with SpaceX’s awesome recovery with a successful launch, it looks like re-supply missions are getting back on track — so the ISS will probably keep going until at least 2020 (and maybe a few years more? 2024? 2028?).
- The International Space Station has been re-supplied using the Cygnus spacecraft from Orbital Sciences — on top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. Orbital Sciences is still working out the bugs for its Antares rocket, but it’s looking to restart Antares launches in 2016. [url]
- NASA has a contract with SpaceX for a manned mission to the ISS. With SpaceX getting its re-usable rockets into operation, trips to the International Space Station could get significantly cheaper, but obviously SpaceX has to prove its re-usable rockets are really re-usable (by re-launching one, not just saying it’s possible). [url]
- Another private space company, Intuitive Machines, could provide “next day” shipping to the ISS with its Terrestrial Return Vehicle (TRV). Optimistically, this spacecraft could even provide “same day” delivery to the space station if everything works exactly as planned. This spacecraft is much smaller than other cargo ships that can dock with the space station, but it could be useful for time-sensitive supplies and experiments. [url]
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Filed Under: antares, atlas 5, cygnus, htv, international space station, iss, manned missions, rockets, space, space exploration, trv
Companies: intuitive machines, nasa, orbital sciences, spacex, united launch alliance