SpaceX Delays Dragon's First Launch to ISS
January 17, 2012 9:36 AM
comment(s) - last by
The launch was originally set for February 7, but SpaceX wants to conduct more tests
SpaceX has announced that it is delaying the launch of its unmanned space capsule to the International Space Station (ISS), which was
set to make the journey on February 7
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, will be the first commercial company in history to dock at the ISS. It plans to send its unmanned Dragon spacecraft, which is SpaceX's reusable spacecraft, to the ISS this year.
SpaceX was originally set on launching its Dragon space capsule on February 7, but the company announced yesterday that the flight will be postponed in order to conduct additional testing.
"In preparation for the upcoming launch, SpaceX continues to conduct extensive testing and analysis," said Kirstin Grantham, SpaceX spokesperson. "We believe that there are a few areas that will benefit from additional work and will optimize the safety and success of this mission. We are now working with NASA to establish a new target launch date, but note that we will continue to test and review data.
"We will launch when the vehicle is ready."
The Dragon's voyage to the ISS is a big deal, considering it will be the first made by the private space transport industry. The rendezvous is part of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, which many commercial spaceflight companies have been interested in joining. SpaceX is expected to deliver food, hardware and supplies to the ISS, and upon successful completion of the missions laid out in its Space Act Agreement with NASA, SpaceX will receive as much as $396 million.
The need for a commercial company to step in and take over the errands to the ISS became crucial after NASA retired its space shuttle program throughout 2011. The retirement of the Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis space shuttles
marked the end of NASA's 30-year space shuttle program
, and also left American astronauts looking to hitch a ride with the Russians when making runs to the ISS. But depending on Russia was expensive, with costs per seat on a Russian spacecraft
expected to rise to $63 million
The Dragon capsule, which made its maiden flight in December 2010, will launch atop SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket once the spacecraft is ready.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: put up or shut up
1/17/2012 10:31:45 AM
ECONOMIC MODEL OF REUSABLE VS. EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLES
"Generally, expendable launch vehicles will continue to have a significant economic advantage over reusable vehicles until launch rates increase by well over 100 times."
"In short, according to Musk, the Falcon Heavy will offer approximately twice the performance of the Delta IV Heavy at approximately one third the cost; or, as he helpfully added, six times the value. Determining the actual price of a Delta or Atlas is not an easy proposition, a tactic Musk compared to a rug bazaar in that the price is determined by what the vendor perceives the buyer can pay. At the moment, the buyer is the US government, and it is paying dearly.
Assuming the Falcon Heavy’s numbers are accurate, the pricing and performance figures offered in Musk’s presentation raise a number of very interesting and, no doubt to some, uncomfortable questions. They also have the potential to completely alter the basis of what currently passes for space policy.
First, the uncomfortable questions. Given the fact that the SpaceX Falcon rockets are not based on any radical technological breakthrough that lowered their costs, one has to ask just how bad a deal has the taxpayer been getting from the Atlas V and Delta IV, products of the legacy aerospace establishment? Soon to be deprived of the hyper-expensive Space Shuttle as their own point of comparison, the answer would appear to be much worse than we ever imagined."
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
SpaceX to Make ISS Endeavor in February 2012
December 12, 2011, 11:07 AM
Show Me The Money: NASA Needs $850 Million for Commercial Crew Vehicle Development
October 21, 2011, 12:00 PM
Space Shuttle Atlantis Arrives Home Safely, Marks End of 30-Year Space Shuttle Program
July 21, 2011, 9:21 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Commercial Drones to Get Privacy Guidelines Via Executive Order
July 25, 2014, 5:34 PM
Pentagon's Priciest Project, F-35, Misses International Debut
July 25, 2014, 10:18 AM
Most Popular Articles
Lumia 830 Gets Major Upgrades Including New 20.1 Megapixel Toshiba Sensor
August 15, 2014, 6:00 PM
Windows Phone, BlackBerry Smartphone Market Share Falls to 2.5%, 0.5% Respectively
August 15, 2014, 9:44 AM
GM Concedes That the Cadillac ELR Doesn’t Really Compete with the Tesla Model S
August 15, 2014, 5:42 PM
Cell Phone Thief Calls 911 After Her Victim Chases Her and Her Male Cohort
August 14, 2014, 12:11 PM
Smarter Wired, Wireless Chargers Set to Shake Up Mobile Industry
August 14, 2014, 6:39 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information