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SpaceX Dragon Successfully Ends First Mission

By - Source: NASA | B 9 comments
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NASA and SpaceX successfully completed their first contracted cargo space flight.

The Dragon spacecraft returned to earth on Sunday afternoon as it hit the pacific Ocean "a few hundred miles west of Baja California, Mexico". Dragon is considered a critical element to keep NASA's space program going and being able to resupply the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA said that Dragon is being transported by ship to a port near Los Angeles where some cargo will be removed and will then be returned to SpaceX in McGregor in Texas. The cargo includes research samples collected by the ISS crew.

"With a big splash in the Pacific Ocean today, we are reminded American ingenuity is alive and well and keeping our great nation at the cutting edge of innovation and technology development," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "Just a little over one year after we retired the Space Shuttle, we have completed the first cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. Not with a government owned and operated system, but rather with one built by a private firm -- an American company that is creating jobs and helping keep the U.S. the world leader in space as we transition to the next exciting chapter in exploration. Congratulations to SpaceX and the NASA team that supported them and made this historic mission possible."

Dragon was launched on October 7 with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. NASA said that it delivered 260 pounds of crew supplies, 390 pounds of scientific research, 225 pounds of hardware and "several" pounds of other supplies. On its way back, Dragon brought 1,673 pounds of cargo, including 163 pounds of crew supplies, 866 pounds of scientific research, and 518 pounds of hardware.


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  • 9 Hide
    raytseng , October 30, 2012 5:39 AM
    "successful" except a motor failed during launch causing them to have to ditch a satellite into short orbit and burn up; and future launches being suspended until they can figure out why 2 out of the 3 dragonX launches had problems.

    No other article on the DragonX is calling this a full success. Milestone perhaps, but not a full success.
  • 3 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , October 30, 2012 6:54 AM
    Awesome. Finally the human spirit is at the proverbial steering wheel again. The government space programs of the world are great, but this is as it should be. Hiccup here and there or not. This is the future.
  • 1 Hide
    mmstick , October 30, 2012 8:21 AM
    The_TrutherizerAwesome. Finally the human spirit is at the proverbial steering wheel again. The government space programs of the world are great, but this is as it should be. Hiccup here and there or not. This is the future.

    The problem is the government doesn't really care about space programs. They are more worried about funding for worldly things rather than spacely things.
  • -4 Hide
    eiskrystal , October 30, 2012 8:49 AM
    You aren't creating jobs when you shunt government work to the private arena. If anything, there will be less overall jobs due to the lack of bureaucracy. Then you end up paying through the nose when you need their expertise yourself again.

    I also look forward to the chinese buyout of your "american company".
  • -3 Hide
    memadmax , October 30, 2012 1:17 PM
    eiskrystalYou aren't creating jobs when you shunt government work to the private arena. If anything, there will be less overall jobs due to the lack of bureaucracy. Then you end up paying through the nose when you need their expertise yourself again.I also look forward to the chinese buyout of your "american company".


    Comrade obama will be gone soon, what then?
  • 1 Hide
    jerrspud , October 30, 2012 2:18 PM
    Quote:
    "successful" except a motor failed during launch causing them to have to ditch a satellite into short orbit and burn up; and future launches being suspended until they can figure out why 2 out of the 3 dragonX launches had problems.

    No other article on the DragonX is calling this a full success. Milestone perhaps, but not a full success.

    You read it wrong. You think it said "successful mission" but it says "ended successfully". Each objective is measured individually. So the objective to return was successful.

    True there was a malfunction, but the objective to reach station and deliver and retrieve was met. In fact, there is a rather large list of successful objectives SpaceX met this mission. The "satellite" was not a primary objective and not part of the NASA mission. Any other rocket would not even have made it to orbit with one engine down, and Falcon was designed to be able to reach orbit with two missing.
    I'm not making excuses.. just offering perspective
  • -1 Hide
    madjimms , October 30, 2012 4:12 PM
    eiskrystalYou aren't creating jobs when you shunt government work to the private arena. If anything, there will be less overall jobs due to the lack of bureaucracy. Then you end up paying through the nose when you need their expertise yourself again.I also look forward to the chinese buyout of your "american company".

    I actually agree with you.
  • 0 Hide
    blackened144 , October 30, 2012 6:34 PM
    Quote:
    Dragon was launched on October 7 with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. NASA said that it delivered 260 pounds of crew supplies, 390 pounds of scientific research, 225 pounds of hardware and "several" pounds of other supplies.


    Thats an interesting payload.. And it reminds me that I need to call my guy and get a "several" grams of other supplies too.
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , October 30, 2012 8:36 PM
    what they need to do is get rid of that POS they call space station....it's such a waste of money....what have we learned??....nothing....how is this helping the humanity as a whole?...it is not....they could use that money to actually do some good down here on earth....leave space alone...it's not like we are going to go anywhere anytime soon....earth is and will be here for a very long, long, long, time