Thursday, October 27, 2011

Where the Imagination Goes...

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's a DRAGON!!!!

Yes, it is the fire-breathing kind...though not the beastie of myth and legend.

Dragon, the first privately-owned prototype passenger space capsule built by SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies) has arrived in Florida. A December 19th launch is currently planned from Kennedy Space Center for the Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 booster that may soon be delivering astronauts to the International Space Station. 

This will be the Falcon 9's third launch--but the second for the Dragon. The capsule will be put into orbit to test its manuevering systems and will dock with the ISS via the assistance of a robot arm, and return to Earth about three weeks later, if all goes well.

The advantage of our space program going private? How about an $800 million price tag for developing the project compared to an estimated $2.4 to $7.2 billion for traditional government contracts, according to the SpaceX Vice President Ken Bowersox (as quoted in the Reuters article below).

One small step for man...one giant leap for private industry in space.

Read more:
Reuters Article
SpaceX Dragon Overview
SpaceX Announces Plans to Launch Fully Reusable Rocket

2 comments:

  1. This is fantastic! I so agree. The big bucks coming from private industry seems to be less and do more. Great! Can't wait to see what happens next.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Kaye I'm enthused, too. I hope the mission is a successful one. The idea of a reusable system that lands on the ground via thrusters seems like it would really cut down the complexity and cost of the previous ocean recoveries.

    Like the space shuttle did. (Yeah, better not go there. LOL)

    ReplyDelete

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