On August 13th, the Falcon 9 test rig (code name Grasshopper) completed a divert test, flying to a 250m altitude with a 100m lateral maneuver before returning to the center of the pad. The test demonstrated the vehicle’s ability to perform more aggressive steering maneuvers than have been attempted in previous flights.
Grasshopper is taller [...]
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Rand Simberg thoroughly dismantles it: An Examiner Hit Piece on SpaceX
No quotes, because his response is wedded to excerpts from the original and is best read in full (i.e.: Read the Whole Thing™).
As I mentioned on Twitter (and then didn’t have time to follow up on myself), I heard some scuttlebutt about this [...]
Cool. Let’s hope this is just the first of many – SpaceX’s Dragon craft makes historic hookup with space station:
Once the fix was made, Dragon returned to the 30-meter checkpoint and moved in for the final approach. When the craft reached a distance of 10 meters (33 feet), NASA astronaut Don Pettit used the [...]
Okay, so it’ll be a bit over a week by the time it’s done, but:
Planetary Resources is announced, with a four-stage approach to prospecting and mining near-Earth asteroids: Leo, a small space telescope placed in (appropriately enough) low Earth orbit. Interceptor spacecraft (Leo telescopes with additional propulsion and science equipment) to scout for near-Earth [...]
Good news – NASA clears SpaceX for trial run to space station:
To encourage commercial cargo runs, NASA has hired SpaceX and a second company, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. to fly cargo to the space station, a $100 billion project of 16 countries, which orbits about 240 miles above Earth.
A successful test flight by [...]
Glenn Reynolds posts a bit about 2005 YU55, a 1300ft asteroid scheduled to pass within the orbital radius of the Moon this coming November. Observes Reynolds in response to a reader comment about “doing something”:
Yes, “Spacewatch” is about noticing this kind of thing. Doing something about it is someone else’s problem, alas. Maybe once [...]
It’s pretty amazing what you can do (and how rapidly you can do it) when you’re not bogged down by ever-shifting customer desirements, stifling “best practices”, departmental fiefdoms, and rocket scientist Senators:
Wired seems to think so: Grounded NASA Space Plane Poised for Comeback?
There were probably more reasons for the cancellation than were publicly admitted to than just the engine difficulties. But if that’s all there was, it’s interesting to note (as others have) that SpaceX’s original Merlin-1 engine is in the same thrust class as [...]
Hmm…Kimbal Musk (brother of Elon and commenter on SpaceX launches) is a board member of Progress Now Action, one of the billionaire-funded political action groups at the core of the “Colorado Model” for “progressive” takeovers of red states: