The end of the shuttle program left the U.S. with two options for getting to space: paying for a seat on a foreign rocket or hiring a ride from a commercial space company. The commercial option became viable last December, when the SpaceX Dragon became the first privately built vehicle to orbit the Earth and return home safely. During Dragon's unmanned flight, the 13,700-pound reusable capsule rode on top of a SpaceX-built Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center into orbit and circled the planet twice before splashing down 500 miles off the Pacific coast of Mexico.
If subsequent test flights succeed, NASA could begin using the Dragon–Falcon 9 combination to deliver food and equipment to the International Space Station next year. Eventually, astronauts could fly on Dragon to the moon, Mars or beyond—SpaceX designed the capsule to accommodate seven passengers, and a planned upgrade will allow it to land on any rocky plane.
As much as I'd love to see NASA finally go back to interplanetary travel, I think it would be more exhilarating if Space X did it without any NASA intervention whatsoever. No NASA flight controllers, engineers, or astronauts. Just a completely private endeavor launched to another world. That's what makes this innovation so great.
Robert1234 NASA is much to political, having killed people trying to meet political goals. They launched out of established parameters (to cold) and blew up one shuttle, then failed to carefully check out their own craft after a known impact, blowing up a second one. NASA sucks and is best left out of any real space effort. If they can't follow their own safety rules...what would they do with a private contractor's rules on a political sensitive launch? NO TO NASA!
Robert, you are terribly ill-informed.
Watching the space x rocket blast off I cannot help but see black smoke as part of the blast.
Then I remembered for the Apollo Landers as it blasted off from the surface there was no rocket blast, no smoke, nothing.
If you research the chemical fuel they used to blast off with, it makes an excessive amount of smoke. Strange huh?!
Now imagine if you have a Lander in a stage auditorium filming Apollo. The best they could do would be to blow the bolts and lift off the Apollo quickly with lines, filming.
If they actually set off rocket engines in an enclosed environment would be impossible to do and film.
Ok, I digress enough.
Yea SPACE X!!!!!!!!!!
I suppose a response would be, rockets in space make no blast or smoke. Wrong,.... just watch the Space Shuttle and its guidance jets. It's all very visible in space. The Space Shuttle guidance jets use the same type of fuel as the Apollo Lander launch.
WOOPEE! SPACE X!!! GO GO GO!
I LOVE SPACESHIPS!!
That's right - it *is* a conspiracy, and they *are* out to get you. That's why I wear old fashioned tin foil on my head, instead of that newfangled aluminum foil, with it's chemical signature that's detectable from 100 yards. I also RFID block my underwear, so no one can see my probe implant.
Seriously though, I hope NASA and the other government contractors and private ventures seriously consider the NAUTILUS-X concept when planning for future interplanetary flights.
Hahaha, seriously!? You read Popsci and you still believe they didn't land on the moon? You crazy, homes. You know they left equipment, right? It would be pretty easy to disprove them. Especially for a country like Russia or China who would be DYING to do so. Anyway, let's not travel down this path too far. It would be a travesty to sully this page with this nonsense.
I'm super excited to see commercial spaceflight blossom in my lifetime. The potential is tremendously exciting.
The moon is covered with a fine dust. It is everywhere. Well not everywhere I guess. It fail to land onto of the landing legs of the Apollo Lander and no whole was dug out underneath the Lander with the force of its rocket engine.
Let’s all get on the bus now and take a field trip to the beach. Bring your heavy brick or bowling ball.
Now be careful, do not hurt yourself or anyone else.
Toss it in the air and let it land on the beach sand.
Approach it slowly. Did it make a crater around the impact?
Did sand actually end up on top of the brick or bowling ball?
A hole should have been dug on the Apollo Lander. Impact craters should been around the Landers legs and dust on top of them. Why did this not happen?
The Lander was gently lowered into place and those filming it hate the lie being giving to the public and allowed stupid filming mistakes to happen.
I really hope to see Space X make it to the moon one day!
GO SPACE X!!!!!!!!!!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!!
We need to abonden the current system all together and put research into ACTUALLY drives and engines that can get us some where instead of wasting money on these crap rockets. yeah its all well and good you can get into orbit but it cost a fortune!! Spend that on research double down lets get out of our galaxy!!
I feverishly share this sentiment, but we may barely reach Mars in our lifetime, let alone get out of the solar system. That's just a feat for a level of development far from where we currently reside.
Still. I LOVE SPACESHIPS!
High Capacitive Rail Gun is the way to go for launching!!!!!
