It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
NASA has awarded SpaceX a $1.6 billion contract to develop Dragon and fly 12 cargo-delivery missions to the space station. If tomorrow's flight goes smoothly, the first of these should launch in early fall.
Overall, NASA is planning eight Falcon 9 flights in 2013, including two supply runs to the space station and six missions for commercial and government partners, such as communications satellite launches.
SpaceX is one of two private spaceflight companies NASA has hired to ferry cargo to the station — the other is Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va. This outsourcing plan is intended to allow NASA to focus on pursing travel beyond low-Earth orbit, including manned missions to asteroids, the moon and Mars.
Made in America: All structures, engines, avionics, and ground systems designed, manufactured and tested in the United States by SpaceX.
Falcon 9 with a Dragon spacecraft is 48.1 meters (157 feet) tall. The vehicle from the COTS 2 flight is capable of producing one million pounds of thrust in a vacuum.
Cutting-edge technology makes Falcon 9 the vehicle of choice for commercial and government customers. SpaceX has approximately 40 Falcon 9 missions on the manifest.
Dragon is 4.4 meters (14.4 feet) tall and 3.66 meters (12 feet) in diameter. The trunk is 2.8 meters (9.2 feet) tall and 3.66 meters (12 feet) wide. With the solar panels fully extended, the vehicle measures 16.5 meters (54 feet) wide.
Although this demonstration mission carries only cargo, Dragon was designed from the outset with crew- carrying capability in mind; SpaceX is in the process of developing necessary systems for transporting crew, such as seating, a launch escape system, and environmental control and life support system
Musk is CEO, majority owner, and head rocket designer at SpaceX.
Originally posted by Aliensun
I intend to get up and watch this, but I consider it an ironic joke.
NASA supposedly goes out of the heavy lifter business (no shuttle and no plans)
and here this puny little rocket is going to take up the slack?
What happens when they really need to haul some freight up there?
Oh, I forgot about the massive triangle I saw in '98 that surely can at least fly to low earth orbit...maybe a bit further? BTW: who do you suppose owns that thing?
Originally posted by D.Wolf
That was the greatest anticlimax in years.
3...2....1.... we have... liftofff no we don't!