NASA TV to Broadcast Dragon Departure from International Space Station
After delivering almost 7,000 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station, including the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is set to leave the orbital laboratory with valuable science research and return to Earth on Wednesday, May 11. NASA Television will provide live coverage of Dragon's departure Ref. Source 4a.
Critical NASA Science Returns to Earth aboard SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft
A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 2:51 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 11, about 261 miles southwest of Long Beach, California, with more than 3,700 pounds of NASA cargo, science and technology demonstration samples from the International Space Station. Ref. Source 9l.
I think every new technology (Though I realize that space travel is not so new) has its bumps. I am glad to see Space X keep at it and overcome its problems. I actually see the company as a great success even with their setbacks and 'failures'. They now have the experience to know what is going wrong and how to fix it. As for the earlier comments about how to make it profitable, I would say it is plenty profitable because the company is able to to launch its rockets much cheaper than the US government (And probably other governments). NASA just doesn't have the funds to build, test, and launch rockets anymore, but Space X now has a working rocket and delivery system that NASA can 'rent' to send things to space. I think it will be a good thing. I also saw someone say that it may take 100 years for it to be affordable to the average Joe, but I think it will 'affordable' before then. The rate of technological advances is exponential, not linear. It takes less and less time to double our technology, and I predict that space flights will be affordable (Though still a novelty) within 50 years. I think within 100 years we will have some destination in space to travel to, making the space flight less of a novelty and more practical. Think exotic hotel destination or maybe even a colony.
My only question is why did it take so long for a corporation to do this? We've been flying missions for decades and we've had big corporation for the same. If we had this before we might have been further ahead in our space missions.
The Space X company, I believe, was waiting for NASA and the Government to shut the majority of their operations down.
A lot of money is required to purchase fuel and invest in rocket designs. A lot of time is required for manufacturing and building of the rockets.
One major difference for Space X versus NASA and most other space operational programs, is Space X is trying to reuse everything possible. That is why they have been working at landing the rocket boosters on platforms in the ocean. Cut the cost in production if you can reuse most of the last launches materials.
SpaceX had a very rough start but they seem to be getting their act together now and making regular successful launches. Could this be the inspiration for more space companies to start up from other countries? That can be kind of worrying to some degree - commercialized outer space!
The next SpaceX commercial cargo resupply services mission for NASA to the International Space Station now is targeted for launch no earlier than 12:45 a.m. EDT Monday, July 18.
An uncrewed SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, carrying crew supplies and station hardware, will lift off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), adjacent to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Ref. Source 1c.
SpaceX is becoming like a regular taxi service with the number of scheduled trips to the space station. I look forward to the day they build a craft that can take off and land on wheels or its own rockets.