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SpaceX's Dragon at the ISS  (Source:
Dragon is expected to return near the end of October

SpaceX is about to take another historical step for the private sector: its Dragon capsule will carry a load of supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) on its first official mission.

SpaceX's Dragon made its first trip to the ISS back in May of this year as a test run. All went well, with the Dragon successfully docking at the ISS and then splashing down into the Pacific Ocean.

Thanks to that successful run, SpaceX can now move forward with its very first official mission. The Dragon capsule will carry 1,000 pounds of supplies to the ISS on October 7, and plans to reach the orbiting station on October 10.

Dragon will then spend a few weeks connected to the ISS while astronauts unload the supplies. They will then reload the Dragon with another 734 pounds of scientific supplies and 504 pounds of space station hardware to return to Earth. The plan is to send Dragon home near the end of October.

SpaceX currently has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA for 12 unmanned flights to the ISS.

Throughout 2011, NASA retired its remaining three shuttles in its space shuttle fleet: Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis. By July 2011, all three had completed their final missions and ended an era of American space flight to the ISS. American astronauts were then forced to depend on the Russian Soyuz rockets to take supplies to the ISS, but increasing costs for a seat on these rockets pushed the U.S. to find another route.

NASA looked to the private sector to fill its shoes, and SpaceX was a superb candidate with its Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX showed the world what the private space sector was made of in May 2012 when the Dragon made a successful maiden flight to the ISS.


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RE: Privatization of space
By fellix on 9/22/2012 9:54:49 AM , Rating: 5
Never say never again -- read why:

• “I think there’s a world market for about 5 computers.”

( Thomas J. Watson, Chairman of the Board, IBM, circa 1948 )

• “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”

( Ken Olson, President, Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977 )

• "Transmission of documents via telephone wires is possible in principle, but the apparatus required is so expensive that it will never become

a practical proposition."

( Dennis Gabor, British physicist and author of Inventing the Future, 1962 )

• "There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States."

( T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, 1961

(the first commercial communications satellite went into service in 1965)

• Space travel is bunk."

( Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal of the UK, 1957

(two weeks later Sputnik orbited the Earth)

• "To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the moon where the passengers can make scientific observations, perhaps land alive, and then return to earth--all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne. I am bold enough to say that such a man-made voyage will never occur regardless of all future advances."

( Lee deForest, American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube, 1957 )

• Space travel is utter bilge."

( Dr. Richard van der Reit Wooley, UK space advisor to the government, 1956

(Sputnik orbited the Earth the following year)

• "Television won't last because people will soon get tired of staring at

a plywood box every night."

( Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946 )

• "That is the biggest fool thing we have ever done [research on]... The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives."

( William D. Leahy, U.S. Admiral, advising President Truman on atomic weaponry, 1944 )

• "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"

( H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, maker of silent movies, 1927 )

• "The radio craze will die out in time."

( Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1922 )

• "Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."

( New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work, 1921

(note that the day after Armstrong walked on the moon in 1969, the New York

Times printed a short boxed item on page 2. It read in full:

"Errata: It has now been conclusively demonstrated that a rocket ship can

travel through the vacuum of space. The Times sincerely regrets the error.")

• "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."

( Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, 1904(?)

• "The horse is here to stay, the automobile is only a fad."

( Advice of President of Michigan Savings Bank to Horace Rackham, lawyer for

Henry Ford, 1903

(Rackham ignored the advice and invested $5000 in Ford stock, selling it later

for $12.5 million)

• "Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever."

( Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1889

(Edison often ridiculed the arguments of competitor George Westinghouse for AC power)

• "Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy."

( Drillers whom Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil, 1859 )

• "What, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you, excuse me, I have not the time to listen to such nonsense."

( Napoleon Bonaparte, when told of Robert Fulton's steamboat, 1800s )


RE: Privatization of space
By kattanna on 9/24/2012 10:00:01 AM , Rating: 2
LOL, nice list

• "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"

what makes me chuckle about that one is at one time actors where just that.. people who entertained but were not taken serious like they are today.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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