NASA: SpaceX Dragon Expected to Leave for ISS on April 30
April 17, 2012 10:22 AM
comment(s) - last by
SpaceX Dragon capsule
According to NASA, there is a bit of testing where hardware, software and certain procedures are concerned
NASA announced that all is well with SpaceX's Dragon capsule, and that an April 30 flight to the International Space Station (ISS) is possible.
SpaceX, which is expected to be the first private company to send a spacecraft to the ISS, has been preparing its Dragon capsule for the flight. However,
it delayed the Dragon's first launch to the ISS
, which was set for February 7. The company wanted to conduct more tests before the cargo capsule took off for space.
"Everything looks good as we head toward the April 30 launch date," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations. "There is a good chance to make the 30th."
The Dragon capsule will be expected to carry 1,148 pounds of cargo to the ISS, which will consist of supplies needed for the space lab, and will return 1,455 pounds of cargo back to Earth.
The private company's Dragon has become an important part of the future of American space travel. Last year,
NASA retired its space shuttle fleet
, which U.S. astronauts depended on for delivering supplies to the ISS. Since that retirement, American astronauts have been forced to depend on Russian Soyuz rockets to make their way to the ISS -- and the cost of one seat on the Russian spacecraft is expected to increase to $63 million by 2015.
The U.S. knew it had to find another way to travel to space without depending on Russia. Funding was a major complication, where
NASA urged Congress to provide $850 million for commercial crew vehicle development
SpaceX arrived on the scene with its Dragon capsule, which is intended for both manned and unmanned missions. While Musk has been working hard on his Dragon, the spacecraft hasn't had an easy road up to this point. The February delay caused a bit of disappointment, and then American space heroes Neil Armstrong (the first astronaut to step foot upon the Moon on Apollo 11) and Gene Cernan (the last man to step foot upon the moon on Apollo 17) both
publicly criticized Musk's inexperience with space-related vehicles
. They even said that leaving the future of American space travel to SpaceX could lead to safety issues and cost the taxpayers at some point.
However, the Dragon has prevailed and even passed the first NASA Crew Trial last month. Musk defended his company and his Dragon, saying that the work accomplished until now and the road to the ISS ahead have not been easy.
"I think it is important to appreciate that this is pretty tricky," said Musk. "The public out there, they may not realize that the space station is zooming around the Earth every 90 minutes, and it is going 17,000 miles an hour. So you have got to launch up there and you've got to rendezvous and be backing into the space station within inches really, and this is something that is going 12 times faster than the bullet from an assault fire. So it's hard.
"I think we have got a pretty good shot but it is worth emphasizing that there is a lot that can go wrong on a mission like this."
But Musk said even if the Dragon doesn't succeed the first time, he will try again.
The final announcement regarding whether April 30 is the exact date of launch is expected April 23.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Sad Irony
4/17/2012 12:20:50 PM
The man is a real life Tony Stark type
...you mean he's a wildly egomaniacal womanizing alcoholic?
I want that job :(
RE: Sad Irony
4/17/2012 8:40:46 PM
Hey, as log as you can deliver the tech, you're hired...
RE: Sad Irony
4/18/2012 1:31:05 PM
you mean a "genius, billionaire, playboy-philanthropist?"
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
Quick Note: NASA's Remaining Space Shuttles Stripped, Prepared for Final Resting Places
March 29, 2012, 2:45 PM
SpaceX Dragon Capsule Passes NASA Crew Trial, CEO Responds to Criticism from Neil Armstrong
March 19, 2012, 1:07 PM
SpaceX Delays Dragon's First Launch to ISS
January 17, 2012, 9:36 AM
Show Me The Money: NASA Needs $850 Million for Commercial Crew Vehicle Development
October 21, 2011, 12:00 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Most Popular Articles
Windows 10 Hits 75 Million Users; Grows Nearly 4x as Fast as Windows 7
August 28, 2015, 10:22 PM
Kentucky Man Faces up to 10 Years in Prison for Shooting Drone Trespasser
August 13, 2015, 2:58 PM
Microsoft's Flagship Windows10 Lumias Rumored to Pack 25 Minute Charge Times
August 31, 2015, 8:13 PM
"KeyRaider" Hits 225,000+ iPhones, Mobile Malware no Longer Just a Droid Thing
September 1, 2015, 11:50 PM
Microsoft Announces $499 Xbox One "ELITE", w/ High-End Controller, Hybrid HDD
August 31, 2015, 3:29 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information