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back to article SpaceX sets new blastoff date for Dragon: 19 May

The flight of the Falcon 9 has once more been rescheduled, with a new launch date of 19 May, as Elon Musk's SpaceX decided to tweak the software one more time. The first commercial craft to restock the International Space Station, a Dragon capsule strapped to a Falcon 9 rocket, has seen more than its fair share of push-backs for …

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Pint

You have got to admire these guys!

They are really getting the excitement in space exploration back to (near) Apollo levels.

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Pint

Re: You have got to admire these guys!

or, You've got to pity the guys on the ISS.

I think, were I to be hurtling round space at 37 bazillion miles per hour or whatever, and some unmanned, untried, untested space doo-hickey came thundering up behind with the intention of slowing down at the right time and linking up, I'd be a tad bothered that it might come thundering on through leaving me floating off in another direction from various parts of my anatomy.

Ok, you could maybe offset that a bit by including a few dozen beers and perhaps a kebab or two in the payload. Which is maybe why I'm not an astronaut I suppose.

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Boffin

Re: You have got to admire these guys!

I'm sure that both NASA and the Space X people know what they're doing. The Dragon will first match the orbital velocity of the Freedom Space Station miles away from it, in an orbit above or below it, and possibly laterally offset as well, and then very slowly maneuver closer with small jets.

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Re: You have got to admire these guys!

I was hoping it was more like 'The Golden Shot' - 'Up a bit... down a bit... left, left... FIRE!'

Though Bob Monkhouse not being able to man Mission Control kind of puts the kibosh on that.

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Trollface

Re: You have got to admire these guys!

Would you rather a space doo-hickey designed by a government bureaucracy and built by the lowest bidder using only parts and technologies available in the 1970s and early 1980s?

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Re: You have got to admire these guys!

Of course I wouldn't trust something built with 1970s and early 1980s technology. You need 1960s technology for a proven safe journey to the ISS.

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Mushroom

Re: You have got to admire these guys!

"......the Freedom Space Station....."

<GAG><RETCH><SPATTER>

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Re: Would you rather a space doo-hickey designed by a government bureaucracy

I'd rather not be there at all to be fair. I doubt they'll be showing the champions league final for a start.

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Black Helicopters

Call me cynical

But a part of me wonders how many of these extra delays have been caused by NASA trying to invent reasons for SpaceX to fail. Their press releases reveal a very clear preference at NASA to keep working with the old guard, Boeing, Lockheed, et al, and given the amount of rancour generated by the Constellation/Orion cancellation/downgrade, I can't help wondering if there isn't a hope in some quarters that SpaceX will fail. Making them look bad by repeatedly imposing new tests etc could help achieve that end. The upside is that when, not if, the SpaceX team pass with flying colours, the naysayers will have even fewer legs to stand on.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Call me cynical

What are the chances?

"Oh deary me, looks like your rocket blew up"

Soto voce: "Don't forget to send a case of beer to the Air Force for letting us use the laser in the payload bay of the X-37, sorry it took a few days to get it lined up"

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Silver badge

Software tweaks?

"as Elon Musk's SpaceX decided to tweak the software one more time."

It sounds very late in the day to be tweaking the software. You don't just go into that sort of software, make a few changes, re compile and upload to the target system all within a couple of hours...

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Re: Software tweaks?

They have had quite a long time to be doing and testing those tweaks, IIRC it was the final approach and dock.

Given that docking takes a few minutes, they can do a hell of a lot of cycles of hardware-in-the-loop tests, and even more sim-only tests in the time they've had.

My guess is they've been testing what to do if it's gone to hell in as many different ways as NASA can think of.

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Coat

I don't want to jinx them, but...

Things have a nasty habit of going BANG around 18-19 May.

Mines with one with 'I climbed Mt. St. Helens and all I got was this nasty gravel rash, and a set of obsidian wind-chimes' on the back.

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Unhappy

Much as I am all for this project to be successful ...

... all this fannying around, changing launch dates, fiddling with code, just looks really, *really* amateur. For a major project like this the date should be set in something that only changes under extreme circumstances, and I'd hate to find out that this code constitutes a major circumstance, because that would be a fuck-up of huge proportions.

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for them, but I wouldn't be surprised if they find that people aren't quite as quick to buy their time/capabilities as they would have been if the launch-date had gone ahead with no, or only one, change.

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Linux

I know this is strictly off topic

but why has the Register never covered any of the launches by Copenhagen Suborbitals? See http://copenhagensuborbitals.com/ for some real professionalism on an almost non-existent budget.

Non lucror, exposita scientia, ad astra.

Tux because 'The project is both open source and non-profit in order to inspire as many people as possible, and to envolve relevant partners and their expertise'.

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