And as for a space ship that can weather the radiation in space for long journeys, we just need to hollow out a large asteroid and live deep inside it. Then add all propulsion system on the outside with other need electronics, on and off landing probes and space ships.
I am just so Qurious!
I really like the detail artist drawing of this article with the Space X craft firing its pulsing rockets, making smoke and causing debris to fly about. The drawing is very cool!
NASA does a lot of other important missions other than manned LEO. You know the telescopes, astrobiology, probes etc.
They are still run by a bunch of Nazi's though.
Plus if you look at the staff of SpaceX Bigelow, Virgin Galactic, a lot of them are X NASA. And NASA consults all of these companies. NASA isn’t going anywhere.
@Grunt, the most compelling evidence for a fake, is the fact that we haven’t been back since, and that no human has even left LEO since. Other than that it’s just speculation and coincidence. So I just leave it alone now.
Aldrons Last Hope,
Nice to see the real you and not the imposter. I was wondering when you show up. I have already post my few moments and was done. I was really interested in other people contributions for now. It’s not nice to tell people to drop it. People often tell you the same thing; do you like it or listen?
I am very much for a Free Capitalistic Space Program. I like to see 50 different private USA businesses in outer space! (OUTER SPACE AS IN BEYOND OUR OWN MAGNETIC FIELDS) If only we can get past LEO and live out in space freely on our own. Mr. Hawking wants us to do and declares we absolutely need to do, if we are to learn and get beyond our earthly environmental problems.
Non sheep are so cool!
@Aldron's Last Hope
Burt Rutan was a flight test project engineer for the Air Force as his first gig, and Elon Musk is a Stanford graduate that established PayPal before he established Space-X. Robert Bigelow was hotel chain entrepreneur before he established Bigelow aerospace which launched the Genesis I and II probes. Now let's go to the Virgin label CEO, Sir Richard Branson. He is well known for establishing the Virgin Records music label which turned into a multi-capital enterprise known as the Virgin Group (to include Virgin Galactic).
None of these men ever worked under the employment of NASA.
As far as how it's run, it's run by an ex-marine general who was one of the golden era shuttle pilots, Charles Bolden. He's struggling with the B.S. that we call the U.S. legislature, which can't work out differences in an effort to work together for the greater good.
You want someone to blame, blame them. Don't blame NASA. They've been working with what they've been given, which is next to nothing, and still is able to achieve great things.
@Grunt, if we all did what other people wanted us to do we wouldn't be living our own lives would we?
Yeah me too, I think space tourism, mining, and even exploration will be the future of space. Especially with the price of gold soaring we will have to look elsewhere very soon.
The biggest problem right now is getting payloads into orbit, once we figure that out (nuclear plasma rockets?) it's going to be a gold rush.
@phoenix I’m not blaming anyone for anything what are you talking about?
What exactly is your point? That Space X, Bigelow, and Virgin Galactic got to where they are w/o NASA?? Or that they each have 1-2 employees each?? Or that they made their money and all of a sudden became rocket scientists??
All three employ ex-NASA employees. As well every single one of their concepts are from NASA. The Falcon, Bigelow’s inflatable space station pods, Virgins space tourism launch system. It’s all NASA. NASA just licensed it to them. Furthermore they have agreements with NASA to use their facilities. So everything the private sector is doing is because NASA is allowing them too. Here’s some easy reading on the topic.
Also FYI the man at the top of NASA is Pete Worden; Charlie Bolden is just a figure head and doesn’t have a clue. (he actually gives tours to the public LMAO)
As far as NASA being run by a bunch of NAZI’s. I suggest you read up on project paperclip.
we never went to the mo0n. but we have teleported to mars in the past. inside the great pyramid of Egypt lies a star-gate that lets us travel to other planets and stars. ever travel to the past and future. people open your eyes!!!
The people of the world only divide into two kinds, One sort with brains who hold no religion, The other with religion and no brain.
- Abu-al-Ala al-Marri
Got a great book for you all to read. It's called "Live Free or Die" by John Ringo. Has the best asteroid-to-space station/ship I have read about.
The people who run the private space companies are mostly former aerospace or NASA employees, the big names at the top are just the chief financiers. Granted, they are all smart guys with very ballsy investments, but do you really think they have the time and knowhow to design a complex system like a space ship? Highly unlikely, as they have to attend to their business concerns that actually make money, so they can keep their long shot investment/hobby going until it can support itself.
Every employee for these companies are not former NASA employees. You don't even know if the majority of them are former NASA employees. Regardless of the fact they have former NASA employees, they don't run these companies (your implication).
