Tag Archives: engineering

Falcon 9 launch a success. Dragon capsule returns successfully

SpaceX is two for two! The Falcon 9 launch today was a success, and was topped off by the successful return of the Dragon capsule after two orbits.

This is big news. Think about it: a private company — not a government — has designed and built a rocket and capsule, capable of carrying astronauts, and successfully launched both and recovered the capsule. Hot dog! True space travel might very well be around the corner at last.

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Falcon 9/Dragon launch likely delayed to at least Thursday

The Falcon 9/Dragon test launch is likely delayed to at least Thursday. Key quote:

During reviews of vehicle closeout photos this morning, engineers found a possible crack in the second stage engine nozzle. If the nozzle needs to be replaced, the first launch opportunity would be Friday or Saturday. Officials called “remote” a possibility that the problem could be resolved in time to fly Wednesday.

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SpaceX to offer NASA its own plans for a heavy-lift rocket

SpaceX is putting together its own plans to provide NASA a heavy-lift rocket. Key quote:

Fast-track development, multi-use and low cost are key, says [SpaceX owner Elon] Musk. “The development timeframe is on the order of five years and would come to fruition before Obama’s likely second term ends. It has got to fit within a NASA budget that fits in 2008 levels, and it’s got to have operational costs when functioning that is as close to zero as you can make it. That latter point demands that whatever components are in use for super-heavy lift must be in use for launching other satellites for say, geostationary commercial and government customers. If not, then the likelihood of success in my opinion is zero.”

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X-37B has returned successful to earth

After more than seven months in orbit, the unmanned X-37B space plan has successfully returned to Earth. Key quote:

“Boeing and the Air Force are building another X-37B vehicle scheduled for launch in the spring of 2011.”

Update: Since several different reports are listing slightly different totals for the number of days in orbit, I’ve edited my note above to be less precise. I could add up the days myself, but that involves more math than I prefer to do!

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