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Posts Tagged "SpaceX"

Life, Unbounded

Space: A New Hope or an Old Dream?

(Credit: NASA)

The release of a long-awaited National Academy of Sciences report on the state and future of the US space program has triggered wide-reaching commentary on what it means to be space-faring. For hundreds of billions of dollars spent over the next 20 years, the report suggests, NASA could get humans (reasonably safely) to Mars. Along [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Watch the Earth From Space, Live!

ISS from STS118 Shuttle (NASA)

Live streaming video by Ustream It doesn’t get much better than this (well, of course being in space might be better, albeit colder). The above is streaming video, live from the International Space Station and the High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment that was lofted to orbit by a SpaceX Dragon craft just days ago. [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Do Humans Have An Off-World Future?

A pair of space habitats on a giant scale (NASA)

Optimistic visions of a human future in space seem to have given way to a confusing mix of possibilities, maybes, ifs, and buts. It’s not just the fault of governments and space agencies, basic physics is in part the culprit. Hoisting mass away from Earth is tremendously difficult, and thus far in fifty years we’ve [...]

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Life, Unbounded

A Dragon in the Sky: Space X

Dragon capsule during 'fly-under' of ISS at a distance of 2.4 kilometers (May 24th 2012). Image taken from ISS (NASA). Click for bigger view.

As the docking attempt between the Dragon cargo vehicle and the International Space Station gets underway, here are some of the latest images, plus the LIVE stream to the Dragon/ISS docking at the bottom! [Note: recorded video of final moments of capture by ISS arm now added below] …and shortly before this fly-under took place [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Walk Tall, but Please Tread Softly, SpaceX

falcon9-flight-2-03-m

We live in interesting times. Just as NASA’s most recent budgetary rearrangements seemingly threaten the very core of solar system exploration, with cuts that might pull the agency out of its participation in exciting efforts with Europe on the ExoMars project, the private space industry appears to be on an accelerating course to more real [...]

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Observations

While NASA Idles, Commercial Space Revs Up

SpaceShipTwo test flight

NASA may have lost the urgency of its 1960s moon race years, but today’s commercial space sector looks to be recapturing some of that fervor. The various players in America’s private space race were out in force at an event on Friday, May 2 at New York City’s historic Explorer’s Club, each one promising major [...]

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Observations

Commercial Spaceflight Industry Drifts Back to Earth

SpaceX launch of Dragon 9

As the brash, stylish new kid on the block, SpaceX was sure to win its share of admirers. But last week’s launch hiccup showed that the private space operator, helmed by Elon Musk, has a few issues to work out, just like stodgy old NASA. Don’t get me wrong: SpaceX has done unbelievably impressive things. [...]

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Observations

Top 10 Space Stories of 2012

Space shuttle Endeavour lands at LAX

Now that 2012 has really and truly been put to bed, let’s look at the year that was in space exploration and astronomy. My choice for #1 was a no-brainer: not only is spectacular science already rolling in, but the top space event of the year—the August landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars—also crossed [...]

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Observations

SpaceX Trying Again Early Tuesday to Reach International Space Station

Falcon 9 rocket on the launchpad

SpaceX’s history-making mission to the International Space Station is on hold, following a valve malfunction Saturday morning that caused a last-minute launch abort. But the California company says its rocket is now good to go and will be ready to launch in the early hours of Tuesday, May 22. If all goes as planned, SpaceX’s [...]

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Observations

NASA Figures Show That Commercial Rocket Costs Less Than Half as Much as Government-Run Effort Would

SpaceX

SpaceX has been the darling in the past few years of the so-called NewSpace movement—private companies aspiring to do the spacefaring work that was once limited to the space programs of the world’s superpowers. The California-based company, headed by Paypal co-founder Elon Musk, has already completed successful demonstrations of its Falcon 9 rocket and its [...]

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Observations

NASA dishes out $270 million to speed U.S. return to orbit after space shuttle retirement

Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser

The space shuttle program has just two launches remaining on the calendar, one April 29 and one in June. After that, no one knows what the next U.S.-based rocket to take astronauts to orbit will look like, when it will launch, or who will have built it. But all indications are that the rocket won’t [...]

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Observations

SpaceX completes successful first test launch of Falcon 9 rocket

Falcon 9

Private access to space took a giant leap forward Friday with a successful test launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, developed and built by SpaceX, a venture headed by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk. The two-stage Falcon 9, which stands about 48 meters tall*, lifted off from a Cape Canaveral launchpad at 2:45 P.M. Eastern Daylight [...]

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