NASA and SpaceX have confirmed that the new launch date for the blastoff of the Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station will be 7 May. Artist's impression of the Dragon at the ISS Liftoff was supposed to happen today, after it was supposed to happen on February 7, after it was expected before the end of last …
"7 May launch would be the first attempt by a commercial firm to send a spacecraft to the ISS, so there was no guarantee it would run smoothly"
to be honest guys, national funded space going missions haven't exactly been without fail.
you'll be fine, now come on, heres a pat on the back! Now come on, get on with it :)
Ya gotta love these SpaceX guys...
SpaceX is trying to make a difference here. They certainly have stuck their necks out to even get a chance to succeed. Constraining the manned-mission work to the Shuttle for 30 years really stunted the progress of American technology. The USA was left with a single capability to do LEO manned-work and that capability was poorly scaled and poorly adapted to current cost structures.
SpaceX had taken what-works-for-cheap (RP1 petrol-rockets) and adapted it to what-works-for-cheap manned-transports (Dragon capsules like Soyuz/Apollo). They will take a run at getting it into LEO and do-no-damage in getting it to the ISS docking-arm.
There is less high-cost automation for the docking mechanism than Soviet-Progress. There is lower-cost associated with survivable return (vs. Soyuz). It just needs to work.
Orbital is also in this business and have had a few launch failures with their Antares lifter. They may be able to replicate this expectation within 6-8 months. We will see.
There has been a lot of talk about very-advanced next steps (exhausted rockets flying/landing for reuse) and even $500K Mars trips within a decade. God bless all of that stuff...
This is what is fun about manned space flight. Now, they just have to pull it off!
Re: Ya gotta love these SpaceX guys...
They also have to dodge Congress, who are doing as much as legally possible to avoid funding SpaceX/COTS, and to send as much pork to Boeing to fund further Powerpoint development.
OTOH, this means NASA doesn't have the funds to micromanage the contracts like they wanted, and they're having to be a lot more flexible, so this may not be such a bad thing.
And the test fire worked
The 3pm try got scrubbed at 47sec "because of an invalid limit setting" but the second try at 4:15pm EDT seemed to go quite well.
Link to test fire
Here's the link to a report on the test fire:
I think we'd rather ride a rocket than a powerpoint...
Cheap, simple access to ISS with upwards of 8 tonnes (eventually) of payload going up & about 3 tonnes of down-payload.
That's the foundation on which they'll build...
Anyway, can't wait!
"The Dragon has already proved it can take off and land, but the software required to get the craft to pull in alongside the fast-moving ISS and dock with it is tricky stuff."
It doesn't particularly matter what speed the ISS is "moving", speed (velocity) is relative. For example the equator of the Earth rotates at roughly 1000 mph compared to the centre, the Earth rotates around the sun at roughly 67000 mph, and so on... it all depends on your reference points.
The aim is to get the rocket near the ISS and then to reduce it's velocity relative to the ISS to zero at the point when it gets within reach of the station's arm.
It's not rocket science you know. Oh wait it is...
Playing orbiter with the fictional craft (can't remember the name), is a good way to prove exactly that...
Delayed again today...
Today, SpaceX announced that there would be another delay...
Re: Delayed again today...
Roll on May 19th!
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