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back to article Space Station crew enter the Dragon

The crew of the International Space Station cracked open the hatch of the SpaceX Dragon cargoship to see what's inside - after the docked capsule was declared safe for them to step in. Astronaut Don Pettit opens the Dragon hatch Don Pettit prepares to unload the SpaceX craft Astronauts Don Pettit and Oleg Kononenko entered …

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Happy

Well played Mr. Musk. Well played...

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splashdown

Can't wait 'til they get the controlled descent and landing working!

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Did they find Bruce Lee?

And was he scratched?

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Privately funded

Does anyone know the return on investment?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Privately funded

If it's a complete success, it will probably be one big tax deduction.

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Re: Privately funded

They've already secured a contract to launch satellites for Iridium for about $500m, and if this test is 100% success, they are already under a contract with NASA for up to $1bn, they also have a contract with he USAF for up to $100m of launches, and they have a series of contracts worth up to $1.6bn for shipping gear to the ISS. Add on the seed money paid for the development (something like $300m from NASA) and they're definitely gonna make some nice returns. They spent about $1bn in 10 years from the figures being bounced around in the media.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Privately funded

You need to put those figures next to NASA's track record to understand how impressive they are. Falcon 9 + Dragon are broadly comparable to Constellation's Ares I and Orion vehicles. They were both designed for that small-medium satellite + cargo launch with the intention of launching humans. The Ares has a chunk more payload, but they were designed with broadly the same purpose in mind.

SpaceX, for both Falcon 9 and Dragon, have spent about a billion dollars in development, and are currently flogging the system to all comers for $100m or so per launch, expected to drop to $50m. NASA's cost estimate for the Ares I (not including the Orion), was fourty billion dollars., plus another four billion per year, plus another 1-1.5 billion per flight at the schedule nasa were planning.

Even put next to the relatively successful ESA Ariane 5 it's phenomenally efficient; the Ariane cost some $8b or so. It's just a pity NASA are again repeating the same mistakes as they made with Constellation with the SLS.

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Well done SpaceX.

Now the ULA have something to be worried about (that is, if the corrupt senators they have in their pockets don't add some legislation to ensure that Dragon can't be used by NASA)

What me, a cynic?

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That's their great achievement

Over SeaLaunch 20years ago - they finally got the government to recognize that if they didn't allow more choice in the launch business people would just take their satellites to India/China/whoever.

Then they tried to block this by preventing satelites being exported to China for launch they simply built the satellite there aswell - what better way to destroy your industry!

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@YAAC

Actually some of the ITAR-free satellites are built in Europe, but yeah you're kind of on the right road.

They didn't learn from the first try which was "OK, we'll launch your satellites, but only on our terms, like only America is allowed to make any money from them". It was the whole reason for Europe having independant access to space.

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@Bristol...

Why would the USA presume to launch all of the EU's payloads? That is the ESA's job. The EU is a larger economy than the USA, but the ESA budgets are MUCH smaller than NASA's.

Perhaps some EU-based commercial company will now get into the business. THAT would be very interesting.

Almost half of NASA's budget is scientific/robotic exploration of the Moon and planetary system. SpaceX is almost completely focused on manned transport. More than half of NASA's rockets are deepspace capable. All of SpaceX's rockets would freeze solid in minutes in deepspace. NASA has correctly positioned itself to work with entities like SpaceX. SpaceX isn't going to Mars anytime soon without more NASA connected research technology.

The same stuff that EADS claimed was unfair donation of technology to Boeing has happened with SpaceX and NASA. The important difference is that NASA has much less control over the development and sale of the work.

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Facepalm

Astronaut humor

It appears these are astronauts, not comedians. The jokes are out of this world :-p

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Joke

Re: Astronaut humor

In response to this astronaut humor let me en-capsule-ate: I think Pettit is a little bit spacey.

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Re: Astronaut humor

As I mentioned in a related thread, the majority of astro/cosmonauts are ex-military test pilots with engineering backgrounds, so their humor tends toward corny.

Still, there was John Young's famous wisecrack on Apollo 15, about the dangers of farting in a spacesuit. Pete Conrad was also known to have been rather... shall we say... "colorful".

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Bonus points...

For the Reg headline 'Enter the Dragon'.

I have visions of Bruce Lee doing zero-G dives 'Hwaaaah!'

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Trollface

Do NASA provide training on 'One Liners' now?

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Angel

"wearing the customary protective masks and goggles just in case"

I thought that hard hats and hi-viz vests as well were mandatory results of any Elf and Safty Wisk assessment...at least it is in my Company.

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"You want DVD?"

It would have been so much more memorable had there been a little Chinese fella waiting behind the hatch.

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What I want to know is...

...what happened to Scotty?

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Wasn't there supposed to be

some sort of surprise item included in the ISS cargo?

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Re: Wasn't there supposed to be

Was the suprise not the ashes of Scotty? Of trekkie fame.

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Enter the Dragon

Was Bruce Lee waiting to welcome them?

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New car smell

After a few weeks in the ISS anything new smells good.

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What they really need

is a slogan on the side of the capsule. "We deliver to your door!" or similar.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What they really need

SpaceX TakeeOutee. Free eggroll with every order!

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