Go on NASA's website to see who the head Admin is. I don't know who this Pete Worden is you pulled out of your ass but he's not at the headlines of any news about NASA which means he doesn't run shit. Bolden may give tours, but he's also got the title. Not this faceless character you brought up.
BTW, stop with the links. Pick up a book or some other form of edited and accredited print. Your information might be a little more accurate and less biased to one side.
Extremely thin skin of space ships cannot protect the harshness of the radiation that exist constantly in space, let alone anything spontaneous that can show up at any given moment.
Then add dealing with the extreme cold of space and vacuum.
Those two realities should give a GIANT wake call to anyone that decides to become aware of the harshness of outer space beyond the out protective magnetic fields of earth.
I can spout all day long, but you just need to read the common information for yourself and LEARN, to know the truth of outer space.
You need a thick lead line space ship, a impossible amount of space fuel and yes Apollo rocket engines produce thrust that should in normal situations make a hole in the soil of the moon as it lands, besides kicking up dust everywhere.
It is a common national pride that is making us blind the reality of facts in the same way Galileo had to deal with the church and religion that the earth is not the center of the universe. Yes, I know it makes you feel uncomfortable, but you just need to find the facts yourself.
I believe in USA. I believe we can achieve great things. I believe we can work and live in space and the moon. I am optimistic about it all. But we need to face these realities honestly.
@Grunt - There are a number or ways to address conspiracy theories relating to the moon landings from a scientific/engineering perspective. Not as an insult, but I'm curious if you come from a scientific background. A measure of understanding of the topics at hand (radiological/nuclear physics, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, etc.) will provide a better understanding of the phenomena that you witness in lunar footage. Perhaps in addition to reading about the common science you mention debunking the lunar landings, you could read further to learn how to actually apply that science, and you may find that the results are quite different.
Speaking from some of that technical background...
cosmic radiation outside our magnetosphere, though a significant challenge for long term habitation, would have been negligible (as far as mortal exposure is concerned) for the Apollo flights. The Van Allen radiation belt is generally the highest radiation concentration (more so than cosmic background), which they took approximately 4 hours to travel through. Even Van Allen himself estimates less than 1 REM of exposure ( 1/5th of the NRC regulatory limit for a years dose for a radiation worker) for the travel through the belt, and an additional YEAR of cosmic background would only accrue another 50 REM (50 REM shielded exposure per year worst case depending on the sun's maxima/minima). You need to see acute exposure's up near 500-1000 REM to cause fatal damage.
In fact, radiation exposure is actually seen as a proof of the Apollo missions making it outside our magnetosphere...
"The radiation is actually evidence that the astronauts went to the Moon. Irene Schneider reports that 33 of the 36 Apollo astronauts involved in the nine Apollo missions to leave Earth orbit have developed early stage cataracts that have been shown to be caused by radiation exposure to cosmic rays during their trip. At least 39 former astronauts have developed cataracts; 36 of those were involved in high-radiation missions such as the Apollo missions.
more information on cataracts experienced by Apollo astronauts (and more recent ones as well) http://emmrem.unh.edu/papers/cataracts.pdf
@Pheonix, are you trolling or………….??
Where did I say they employ ALL ex employees? I stated they all employ ex-nasa employees. Do you understand the difference? Honestly please use some common sense dude, or read Falconer13’s post.
You don’t know who Pete Worden is?? He is the director at the Ames Research facility. That’s his official title, but his responsibilities are more far reaching that his title indicates. But stick to your tour guide if you must. If you really followed NASA you would know that…not just what you learned from CNN
A lot of people find my links useful, if only for a starting point. There is nothing nefarious about those links. It’s common knowledge that NASA is like the Godfather to all of these start-up companies. They would be nowhere w/o NASA, so again, what are you disputing? What are you taking issue with? Have you seen episode 3?
Also where did I imply they are being run by NASA. I said they all consult with NASA. *facepalm*
@grunt, old people got cataracts so we must have went to the moon!! LMAO
Aldrons Last Hope,
His comment about cataracts was so obviously dumb. I just let it die by itself. But since you brought it up, I did a quick Google search and found 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. No wonder we cannot convince NASA did not go to the moon, when 285 million people have already been there, lol.
How did you and I miss that train coming back and forth to the moon?
I was watching observing how powerful my leaf blower was pushing around rock and gravel the other day. And yes a powerful rocket engine, strong enough to control Apollo does not dig a hole or spout dust ontop of the landing pads in the every so fluffy soft micro fine dust soil of the moon. Who knew?