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 4:33:54 PM
Armstrong is clearly under alien influence and is being used to dissuade and interfere with human advancement in space travel and technology. (adjusts aluminum foil helmet and blinks)
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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
Buzz Aldrin Says First Astronauts to Set Foot on Mars Should Never Return Home
July 9, 2014, 9:46 AM
Women May Soon Be Able to Control Their Fertility via Remote Control
July 7, 2014, 10:14 AM
Tiny "Bio-bots" Powered by Muscle Cells, Electrical Pulses
July 3, 2014, 7:00 PM
Boston Using Solar-Powered Benches as Phone Charging Stations
July 1, 2014, 1:09 PM
Hobby Lobby Ruling Raises Question -- Can Religious Doctors Deny Transfusions?
June 30, 2014, 7:57 PM
First Production HondaJet Takes to the Skies
June 30, 2014, 2:53 PM
Most Popular Articles
Apple's iPhone, iPad Update iOS 7.1.2 is Badly Broken for Some
July 8, 2014, 2:00 PM
Despite Legal Threats Google Begins Posting Warnings of ISP Throttling
July 7, 2014, 5:52 PM
Google Steps up Moral Censorship, Hogties All Ads With Sexual Content
July 4, 2014, 2:00 PM
Your Uncharged Smartphone, Tablet May Prevent You from Boarding U.S.-bound Flights
July 6, 2014, 11:11 PM
Report: Apple Nabs Sales Director from Watch Maker TAG Heuer
July 4, 2014, 1:48 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