Today at 11:42 AM EST, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft boldly smacked into the Pacific Ocean, just as planned. Here it bobs, waiting for recovery by boats, which will tow it back to land. For more coverage of SpaceX's recent launch, click here.
The privately built Dragon space capsule’s maiden flight to the International Space Station is just weeks away, but SpaceX and NASA already have big dreams for Dragon’s next steps. In a presentation at NASA late last month, SpaceX and space agency officials discussed sending Dragon to Mars.
A little less than six months after the final space shuttle launch, a private space company will launch a rocket carrying a cargo capsule bound for the International Space Station. SpaceX said this week that it plans a Nov. 30 launch date for its first rendezvous with the ISS — an encounter that will mark a major milestone in private space exploration.
NASA's space shuttle program may be over, but a new kind of space shuttling is just getting started. Even better, the new, private era of space missions seems to be moving along even faster than expected, as SpaceX and NASA have tentatively agreed to combine the two remaining test missions into one.
SpaceX will send humans to Mars within 10 to 20 years, according to an interview with its CEO in the Wall Street Journal. Elon Musk says his company will send people to space within three years, and he wants to colonize other planets next.
“I want SpaceX to help make life multi-planetary,” he said. “We’re going all the way to Mars, I think. Best case, 10 years, worst case, 15 to 20 years.”
Who needs the space shuttle? Take a tour inside the private space industry and its innovative, efficient plans to get astronauts into space when NASA retires its old ride
By Sam Howe Verhovek
Posted 12.06.2009 at 12:13 pm 30 Comments
The Final Countdown:October 15, 2009: Virgin Galactic’s bullet-nosed rocket, SpaceShipTwo, sits in the hangar of Scaled Composites in Mojave, California, awaiting a paint job before its public debut in December. Click here to launch the gallery for a closer look at SpaceShipTwo under construction. John B. Carnett
For a traveler heading up the highway toward the Mojave Air and Space Port, in the desert 70 miles north of Los Angeles, the surroundings are ghostly. Silent 747s and DC-10 jumbo jets from defunct airlines, along with smaller 727s and DC-9s, some cut up or resting on pylons, are visible from miles away, looking frozen and forlorn. Parked along the road at the airport entrance is a 1962 Convair 990, which began its life as an American Airlines jet airliner. Now the wind whistles through its nacelles and birds nest in its wheel wells.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.